My friend Chris Laseter is a runner! He was one of the mentors the year I was training for my 1/2 marathon to raise awareness and money for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. He is an inspiration to everyone who meets him. BTW…I am not a runner! If a pack of wolves were chasing me I could not run – it’s just a fact!
I’m so very proud of Chris and the adventure he will be embarking on in January 2013. He is a dog trainer and he is a dog lover. The love he shows to animals is undeniable. And today I’d like to share his story with you…
Chris Laseter – firstname.lastname@example.org
RUNNING FOR THE DOGS
To chase away k9 cancer
To summarize my Run (www.runningforthedogs.com):
I will be running from Atlanta to Portland, OR beginning in Jan. of 2013.
A journey of 2800 miles!!!
I am doing this in honor/memory of my six year old Yellow Lab, Zeke, who I lost to canine cancer on April 21, 2011. I am running to raise awareness to the prevalence of canine cancer (1 in 3 dogs develop cancer), to teach people across the country how to check their pets to detect any unusual lumps or bumps early and to raise money for Chase Away K9 Cancer (www.chaseawayk9cancer.org). That money will be used only to fund canine cancer research grants through the National Canine Cancer Foundation (www.wearethecure.org).
I will be running in honor/memory of all those “best friends” across the country that were taken too early because of canine cancer, for those fighting the battle with cancer now, and for those that don’t yet see it coming.
Why I am running across the country…..
There are several dates and times that stick out in one’s memories of their life; birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, and other memorable events. However, an unfortunate memory has now been etched in mine. On February 8, 2011, four days before his 6th birthday, my yellow Labrador, Zeke, was diagnosed with Canine Lymphoma. My heart sank!
The day of the diagnosis, I brought Zeke home and sank into the darkness of my bedroom and spent several hours mourning his prognosis. I let him rest in the bed beside me the rest of the evening. His doctor, Dr. Leathers, gave me several treatment options, none of them seemed to give him a good chance for a longer, more comfortable life. Based on everything she told me and what I researched, I could not make the decision for him to endure chemo for six months with the chance he may not even make it through treatment. I had to consider and ask myself who was I trying to prolonging his life for…him or me?
It was at that moment that I decided to make the best of what time we had left. I needed to have faith that he would be strong enough, with the help of a drug called Prednisone, to enjoy what time we had left. His energy and happy spirit returned to normal as soon as we started the Prednisone just like Dr. Leathers said it would. She surgically removed his swollen Lymph node to be sent off to the lab at The University of Georgia for further testing and confirmation that Canine Lymphoma was indeed the enemy.
All was back to normal until April, 21, 2011. I got up that morning to let the dogs out and Zeke couldn’t even get off the floor. I coaxed him up and helped him outside. I could see he needed to get to the veterinary office. He was lethargic and limping on a swollen front right leg. With in 20 minutes we were at Dr. Leathers’ office and one of her technicians took his temperature. It was 106. When I was told 101.5 was normal, I realized he was in trouble. The technicians rushed him into the back, wrapped him in cold, wet towel, and put fans on him in hopes of bringing his temperature down. A large dose of antibiotics and pain medications were given in hopes of treating a possible infection. Blood work was done and proved the worst, the Lymphoma was flaring up and even with extreme treatment (and expense) there was no guarantee that he would survive any more than a few days. The time had come for me to make the decision I had tried to put off as long as I could.
The day had a good note, Dr. Leathers and her team, were able to stabilize him by bringing his temperature down closer to normal and I was able to take Zeke home. I knew it was temporary so he and I spent the day together doing all the things he loved to do. We rode the four-wheeler and played a short game of fetch. We went into the swamp where we had spent endless hours hunting and watched the remaining Wood Ducks and Canada Geese fly around (I am sure he was wondering why I didn’t shoot anything). Then we sat in the grass overlooking the property and he just rested his head on my leg.
I wanted to be selfish and keep him at home with me that night. His fever was down and he seemed to be feeling better, but if anything had happened to him during the night that I could not manage, I would have never forgiven myself. Once back at the veterinarian’s office, I asked Dr. Leathers if she thought I could take him home for one more night, but I did not get the answer that I wanted to hear. So Zeke and I went for our last walk. I called several friends to help me through this difficult decision. I just did NOT want to let him go. With the help of some good friends, advice from Dr. Leathers, and my own knowledge, the decision was made to let him go and end his pain. I sat in the field behind the vet’s office, held him in my lap and stared into his eyes. I could tell he didn’t feel good. As Dr. Leathers gave him an injection to sedate him, I repeated WHAT A GOOD BOY until the sedative took effect. Before I knew it, he was asleep and his pain was gone.
