View Full Version : Levi and the Traumatic Brain Injury.

19th October 2009, 09:54 PM
Some of you might know (I don't know everybody, of course) but many of you probably don't know that I had a serious fall a year and 1/2 ago and had a Traumatic Brain Injury, which is usually called a TBI. I was hospitalized for about a week in intensive care, then in a regular hospital room and then in a rehab hospital for about three weeks. When I came home, I could do a lot of things but there were still a lot of things I had problems doing (and some I still have problems doing).

The most worrisome problem for me and for my adult daughter was that I was unable to find my way around outside the house and I would get lost in my own neighborhood, where I have lived for 24 years.

Not only did Levi get me walking but Levi knows (knew?) how to bring me home if I got lost. Because he can bring me home, I could encourage my daughter to go off to college 350 miles from here. Because Levi can bring me home, she felt safe leaving, too! While I am better at that now, I still have problems and ESPECIALLY in new places. When I go somewhere, he can remember where the hotel room is and how to find it after we are shown a couple of times. If I take him with me, I get a lot of help from him because he is a smart little dog.

Taking Levi to LIVS was REALLY difficult because neither of us knew where we were going, nor how to get where we needed to be. He did remember how to find (smell?) our way back to the right gate in the Las Vegas airport after I went from person to person getting us out to the doggie relief area. We didn't use the elevators, for obvious reasons. He did try to take me back through security the wrong way, though, because that is the way we went out!

On Wednesday I am going alone to get Levi. I will be changing planes at Midway airport in Chicago and then on to Long Island. I will have his stroller with me. I am really worried but I don't have anyone who can go with me so I am going to do it myself.

I am getting so excited to see him again and so worried about going and getting back safely that I am also dreading going to get him and bring him back. We will be back in Boise on Friday evening (If I don't get lost on the way there or back and end up in China).

It is a very odd feeling to be so excited and worried about the same thing. So, all of you who know how great it is to get your dog back, now also know that there is an odd worrisome wrinkle for me to it too.

When (if) we get back, I will let everybody know how things are and then I hope to turn into a regular person on here who doesn't keep pounding everybody over the head with her one dog! I will get out of the introduce yourself forum and let somebody new introduce him or her self!


team bella
19th October 2009, 10:07 PM
Good luck Kathy. I hope you manage ok, airports are not much fun at the best of times. At least you've got a great goal, your going to see your lovely Levi. You must post an update as soon as you can.
Very exciting.
Take it easy x

19th October 2009, 10:33 PM
Hi Kathy. Will be thinking of you on Wednesday. Please let us know when Levi is safely home with you again. Will look out for your 'Levi is home' post. Very best wishes.

19th October 2009, 11:45 PM
Will be thinking of you. Will be looking forward to a post when you get home. Good Luck !!!!!

Margaret C
19th October 2009, 11:51 PM
Good Luck Kathy.

You are very brave and what a partnership you have with your little dog.

Let us know when you are both safely home.

20th October 2009, 12:01 AM
Good luck...and wishing you a safe a hassle free journey :)

Cathy T
20th October 2009, 12:39 AM
Wednesday can't get here soon enough!! I think you are incredibly brave to do all of this...and by yourself with your TBI!! I don't have a brain injury and I would be worried crazy. I just know everything is going to work out just pefectly. You're going to have your little man home with you in no time. Safe travels....I'll be thinking about you.

20th October 2009, 04:02 AM
He is such a good boy and he does help me so much...when he is not in pain. And he works hard even when he is. You all know these dogs. They are the most wonderful and loving little animals in the world and they will do anything that they can for us, to help and to please us.

He takes care of me so I take care of him. I think that is a very fair deal. See, I'm not just being good to my pet. He is my friend and he gives me his best. I give him my best. It is reciprocal.

