More Progress

>> Monday, March 14, 2011

Today is a gorgeous day. It has been disgusting and cloudy for a week, and I am loving this sunshine.

Yesterday, I took Walter to the local state park rec area and we walked the mile loop and went along the beach. There is still a lot of snow, especially along the water, and I was sinking to my knees in some places! Walter did fantastically, even though he got quite tired by the end. Of course people stopped us like they always do, to ask if Walter is hurt. One guy fell in love with him, and some lady was totally rude and said, "Now that's an old puppy. I bet he's at least ten to twelve years old." It was more in the way she said it that bothered me, especially considering she was not even very close to us. She may have said this because of the way he walks. He was at the end of a steady mile with one bad leg, and he has a delicate sense of balance. If she only knew the progress he has made.

This afternoon I decided to walk the girls, which is never an easy feat. Reagan is generally terrible on a leash unless she is wearing a prong collar. A lot of people think that's a cruel method of walking, but it has been the only thing to work for Reagan. Alan and I also did some testing on ourselves with it before we used it on the dogs to get an idea of what it feels like at different strengths.

I was ready to go, leashes in hand, and Reagan began jumping up and down, barked right in my face, and even nipped my hand because she was so excited to play. Quincy is a little easier to get the leash on. I left Walter in the kennel assuming he was too tired to go for a walk, not wanting to bother his joints and wanting to give him some recovery from our walk yesterday. Well, I'm out of the driveway and on my way with Quincy and Reagan, when Walter started barking. I kept walking and he started to bark again, so I went back and got him too.

Amazingly, this expedition was not a disaster, and I walked Walter farther than he has ever gone on our standard route. He was very tired at the end and had to take a lot of breaks once we reached the fields leading to our backyard, but the fact that he had enough energy and strength to go two days in a row is huge progress! I think I am going to start taking him on shorter walks to build up his strength, and see if he can get to going one mile without struggling at the end. Either way, I'm thrilled that he was able to do SO well today.

After our walk, Quincy and Reagan got some time in with the Chuck-It, the greatest invention for high energy dog owners. With the Chuck-It, we can throw the ball farther than with just the arm, and the rubber balls that are made by the same company are lighter and fly better. They also bounce when they hit the ground, so if the dogs don't see the ball right away, it bounces back up. Quincy is so fast that she beats Reagan every time, but Reagan always runs back and forth. Because Quincy is so fast, we have to either trick Quincy or give Reagan her own retrieving time.

The pack is now sound asleep, all basking in the sunshine of the living room, happy and content.



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