The adventuresome life of a Great Pyrenees/Newfoundland dog in Northwestern Ontario

Posts tagged ‘exercise’

Doctors, Hyenas & Aging

It’s so good to be back in touch with my readers again. I know a number of you are wondering why I had been silent for so long. I wasn’t really. You just couldn’t hear me barking from there. BOL

It was the end of Gardening Season last year. Elizabeth had pushed herself to the limit trying to get everything harvested and stashed away for the winter. She was sore and tired. That’s nothing unusual for that time of the year.

We had a visitor come to stay with us. Elizabeth and Kay drove her back up to Winnipeg when she had to go home. Elizabeth drove most of the way, and with already being stiff and sore, well, by the time we got back home, she put me in mind of machinery that was in desperate need of an oiling! As she put me in my run for the night, she slipped and fell off the ramp.

The next week was full of trips into town to see the Chiropractor and the two-legger vet, Dr. Buzz.

The Chiropractor tried to fix the problem by twisting and pulling and otherwise manipulating Elizabeth’s spine. But it wouldn’t move.

The Doctor left me feeling a bit… concerned. He took one look at Elizabeth, who could barely walk, and then only by using a set of Nordic poles. “You poor s..t,” he told her. Then he told her it was a disc in her spine. He said a Hyena ate it.

Even more concerning was the fact that Elizabeth believed him. He gave her lots of pills and added some exercises to those the Chiropractor had given her. She took it all in hobble.

When we got home, I did a serious recce, a double patrol, scouring the area for any sign of Hyenas. I’ve only seen them on the TV. Kay and Elizabeth often relax by watching nature shows, so I know what a Hyena looks and sounds like. I’ve never smelled one, though. Still, I could find no unusual scent that would indicate that a Hyena might have been in our area. I think that Dr. Buzz was telling stories!

It took Elizabeth a very long time to get better. She still needs to be very careful. When she works too hard for too long, I tell her it’s time she took a cuddle break with me. Now that the snow and ice is all gone, I make sure she comes for a walk with me every day. And every day I put a little more pressure on the leash for added resistance training. I’ve heard that’s very good for two-leggers trying to recover strength. And I give her tummy massages while she does her core strengthening exercises. We can’t have her front muscles seizing up, too!

Frequent breaks are important. Here I am taking a little time out with Elizabeth's sister-in-law after working in the garden.

Frequent breaks are important. Here I am taking a little time out with Elizabeth’s sister-in-law after working in the garden.

I’m trying very hard to get Elizabeth back into line as a scribe. She had a lot of other catching up to do when she was able to go back to work. And because she needs to take work in short spurts with lots of little rests in between, work seems to take a lot longer to get done. She’s doing pretty well, though. The older you get the longer it seems to take to bounce back – and this is not the first injury a Hyena (if you listen to doctors) has inflicted on her back. But this time there was some other stuff that went wrong. So, I really need to keep an eye on her. She always seems to think that she can do more than she should….

Truth be told, I’m slowing down a bit, too. True, it is the ‘dog days of summer’ now. I find that when I get up I feel a bit stiff, and I feel a little more tired after my patrols. Nothing a good stretchy-stretchy and a long snooze can’t put to rights. Elizabeth says it’s because I’m getting older, too. Still got a ways to go before I catch up to her, though!

I still haven't found any sign of Hyenas in the neighbourhood.

I still haven’t found any sign of Hyenas in the neighbourhood.

Ploughing Snow

We’re finally getting some real snow, snow that’s staying, snow that’s deepening, snow that’s making me earn my chow!

Last week we had a real dump of the fluffy white stuff, except it wasn’t so fluffy. Elizabeth says it was like compacting icing sugar (whatever…), and we got several centimeters of it. There was so much of it that Kay couldn’t drive her car out one morning. I missed my ride, but Elizabeth took me for a couple of good walks.

Our first walk was in the morning when she came to let me out of my run. We ran part way up the hill, but Elizabeth got tired so we had to stop for a minute before she’d let me pull her at a fast walk. It was wonderful. We were the first creatures out and it was fun making tracks for everyone else to smell for a change!

The view through the livingroom wall hole after our last big snow.

The view through the two-leggers' living room wall hole after our last big snow.

