Friday, July 31, 2009

Week 11 Day 2

My girl being bad.. SOON koda! I let her scamp around for the video, but she's not allowed to butt tuck yet.. poor tucker.. more interested in the chipmunk he saw earlier to participate.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Week 11 Day 1

Wow! Week 11! The end is near and what a difference! Daily walks..crate restrictions lifted while I'm at home.. The only thing missing is running and swimming..we start that next week..slowly..


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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Happy Birthday, Koda!

2 years old!

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Week 10 - Day 1


Ten weeks.. finally... things really do get easier from here. Now Koda can be out of her crate while i get ready in the morning and she gets more crate freedom at night too. I allow surpervised games of bitey face, and allow the to progress to more exuberent matches as the days pass..

We're up to about 30-45 minute walks now and there hasn't been a limp in sight.. it's been a slow steady pace for us. Ten weeks.. double digits.. 3 more weeks to the end.. man, what a relief!

I think it's worth noting here.. i'll have to put it somewhere more obvious in this blog eventually, that our regime has been what was recommended by my vet for Koda's recovery.

I've done a lot of research and the one thing i know, is there are as many recovery processes out there as there are vets.

A lot of people have their dogs out on walks after 2 weeks.. i was told to wait for 6.. but there are some who don't step foot out of the crate until 12 weeks and then spent the next four working their way up to running.

So.. that being said.. DO WHAT YOUR VET TELLS YOU TO DO.. because in the end, he knows what's best for his surgical patients...

Oh.. and speaking of walks.. i've been walking both dogs at once because doing it tandem was driving me crazy.. koda is /almost/ 2 years old and given that she's been crated since October, it's like walking a hurricane.. so it's been a challenge.

A friend of mine suggested the easy walk dog harness and we gave it a shot last night.. zomg! so much better!

Youtube has some helpful tips on how to properly fit it.. which does take some time.. i'm pretty sure i still need to make adjustments.. but once that's done, it really easy a great tool, much better than coming home with sore arm muscles from the bulldozer on leash.

I think next week I'm going to take her to the beach.. no free retrieving, but i'd like to get those legs in water to use the resistance and see how she does.. I think if she can handle a half an hour in the water w/o incident, then we'll be on the right track...

I wonder if i could do that with two dogs... probably not.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Week 9 Day 6

Some girls from work are planning a weekend camping trip and the original date was August 15 weekend. By that time Koda will be just over 13 weeks post-op and it's just too soon to throw that kind of activity at her, for 2 full days, so we've moved it to September 5th. She'll be just over 16 weeks post-op and i'll feel much better about it.

One of my friends has a Great Dane (Thor the sweetheart) and the other has a husky mix, Mac the ridiculously well-behaved.

I can't wait to find out what sharing a tent with my two dogs is going to be like =)

I'm so excited! I finally get to plan outings with my dogs!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Week 9 Day 4 - bitey face

Tucker eating her entire head

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Week 9 Day 1!

Yay, week 9! Not as good as 10, but better than 8!

I was re-reading my post-op instructions yesterday and laughed at the fact that i was supposed to be walking her 4 times a day.

I can get her out twice, but who on earth has time to walk a dog 4 times per day? I don't! So i think letting her loose a few more times during the day in the house is a good compromise. Sometimes, you need to jig these things to work for you, right?

I also let her have a small game of bitey face with tucker last night.. i supervised closely to make sure nobody got out of hand. Actually, the only dog that ever gets out of hand is Koda.. my bad girl!

I watched the land shark around each other for a few minutes, and then koda crawled up on the couch and went to sleep.

Do you know that i've been yelling at these dogs for weeks to not play bitey face? WEEKS.. because it's the first thing they try and do when koda is sans crate.. and when i finally let them have a bit of fun, she actually self-regulates herself and stops the game when she's tired or had enough.

My dogs are smarter than me. =(

Actually, i'm hoping this will help them bond better. Me yelling at them to stop playing probably wasn't helping their relationship much.. tucker seems to need more convincing to accept koda than vice-versa, but these games and our walks with both dogs at the same time will hopefully help.

I am looking forward to getting koda in the water, but curious about how i expect to do that.

I can't take one to the beach and not the other.. it would be like taking one kid for ice cream.. could you imagine the chaos and hurt feelings?