A very good friend told me that “I took the hurt and pain so he didn’t have to.”
I truly miss my Zeke!!!
The death of Zeke took the wind out of my sails. I was having a terrible time and I had to do something to bring myself out of this grief. One night, while at dinner with Mona Landry, a good friend and former running coach, I asked her if she had any ideas. She knew I was reading a book, “Running on Empty” by Marshall Ulrich (about his attempted world record run across America) so she suggested organizing a run in Zeke’s honor with the funds going to canine cancer research. So I blurted out “How about a run across the US for Chase Away Canine Cancer?” “That’s it,” she said and the idea stuck. So I started researching and planning.
In late January or early February of 2013 I will set out from Atlanta Georgia on a 2800 mile journey to Portland Oregon. I will run an average of 28 miles a day.
My goal is not just to run the distance but to raise awareness to the prevalence of canine cancer. I hope to raise money for funding to enhance diagnosis and treatments options for other pets like Zeke. I want to help educate people how to assess their dog from snout to tail to check for unusual lumps and bumps so that a diagnosis can be made early which can lead to a better prognosis for their pet. I know that none of this will ever bring Zeke back, but maybe through this run, Zeke’s memory will have a positive impact on the lives of many other people and their pets.
I need sponsors, help spreading the word (media, social media, etc.), donations and support (come out and run with me with the dog) to make this happen and to get this VERY important information out there.
I want people from across the country to tell me their dog’s story and send me pictures of their dogs. All of the pictures will be part of the artwork on the RV that supports me on the run and all the stories will also make the journey in the RV.
This run is for them!!!
How can you look at Zeke’s face and not want to help??
Everyday I think all my full-time entrepreneur friends have the BEST life! In the middle of the day they can stop what they are doing and head out to Starbucks to meet someone to talk business or just to sip coffee and reminisce about life. Having been a full-time entrepreneur in a past life I realize that sounds a lot more glamorous than it really is. The truth is, you may get the chance to do that from time to time, and attend networking events during the day, and other things that being trapped by a 9:00-5:00 does not allow, but at 2:00 am when you suddenly jump out of bed because the project you’ve been working on for 4 weeks pops into your head…there is no going back to sleep until you figure that out!
My friend AS is one of those entrepreneurs who gets to do her thing everyday instead of marching to the beat of the corporate drummer. And the other day (Monday, August 6th to be exact) after she made her way to local Starbucks to meet up with a friend for a little social time she encountered quite the scenario due to some men who decided that on that particular day Starbucks was going to be their “office.” Upon reading her status update on Facebook I responded with a comment and specifically made mention to blogging about this issue. Due to other things I decided I wanted to do on Monday and Tuesday night I did not write said blog post and had all intention of doing so today. Well…let me just say that this behavior at Starbucks must be an epidemic! Because last night as I lay in bed reading other blogs that I follow regularly I came across a very interesting post from Intuit – they wrote a post titled: 8 Rules of Etiquette for Working in Coffee Shops. Read more here. Perhaps this is where I should say “great minds think alike.”
Now, without further ado I’d like to share with you AS’s post and all the comments that followed. I’ve used initials for all those who commented with the exception of my comments which say HEATHER. Let’s face it – I’m blogging and always speaking my mind so I have no reason not to say which comment it mine, but out of respect for the others who commented I will not post their names.
AS: Just found myself at the center of a Starbuck’s etiquette controversy: I was in a crowded, in-town location that was full of middle-age white guys with laptops using the Starbucks as an office. I was there to meet a friend for coffee and to socialize, the entire point of a Starbucks. We hadn’t been seated for two minutes before a guy turns to us and says, “Ladies, people are trying to work here so you need to lower your voices.” Before either of us can say anything a debate breaks out around us about whether or not Starbucks is “the library,” that ended in name calling. Clearly, people are riled up about proper coffee house behavior. To me, this is a PSA for coworking–there is no expectation of silence at Starbucks.
I have been both the social meeter as well as focused worker. When I want quiet but desperately need Internet/lunch I make sure to bring my sound canceling headphones. This is a huge economical issue from the standpoint of the coffee house owner that sprung up during the recession. Someone buying one cup of coffee and parking in a seat (or two or four) for 8hrs using Internet, electricity and the bathroom. Some coffee houses have tried to fight the library atmosphere by imposing a limit on the Internet access or in the case of @octane coffee Intown by the cemetery don’t even have plugs available, which has brought the atmosphere back to the traditional setting.