Our little Cavaliers are NOT just cute and friendly. They are not just little lovely dogs who whom people are attracted. Our little Cavaliers are not German Shepherds and they don't look like serious dogs who can save people's lives. But they are really brave and they can do everything that any smart and loving creature does for others that they love and serve.

Thanks. We will make you proud!


20th October 2009, 09:56 AM
Hi: I am moving this thread into the SM forum. Generally the introductions section have just a single thread to say hi when people join the board, and anything after is much easier to find for people if placed in whatever forum most closely matches the topic. :)

Good luck with your trip to collect Levi!

20th October 2009, 02:48 PM
Hi Kathy,

I can't wait to hear about your reunion with Levi - I've followed your story in several places. Some thoughts:

Contact your airline and ask them for special services/assistance. This is available from all airlines and there should be no cost involved. An assistant will escort you from your arrival gate to your departure gate for your connecting flight. They can likely arrange for any other services that you might need.

Another thought - I'm not sure if you post on another US Cavalier message board, but we could cross post there to see if there are members in Chicago and Long Island that may be able to meet you to help. I know that if you were flying through Atlanta, I'd come down to the airport and help you out! There are many great members who may be able to do this in Chicago and NY. Would you like us to cross post? Cathy T. is a moderator in a couple of the groups and could facilitate. I know that members have really helped each other out with things like transport and similar - I was personally given tremendous help when I was transporting two rescues (ages 12 and 14) from DC to Atlanta a couple of years ago. The wonderful help I received made all the difference in the world to me.

Good luck,


Love my Cavaliers
20th October 2009, 03:11 PM
What a week for me to go on vacation. If I were at home, I would absolutely come to Midway and help you make your Chicago connection. Unfortunately, I am in Arizona until Saturday. Pat had some good suggestions about enlisting the help of airport escort services.

I'm sure you've either thought of this or have been told this, but make sure you have a harness for Levi (instead of a collar) when you pick him up. I flew with Riley (my SM girl) shortly after her decompression surgery last year, and she had no problems with the pressure changes in the cabin. She has flown many times since then, and has done great. She has a titanium mesh implant which I believe LIVS does also (actually think they were the ones who pioneered it) and she has never set off the alarm when going through security. The first time I flew with her though I was nervous about it and had them hand screen us rather than having her go through security. Because I had a note explaining the implant, security personnel were very gracious and complied with my request. Since then, I just carry her through security. Take off her leash and harness when you do though. Good luck Kathy and please let us know how it all went.

21st October 2009, 01:21 AM
Kathy, I just read your posts on Levi and wanted to send my very best wishes to you! I too am from the PacNW (WA) and have been to Boise many times over the years, so feel a special kinship with you. I am so excited for you that soon you will be reunited with Levi! Take it slow, remember to breathe, don't be afraid to ask for directions from people who work at the airport, and bring little Levi home! :) Good luck, and please keep us posted!

21st October 2009, 09:43 AM
Kathy ,

Like all the others on this List,we have our Fingers Crossed for you and Levi

21st October 2009, 09:51 AM
Good Luck Kathy , you are very brave, thinking of you and safe journeys.

21st October 2009, 04:50 PM
Wednesday morning still in Boise.

I am almost ready to go. Had everything packed and then didn't realize I needed something so had to take everything out to find it. Usual nervous stuff, I have not had a call from LIVS yet today so I think I will call them to find out what is the best time to arrive there for Levi. I hope that they tell me everything I need to know once I get there (and have it all in print) BEFORE I see him as i don't think it will be easy for me to pay attention after seeing him. I am having someone take me to the airport but don't need to leave for 45 minutes. I am going to do that "fake it till you make it" thing and PRETEND that I am a calm and experienced traveler who knows what she is doing and does it every day. I will get help from gate to gate and not leave the right gate once I get there. I don't know what I have forgotten. Which is a dumb thing to say because if I DID know what I have forgotten I could get it. Calm and experienced. RIGHT! And if I can pull THAT off I should get an Oscar or something!

We ARE going to make you all proud.