But apparently swim time is supposed to be gradual as well.. deeper into the water each time until they're fully comfortable swimming.

Whoever wrote that never had a Labrador. Who in their right mind can take a lab to the beach and keep them in shallow water? She'd rip my arm clean off my shoulder! And then swim away with it!

Now add tuck, who as calm as he is, CANNOT contain his excitement around water.. he loves it and will bounce around like a crazy dog for retrieving games.

Anyway.. all those are down the road a couple of weeks.. so for now.. small steps forward will all help future steps, right?

So.. week 9.. onward!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Week 8 Day 5 - C'mere so i can spank you

As the weeks pass, the challenges change. When Koda came to me at 15 months of age, she had 2 blown knees and had spent at least the 3 months before that in pain.

Once the first leg was done, she was still even tempered since she still had pain in the second leg.. but now the second leg is healing and we're getting closer to where both legs will feel better for her than they have in a really long time.

Now her lack of obedience and pent-up energy is as much of a hurdle for us as surgeries were in the beginning.

Keeping her calm. That's a tough one. Add to that her strange food aggression issues with my other dog and her leash issues and suddenly i'm presented with new obstacles I didn't face the first time around.

Food aggression has been dealt with keeping her crated at meal time. Seems to do the trick.. but i'm hoping to FIX the problem, not contain it, since it would be really nice not to have to worry about her in public if there was another dog around with a cookie.

Last night I gave her and tuck a denta stick.. koda had hers in her crate, tuck in the same room. Everything was fine until they were both done and i let Princess Gimpy out of her crate.. she immediately when sniffing around where tuck had eaten his, looking for crumbs, and when tuck passed by the area teeth and growls broke out, first from koda, then fromt Tuck.

I aas actually happy to see tucker stand up for himself.. he usually just ignores her tantrums.. but still, that girl has some issues that are going to need dealing with. Luckily she is not food aggressive with me.. i can stick my hand in her mouth and pull out a bone and she's fine.. tucker is a whole other story.

I ordered a book called Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs by Jean Donaldson which gets some favourable reviews.

She also needs some beginner obedience classes as soon as her leg is healed.

She is the super great dog most of the time and i love her to pieces..i really hope we can fix this problem. I was so mad at her last night and into this morning.. she probably knew that but had no idea why.. i feel bad for being angry with her, but threatning tuck really upsets me.. he's so tolerant of her but becoming even more distant these days.. i'm assuming he's pretty fed up with her bossiness.

He does love to play bitey face with her, though.

Anyway.. i'm feeling a little down about this whole thing today.. maybe today will be a better day. Until i can get some direction on how to fix this.. no more treats.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I want to squeeze her!

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Week 8 Day 1 - Progress and cresting the hill

Week EIGHT! That's good! We're coasting past maitenance mode and shooting into rehab.. well, we have been for a couple of weeks but the first two are very slow-going. Koda is up to being able to walk around the entire block now.. it's only about 10-15 minutes, but it's great!

You're supposed to walk slowly and then gradually increase speed to a trot, but i don't know if anyone has tried to walk a 2-year-old lab after having spent the better half of 6 months in a crate.. but a slow walk isn't an option.

Not allowing her to run is what i consider a success these days.

What i did for the first 2 weeks of rehab instead of taking her outside to walk was allow her out of the crate to roam the house for a while..She will walk around the house without running or trotting, so it was the best option for us to get that knee working w/o over-doing it. There's just no way i could have taken her outside to walk and had her go at a leisurely pace.

Not really conventional i suppose, but it worked.

So.. for the next few weeks we keep going and gradually bring up her distance .. by about 11-12 weeks she'll be on controlled runs and on 13 weeks we'll lift her restrictions.


i'll probably wait a couple of weeks longer to allow her to go wild.. but it does look like she'll be able to go swimming before the fall.. and that's going to be awesome!

Oh.. i've been taking her and Tuck out for walks together.. she's not exactly the tornado tuck was to walk as a pup, but my left arm is probably longer than my right one is, now.

