Nov 222009
 

Picture 007_cr_2

My mom has been taking me all over our town of Newton since I got better. I like riding in the car but many times we walk, which I really love.  Right before we reach the center of town, we pass the place where Samuel Francis Smith used to live*, and there is a stone there that marks the spot, something I know a lot about. Who is Samuel Francis Smith? He is the man who wrote the lyrics to the song America, also known as My Country Tis of Thee. And he lived in the home right on the spot where I am sitting!

My mom included the words to this song here:

1. My country,’ tis of thee,
sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;
land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrims’ pride,
from every mountainside let freedom ring!

2. My native country, thee,
land of the noble free, thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
thy woods and templed hills;
my heart with rapture thrills, like that above.

3. Let music swell the breeze,
and ring from all the trees sweet freedom’s song;
let mortal tongues awake;
let all that breathe partake;
let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.

4. Our fathers’ God, to thee,
author of liberty, to thee we sing;
long may our land be bright
with freedom’s holy light;
protect us by thy might, great God, our King.

I like when he writes about the hills, and the rocks, and the breeze, and the trees, though I don’t know what a rill is. But this is an important place in our town!

*****

* 1181 Centre Street, Newton Centre

 Posted by at 2:28 pm
Nov 182009
 

me at Cold Spring Dog Park with Setti Warren, Mayor-elect

I don’t know exactly what a dog park or how they get to be there, but my mom has been taking me to this Cold Spring Dog Park place lately, and I love it. I’m not so sure my mom is happy there, she’s always yelling “Joey, come” or “Joey, sit” or “Joey, stay” but she must be since she keeps going back.

There are some rules at the dog park.

  • One rule at the dog park is that I have to listen to my parents.

  • The next rule at the dog park is that I have to play nicely.

  • The next rule is that when before we arrive at the dog park or before we leave the dog park, I have to be on-lead.

Lots of times when I’m with another dog, my mom says, “Joey, be nice” or “Joey, place nicely.” She breaks that word into pieces – NICE – LEE.  I look at her and leave the dog I was playing with.  I can go back to that dog later.

Sometimes the people don’t obey the rules.  I know what happens to me when I disobey the rules, but I’m not sure what happens to the people when they disobey.

*****

If you have any comments, please add them now!

Nov 092009
 
  • After your dog is injured, when should you expect your dog to start walking? 
  • How far and how fast should he walk? How about swimming and dog hydrotherapy?
  • What’s the best way to get your dog’s muscles back in shape and to get his stamina back? 
  • If your dog is a runner, when and how should you introduce him to running again?

Good communication with your dog’s veterinarian can give you some guidelines. But as always, observe your dog carefully and notice and pay attention to everything, and use that as a guide.

***

Here is my time line for my rehabilitation from my injury.  In general, my parents and my doctors made these decisions, not I.  If my parents took me swimming, I went swimming. If they took me running, we went running. They decided how far, how fast, and how long I was to be out and walking, running, or swimming.  I guess in the end they made the right decisions, because I’m doing really well now. I’m not even limping!


Day 1:
I was hit by the car and brought to the emergency room of the animal medical center.  When I went home six days later, I had a full-splint on my leg.

During this time, I may only go outside to pee and poop and then must go back home. I must walk slowly.

Week 5, Day 3: I have surgery on my broken ankle, though I’m asleep and don’t know what’s going on.   When I go home, I have a half-splint on my leg.

During this time, I may only go outside to pee and poop. I walk slowly.

Week 12, Day 3:
I go back to the animal medical center for a bandage change. It has been 7 weeks since my surgery. Although he was going to only take x-rays at this time, my doctor removes my splint!

Since I’m allowed to go upstairs and downstairs, my parents let me go up and down a lot so that my muscles begin to strengthen.  Of course, since I’m on my lead, I can’t go up and down too much, but I do it as often as they will allow me, and as many times as they will allow me. When I am home alone, my parents keep me in the living room and close the little door gate. They don’t want me jumping up on anything.

Week 13:  Day 3: I go back to the animal medical center for x-rays on my broken ankle. It has been 8 weeks since my surgery. My doctor removes my bandages!

During this time, my leg muscles continue to start working again.I’m still walking with a limp.  When I am outside and I start to hop on three legs, my parents slow me down so that I use all four legs.

My walks start out short. Then they get longer. Then they get longer and longer. Then they get longer and longer and faster and faster.  My mom is walking longer and longer and faster and faster, too. This is good for me.

Week 16: It has been 11 weeks since my surgery. I’m running and playing in the back yard. My parents are throwing the ball and I’m chasing it and bringing it back. However, we don’t play this game for too long.

Week 17: It has been 12 weeks since my surgery. I’m walking well enough and I’m strong enough to take a walk around the block with my sister and littermate, Rosie. I am still walking with a limp.

My parents take me to the lake for the first time!  My mom walks me around the edge of the lake but I do some swimming, too. I go to the lake a few times this week and I am swimming, usually in place, with my mom holding me up by my harness.  My legs are getting stronger and stronger and I’m feeling better and better.

Week 19:  It has been 14 weeks since my surgery. Dad takes me running with him. We run for one block!

Week 20: It has been 15 weeks since my surgery. Dad takes me running with him. We run for five minutes!  Then we walk.  The next day we don’t run and the next day we run again for 5 minutes again.  I’m feeling stronger.  Jane takes me on long walks and she doesn’t’ let me stop and rest until we get to our destination, or until we get home.