I completely understand the need/want to reduce the cost of overhead especially given today’s economy. Here’s an idea…find a little space in your own darn home then. When you enter a public place that was originally created as a meeting place for friends to gather and enjoy some downtime you certainly are stepping across the line when you get mad at people for talking! That being said, I’m not overly fond of the children who are allowed to release constant blood curdling screams while I’m out to eat. It’s funny how parents can ignore that type of behavior, but grown men who take over the local Starbucks cannot overlook the fact that people are at Starbucks to relax and meet up with friends! Maybe someday we will all find a way to get along together – even at the local coffee shop!
If you don’t agree with Chick-fil-a slinging mud won’t help!
If you do agree with Chick-fil-a slinging mud won’t help!
kind of wish we could make a lot of this stuff in the news just go away.
Today I encountered this on Facebook. And I actually “liked” the picture from the standpoint that both sides should be able to do what they feel is necessary. I don’t like it because I don’t believe two wrongs make a right (or two “rights” make a right).
Below are the comments that followed the picture.
Comment 1: Nice. How sad this is. They had better watch out. God will only put up with this for so long.
Comment 2: You are right, Cindy. What gets me are all the so-called “Christians” who are manipulating Scripture to justify homosexuality, when it clearly speaks out against it.
Comment 3: They will love the business.
Comment 4: I don’t know but my guy tells me that this scheduled event will not go as peaceful as the one yesterday. I foresee huge problems. But I hope I’m wrong.
Comment 5: Supposed to be my GUT. iPhone!! Blah!! Lol!
Comment 6: Ya but there’s no such thing as bad publicity. My Nephew manages one in Charleston and all this has caused their sales to go through the roof. Not that they needed it. They are always busy here
Comment 7: I just don’t understand how the world can not see the only ones stirring up hate is the gay community.
Comment 8 (My Comment): Okay…I’m heterosexual and I’m absolutely appalled by all the comments above. I usually agree with the majority of the posts from Stephen and actually even like this picture he posted. Hate is coming from every angle and it’s disgusting. Tell me the last time you heard a gay person call Christians all kinds of names for living in sin, getting divorced and being hypocritical. God tells us to love everyone. None of us are better than anyone else and if you think you are…well then you have just as much to explain when you stand before him as you think they do for their so-called inappropriate behavior and lifestyle. It is not necessarily a lifestyle I completely understand, but I believe God makes NO mistakes and knows each of us before we are ever born!! There is no one that would EVER choose a lifestyle that would cause them to be constantly belittled, judged, hated, beaten and killed!! I have many friends who are gay and I love each and every one of them and they would NEVER choose this for themselves. God considers all sin equal – if you think this is a sin then I sincerely hope you have never lied, stolen so much as a quarter from your mother’s purse, looked at anyone with so much as an ounce of lust, cut anyone off in traffic or flipped anyone off. The only one who is truly righteous is God! We are human…we are not perfect! And remember, it is Christians who are picketing the funerals of fallen soldiers who have fought for our country…Christians for goodness sake!! What does that say about us?
Comment 9: God makes no mistakes. Agreed! Which proves homosexuality is a choice, and if not, then the lifestyle is.
I CHOOSE a Christian (not perfect by any means) lifestyle, and like other Christians around the world have been belittled, judged, hated, beaten and killed. Just as you have just done in your previous comments.
I won’t be offended by the ignorance of others. In no way did I belittle or judge anyone – I was simply trying to point out that we all need to be respectful of each other and look in our own backyards before casting stones. I will stand by this belief until I die – NO ONE CHOOSES A LIFESTYLE THAT WOULD CAUSE THEM TO BE CONSTANTLY RIDICULED AND THE SUBJECT OF HATE. And I’m going out on a limb here…are you saying that people with MS, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, born with a missing limb made that choice? Because, you are saying God makes no mistakes (as I’ve also said). What about people who die of heart attacks who have always eaten healthy and lived a healthy lifestyle? What about babies who die without experiencing anything in life – no Kindergarten, riding a bicycle, no sleep overs or pool parties.
I am well aware that I have friends on both sides of the fence and it is likely I have offended some of you. That is not, and never will be, my intention. My intention is to make people think about their thoughts and actions. Be compassionate. Do you hate all Muslims because of what happened on 9/11? Do you truly, in your heart of hearts, hate all atheists? You can disagree with a friend and make the statement “let’s agree to disagree” – how come we are not trying that here?
