Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘dogs

Mostly Healthy

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Other than choosing to regurgitate the entire undigested contents of her stomach on our bed the other day, Pequenita is leading our animals in staying healthy.

The good news about the others is that all are showing promising signs of improvement.

Delilah had a quick relapse to yelping in pain after her promising signs of normalcy a week or two ago. Happily, that regression was short-lived and she has re-emerged with more of her old vim and vigor once again. We remain cautious about encouraging too much rambunctiousness, lest she experience another similar setback.

She has a second visit to the doggie chiropractor scheduled for next week. We are trying to constrain her activity a reasonable amount until then.

Cayenne’s swollen eye has settled down nicely, but shows signs of still being irritated. Cyndie washed it out again yesterday. Since all the horses were due for a fall visit from the veterinarian, we will have a chance for her eye to be seen this morning when the Doc comes to give all of them some attention.

I’m doing my best to keep up with everybody else’s progress and enjoying increased mobility and reduced pain with every passing day. ‘Nita does her best to keep my legs stretched out and warm for me. I think my tight hamstrings do me no favors at avoiding problems with my lumbar discs.

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I have been grossly negligent about stretching and exercising for best back health, but as soon as the trouble showed up last week, I became a planking maniac again. The problem with that was that the muscles of my torso became incredibly stiff and didn’t want to take on the load my ailing back wished they would.

Stretching like a yoga master became the third option.

 

Written by johnwhays

November 10, 2017 at 7:00 am

How’s Everybody?

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Basically, we are all good, but there are some health concerns that continue to linger for some of the Wintervale crew. Time has not healed all wounds.

After the most recent hoof trimming, Cayenne’s showing a tiny bit of improvement. What we cling to there is that she is, at the very least, not worse. She still shows a fair amount of hesitation on her movements, but she doesn’t appear to be in extreme pain.

It’s possible she may have developed a habit of anticipating pain, and she still limps because that is what she has grown used to doing. It sometimes looks like she steps gingerly to protect herself, not because it hurts too much to walk normal.

Now, Delilah, on the other hand, is behaving quite the opposite. She keeps trying to act like she is fine, but continues to have moments of extreme pain. On Tuesday, we resorted to ordering x-rays of her spine and a more thorough blood analysis.

The results of her blood work are not in yet, but the x-ray showed a minor compression between discs 3 and 4. We were told there also appeared to be some abnormal marks or possible lesions on those vertebrae, which the vet is hoping the blood analysis will inform.

We have returned to restricting her movements to a bare minimum. Regardless, she continues to maintain a pretty happy attitude between moments of looking like she’d prefer to do nothing more than lay down and convalesce.

It’s been a long summer of rehabilitation for Cyndie’s shoulder, but it’s not over yet. She continues to have regular physical therapy appointments to improve range of motion. The good news after her most recent follow-up with the surgeon was that he deemed it unnecessary to put her under and break the scar tissue by force. The bad news was the alternative being extended PT with painful aggressive measures to do the same thing.

The therapist used the infamous “cupping therapy” to stretch the scarred tissue across the grain. Makes sense to us, despite a broad belief that cupping is pseudo-science and any benefits are from a placebo effect. Cyndie is growing tired of the pain from her exercises and the ongoing need to push her limits of stretching and rotation.

At the same time, she continues to find ways to function in her daily activities with only minor limitations.

The rest of us are enjoying a grace period of good health. The chickens will be seeing snow for the first time in their lives. Pequenita is happy to be an indoor cat. We brought the horses in out of the windy wet precipitation last night, but we’ll give them a short shift outside for some fresh air before letting them back into their stalls again tonight.

I avoided hitting any deer on my commutes this week. Yesterday morning, I was lucky to not be a part of a 10-car chain reaction crash,  –nor get caught in the significant backup of traffic behind it– when a vehicle hit a deer on I94, right at the bridge between Wisconsin and Minnesota. I had already passed that spot and was well on my way to work by then.

Everyday I don’t hit a deer in October and November is a successful day.

That’s my update on how everybody is doing today. We are thankful for all our good fortune.

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Written by johnwhays

October 27, 2017 at 6:00 am

Rain Results

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We are back home on the ranch and I am walking Delilah across the slippery, crusty snow on our trails again. It is interesting to see how the water from the rain on Christmas day continued to flow beneath the snow on a journey to lower terrain. There was enough pressure behind the draining water to push it up over places where water before it had reached open air and froze, thus creating slippery mounds of ice across trails in several places.dscn5660e

It appears that the majority of the rain water that pooled up in our drainage swale and the lower areas of our back pasture and front hay-field has frozen in place.

Looks like I could create a little skating rink of my own right here at home.

While the trails in the woods have now frozen pretty solid, there are many spots where it is easy to see the remaining evidence of the layer of water that was underneath the snow.

My foot prints from tromping through the mess last week are now frozen proof.

dscn5664eIt’s going to take a significant snowfall to fill the hollows of my boot prints and cover the slippery hard packed pathways left behind after that unseasonal Christmas thunderstorm.

Unfortunately, that kind of weather event isn’t showing up as likely in the weather forecast for the week ahead. That means the footing will remain treacherous for walking the dog.