Week 22: It has been 17 weeks since my surgery. Dad and I run for ten minutes!  The next day we don’t run and the next day we run again for 10 minutes again.  Then the next day we don’t and the next day we do.  I’m feeling stronger and my parents say that they don’t see me limp when I run. They say “Other than the bald spot on his back, you wouldn’t know he was hit by a car.”

Week 25: It has been 20 weeks (5 months) since my surgery. Dad and I run for twenty minutes!  This is our “short” run.  I’m feeling good.  I’m not limping.  We do this run now a few times a week, one day yes one day no one day yes one day no.  During the afternoons, Jane takes me on long walks and she even tries to run for a block or two with me, but I’m much faster than she is and I’m always ahead of her looking back at her. They still say say “Other than the bald spot on his back, you wouldn’t know he was hit by a car.”

Week 25: It has been 20 weeks (5 months) since my surgery.

My dad says “Twenty minutes may be it for him.”   I’m going to do my best to run longer and longer and further and further.

My doctor says that I’m “a healthy dog”.  I love my doctor!

Week 26: It has been 21 weeks (5 months, 1 week) since my surgery.

I love my life! I go to new places and see new things. I meet new people and new dogs. I make many new friends, both people and dogs.  Everybody is surprised at how well I do.  When I’m off-lead, I obey my mom when she says “come”. At night I don’t limp.

But I do sleep well!


Nov 032009
 

Many cities and towns are creating and maintaining dog parks.  This is an area where dogs can run and play together without a lead or leash.  It’s a wonderful way to give your dog exercise and an opportunity to socialize.  It relieves your dog of the frustration of always being on-lead or in an enclosed area, when your dog’s nature is to run and be free and to socialize with other dogs.  Does your town have a dog park? Different parks have different rules and regulations. Watch your dog run free in a dog park is a wonderful experience.

*****

I love every day – but I love days when I can discover the world and make new friends with dogs I’ve never met. I love days when I can be with my parents. And I love days when I can run and run and run and run and run. Today was such a day. I discovered the world. I made new friends with dogs I’d never met. My parents were there with me. And I ran and ran and ran and ran and ran.

dog reads sign at dog park

This is the first "dog park" I’ve ever been to.  The morning goes like this: At first, I’m on-lead and walking with Dad and Jane in this beautiful wooded area; Dad is holding the lead and of course I’m trying to lead the way and pull him toward where I smell other dogs, and Dad is holding me back from pulling too hard.  I am bursting with excitement.  We walk and walk.  The trail under our feet is soft and flooded with fallen leaves.

Then we turn down a little path and encounter a wide open field.  Dad, Mom and I go toward this field.  I’m going to explode with happiness – but this lead restrains me. We get closer.  We are almost there! But first, Dad stops me in front of this sign.  I don’t really want to stop; I want to continue on and play with the other dogs who are running around the field.  But my Dad is firm and I know he means business.  I obey my Dad.   I obey him because I want him to be happy with me. I want him to be happy with me because I love him.  So it all works out.

It is hard for me to control myself but somehow I manage to. I’ve learned at least a little bit of self-control in my ten years.

Then my parents take off the lead. This is a special moment. wagging my tail; I know this is getting better by the moment.  Then my parents say, "Joey, go!" and take a few steps to the other side of the sign.  I follow them.

On the other side of the sign, I am happy. I am getting happier and happier.  I see many many dogs and break away from my parents, like a rocket launching from its pad, and they don’t say anything or even try to stop me. Now it’s me and the other dogs.  The other dogs want to play with me.  This is great. I want to play with them. This is great.  There are many people hanging around but they are allowing us dogs to just run free. This is great. Being free from the lead is great.

Sometimes I make friends with another dog, and we both like to run and we run very far away, running as far far away as we can, toward the edge of the park where the woods are, and loving our ability to run, and playing. Then – I hear Jane call "Joey, come." I look toward Jane and leave the dog I was playing with and I run quickly toward Jane. She says "Good boy!" when I arrive.

Then I am free again, free to pick any direction, and start running or playing.  I make friends with another dog, and we run and play. This is a nice game! This happens again and again. I find a friend, we play, then we run off, far far away, then I hear the call of my mom and friend, saying "Joey, come." I stop whatever it is I’m doing, and run toward her. She says "Good boy!" and I take  a few breaths, and then go to play again.

To me it’s never time to stop playing.  I can be thirsty and hot and my tongue is hanging out – but no part of me wants to leave my new friends.

At one point, my Dad starts running around the field and, being his running partner, I start running with him. We run and run.  Then he stops and I stop and play with other dogs again. Soon I hear Jane say, "Joey, come" and then she says, "Joey, sit" and I do, and she attaches the lead to my harness, I know the fun is over for now. That’s okay.  I’m happy.  I’ve had a good time. I’ve run a lot and felt as light as a bird.  My parents are saying things like "He looks great when he’s running" and "I don’t see any limp".  And I – I am enjoying my life, playing nicely with the other dogs.

Then it’s back home. Nobody has to say "Joey, drink water" this time.  I know just what to do! I know to drink water!  Nice that my water bowl is filled with that drink of life to celebrate the great afternoon my parents have just given me!

*****

If you’d like to write about dog parks, please add your comment in the “Comment” box below!

*****

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