Well, our visit to Baltimore went well. I mean, if you don’t count the labwork. Or the fact that it was a drizzly, foggy day. Aside from that, it didn’t suck. 🙂
We met with Dr. Deepa Menon at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at Kennedy Krieger Research Institute. After talking to me and observing/talking with Marley, she seemed amused (in the ‘Uhm, yeah… right.’ kind of way) when I mentioned that one of the doctors at our last visit to KKI said that she felt Marley has Oppositional Defiance Disorder after seeing her for a very short time after a very difficult morning. So, we’re now 2 out of 3 and that definitely makes me feel less crazy. The lab work is testing to link the PTEN gene with macrocephaly and autism.
We received her clinical note in the mail this week and the diagnoses are:
-Fine Motor Developmental Delay
-Expressive Language Disorder
My next step is to approach the school again, and hopefully with a dignosis from two clinicians and thorough notes/specific recommendations from them, the school will help us.
So.. that was our trip… I mean, there was also getting lost in the ghetto, the fight to get Marley to let us draw her blood, getting lost in the ghetto, and stopping for a Cinnabon on the way home only to find out they ran out earlier in the day….. but what’s really interesting is what happened before we left….
A week before we were supposed to leave, Ben went to buy our Lab, Lucas, some more food. He came home and called me into the kitchen. He whispered that he had found a dog that he wanted us to go meet. Now, we were not actually looking for a dog. He’s mentioned casually that he’d like to get a dog for Lucas to ‘train’ since he is over 10 years old and likely not much longer for the world, as he has overcome heartworms, strokes, & seizures in the 6 years since we rescued him from his second rehoming. I, personally, am a sucker for the ‘underdogs’ (lol!) and have brought home a string of strays on their last leg. When Killian was 3 months old, I brought home a puppy from the Walmart parking lot (I had Chloë with me, she’s an animal lover, and I’m a sucker). Unfortunately, after just less than a year with us, I had to rehome her as we realized that Killian was allergic to her and would break out in hives. Chloë was crushed, I was none to happy, but knew that it sure beat keeping her crated all day to keep her away from Killian. She was part shepherd, and as far as we can tell, that’s what Killian was so sensitive to– he had been around our Lab, his aunt’s Lab, and my best friend’s Lab/terrier mix.
Anyway– I told Ben that I would not be going– isn’t this the same man forbid me to bring home another pup after the last went!? I told him that taking Marley was not a good idea if he wasn’t sure, and that he could take Chloë instead. As I shuffled them out the door, I told him to get the application if he thought she was a good fit and that I trusted him– he told me it was already filled out…. That’s when I knew that he was serious about this.
He and Chloë returned a while later and he told me that the shelter would let us know if we were approved by that Tuesday (this was Saturday) and that if we were, we could pick her up in a week after she was spayed.
Well, I took Marley and Killian to the shelter twice that week and I fell in love with this pup Ben had named ‘Bonnie’. She took to the kids, and I was heartbroken to find out she had been there 6 weeks already. Her owners had been notified but they never came to get her. She was found dragging a chain and there was a circle of bare dirt around her dog house where she had been chained. We were approved that Monday.
I could go on and on about how she is such an amazing fit for us all. About how great she has been for Marley. About how you’d never know she was an outdoors pup. About how she looks and acts exactly like my dog, Raven, that I grew up with. I could rave that she goes to her ‘room’ (crate) on command, but how she rarely has to since she doesn’t much care about getting into our food if we’re eating in there. But really… what matters the most, is this…