It looks like we are set up for Ari to do a little volunteering at a local group home, thereby getting her the wheelchair desensitization she so desperately needs. I was going to ask you to fax a copy of Ari’s vaccination records to Bethany Sisneroz, the administrator, or at least call her, but then I noticed an email address on her card. I probably have an electronic copy, but I suspect she’d prefer something from you with a more current datestamp. You know how liability lawyers are. Please email Ari’s vaccination records to adm-wogc.


I was out of your facility and to the park before it hit me that you already had access to Ari’s most critical vaccination records. You should’ve looked a little closer at her collar, where her rabies tag is. Yep, rabies is the only canine disease that is shareable with humans if the dog isn’t vaccinated. That’s why all dogs in Harris County are supposed to wear current rabies tags. Still, I’ll have Dr. Anderson email all the gory vaccination details to you, just to appease the liability vultures.




Thought this might pique your interest.

From: Scott Royall []
Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 19:15
To: ‘Lourez Bullock’
Subject: RE: Robyn

I’ll tell Cecil he’s off Thanksgiving.

I think I found a cure for poor Ari’s wheelchair issue. Do you remember the assisted living facility on Greenridge? It backs up against McClendon Park. The facility is a depressing place, but it may be ideal for helping Ari. There was a large group of “clients” at the park’s pavilion this afternoon, including numerous wheelchairs. I was passing the pavilion when a light went on between my ears. I explained the situation to the caregivers (really not impressive), and then spent 20 minutes parked in the big middle of a forest of wheelchairs. NJ was tickled pink when I reported my findings to her.

The group doesn’t visit the park often enough so I’ll to hold my nose and visit the home. What I’ll do is offer the management a quid quo pro. The inmates get time with Ari, and everybody benefits.

From: Lourez Bullock
Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 17:13
To: royall
Subject: RE: Robyn

I understand. I’ll stop by in the next couple of days and be sure we’re on the same page about Thanksgiving day. I am sorry about Cecil’s bike. Hope it didn’t walk off from the garage. He needs to have a good locking system, if he replaces the bike. At least that’d slow down the burglars.

I can arrange to go by and collect Lilly’s certificate, if you like. I don’t know if it’s framed, but we could take care of that. I know you don’t need reminders of how special she was, but to have the certificate in place would be a nice way of honoring her memory. Just let me know and I’ll call to set a day.

Meeting –Gina, please read

Ok Michelle, Gina said basically the same thing verbally.

As luck has it, my comments started out in a Word document. I don’t always work that way, but I had a sneaking suspicion these particular comments might interest someone today, the day after. The document is attached.

From: []
Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 15:17
Subject: RE: Meeting –Gina, please read


I am sorry that I did not send you a better reply last night…..I get really upset when I am passionate about something and yesterday was not OK with me. I TOTALLY believe that the board should show a united front and in the case of the increase we all agree as to how important it is, but I was not OK with how that section of the meeting ran. Unfortunately, I was not in attendance at the meeting where the format of the meeting was decided and I regret that very much. I am sorry that your voice was not heard. Please send me the notes you prepared so that I can be better informed at how my neighbors feel and their needs…..that is the reason I joined the board in the first place.


From: Scott Royall [mailto:royall]
Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 9:54 PM
To: Michelle Luster ; Luster, Michelle A.
Cc: boyd_r_e
Subject: Meeting –Gina, please read

Well, that was a waste of time, eh? I’ve never really liked Dianne, and now I know why. What a … I remember you’re a teacher so I won’t complete that thought, but I also remember Dianne was in Special Ed so she knows good damn well how a voice synthesizer works. Speed and intelligibility are inversely proportional.

As for “Baldy,” he lied on several points. He also was clearly intimated by Joe.

I’m sorry, my friend, but I won’t help WHOA with diddly until those two leave the board.

whoa 1.doc

Animal Hall of Fame

Thank you, Kate. On one paw, Lilly no longer would be even remotely concerned with such matters. Her work here is done wherever she is now. But, on another paw, things like this are really for those of us left behind, sort of a feeble attempt to grant some permanence to the legend of Lilly. Sure, resubmit her entry next year if you like.

There isn’t a moment of any day that I don’t still mourn for Lilly. The loss is accentuated by a curious problem the new dog, Ari, has developed. While I technically did everything correctly in purchasing Ari from a good European breeder, she did not receive a lot of socialization during her first year simply because he invested his time in more promising dogs. The unexpected result of that is, while Ari is fine with everybody else, she’s having serious difficulty emotionally committing to me and the wheelchair. This surprised me, the trainer, even the breeder, and it makes me long for my angel, Lilly.

