Sunday, June 05, 2016

Sweet Mother of Rest Day

It's been a busy last couple of weeks filled with dog drama and lots of training.

First off the Thursday night before USDAA Regionals a couple weeks ago, Strummer looked off.  Went for a calm leash walk at 3:30 and he was fine then got up from lying down at 5:00 and looked like something was wrong with his rear right leg.  Definitely wasn't putting full weight on it.  I checked his foot but couldn't find anything save a small line in his pad, like maybe a small cut that was healing.  My best guess was that on Wednesday he'd had a panic attack from a fly or thunder when I wasn't home at lunch time.  He had jumped up on the bathroom sink and smashed a mug.  There was a smear of blood on the toilet seat next to the sink but I couldn't find a cut on him or any more blood anywhere either in the house or on him.  Maybe he'd slit his pad a little?

Friday morning Jonny thought he looked o.k. but I wasn't fully convinced.  Nonetheless I drove down to the trial site and walked him a bit on the grounds.  About 5-10 minutes into the walk he let out a yelp but still no change to his gait and nothing obvious in his feet.  I thought his gait looked off but I'd been looking at it for so long I couldn't tell anymore so I asked someone I trusted to have a look at him trotting and she could tell right away which leg was off even though I didn't tell her what I suspected was wrong.  So that was it, I pulled him from Regionals.  SO disappointed but there was no way I was going to risk running him.  And very glad I did because by the end of the day he was on 3 legs.  It's impossible to get him to rest without crating him and I couldn't imagine crating him.  Crazy dog charging around the house on 3 legs.  It's a small house but still.

My vet friend came on Monday to give Ruby her vaccinations, heart worm, etc. and while she was here I had her look at Strummer.  She had the very good news of he had not torn his ACL (most gigantic sigh of relief over that, I had been worried about that all weekend).  There was something going on with his knee but not a tear.  Also the muscles on his bad leg were way way more developed than on his good leg.  Weird.  But then she had the very bad news of Ruby's knees were bad.  Luxating patellas, the bane of the little dog world.  And they were about as bad as it gets, the kneecap not even sitting in any kind of groove.  Her joints felt o.k. but she would eventually have pain in her old age.  And watching poor Lola gimp around every day, well, I don't want to go through that again.  She's 4, if I'm going to fix her knees, now's the time to do it.  Ugh, unanticipated dog surgery.  Still, if I have to choose between ACL surgery on Strummer or a kneecap fix on Ruby I got off lucky.

So Tuesday of this week Ruby had surgery.  This was also my hardest week of triathlon training before Xterra Lory in a few weeks.  And a busy week at work.  Somehow it all got done.  Yesterday was a 1.2 mile swim race at Boyd Lake in Loveland which was more of an over 1.5 mile swim race because the course was long.  Then a 1.5 hour trail run that turned into 1 hour 53 minutes because I was unfamiliar with the trails up at Horsetooth Mountain Park and misjudged how long a route would take me.  Then a stop in Longmont on the way home to pick up some DVD's from somebody at a dog show.  Where the person I got Ruby from happened to be competing so I was able to give her an update.

Ruby came through the surgery no problem and is recovering well.  She's on a buncha drugs and I have to do some mobilization exercises with her joints 3 times a day, ice her knees twice a day and carry her out to the yard to do her business.  Which was proving the only difficulty because she was not pooping.  I gave her asstons of coconut oil, pumpkin, broth and eventually two stool softeners and finally this morning there was poop!  I don't think I've ever been so happy to see dog poop.  How can a dog go 5 1/2 days without pooping?  Poor little smunchkin.  But hopefully she's on the mend in that department.  She's bearing weight on her legs as well, walking around the yard a little bit. 

I decided to retire Strummer from agility so for the first time in 15 years or so I'm not going to be able to compete in agility.  Very very weird and sad but I have to do what's right for Strummer.  He seems to be fully recovered from whatever he did to himself but my vet friend agreed that it would be best to retire him.  I was planning for Regionals to be his last USDAA trial and maybe do some UKI over the summer then retire him anyway so we're not too far off what I was planning.  Still all of a sudden there's a UKI trial less than an hour from my house in a couple of weeks.  I'm happy to see UKI making headway in the area but wish it could have been sooner.  And the thing I'll miss most of all is training with my training partners.  That was the best part of agility for me.  Strummer will miss it too but oh well.  He turned 11 in March and it's time.  We'll find other stuff to do. 

My swim race went well, 1:50/100 yd pace, pretty standard for me but good for only my third time in open water this summer.  Never been to Boyd Lake before and it was nice.  Water temp. was reasonable, maybe 65-66 degrees, and a warm sunny morning.  Horsetooth Mountain Park was spectacular.  I'd been there once over 20 years ago so I didn't remember much of the trails and I'm sure it's changed a lot.  So steep.  I actually passed a group of 3 bikers and I was running so slowly.  It was crowded at the trail head, I was lucky to even get in because the gate to the parking lot was shut but as I was about to turn around, the ranger motioned me in and said a spot had just freed up.  The trails themselves were only busy for the first mile or so then I practically had the joint to myself.  So green and lush and the wildflowers!  The wild iris are spectacular right now on many of the Front Range Trails.  No photos of any of it.  Didn't bother at the swim race and didn't bring my camera or phone with me on my run.  Oh well, sometimes it's good to enjoy stuff and not worry about documenting every last thing.  I love photography and taking time for photos but not all the time.

Next week should be less hectic.  Ruby should be getting a bit more mobility and I'm not worrying as much anymore now that we have poop and she's walking a bit.  Less training load this week as well, 9 1/2 hours compared to 12 1/2 for this week.  Was only supposed to be 12 but I had a bike ride run long as well as that run yesterday.  Phew, maybe I'll finally have time to plant my tomato plants.


  1. My one chihuahua had bad luxating patella's when I got her. She was 2 yr old. I had them both fixed at the same time. She is now 13 yr old. So far everything is ok. Sorry about Strummer and retiring. Not seeing your friends is hard.

  2. That's good to hear. I hate putting a dog through surgery but I do hope it'll give her better quality of life when she's older.

    Poor Strum, he had seemingly recovered and was doing so well but was back on 3 legs again yesterday. Vet comes today, hopefully she'll have the news again of no ACL tear. Sheesh what a crazy dog, impossible to keep him 'calm'.

  3. Oh, my, came back here after your latest FB post about Strummer's untimely demise. A rough month for you and your dogs. I've loved learning about Strum and everyone through the years of blogs. Seemed to me like he'd go on forever, too. I'm so sorry.

  4. Oh, my, came back here after your latest FB post about Strummer's untimely demise. A rough month for you and your dogs. I've loved learning about Strum and everyone through the years of blogs. Seemed to me like he'd go on forever, too. I'm so sorry.

  5. Yeah, I'll write a longer post about him but just can't do it right now.