Late breaking Comment 10 (came in as I write this): SO if they are hanging out in the parking lot kissing and not there to spend money….they are loitering. How stupid. Why not just show up. Why do you have to kiss to show love and equality. I love my husband but we don’t kiss at Chic Fil A to show we love each other.
Yesterday I saw a comment on this being a means of being “politically correct” and how we’ve taken that too far. I whole heartedly disagree. This is my thought on the whole PC thing (as commented on a friend’s status yesterday)…And I may have to write a post about this, but to me the whole PC issue doesn’t even come into play in something like this. Being PC is ensuring that people aren’t calling others nigger, fag, spick and the like. Being PC is more about sensitivities around being downright disrespectful of others. Hence the campaign against using the “R” word (retarded) which I have tried very hard to stop using. To me this CFA issue is just too much. There are so many other things we need to focus on. This actually shouldn’t be news. Sad that it is…ugh! I could really go back and forth and on and on forever about this, but that just keeps the damn fire burning!
Please understand that I love ALL my friends and family regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, and all the other reasons you could possibly think of. I do not fault you for who you love or how you believe. I will have a problem when you lie to me, steal from me or disrespect me. Otherwise, I love you and all of your YOUness. And, in my next life I want to be a spoiled dog just like Reba living in a house of people who love me so much I can do no wrong and get everything I want including many, many toys and rides in my carriage and the car and know that I never have to worry about all this stuff going on around me because I’m too busy making my family kiss my little crocked tail. *woof*
New comments came in before I finished.
Comment 11: ^^^ exactly!!
Comment 12: Ouch. I have to agree those things are done in hate. But just because they say they are Christian doesn’t mean they are. Oops some people would say that’s judging and it probably is my bad. Anyways. It’s my belief we are all gods children and I pray for peace solidarity, understanding, and compassion for us all. Oh yes let’s not forget rain! It will be interesting to see what tomorrow brings. We will see how much Chic Fil A really believes in freedom of speech. Nothing wrong with a little PDA as long as it doesn’t go overboard and that’s for us all. Pray for us sinners
I have so many mixed emotions about everything in the news these days. I’ve always considered myself a Christian, but when so many Christians are judging people and being down right disrespectful of others I find it hard to publicly announce my beliefs.
Let’s start with anything political…I have a firm belief that politicians should never (ever) run on the basis of religion of any kind. Do not talk about what people “should” or “should not” do. Do not talk about whether or not you believe in abortion or whether it is right or wrong. Do not talk about stem cell research. Do not talk about affairs. Do not talk about gun legislation. And do not talk about legality of drugs. (For the record…I do not think abortion is “right” for ME, but I cannot and will not speak for others. I think stem cell research is extremely important in order for us to advance medicine. What politician actually hasn’t had an affair? Guns should be legal in order for people to protect themselves. And I think marijuana should be legalized and taxed.)
And absolutely, positively stop this war on same-sex marriages. Why do you really care if people of the same-sex are getting married? Here are a few thoughts that I have on the subject. I’ve known many LGBT people through the years and count many of them among my most trusted and loving friends! I know that through the years there has been talk of the LGBT community being a promiscuous group – often dating the exes of current partners. But…have you EVEN seen the news or anything on TV over the past 20 years? promiscuity is rampant in the high schools among young girls and heterosexual couples. It’s clearly an issue with politicians and others who hold themselves in high regard. There have been countless news stories of high schools with abundance of teen pregnancies. There’s even a show about teenage mothers. The divorce rates are outrageously high, and yet I know many same-sex couples who have longer lasting relationships than heterosexual couples. The devotion they show each other is beyond comprehension in many cases. A big problem I have is the inability for same-sex couples to act on each other’s behalf simply because they do NOT have a piece of paper stating so. In an emergency they are unable to speak for the other at the hospital – even if it’s life or death. This does not make any sense to me! I have been following the most awesome blog for a while now called Raising my Rainbow – it is about a little boy who does not relate to being a boy. He likes Disney princesses, pink, ballet, and all things girly. Someone posted a link on Facebook and I read one post and fell in love with this little boy and his loving family. The little boy may outgrow this, and it may just be a phase, but it could very possibly be his life (forever). I find it impossible that a child so young would make this decision unless he was “born this way” (thank you Lady Gaga). All I’ve ever heard through my years in and out of church has been that God does not make mistakes. He is deliberate in his actions and he knows everything about us before we are born. People would not choose a way of life that would be the brunt of such ridicule and hate!