I won’t be able to pick up the certificate for at least a couple of weeks.

From: Kate Lawrence []
Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 14:12
Subject: Animal Hall of Fame

Mr. Royall,

We received a response from the Texas Veterinary Medial Foundation (TVMA) regarding Lilly’s submission. Dr. Hottinger received a letter explaining that Lilly was recognized with an honorable mention this year, and that the TVMA Board President requested that we resubmit Lilly for next year’s Hall of Fame. It appears there were many nominations this year, but the committee recognized that even with all of the submissions they received, Lilly deserved to be honored this year… and next year, if you are willing.

We have a certificate for her if you wanted to come by and pick it up, or have someone pick it up, that says:

"For devotion to mankind through unselfish and courageous service

We have proudly conferred upon


In recognition of the distinguished honor of


With the pride, honor and priviledge therunto appertaining

Dated this first of November, two-thousand and eleven"

Still shining on, Lilly.

Let me know if you would like to pick up the certificate, and we will take care of everything for the submission next year if you would like to do so. You are still in our thoughts, and will always be.


Kate Lawrence

Client/Patient Service Coordinator

Gulf Coast Veterinary Surgery


E-Introduction Scott Meet Clarice…Scott Meet Michelle

That’s no joke about the elephantine memory. It took me a second to look up Clarice in my dusty vaults. Yes, Xpress-It obviously still exists since I personally use it almost continuously. It has, however, shifted slightly in focus over time. In my dealings with school district technologists and other healthcare professionals who would seem to have a keen stake in high quality AAC, I have found surprisingly little sustained interest. The gist is that other priorities, such as cost, and the amount of effort they believe they would have to exert to support a product, have much greater influence on the AAC made available to patients and clients. Those professionals really don’t, or can’t, discern why having voice synthesis that’s close enough to human speech to communicate effectively with complete strangers is important. Although no one comes right out and says this, there seems to be the sense that patients and clients need only to communicate with family and caregivers so higher quality isn’t an issue. As my website still dutifully notes, I had to develop Xpress-It because my former bosses at Shell Oil would not accept the audio quality of any free or even commercially-available AAC. Hello real world.

These days, I honestly don’t have Xpress-It in an easily-retailable form. Of course that could be done, I just haven’t seen a reason to do that additional work. I’m also an Amateur Radio Operator, and, while keeping its general purpose advantages, Xpress-It is evolving gradually to provide extra benefits in that specialized environment. Xpress-It already has the distinction of being the only AAC to ever effectively transmit on Amateur frequencies.

From: Clarice Nelson []
Sent: Monday, November 14, 2011 10:30
Cc: Scott Royall;
Subject: FW: E-Introduction Scott Meet Clarice…Scott Meet Michelle

Hi Michelle,
I truly enjoyed your presentation on AAC for Adults with Acquired Communication Disorders….and Per our conversation at the Monday Night HACD meeting…I’d like you to meet Scott.
Please read the below information of some of our conversations and feel free to contact Scott.
As you can see I Cc:d Scott so he too would be aware of the contact…
I also Cc:d Dan..because he introduced Scott and I…
It is my hope that you can help Scott get his system and success story "out there" to help others as well as maybe have Scott join you with your presentations (if possible).

To Scott: tis better late than never….
and its a very good thing that sometimes… I have a memory like an elephant…


Hello Damir,

I trust that this email finds you doing well. I am writing to update you on how Ari is doing, as I suppose that’s something you would like to know. There’s no question that she’s very sweet and smart; her performance is quite good on-leash. Off-leash is an entirely different matter, though. To your credit , you were honest and warned me that you didn’t have much time to work with her when she was younger. Unfortunately, that meant her self-confidence didn’t fully develop, and she’s uncomfortable with me and my wheelchair. My trainer does not fault your honesty, but she does feel you shouldn’t have sold Ari to be a service dog. She would have been better as a family pet because she loves children.

Again, she’s fine on-leash. The issue is really her not trusting me enough to come up to me so I can attach the leash. Yes, she’s well aware that I’m calling, but I’m different from everybody else and she can’t come to terms with that. That is an extremely unusual reaction for a dog, and it does hurt me emotionally even though I know I’m not suppose to let it. Ari will improve in time. There are standard things that the handler can do to reinforce his relationship with his dog, and I will do those things. It’s just very unfortunate that this has to be such a long and painful process.