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Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. 

My Etsy shop is restocked with tons of goodies and more on the way.  I am running some specials right now.

www.etsy.com/shop/LeopardWolf

Free standard shipping ( continental US ) on all orders. Also 10% off on qualifying purchases.

Subscribing patrons will be getting an extra discount in a patron only post as my way of saying thanks.
PSA: AOL Instant Messenger will be discontinued.  For those who haven't heard and didn't get the email notice, AIM ( AOL Instant Messenger ) is being canned and dropped as of December 15, 2017.  AOHell is getting rid of it completely.  Per their email:

"We see that you've used AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) in the past, so we wanted to let you know that AIM will be discontinued and will no longer work as of December 15, 2017.

Before December 15, you can continue to use the service. After December 15, you will no longer have access to AIM and your data will be deleted. If you use an @ aim . com email address, your email account will not be affected and you will still be able to send and receive email as usual."

So basically everyone who kept it connected via linked accounts so they could keep in touch with friends via an instant messaging service might want to reach out and update contacts before you lose them.  I had a feeling it would happen with recent changes they made, trying to force people to use and pay for the service.

My understanding is that they are disallowing outside connections to any linked accounts.  Which means Trillian and other things like Facebook Messaging will be unable to access the AOHell buddy list content any longer, or interact with anyone using it.  You will be unable to save or export your buddy list.

You can keep in contact with me via Trillian and Discord at the following:

Trillian - leopardwolf

Discord - LeopardWolf#7905

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You can see AOL ( now Oath )'s FAQ about it here:


For those of us who have used AIM since 1997 and before ( when still with AOHell as an ISP ), this really, really sucks.  So much for nostalgia and maintaining old connections.  Thanks for screwing us all over Oath.  I highly doubt you will develop anything more iconic or life changing than the original AIM platform has been.
Apologies for the delays in more frequent updates. In wake of all the stress and preparation for my Disability hearing, the summer weather really decided to kick my ass and has caused reoccurring flairups of my autoimmune and neurocardio problems and related symptoms. I am still sick, but the bulk of the stressful events triggering symptoms has passed, so hopefully my body will stop freaking out so much. The summer heat is finally breaking a bit and there is more breeze instead of still, hot air. Once it cools more, I hope things will be more manageable.

A lot of reoccurring migraine activity and blurred vision or related issues from my Sjogren's has made it difficult to focus on creative things both visually and mentally.  Even as I write this, I am seeing halos and haze and have to take frequent breaks to rest.  During the downtime I have been working on various little things as able. I am looking forward to sharing them all.  It might just be a combination of some photos and short writeups to begin with, but I am hoping to generate enough content during my "stable" periods to help compensate for the downtime when I get sick in the future.  That has been the biggest issue I have faced, the gaps in activity and posting new content.

I want to be able to get to a place where I am able to make updates more frequently even when I am really sick, to break the pattern of falling behind every time I am.  It has been a slow learning process to find the middle ground. I really appreciate everyone's continued support and encouragement while I try and find that happy balance between being a creator and living with chronic illness.

Upcoming topics will include art and creative things, gardening ( in the limited capacity I can handle ), biology and botany geekery, bonsai, raku, and discussions about small ecosystems found in aquariums, terrariums, and updates about mine and plans for upcoming development.

Hope everyone is well.
NOTICE: Legacy Livestream Streams/Videos Being Deleted End Of September 2017

This is a heads up for anyone who is currently using, or has used the legacy free Livestream accounts and may have streams/videos there that they want to save. I just logged in to mine to find a message saying they were cleaning up the servers and deleting any old content not saved by the end of the month.  If you have anything stored there that you want to keep, I suggest logging in and saving the videos and downloading them just in case.  I never got any email or other warning they planned to do this, so wanted to spread the word so no one lost their content.
Still alive.  Been really sick on and off multiple times with flairups, including falls and passing out. Started as soon as the temperatures began to get warmer outside.  Been borderline heat stroke every day since. Can't get anything done because I overheat too easy, even inside with the AC running full blast. The little energy I have has been totally devoted to preparing for my Disability Hearing at the end of August.  I haven't really been online on FB or anywhere else at all since April or May, so if I missed anything major, I apologize.  Thank you all for the birthday wishes back in May, they helped cheer me up while I was sick. Hoping it cools off outside soon. I hope all is well for all of you. If I missed anything you want me to know about, please share.  I will catch up as I am able to, but probably won't be real active till after my Disability Hearing on August 31st.  Positive thoughts and prayers for a positive outcome are appreciated. Wish me luck!

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.

======================



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.