Arduino Ethernet WIZ5100 Sometimes does not Init

Hey everyone working on a jsonp temp/input sensor network where the arduinos server the content as json problem that I am running into is that sometimes the Ethernet shield does not initialize what I am trying to figure out is how to initialize the shield when it has a connection... the hard part is that there is no easy way to check this to my knowledge I can't ping my gateway since the shield is not initialized. My idea was to ping the gateway to see if it would respond and if it did the shield was working if not reset the shield and setup the shield.I have a digital pin connected to the reset pin on the shield so I can toggle the reset pin

Is there an easier way to do this? something that does not have to ping an external source to see if the Ethernet shield is functional?