The Week That Went To The Dogs

July 27, 2015  •  7 Comments

An entire week has gone by and I find again, I've not been out and about much with my camera or even just out and about much at all.   It was a stressful week and I am setting my intentions this week for less stress and less worry - more joy and deep breaths and focusing energy on those.    Of course work is crazy busy as well which honestly isn't a bad thing and I feel I'm doing a pretty good job keeping that craziness in check.

The week started off with a vet appointment for Paqui - my 14 year old Xolo who has been on 3 legs for the pas 2 weeks.  Our amazing vet was on vacation and I knew it wasn't life or death so we wanted to wait until she returned to have him checked out.   As the day grew nearer however I really needed to start thinking about the cross roads we were at.   He's 14, he's a big dog and he had one leg that he refused to even put on the ground at all.   In watching it progress I could tell it wasn't totally because it hurt him but because it would no longer support him.    I suspected neurological issues likely with his spine and as with all senior dogs I also needed to consider what his quality of life is like.   Yes, there the dread started so I called upon one of my amazing dog friends (and the dogs massage therapist) to join me at our appointment, not only to be a second set of eyes and ears, but to share her observations and be there if I decided I did decide to let him go.   Once at the vet we discussed, albeit tearfully, what had been going on with him the past few weeks.   Have I mentioned I love my vet Dr. Henry?    The decision was made to do xrays and try to determine exactly what was going on with him.   They showed us that his spine didn't show signs of fusing (which I suspected) but his hips were a mess!   After 90 minutes of exams and discussion, it was decided that we owed it to him to try some drug therapy on him and see if we could alleviate the pain he had to be feeling (Xolos are like many of the "stoic" breeds - it is extremely hard to tell how much pain they are really in) and with any luck get him using that leg again at least for support since he is twisting the other leg horribly in order to move.    We expected to see great improvement in how he felt in a short few days.    As of this morning the jury is still out and their Auntie Adele will be coming over to do massages Tuesday and since I trust her implicitly, will discuss where she feels he is and check back in with the vet again after that.


Amazing how all consuming those emotional kinds of things can be.

We chugged along through the rest of the week and on to the weekend!  Hoorah!    A break for me was getting to travel to Bozeman and attend a Drafting Clinic put on by a dear old friend (she isn't old but we've been friends forever) who had competed for many years in the sport with her Bernese Mountain Dogs.   I packed up Sterling, his new cart, harness and my Mom and we had a lovely drive down and back.   So very worth it to get some greatly needed help on getting Sterling set up with his new cart and adjusting everything to make it the best experience for him (since he's doing all the work).   I even managed to convince my Mom o take some photos of Sterling and me (I still hate pictures of me just sayin) and I got to take some super fun shots of the others that were there.   The other participants did FABULOUS with Christie's coaching and each managed to get hitched up for their first time - and safely!   So wanted to share some shots of our fun day!


Those of you with poodles can probably guess what he's thinking in this photo!

The best part of a successful round - not to mention the cookies!

An exhausted poodle is a good thing!   :)

Sunday was scheduled Therapy Dog day for Sterling as well (yup he had a busy weekend) so the day dawned with sunshine, shampoo, hose and clippers.   Four hairy dogs, bathed and groomed in 4 hours before heading off to see Sterling's "Ladies".    I still have naked dogs to bath and groom but have hopes that will happen once the weather warms up again!    Unfortunately somewhere during the process of grooming or sometime after Sterling came up lame in one of his front legs.   I have no idea what happened but when he got out of the car to do therapy there was a big old limp.    We walked slowly and massaged and got him through his visit, brought him home and I am icing and massaging and he's on house (ar)rest until Adele comes on Tuesday.   My Mom commented that we seem to be pretty hard on legs right now at this house.   Kinda looks like she is right.


Since Sterling is on house (ar)rest and Epic felt he'd been left out of all the fun of the weekend (except for the "fun" of grooming - haha) we spent a lovely Sunday evening out on the front deck letting him play.    Funny thing is that boy can certainly entertain himself if he has to - even though pushing his throw toys at you is preferred.

He made us laugh (a great end to a stressful week) by spontaneously playing int he sprinkler (I've not had a dog that would do that) and I didn't get video of the really funny one he did but HERE is 25 seconds of a few of his other "drive bys".   Hope they give you a smile to start your week!



How is Paqui doing?

It must be hard for you when one of your dogs is in pain. I hope he can be helped. I love those big Bernese dogs I saw them in Switzerland. Sterling looked great pulling the cart and Epic had me giggling with his antics. Hope there is less stress next week.
Far Side(non-registered)
Having older dogs is stressful, the littlest thing can turn bad. I hope you get the answers you need to make decisions which are so darn hard.
You have such a pretty view from your place!!! If I had a view like that I would just sit on the porch all day and get nothing done. Epic sure can jump!
I sure enjoyed the dogs and carts, My neighbor has a Berner...I need to encourage her to get out her cart...maybe when it cools off:)
And smile I did! I love Epic, I love his joy! Our Lewis reminds me of him in some ways, certainly in the way he can entertain himself for hours with his ball. We never know which ball is in play, however. We can throw one for him and he totally ignores it, then brings the "Correct" one for us to toss. If we don't notice, he just plays with it by himself.

We had a german shepherd that used to LOVE sprinklers and hoses. She'd bite the water stream all the way down to its source then hold her mouth over it as water poured out of her mouth. They're all crazy don't you think.

Thanks for sharing the carting pictures also. Sterling leaned into the traces beautifully, like he'd been doing it all his life.

I agree totally.....a tired poodle is a good poodle!
Loved the Poodle as plowhorse, but the action shots are incredible.
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