Monday, April 27, 2009

Six weeks to go ...

no running, no jumping ...

So it's been two weeks since Pinky broke her leg, and I'm already starting to look forward to the end of crate/leash confinement. Must keep reminding myself not to rush anything. The photo above is Pinky doing one thing she's allowed: rolling in the grass (on leash, of course!)

She loves spending time outdoors, so I set up an X-pen in the yard where she can hang out while I'm doing yard work. I wish I had some sort of mobile pen, because my yard is very large and she gets upset when I'm all the way across the yard and she's stuck in the pen.

Yesterday I did a bit of shaping with her and made some progress towards "play dead." I figure that's a great thing to teach an injured dog! I'm also going to try Elayne's idea of teaching her the names of her toys, but first I have to come up with some names ... right now most of them are just called "toy!" She knows "ball" already, so I think I'll start by differentiating between "ball" and "tug." Then of course there's the problem of what to call the tug-ball, i.e. the ball-on-a-rope. Maybe I'll just name it "Bob" ...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Poor little Pinky ...


I interrupt this blog's silence with some rather crummy news ... poor little Pinky broke her leg a week ago ... pretty badly, too. I suppose the upside of it is that now no matter what she she does in agility or whatever, I'll be thrilled that she's doing anything at all. All my frustrations about training her are gone ... I'll consider anything she's able to do to be awesome. Here's the damage:




Horrible, eh? "How did she do it?" is the first question everyone asks, and I really wish I knew. I wasn't watching. It was about 9:30 on a Saturday night and I had just gotten home from dinner with a friend and had taken her and Lucy into the backyard for a potty. Lucy had finished her business and wanted into the house, so I went to let her in, which put me out of sight of Pinky for a moment. The next thing I knew there was the sound of a dog screaming in pain from the yard ... it took me a few seconds to realize it was Pinky. I ran out to the middle of the yard and found her sitting sort of hunched and holding up her right front leg. I carried her into the light and could tell from a glance that something was really wrong with the leg, so I immediately stuck her in the her crate in the car and went to the emergency vet.

The prevailing theory seems to be that she stepped in a hole or something, although it had to have been just a shallow divot because that's all there are in the area where I found her (irony: most of the divots were dug by Pinky herself.). I'll never know for sure what it was, I guess, which makes me reluctant to ever let her out of my sight again once she's all healed.

The break required surgery to install a plate and some screws, which look something like this:




She got the bandage off after two days and is now putting some weight on the paw and using it a bit, but for the next seven weeks she is confined to her crate (or an x-pen I've set up in the living room) unless she's on the leash for potty breaks (or limited short walks after the fourth week). OK, I let her out to cuddle on the sofa with me every evening ... sue me! I do make sure I keep a hold on her so she can't impulsively jump off.

The great news is that she's expected to be able to do agility if I'm diligent about rehabbing her and manage not to let her re-injure herself during the healing process. It seems a bit ironic that the break happened the same day that I had had one of the best training sessions with her, ever ... I was feeling really upbeat about the fact that she was starting to relax and enjoy agility, and I was making plans to finally start training her on the teeter (I had even won a teeter base in a raffle!) Maybe after many months off she will be very excited to get back to it!

When she is allowed to do more activity, I think I'll take a tricks class with her before I get her back into agiltity. It seems like a low-impact way to get her working again, and she really seems to love any training that doesn't involve equipment.

Oh, and also, maybe I'll blog more ...