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from the berner-l

We interpret this message to talk about Pilgrim for a minute. This was the first time he has ever traveled with us with NO diarrhea. We are so proud of his increased self confidence. He was fine with lots of folks greetings him. He told us clearly when he needed to go out and did not give false alarms. He and I had a wonderful long walk through the snow sculptures early one morning before there were crowds. It was snowing and he and I loved having the world to oursevles.

Pilgrim did great at the Becktel's for Berners on Ice except for the escape and run down the street but he eagerly jumped back into the van when I drove to him. He has learned the Camp Berner lesson of door safety very well. On the way home, after Sunny's hydrotherapy, Pilgrim went for a 15 min recreational swim. We were impressed with his confidence about the new place and equipment (elevator). He was pretty stressed in the water and kept trying to climb on top of it. But he did NOT try to use his mouth on the therapist. I think he will do better next time. We are so pleased with his growth. He came here two years ago in November. He will be 4 in early March. ****** Sunny hit his head on the car next to ours once while jumping out of our van. After that we learned to park so there would be lots of room for him to land. He is not as agile as he once was. He tolerated the inevitable attention that Berners cause at SnowFest. He loved the chance to run free on the frozen lake at Berners on Ice. He loved the chance to roam freely through the Becktel's house with 30 or so other dogs. It was our farewell tour through Michigan and it was wonderful to see lots of good friends again.

We spent a long afternoon with Sunny's breeder. I'm glad she got to see him and put her hands on him again. She asked if he always paces. I wondered if what I see as walking that looks weird is really pacing. His therapist, Sheree, says that he paces most of the time. We are playing more attention. He definitely paces when he is tired. After his adjustment on Tues, we called him back and forth across the room and he sometimes walked and sometimes paced. His breeder was not aware of any other neurological disease in his background. We wonder if the great stress before he was rescued contributed to the manifestation of this disease. I also wonder if vaccinations may have contributed to this auto-immune disease.

After traveling on Thurs, SnowFest on Fri, Berners on Ice on Sat, and the breeders on Sun, Sunny was a real mess on Mon. After breakfast and a walk outside, he climbed onto the bed and had lots of tremors. We carry a small blanket with us for just these times. It seems to comfort him to be covered. I don't think he is cold, but somehow he feels comforted to be covered. Maybe it is just a constant reminder that we love him. He looks really cute with just his little head sticking out. When we are in situations where we have to walk him for him to empty, we notice that he falls apart after an early morning walk and then is better later. Perhaps his muscle relaxant blood level is not so high right after breakfast. It does not seem to be a problem at home where he uses the outside fenced facilities.

During this whole trip, he had no problem riding or getting into the van. Near the end, he was reluctant to get in. I thought he was tired of riding and wanted to be home. Me, too. :-) It was not the struggling that we saw when he was 'dizzy' and afraid to get in the van.

On the way home, we stopped for his hydrotherapy treatment. After resting in the van during the drive back to Indiana, he was strong when he first got into the pool. I think he really likes it and I think it makes him feel better. We are considering changing his therapy time from 30 minutes to 15 minutes. We are evaluating whether he gets too tired by the end of the 30 min.

Then next day, Tues, we saw Sheree. She found all sorts of things locked up and twisted. Perhaps from the bump on the head, perhaps from walking on slippery ice, perhaps from lots of exercise. As usual he melted into her hands. Her dogs were glad to see their friend again. She began to teach us some techniques to release some of his locked muscles.

He rested Wed. Thurs and Fri he has been the best we have seen in several months. He is alert and eager and he acts like he feels good. In addition to being home, getting exercised, and having adjustments, we have stopped one of the Clemmons medicines (N-Acetylcysteine). It was given every other day. When we muscle tested several of his meds/supplements using kinesiology, it did not score high. Sheree also noted that he was worse on days when he got that med. So we have stopped it at least for now. I do believe that we will need to modify his treatment protocol based on what is working at the moment.

We are ready for several weeks at home now before another visit to our North Carolina house, so we expect this to be a great time for him.