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Streaming dog painting in progress. Going to try finishing this today and/or tomorrow. Chat active. Music from Pandora feed.

livestream.com/leopardwolf

Streaming some painting in progress. Chat active. Music from Pandora feed.

livestream.com/leopardwolf

EDIT EDIT: Due to the commissioner not being available tonight and me managing to dislocate my hip, jaw, and a rib in one day, streaming session will be rescheduled! Have radiology stuff tomorrow so might wait till next week and stream different subject. Might also just do random stream over the weekend to make up for it, but I imagine most people will be busy on Friday night and over the weekend. I will make a new post either way when I do a streaming session.

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EDIT: Streaming will take place Wednesday Dec 7th, starting around 8pm CST. Hope to see you there! livestream.com/leopardwolf

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I will be live streaming a painting session of this sketch sometime this week. Day and time will depend on the commissioner, but will be sometime after 7pm CST. I will post a reminder as soon as I have the info.


www.patreon.com/posts/streamin…
Changes to Patreon reward tiers and stretch goals have been completed.  The most exciting change includes the following:


Patrons pledging $5 and above will be granted the right to vote in different situations that will directly influence things I make and how I make them, or what supplies I buy using the money you all have invested in me. Should I buy this glaze or that glaze?  Should I use this stone or that stone?  What creature do I sculpt next?  You decide!




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I changed the stretch goals to give more clear direction. The original goals I used and their amounts were somewhat vague and spaced out since I wasn't sure how to best approach it when I first joined Patreon. I hope this is a better format. Suggestions are welcome.


$25  ( We are ALMOST here!!  $19 out of $25!!  )

This amount allows me to continue purchasing basic creative supplies monthly to experiment with.  It could be spent to buy several lower cost items or one higher cost item.  Examples include but are not limited to: jewelry supplies, painting mediums, several small bottles of ceramics glaze, a larger bottle of ceramics glaze, a box of ceramics clay, ceramics tools

You get to help me choose what to invest in if you pledge $5 or more.

Once we reach this goal, I will raffle off an art original equal to $25. ALL pledge tiers will be eligible to win (as low as $1 pledge ) !  Winner will pay shipping for raffle item.



$50

The higher the pledge amount coming in, the more supplies I can get and the faster I can get them.  This goal amount will allow me to invest in supplies as mentioned above to offer a wider variety.  It would allow me to branch out into materials and supplies that are more expensive, such as special carved gemstones, silver, raku supplies, and more.

You get to help me choose what to invest in if you pledge $5 or more.

Once we reach this goal, I will raffle off an art original equal to $50. ALL pledge tiers will be eligible to win (as low as $1 pledge ) !  Winner will pay shipping for raffle item.




$75

Meeting this goal would allow me to greatly expand on my production. The main thing that keeps me from jumping into certain projects is lack of disposable income to acquire all the supplies I might need for a project.  If I only have $30 to spend per month, but the total cost for supplies for a project is $60, it could take two months just to get everything I need. It might take longer if I have to split the amount between multiple projects. The more you can pledge, the more I can create and give back.

You get to help me choose what to invest in if you pledge $5 or more.

Once we reach this goal, I will raffle off an art original equal to $75. ALL pledge tiers will be eligible to win (as low as $1 pledge ) !  Winner will pay shipping for raffle item.



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Thanks for your support!
Live art stream starting soon! 8pm CST.  -  livestream.com/leopardwolf
My health and the technology gods permitting, I will be art streaming this Friday Nov 4th around 8pm CST. Hope to see you there!

original.livestream.com/leopar…
I plan to make changes to patron reward tiers soon.  Anyone who has pledged and donated toward my art and creative efforts *before* the date of the change, will be grandfathered in to still be eligible for the *old* reward system after the changes are made, based on pledge amount.  The changes will take place Monday, November 7th.

When I start producing work in pure copper, bronze, silver, gold, and using dichroic and higher grade gemstones, people will wish they took advantage of the offer when it was available.

I will also be changing the stretch goals now that I have a better idea of how they work. When I first started using Patreon I really didn't have a clue what to do with them. Now I do.

I will post more information and reminders in preparation for the changes.  Thank you all for your awesomeness and continued support!
By any chance does anyone have $115 to spare before the 15th?  There is a dog training seminar that day that I really need to try and attend.  It's to help Chakotay ( service dog in training ) try and overcome this fear period. The presenter is Debbie Jacobs, CPDT-KA, CAP2 and is specifically geared toward working with fearful and anxious dogs.  It will be invaluable for me to be able to attend and likely have the chance to speak with her and others directly. Not only that, but word is a field trainer from one of the big service dog organizations is also attending.  Again, a chance to talk to these people directly about Chakotay's problems is something I hate to pass up just because I don't have the money for it right now.  I am taking commissions in exchange to make it happen.  Animal art, anthro art, jewelry, sculptures, ceramics, all the art things can be yours!
I'm not sure how many people actually actively read any of this.  It may seem like I haven't been really active with artwork related projects since I haven't posted any finished work, but the truth is I have a ton of different work in progress things strewn about that I have been alternating between when I can.  I have been putting quite a bit of focus into getting my kiln set up and working in ceramics, as well as researching and learning new skills for other artwork I plan to create with the kiln. I have shared some WIPs of some of these things via Patreon, as that is the main place I share WIPs and sneak peeks now.  I'll be sharing the new ceramic work soon, along with some other sculpture work.  There are times it has been difficult for me to work on anything because of my medical conditions causing problems with my hands or eyes and their ability to function well enough for me to work on the art. There's also that whole having a puppy / attempting to train him as a service dog myself thing.  Then unexpectedly having to relocate my entire art room and all my supplies didn't help matters any, and things are still a bit of a disorganized mess.  The ceramics would have been done sooner, but it's just been too damned hot here to run a glaze fire till recently, and our AC was malfunctioning.  Anyway, if you have stuck around this long, hang tight just a little longer, because a flood of art is on the way. You'll probably get sick of seeing me post things by the time I am finished.
PSA: If you aren't following me on Patreon, you are probably missing out on art content I share. You can follow me there without having to pledge any money. Just create an account and add me. Some of what I post is public. You can also see all patron-only (private) content I share for as little as $1 a month.

www.patreon.com/leopardwolf
My birthday is this week, May 21st.  This is the new service dog fundraiser.  If you have a few bucks to spare, please consider helping.  Pass it along too.  Thank you.

www.youcaring.com/brittney-ste…
To clarify something with the service dog fundraiser I have been doing, because a friend pointed out some confusion.  We were having a discussion about me needing to come up with $120ish for a training class and I was saying I'd have to raise the money.  Trying to be helpful she made the comment "At least you have the $700 from the service dog fund if you need to use that".

I actually do NOT have that much.  That is just the total that was raised from the time that I first got Journey until the time I had to rehome him (almost 2yrs worth). This was before I made the choice to apply to CPL and everything.  That money at the time was specifically raised to go toward his training and care, or toward service dog related expenses, and it did.  Some of it went to help cover some expenses during the two trips I took to visit CPL.

In reality I only have around $380 remaining currently.  $250 of that is tied up in a revolving line of credit (LOC) with the bank. This was done to hold the money for the service dog fund purposes but to also help improve my credit, since I had medical debt and have been unemployed. It works sort of like a credit card. I can spend up to that amount, but I have to "pay it back" at the end of the month.  Until I close the LOC anuyway. When I do, I get that $250 back. But I don't plan on doing that anytime soon because it really has helped improve my credit so far.

The remaining $130ish is the actual "spending money" I have right now specifically for service dog or CPL related things.  The rest of it is gone.  It was spent back when I had Journey for his care and supplies, and some of it was just spent recently for the new things I needed for Chakotay.

This is why I keep sharing the link to the fundraiser.  I am in limbo waiting to hear back from SSA on Disability, so unless I sell art or creative things, a commission, or something from my Etsy store, I don't have any other source of money coming in unless someone is kind enough to donate.

Did the "amount raised" display on the fundraiser confuse anyone else ( make you think that was how much I still had)?

Should I start a brand new fundraiser at $0 amount so people realize I really don't have $700 already toward the cause?

I hate that I even have to ask for help, I'd much rather people buy my art, crafts, jewelry, or commission me so they get something in return.

But aside from dog training and animal psychology related training and sharing my knowledge, that's the only other thing I can do, and all of it is limited by my health problems at any given time.
In case you missed it on Patreon.  I'll probably attempt to stream some art related things over the next few days, provided that my wrist is behaving enough and puppy is calm enough. Haven't decided on subject or medium yet.  Might get some time in Tuesday afternoon. Otherwise will aim for Wednesday and maybe Thursday afternoon and maybe into the evening, again depending on how I feel. Will post again with a link when the stream is active and update as needed.
Sharing the info here for people not following my personal journal or FB who wished to know.

www.leopardwolf.com/animals/ne…


As I mentioned in my last post, I recently took a trip to Pennsylvania to attend a CPL support class and meet some of their dogs and working teams and to get some hands on participation.  I found out all the alert dogs they had available have been paired with other people that were on the waiting list ahead of me, and there are still others waiting. So I wouldn't be getting paired with a dog this year unless they came across one from another source, which is unlikely.