Maybe I should look into a sled I could sit on so she can pull me around on her walks. It would be a good distraction for her to have a purpose other than sniffing every molecule of evidence left by critters who have shared the trails with her in the recent past.

It is pretty obvious by her behaviors that there are many of them and they are leaving their scent on branches as well as in the tracks they leave behind.

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Written by johnwhays

January 2, 2017 at 7:00 am

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Remembering Clarity

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I’m trying to remember what clarity is like. It seems like it was a long time ago that I last experienced a moment of clarity. Lately, everything is a combination of spider webs and fog interspersed with moments of wind whipped precipitation and hours of lost sleep.

Not lost as in, I don’t know where I put it, but the kind of lost which I can never get back. It’s gone. No longer exists.

dscn5608eBut I can make more. There is more where that came from.

Don’t worry. Even Delilah is confused by all this.

She can’t figure out why I’m not getting over that moment of her violating the sanctity of my dinner plate. If I thought she could understand, I’d explain that it’s because I don’t want to get over it.

Our dog is now facing a new regimen of training in which I re-establish my dominance over her.

I’m not confident that she is putting 2 and 2 together, but I do know that she understands what I’m after when I demand she lay down and let me straddle her and stand very purposefully. She does not want to give up her power without a fair amount of resistance. Outlasting her is one thing that I may not have enough patience for.

I tend to think of myself as a patient man, but I’m finding out there are some situations to which that doesn’t apply.

Or maybe it’s just hampered by a lack of clarity.

I’m hoping that a few nights of decent sleep might produce a new dose of that forgotten clarity. Now, if I could just remember how it was that I got a decent night’s sleep.

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Written by johnwhays

December 23, 2016 at 7:00 am

Newer Tricks

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Our dear Delilah is getting another year older and we are looking at adding some newer tricks to her repertoire, like behaving well around other dogs and not showing her fangs and snapping at others unprovoked. Wouldn’t that be nice?

img_ip1717eI don’t know if we will ever get around to convincing her not to bark at thunder or bolt off in the direction of gunshots, but at least those involve pretty obvious and relatively infrequent triggers.

Cyndie is trying out another training class at a pet store in Hudson in a pay-as-you-go plan for now. After 1 session, she reported that Delilah was an “angel dog” in a text on her way home, (a message which arrived to me as “ninja dog” after autocorrection).

The biggest opportunity right now is getting her to accept some guests that are living with us. George and Anneliese are here with their dogs while they are between homes. Our neighbors are moving to central Minnesota. For now, their dogs are behind baby gates and confined to the basement.

We are moving slowly and letting them know each other exist, but not having direct contact. We had all the dogs out on the back yard grass together yesterday, but each on a leash. They seem to be just fine about the general proximity.

I think it will be a heck of a trick to get Delilah trained to a level where we have control over her natural instinct to inflict her dominance over any other creature around her.

But it’s a goal.

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Written by johnwhays

September 24, 2016 at 9:05 am

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Canine Visits

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So much for using our trail cam to capture images of all the wildlife wandering our trails. Nothing but dogs this last time, traveling in pairs, even.

I have a whole new respect for what Delilah’s been sensing every time we walk our paths. I’m sure she is entirely aware of these scofflaws who regularly take advantage of our easy access to wherever the heck it is they are going.

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There are 3 different dogs that have been making themselves at home on our trail at the southern edge of our property. I suspect that 2 of them are likely owned by a close neighbor. Driving past their place last week, I noticed a line of white flags across the front yard that looked a lot like the kind used to mark invisible fence installations.

Maybe they are working to keep the dogs off the road. Apparently they’ve left the back door toward our place wide open.

There’s no real harm done by their trespassing, but after all the fretting we have done over Delilah doing the same thing to others, it feels like they are getting away with something that they shouldn’t.

At least I now have a better idea of what Delilah is up to when she goes astray. I always figured she was chasing wildlife, or neighboring livestock. Now I suspect she is probably trailing along on the route of other dogs, returning the favor of marking each other’s passage.

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I have no idea what this guy is carrying. It looks like a big branch, but it brings to mind the mysterious frozen cow’s leg we found laying in the middle of the trail down in that area last winter. It gives me new insight into how it could have possibly gotten to where it was that we stumbled upon it.

Other than the weekend we had two strange dogs show up by the house last fall, we haven’t been aware of how many and how often we have had uninvited canine visitors.

There have been tracks visible on occasion, but we weren’t quite sure whether it was coyotes or domestic dogs leaving the impressions. From now on I will be much more inclined to suspect stealthy dogs are the ones cuttin’ through.

At least, until our trail cam proves something different.

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Written by johnwhays

March 14, 2016 at 6:00 am

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Unidentified Visitor

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While we were away over the weekend, our trail cam captured evidence of a more domestic critter visiting our trail than the wild bunnies and squirrels that have been repeatedly triggering the motion sensor.

Neither of us recognize him from any of our immediate bordering neighbors. I wonder if Delilah has been calling for company or if these canine visitors that seem to keep showing up are just random wanderers who have stumbled upon our property without any agenda.

Since Delilah has been spayed, I assume they are checking out her great personality, and not any other attractions.

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Written by johnwhays

March 1, 2016 at 7:00 am

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