Did i mention i'm loooking forward to some obedience classes as well?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Week 7 Day 6 - Sibling Rivalry

As things start to progress, new problems arise. Koda is allowed on the couch with me, but she must settle quickly and remain calm. The minute she starts getting restless she has to go back in her crate.. i can't have her jumping all over the place with that leg.. although the advantage with surgery 2 is her other leg is strong enough to take the brunt of her weight.. not a luxery we had the last time around.

Well it seems a new problem has popped up i wasn't anticipating.


Koda loves tucker.. LOVES him.. but tuck seems pretty distant with her.. he likes to play bitey face with her, but that about sums up his use for her.. I tend to think it may be exascerbated by the fact that when she tries to engage him in play, i am stern with both of them to NOT do that.. repeatedly.. so the only thing tuck knows is when he goes near her, he gets yelled at. I'm sure that's not helping, but i don't have much choice at this point.

They tend to get pretty grumpy with each other when it comes to the couch, and i have to say, i think it's Koda that has the bigger issue. Tuck gets pissy and leaves if she's hogging the couch.. but if she is on the couch and tuck tries to get on.. GRRRRRR.. my sweet girl.. grrrrr'ing at her brother.

So basically we've had to rejig the couch policy.. i've explained to both of them that I'M the master of the couch, not them.. but since tucker has always had privs and Princess Gimpy is new to the family.. she must wait her turn.

She's not much on waiting.

So.. we'll see how this goes.. tuck gets jealous when i pet her, she gets jealous when i pet him.. i swear, it's like having kids.. that shed..

It'll be interesting to see how things go when they can actually play together.. i tend to think it will actually help the situation to tire them out and they won't care as much about who's paw is touching whom and where.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Week 7 Day 4

Today is my last day of vacation, so back to work tomorrow. Probably good for koda since she's crated during the day and i don't cheat and let her sunbathe on the deck.

Although she's been much better these past few days.

My parents came over last night and she was in mid butt tuck when i had to catch her and stop her from going lab-crazy.. i put her in her crate to calm down for half an hour and then she was fine to socialize with us outside and relaxed enough to lay down and behave.

I said something to the fact that she's doing excellent, mood wise, for a lab that's been couped up for the better part of 6 months. I couldn't imagine tucker at 2 years old having spent 6 months in a crate what kind of whirling dervish he'd have been. Koda is so much more relaxed than he was.. thank god!

I have another week off in 4 weeks. That'll put us around the 11th week, entering into 12. She'll be at a whole new level by then and nearing the end of her rehab.

So many things to look forward to, but i'm trying really hard not to wish the present's summer!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Week 7 Day 3

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Week 7 Day 2

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Week 6 Day 7

What crate?

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Week 6 Day 7 - I guess it's technically wednesday

First off.. Happy Canada Day!! #*#

Now.. back to koda..

I sit here wondering how many dogs that have cruciate surgery are confined as long as koda is.. i mean.. if i had two kids and a bunch of other crap going on in my life, would i be as diligent and so tuned into what's going on with her?

I mean, i'm a HUGE dog person.. obviously.. only serious dog people start blogs about their dog's surgery, right? So that's obvious.. but what about people who get dogs because they like them and they're cool and they sort of melt into the family and routine and just become there.. like.. you yell at your kids because they didn't feed the dog again and so you feed it and walk away exasperated but not because the dog didn't eat, but because the kid is irresponsible and you're going to have a talk with him.

You know what i mean?

Anyway.. my point is.. what happens with these dogs? Do they get the full 13 week attention they need to be nursed back to health? Do people give up after a couple of weeks and say screw it.. i don't have time for this and continue on with a casual observance rather than a hawk eye?

I can't picture some of my friends who own dogs, but aren't crazy, blog-writing dog people and wonder.. what would they do?

I don't know why i think of this.. maybe because i'm nearing the end of my rope of patience.. sure, i can make it.. i can go on and on and on with this if i had to.. but 6 months now.. i'm pretty much ready to have my dog back.. not that i ever had her any other way.. she came here broken .. but she got to be out of the crate for a whole 2 weeks before she had her second surgery.. it was nice.

She's doing well today.. i think my instinct to put her back in the crate 24/7 was a good one.. i still can't explain why.. i just know she needs some downtime.. lounging on the deck was for me.. not her.. and that's not fair.

Not long now.. not long now.. this too shall pass.