A few days before our flight home, my friend Christy messages me to ask if I had found any new prospects, since she knew what had happened with Journey washing out from the hip dysplasia.  I told her what I had just learned from CPL.

It was then that she told me her family had come into the possession of a little male German Shepherd puppy, and that they wanted to give him to me if I wanted him.  They know how valuable service dogs are, Christy being an owner-trainer herself.


Shocked and humbled by their offer, but very hesitant to try again because of what happened with Journey and the hip dysplasia, Mike and I began doing some serious talking and considering.  It could be up to 2yrs before CPL might find the right dog to pair me with.

I'm not sure how much longer Ember will be able to work.  She's starting to show signs of her age when she works on top of her damaged toe issue.  She won't be around forever, as much as I hate to think that way.  She's 10yrs old, and most service dogs retire around this age.

On top of that, I have to come up with over $5,000 just so I can go and get a dog when CPL finds one to pair me with. That covers the expense of hotel for a month and some other expenses, but there is also needing to pay for travel expenses for myself and someone to come with me, which is another issue.

I need someone to be with me during the entire month of team training. I originally thought mom would be able to do it, but she has to take care of my grandmother and their dog, who cannot be left alone. Mike and my aunt cannot take that long off work. There aren't many other options that won't be awkward or expensive unless I can find a friend or volunteer to go with me.

So after discussing this with family, we finally decided it was worth the risk to try again with a new puppy and for me to owner-train it in hopes it will work out.

Our reasons were pretty simple.  If this new puppy works out, I save $5,000 and the stress of having to somehow raise such a large sum all at once, possibly on very short notice, to afford the travel and hotel expenses to stay the month for team training at CPL, in the event I couldn't find volunteer housing or other ways to save on cost. Even if I could I am still looking at over $2,000 for expenses.

If by some stroke of luck CPL does find a dog to pair me with *before* I finish training this puppy and have a chance to see if he'll really work out as an assistance dog, then I always have the option to rehome him if necessary like I did with Journey.

If I end up having to wait nearly 2yrs anyway in hopes of being matched with a CPL dog, we should know by then or even before then if this new pup will work out.

He comes from working lines, his parents look solid and no history of issues, and his paws are huge for his size. He's going to be a good sized dog when he grows up and fills out. He's a lot like Journey in a lot of ways, but also vastly different in many others.  He's insanely smart and responsive and already catching on to things fast like Journey did, and he is just making 7 weeks old.

Still, our experience with Journey makes this a very difficult decision. To put that much into a dog only to find out the hip dysplasia is there.  I would rather know sooner than later, and there is some sort of version of the OFA hip/elbow screening that can actually be run on puppies instead of having to wait till they are almost 2yrs old for growth plates to close.

The problem is that testing is very expensive from what I understand.  It would be worth it for peace of mind to know the dog I am putting work into is proven solid.  But on the other hand it would be heartbreaking to spend that much money on the testing only to have worst fears confirmed and find out I am right back to square one again, and with all funds exhausted.


Either way, I will still be on CPL's waiting list.  As long as I keep following up regularly and meet their criteria, I will still have the option of getting a dog through them in the future.

Now I just need to come up with a good name for this little guy.


I am still keeping the fundraising active. It can be found here:


www.youcaring.com/brittney-ste…


I may still need the full amount for getting a dog from CPL, either now or in the future. In the meantime I will also need to cover puppy vet costs and related expenses as the pup matures and for x-ray expenses.  Any help with this is greatly appreciated.
Sharing the info here for people not following my personal journal or FB who wished to know.

www.leopardwolf.com/animals/cp…


Back from New Jersey. The trip was short but went really well. We went to a trade show to see equipment and other things. After that we drove out to Pennsylvania and stayed the night at the hotel near CPL, then attended the support class the next day.  It was nice to see how they run things and meet others who were already paired with CPL dogs. My friend Carolyn and her CPL mobility dog Cherry came and we finally got a chance to meet in person and after the class go and have amazing nom nom sushi, yay!  Ember was waiting out in the car with Mike during class so I could work with one of the CPL dogs. I got to work with a beautiful male yellow labrador named Diesel. Great dog, great personality. He was already paired with someone though.