My friend Lindsay posted this yesterday on Facebook (she and I used to attend the same church where her mother taught a Sunday School class I attended)…There’s a lot of attention on Christianity right now, and all I’m going to say on the matter is this: Jesus said we are supposed to be the light of the world, set apart by His unconditional, selfless love. No matter what else, we are commanded to show that same love to others, to everyone. Note the use of the word EVERYONE! We should love everyone. I know many LGBT people who love God, and I’m quite sure he loves them too.
This takes me to the Chick-fil-a controversy. I love me some CFA chicken and lemonade. I’m not one to quickly jump on any bandwagon and follow the crowd. I am such a picky eater and so I am currently torn between boycotting and enjoying some chicken nuggets. I have many friends who have immediately boycotted them. I have other friends, LGBT included, who still eat there. I saw a post somewhere (probably Facebook as I seem to spend a lot of time there) that stated something to the effect – “You eat at a Christian establishment, knowing they have always been Christian and are closed on Sundays and yet you are surprised at their announcement against same-sex marriage.” Hmmm…that’s an interesting point of view. But then I see this girl post a long video on YouTube titled Chick-fil-a and Proverbs 25:21 and she also got me thinking. When she started talking about the “biblical explanation” for marriage it made me think we’ve evolved so much and yet so little. If we strictly follow the biblical explanation women would have so few rights today – and I would NOT stand for that. I think we need to understand that when the Old Testament was written it was a very different time, which is why things changed in the New Testament. Where there once was no music (musical instruments) there are now. There are churches today that still follow the Old Testament and do not use instruments in their churches. Yet, many, like those that I typically attend have full bands – guitars, drums, cymbals, you name it! What would the Bible be like if it was written today? How would the Old Testament read? What about the New Testament? My parents recently stopped going to their church because every time they stepped into their Sunday School class there was a discussion about “gays” – and quite frankly they were over it. Enough with judging and bashing everyone! Can we all just have our beliefs without being hateful to others?
We all have the right to fight for what we believe in, contribute money to where we feel it is best put to use, but I think it can be done respectfully and without slinging hate around. I honestly haven’t looked up the organizations that Dan Cathy (or the Cathy/Chick-fil-a family) is donating to. I just haven’t had the time in the past few days. If they are Christian organizations about “saving the sanctity of marriage” – marriage as they believe it to be true – then I cannot fault them for that. HOWEVER, if they are donating to organizations that brutalize and kill “gays” then I have a big issue with it. One other thing that I thought of about the CFA controversy – why just discriminate against the LGBT community? If God believes that all sin is equal than I think that CFA should not serve people who have committed crimes or any other sin (coveting thy neighbor’s house, or covet they neighbor’s wife, thou shalt not steal…and the list goes on. There are 10 Commandments if you were unsure.)
Please…it’s 2012 and we need to find ways to be more tolerant and accepting of everyone. We should all be able to live our lives without shoving it down each other’s throats. I have never encountered a LGBT who has tried to convert me or tell me my way of living is wrong. So why would I do that to them? It is not my place to determine they are wrong for following their hearts.
I will leave you with this that I saw on Facebook (yes, again…Facebook).
Acknowledge we are all different and strive to be a decent and loving human being.
It’s hardly a secret that I closed my salon in April 2008 and have missed having my own business each day since. I am an entrepreneur at heart – I love everything about business ownership (even the tough times) and hope to be in a position to try it again some day.
The toughest part for me has been the fact that I frequently (like at least once a week or more) drive by my old place. And every time I would see my old sign (that I designed) still on the street corner. My space has been empty since I moved out. I wonder if it would have been easier to see a new name and business in my place right away – I don’t think any of it has really been easy and I think I would have had some problems no matter what happened, but seeing my sign on a weekly basis for 4 years has been tough.
The last few weeks I’ve seen some signs of work being done in the old space. And yesterday, I saw the street sign down. It was weird – my breath actually caught in my throat for a second. It was an unexpected and odd response to the change. Luckily it was a fleeting moment and soon after I found myself wondering what would be filling the space and what the sign will look like. I wonder if the people who will be there are nice. Why didn’t they like my beautiful chocolate brown painted walls and have them torn down?
Here is what now is on the corner…(and I’m sad because I cannot find anywhere in my photos a picture of what it used to look like).
Here’s to waiting to see what will be there next!
And cheers to me and the next chapter with the last “visual” signs of my salon finally going away.