Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ziggy the Cardigan Corgi IVDD month 11

Ziggy continues to ever-so-slowly progress towards walking.  No big changes in month 11, but some encouraging signs:
  • More frequent attempts at standing on his own
  • More weight-supporting walking in his sling - he still needs help with stability, but more leg movement
  • His right hind is getting stronger w/ better paw placement

We sent him to ISU rehab for a week in the middle of the month.  He hadn't been there in quite a while, and the rehab therapist did notice progress.

The therapist thinks Ziggy needs more core strength, though, as the "c" in his spine (when looking at him from above when he's standing his spine curves like "c") seems to be remaining and maybe getting more pronounced.  She believes that the c is caused by uneven core muscle development.  This impacts his standing, as his left hind comes in too far to the midline to support him properly.  It also causes problems with walking - his left hind often "trips" his right hind. 

So she has recommended ball work.  Today we had a family viewing of disc one of "Get On the Ball Two" with Dr. Debbie Gross Saunders, then we did a little work with Ziggy.  I ordered 2 sizes of Fitpaws peanuts, and need to order one size larger, too.  Ball work will become a daily part of his routine, and (according to the video) we should see results in two weeks or so.

Ball work to strengthen hips and hind end.

Ball work for overall core fitness.
You can see from the panting that he's getting a good workout!

To help with progress tracking, here are some videos of Ziggy from his last trip to ISU:

Underwater treadmill.  
Notice right hind doing really well.

Lots of hind end movement in the cart.  
He still tips left when the padding shifts.  
Z may be getting a custom cart as a Christmas present...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Wagmore Farm: Who needs a sofa when you have a dog bath?

We're in residence at Wagmore this week - enjoying the rain, visiting with family, and planning for house and property.  So nice to be here.

And it's a week of excitement, too -- the dog bath is now in the mud room!

I've been dreaming of this particular dog bath for a long time (and I'm not really joking about that).  I just kept tabbing over the page in the PetEdge catalog, waiting for the right time to buy it.  I even made sure that the mudroom was long enough to accommodate the bath, a dryer, and a grooming table.

Finally, a few weeks ago, the timing was right.  I had a % off discount code, AND PetEdge was offering a promo.  So I just did it.  I ordered the bath.  And here it is, in the mudroom!

Hello, my pretty.  How nice you look in my home.

I'm not sure this is the "final" location within the room.  I have some flexibility because it will drain into a floor drain using a hose from the bottom of the bath, and the wall faucet hose can be can be lengthened or shortened depending on the best location for the bath.  I need to play around a bit to find where it fits best.

Oh, and the promotion for buying the bath?  A free, matching dog dryer with stand!  So exciting!  And yes, I do already have a dog dryer.  Coincidently it even matches.  But it doesn't have a stand. And who can't use an extra dog dryer anyway?

Maybe I can work both dryers simultaneously and
get the dogs dry in half the time?

Oh, and in case you're wondering about my priorities, here is the current state of the living room & dining room:

Dining room table = folding chair and plastic table.
Living room furniture = 3 hand-me-down chairs that my mother was planning to throw out

(But The Small Human loves all the open space in the room for "Minute to Win It" games using ping pong balls and foam dominoes.  So that's a benefit?)

Yes, to most rational humans the money would be better spent on decorating the human part of the house.  After all there are no dogs living here, and humans live here at least some of the time.  But the dog bath is just so nice...

 Here's a photo from the driveway looking towards the wooded pasture.  
Pretty even when it's grey outside.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Rip's Training Diary #4

I realize that I haven't posted lately about what Rip & I doing with our training time.  My work duties (travel! projects!) continue to be onerous, so my training time is a bit sparse.  We are making progress, though!

Right now we're working on:
  • Go out games - including hitting the stanchion, taking cheese off the stanchion, and running to a pvc box, turning towards me & sitting in the box.
  • Retrieving - Rip loves retrieving!  We're working with wood, plastic, metal, and leather dumbbells.  Rip now reliably retrieves when I throw the dumbbell (though I still have to hold his collar to keep him in place while I'm throwing).  We're not doing any fronts - I'm just having Rip bring it back to me and drop it when I release him to the treat I've thrown.  
  • A better dumbbell hold.  Naughty Rip likes to play with the dumbbell when returning to me - mouthing it instead of holding it politely.  No surprise there - why just hold a dumbbell when you can hold it, run, AND chomp on it?!
  • Side-passing (horse people will know this term) - I'm training Rip to walk sideways when facing me - moving to stay perpendicular to me as I move back & forth.  Prep for fronts.
  • Heeling!  We love to heel!  Now we're adding in automatic sits and slow pace.  
  • A new trick that I really hope we can pull off.  I'll record it and post it on YouTube if I can pull it off.  So far Rip hasn't had an "I get it!" moment, so we'll see.

What we should be working on but aren't:
  • Agility (sigh. where does the time go?)
  • Stays.  Must start seriously working stays.  I know it's bad of me not be working on these more often.  I'm just so thrilled to have a dog who loves to play that I hate to "waste" our precious training time on the stay.

Since I don't have a training picture, I'll end with a picture that shows what happens when Rip is bored due to lack of training.  Naughty dog.  Or maybe he just wants to play MarioCart on the Wii.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A smile from India

I enjoy traveling to new countries and seeing and experiencing things that I wouldn't at home.  Many times these make me smile.

I ran across a sign that makes me smile.

Why did this sign amuse me so much that I asked my driver to pull over and wait by the side of the road while I hopped out and snapped the pic?

Because when the roads around you  look like this:

or this:

then this:

really does seem like this:

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