During the class he got a little restless at points and I'd reposition him and give him a down-stay command, but he'd eventually move again and come toward me. I wasn't sure if it was alerting behavior or not, since there was a younger female black labrador with another lady near us who also kept turning toward us a little restless. She also kept staring at me and whining, but I thought it was because I had my treat bag and was rewarding Diesel for good behaviors, which is why I also thought he was restless, wanting more treats!  Turns out Diesel was alerting to my neurocardio symptoms, and when I glanced at the clock I realized I was due for my medicine. He alerted within the same time frame Ember normally alerts when I am due for it. It was really awesome having a dog I don't even know alert to me. I mentioned the behavior from the black lab that kept focusing on me, and they told me she was from one of their lines known to alert so they were glad to know she was displaying the behavior and they'd follow up on it.

I asked them some questions about the whole process since I am on the waiting list, and was curious to know how many other medical alert dogs were in the making since Diesel was already paired.  They told me unfortunately all the dogs that do medical alert are currently paired with their new partners, and none of the dogs in the kennel rotations right now are displaying the right behaviors frequently enough if at all to make a solid medical alert dog. Which basically means since there are other people already ahead of me on the waiting list, I probably wouldn't be getting paired with a dog this year.  Then there is also the problem of finding someone to attend the entire month of team training with me.

Which leads to my next post, which will discuss that, and a little something else that happened as a result.
I have medical conditions that require the use of a highly trained mobility assist and medical alert assistance dog ( service dog ).

My current dog, who is just shy of 2yrs old has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia.

This means he can no longer work or be a service dog. I need to get a new dog.

I am applying to an organization for a new dog, but the cost to attain the dog and travel to the facility for training is upwards of $5,000 USD.

I am accepting donations to help and will open commissions for art in exchange for aid to this goal.

My PayPal and email if you have any questions or would like to contribute in other ways is:

leopardwolf@gmail.com


www.youcaring.com/brittney-ste…


Please consider donating and share this. The more people who see it, the greater chance I can raise the needed funds.


Thank you!


**Note: This is the TLDR version. If you want more details, please view the updates or for full story visit:

leopardwolf.dreamwidth.org/320…
This fundraiser is to help me acquire a new service dog for mobility assist and medical alert purposes.

 

I suffer from chronic medical conditions, including a genetic connective tissue disorder known as Ehlers-Danlos, and conditions that affect my autonomic nervous system, my own causing neurocardiogenic issues with my heart and blood flow.

 

My service dogs are life savers.  They have been trained to sense certain chemical changes and alert me to them, to keep me out of danger. They help me navigate daily life safely.

 

Journey, my current service dog, has hip dysplasia. Which basically ends his short career as a mobility assist and medical alert service dog. Losing him as my lifeline and partner is a huge loss of freedom for me in my daily life.

 

I now need to apply through an organization for a new assistance dog.  I need to come up with money for the applications fees, which are $25 to $50 per organization.  Then wait to be approved and matched with a dog.  I need to start a huge fund raising effort to help me get the assistance dog I need, which in the end will likely cost over $5,000.

 

 

I don't have the financial ability to owner-trainer another dog myself like I did with Ember (my first dog) and Journey. It took me a year just to find Journey ( after reviewing countless candidates ). It's the risk of owner-training, you might think you find the perfect dog, but something unexpected could always happen.

 

I can't keep going through dog after dog after dog covering expenses for vet work, training, etc. just to have them not work out and have to start all over again.  Which is why I am making the hard decision to turn toward an organization for an already trained dog.  Getting one through an organization also means if I have problems in the future, or when the dog is ready to retire, I can get a successor dog through the program.

 

 

I will most likely end up approved going through Canine Partners For Life, which is located in Pennsylvania.

 

I need to travel to their facility for team training, which is a 3 week program. All expenses for travel to get there, hotel, plus transportation while there, cost for food and for admission to places for field trips during team training are my responsibility.

 

Here is info they give about related expenses coming out of my own pocket:

 

= = =

 

To purchase basic supplies for the dog - cost approximately $300-$400.

 

 

To travel, at your expense, to CPL for a 3-week, mandatory team training session.

 

 

To arrange for your accommodations for the 3-week training session.  Cost for hotel and meals are approximately $2000. Free housing with volunteers may be available but not guaranteed.

 

 

To arrange and pay for your daily transportation to and from CPL and on field trips for the 3-week training session.

 

 

 

To provide your own meals (breakfast, lunches & dinners) including some field trips out for meals (and for your aide if one accompanies you).

 

 

 

To provide your admission costs for field trips during 3-week training session – approximately $100 to $200 per person (and for aide if one accompanies you).

 

 

 

A requested donation (to be determined by a sliding scale – ranging from $1,000 - $3,000) should be sent to CPL before the start of team training.