When we go for our morning walk, Elizabeth takes me to the end of our driveway on the silly red leash, then she lets me off the lead to run around a bit and to have a little privacy, if you know what I mean. I stay pretty close, just in case she needs me or decides to call me for a bit of cookie. I like my cookies. I do. Sometimes when we get back to the house, I go in for breakfast, other times I like to stay out for a bit and make sure the wild beasts are where they belong. Today was a breakfast day. I wanted to get it out of the way ’cause I had quite a list of things to do….

After breakfast, I let Elizabeth know that I would like to go outside. She and Kay were eating their breakfast, and they wanted me to lie down and wait. Two-leggers seem to like to dawdle over their food. I don’t understand this. I love my food (theirs often tastes pretty good, too). But if you’re going to get everything done in a day, then you’ve got to get it eaten! And on a day like today… Well, time’s a wastin’!

Elizabeth insisted I wait.

I insisted I go out.

Elizabeth insisted I wait. She put me in the hall.

I started to moan. That usually works. They think I need, er… some privacy.

Elizabeth ignored me. -:o|=

I moaned some more. A little louder.

Finally, Elizabeth came and put me on the silly red leash, put on her boots and took me out.

I looked at her. What? C’mon. We did this thing already! I’ve got important stuff to do! I grabbed the leash and began shaking it, tossing my head back and forth.

Sometimes, Elizabeth gets really stubborn. She’s not stupid. Just really stubborn.

All right. If that’s the way she wants to play it. I decided to take her on my rounds.

At first, she was all right with that. I took her down my regular paths. Then I decided it was time to go off-road, as you two-leggers say. And that’s when the trouble started.

Elizabeth couldn’t keep up. Well, that’s hardly a surprise, is it? She fell once and started flailing around. The leash started getting wrapped around trees. She made me wait while she got it sorted out. Then she decided – I told you, she’s stubborn – to go back to the two-legger house. With me.

I had a thing or two to be made known about that. I nipped her where two-leggers seem to feel it the most. She yelped, turned on me and let me have it. She hauled me into the house.

I began to moan….

This time, it worked… eventually.

I saw her, later, standing in the living room, watching me through the wall hole. I think she finally understood. I just wanted to get out and run through the snow. I had to open up all my patrol routes and mark them so that wily wolf and his pal would know, when they finally got around to starting their day, that this is my space and that they’re to stay away from my two-leggers!

Later Elizabeth explained to me how worried she is about me with those wily wolves hanging around. She also told me she was a bit concerned that I might have a bladder infection.

Honestly. Two-leggers. I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again: I don’t know how they’ve survived this long as a species!

Come See My New Digs!

Well… it has been a while. My two-legger scribe has been very busy for the past couple of months with things only a two-legger would find interesting. I’ve tried to drag her out of her business, but the best I’ve been able to do is take her for walks everyday. That’s been kinda fun – I’ve met a lot of new people and dogs throughout the streets and back alleys of Kenora. But I’ve missed you, my online friends….

There’s some exciting new stuff happening on the ‘Campbell Estate’ these days, too! You’ll remember me telling you all about my own home, I hope. Well, in a big storm on July 4, the old place gave up the ghost, and I haven’t been able to live there since. Rain was coming off the fallen roof into my old house. If you remember, the bones of my place were over thirty years old, and not very strong anymore. So, my two-leggers decided it was time to get some help to build me a new home.

Joe and his wife Steffi often help us out when there is work my two-leggers can’t do themselves. They were really busy all summer, but a couple of days ago they showed up with their trailer and tools. They started taking down my old place to prepare to erect the new one, but they found blastomycosis bearing fungi on the old site. Maybe that’s where I picked the infection up last year.

My two-leggers were upset. They couldn’t build another run and house where it was so dangerous for me. They conferred with Joe, who is very clever at solving problems. Together they walked around the yard, looking for a place that was sheltered, flat and safe for me to live, but still pretty close to the house.

This is the view from my new home. That's Steffi at work on the left.

Finally, they decided on a spot. It isn’t as sheltered as my old place used to be, but I think I’ll like it. It has a much nicer view, and it is close to another one of the areas the sneaky deer move around in, so I can keep an eye on them, too. And I can see people coming and going from the two-leggers’ house.

They’re still building it, so I haven’t moved in yet. But here’s a sneek preview of my new home.

Looking good, eh? I'll have a house in there, too, soon. That's Joe working hard to get it built before the white stuff starts to fall.

I think it’s going to be a real improvement on the old place, although I was really happy there. And as much as I’ve enjoyed living in the two-leggers’ house over the summer, well, there’s really nothing like having your own bit of real estate to call home, is there.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: