Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ziggy the Cardigan Corgi: IVDD month 7

We're rapidly approaching month 7 of Ziggy's IVDD disc rupture recovery.  Ugh.  7 months.  But what can you do when you have a slow dog?

Here's the latest...

What's happening now:

  • We're starting to see some real progress!
  • He is getting himself up into a standing position more frequently - though his left leg still isn't cooperating enough to keep him standing, things are improving.
  • He is really pushing himself along with his hind legs when he scoots around the house.  The legs have gone from dragging behind, to scooting tucked in, to (now) pushing while he scoots.
  • He is much stronger on his stands, and can stand for quite a while while in his sling or when placed in a stand for physical therapy.
  • He is driving with both of his hind legs much of the time that he's in his cart.  
  • On his last visit to ISU, his improvement on the underwater treadmill is noticeable.  You'll see in the video below how his right hind is really driving, reaching, and active.  His left hind is doing MUCH better, but the vet student had to place a hand on him to straighten out his spine so the left hind would land properly.   His left hind likes to drift to the inside, and sometimes hits his right hind accidentally.  This happens when he's trying to stand, too, which causes him to fall down.

Ziggy on the underwater treadmill at ISU earlier this week.  
I am SO pleased with is progress.

What we're doing now:
  • ISU Vet School:  Thanks to our travel schedule, Ziggy has spent approximately 3.5 weeks at the ISU Vet School rehab center since mid-May.  He hates being left, but all reports are that he really enjoys it once he's there.  His particular love is cruising around the vet school in his cart, which, apparently, draws lots of nice comments :)  Oh, and everyone seems to LOVE him there - they say he's a great patient, and very sweet.  Way to go, Z.
  • Continuing the basic physical therapy we've been doing for months - sit to stand, standing, range of motion, etc.
  • We've added some electrical muscle stimulation to get him to flex and move his hind legs on his own.  We just started doing this a week or so before his last trip to ISU, but both The Husband and I really saw some nice improvement.
  • Using the cart more often:  We still don't have a great fit on the cart (if I had it to do over again I'd buy a custom cart right away), but we're able to make-do by using a towel to support one hip.  Ziggy seems to love the cart and it gives him an opportunity to see the neighborhood, etc.  He even got to go pick The Child up from his summer program, and got loved by lots of kids, which is one of Ziggy's favorite things.  We're still only using the cart about 10-15 mins at a time, but that seems enough for right now.
  • Continuing with acupuncture every 2-3 weeks
  • Some chiropractic - particularly on his hips and shoulders which seem to get out of whack (thanks to all the scooting, probably)
I must say that in this past month I finally believe that Ziggy will walk again.  Before this last bit of improvement, I hoped he would walk, and really wanted to believe it, and did everything I could to make it happen, but somehow I feel he's really on the path now.  (but my fingers are still crossed)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Happy 13th Birthday, Maggie (sorry I'm a little late)!

On Saturday my Best Girl, Maggie turned 13.  Even though I'm a bit late on the post, I think every birthday after 10 deserves special recognition!

Here's the Birthday Girl!
I think her grey hairs make her look wise and distnguished!

Maggie continues to be in good health and good spirits.

She still LOVES to:

  • Bark at the neighbor's cattle dog (how DARE he stick his nose through the gap in the fence!)
  • Eat vermin.  She can't catch them very well any more, but this spring she has eaten a baby squirrel she found in the yard and a chipmunk that Rip caught.  YUM!
  • "Work" - whenever I train Rip upstairs, she waits on the other side of the baby gate wagging her tail and staring intently.  I usually bring her in to do some heeling, fronts & retrieves.  She still loves to work!

But she is getting older:
  • She suddenly became "old" about six months ago.  It seems that overnight she went from a spry older lady to an old dog.  She wants her walks to be shorter, and she sleeps more.
  • She is no longer the boss of the house.  Rip has taken over this role.  She sometimes doesn't back down, though, and I get to intervene to break up a "corg-fuffle."
  • I think she might be becoming a bit deaf.  It's hard to tell, though, because she is also very much an old lady who no longer feels compelled to obey commands.  My dear girl who got scores in the mid-190's when earning her Open-level Obedience title suddenly doesn't know how to sit or come sometimes...   I'm not sure how much is hearing loss and how much is "no thanks!"
I am just happy to have such a wonderful girl in my life.  Here's to many more years, My Best Girl!

Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm sorry, Amy the House-Sitter. PLEASE come back!!

As many of you may know, we are lucky enough to have a house-sitter who comes to stay with the pack when we're out of town.  She is a lovely, responsible young lady and  we never have to worry when she's here.

I don't know what to do without her, and I don't know why she keeps coming back.  I've apologized to her on this blog before.  Once when our house cleaners skipped a week before we skipped town.  And another time when I realized all of the things she has to deal with when she stays here.

Apologizing to my house-sitter has become a frequent occurence.   Why am I apologizing this time?  For all of the pet hair.  

We left for our trip to the UK on a Thursday afternoon.  After working in the morning, I decided to vacuum the house before we left.  It is shedding season here, and all 3 corgis were losing their fur in a big way.  Add 2 cats to the mix - including an old cat who sheds in big clumps - and you can imagine how much hair there was.  Despite the fact that we had vacuumed only a couple of days before, some parts of the carpet were fully coated in pet hair.

But I planned ahead.  I had time to vacuum.  What could go wrong?  Let me explain using photos.

This is our main vacuum.  
A Dyson Animal.  

We've had this vacuum for around 5 years, and it does a great job.  Well, I should say that it DID a great job, because it suddenly decided to stop working just as I needed to vacuum less than an hour before leaving to the airport.  

Well, technically it was working a little, but it started to making a noise so loud it could drown out the tornado siren.  Easily.

No problem, we have a vacuum that lives in the basement.  So I went to get it.

This is the basement vacuum.  
It picks up cat litter and pet hair nearly every day.

Unfortunately, the basement vacuum wouldn't work either.  Apparently it only works on hard surfaces now.  It didn't even work on our very short nap carpet upstairs.  Sigh.

But wait, don't we have an old Dyson lurking in the basement, too?  Indeed we do.  I'll go get that one.

Here it is!  Our original Dyson Animal.

I brought it upstairs and tried to start it up.  Then I remembered why we put it in the basement.  It doesn't even work on hard floors anymore.  "Never loses suction!"  Perhaps not.  It now lives in the garage.  Some day we'll get rid of it.

But we have 2 more vacuums.  What about them?

Ronnie the Roomba to the rescue?

Nope.  It wasn't plugged in, so it was out of charge, and probably couldn't handle the layers of pet hair anyway.

How about the hand-held Dyson?

It IS still working, but by the time I got to this option it was too late for me to take the time to use it.  So the house was awash in pet hair when we left for vacation, and there was no way to remedy the situation.

So let me say it one more time.

I am REALLY SORRY for all the pet hair, Amy the House-Sitter.  It won't happen again (well, probably not), because look what we have now:

Another vacuum!
Rated very well by Consumer Reports!

Even though Amy the House-Sitter doesn't know I have a blog, I hope she reads this and forgives me.
I left her a message to see if she can stay later this month and she didn't return my call.  Now I'm worried.  Was this the last straw?

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