 

 

Medical Alert students must be accompanied by another person during the entire 3-week team training session.  ( *** This applies to me, which means I also need someone to go with me and cover their expenses too )

 

 

= = =

 

 

This same sort of thing holds true for the other programs I qualify for. I have to travel to their facilities and pay for everything in the process, plus the money for the dog itself.  Some organizations are able to offer dogs at no charge to their clients, but none that do service my area, or they do not train dogs to assist with the things I need help with or have other specific requirements for clients that I don't fall under.

 

 

 

I basically have to come up with over $5,000 to get a new service dog, before I can even get the dog.

 

 

 

I am starting that fund raising campaign now, in hopes I will have enough saved by the time I am approved and matched with a dog through one of these programs.

 

 

 

If you want to donate directly to me, my PayPal is leopardwolf@gmail.com



Here are links to fundraisers set both on YouCaring and GoFundMe:


www.youcaring.com/brittney-ste…


www.gofundme.com/steptoe-sdfun…



You can share those links, this post directly, or both.

 

I also plan to try to reach out to local charities and businesses for assistance.  Either in hopes of sponsorship or that they'd be willing to let me put up donation flyers and collection jars or something similar to help spread awareness and raise the needed funds.

 

 

If you are interested in reaching out to businesses or charities in your own area who may be willing to help, if you own a business and would like to help raise funds, or if you would like to help with fund raising through some other means, please contact me at leopardwolf@gmail.com so I can provide you with information on how to do so.

 

 

There is no donation too small. We are grateful for any and all financial help in reaching our goal.

 

 

Even if you cannot help financially, you can help by spreading word about this and posting it for more people to see. Share it with your family, your friends, and anyone else you think might be interested in helping. Encourage them to pass it along as well.

 

Feel free to post it to your LJ, FA, Facebook, Twitter, DevArt, Tumblr, blogs, and anywhere else such a post would be allowed.

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Thank you in advance for you consideration, your thoughts, your time and your donations.


 

Love and light,

Brittney
Yesterday was a good day. I finally got the answer I have been waiting so long for.  I have Ehlers-Danlos.

The missing link to my medical mystery and what is likely the root cause of the many years of medical problems in my life, from the more current to those reaching back to my childhood.

It was confirmed by a leading geneticist from Tulane Medical's genetics department after a thorough and extensive evaluation by him and his colleagues.

For those not familiar with it, Ehlers-Danlos (EDS) is a genetic disorder that effects collagen. Collagen is the main structural protein found in connective tissues of animals. Literally the "glue" that holds everything in our bodies together. It is found in everything in our bodies; Organs, ligaments, tendons, bones, cartilage, blood vessels, teeth, eyes, skin, everything.


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ehlers%E…


There are various types of Ehlers-Danlos, some worse and rarer than others. Ehlers-Danlos is caused by a defect in the structure, production, or processing of collagen or proteins that interact with collagen.  Some forms can be identified by genetic markers, and some have not yet been identified.  It's a lifelong, painful condition with no cure.

Yet I cannot express how relieved I feel to know it is indeed the missing link.

Having leading experts in the genetics field acknowledge my concerns and confirm what I suspected (and questioned years ago to other doctors only to be dismissed)... to finally have some kind of closure and explanation to why it never got better when doctors promised it would.

Going in expecting the worst... to be seen by another doctor who wouldn't listen and would just blame Fibromyalgia despite my clear clinical history. That scenario happened so many times over the years I lost count.

These doctors not only got my medical record ( you'd be surprised how many doctors I have seen who never did or never looked at it fully even when offered ).... and read it. All of it.

I mention something I wanted to be sure they knew ( and wouldn't know unless they read my history) and they responded not only saying they "read that in my file" but then made another random comment based on something else they read (that I had not brought up).... I almost broke down crying right there because it's been so long since I had a medical professional do that.  Know me and my full medical history.  Which is really sad to say it is not more common.

I knew in that moment it was all worth the fight to get this far.

They listened. We thanked them more than we have ever thanked any medical professional.

Now the battle for disability and Medicare really begins.
Nothing like going to the dentist for fillings and to discuss increase in TMJ issues and such, to basically be told you'll need to pay around $12,000+ to get it all fixed in a way that won't fail like all other methods have for you for years.  I need implants.  Anything else will just fall apart and be a waste of money.  The longer I wait, the worse my jaw bones and connective tissue gets, to where it will be bone grinding bone. Even now I am having a hard time eating/chewing and talking, and my jaw has started locking/dislocating.  If I don't get it done soon, I'll likely be needing corrective jaw bone surgery in the next few years. I really don't know what I'm going to do. I can't even bring myself to smile anymore.  Sometimes I just feel like giving up because things just get more and more broken and there is nothing I can do about it.
Mike and I are going to Anthrocon this year. Who else is going?