Mr. Wild Dingo is due home tomorrow. Hopefully he'll either note that Juno and Loki have lost a little weight and he won't be tempted to give them too many treats or he'll note that Juno and Loki have not lost a little weight and he won't be tempted to give them too many treats. I'm so blaming their weight gain on him. He's not here to defend himself, so it's only fair.
Over the ten days he's been gone I got started on Juno's PT even though it doesn't start until next Thursday. I bike-jogged both dogs five times--separately. While I'm waiting for the Walky Dog to arrive, I take each dog separately, holding his/her leash gingerly while I ride, ready to let go if either dog gets a bad idea. Two fingers on the brake, and two fingers holding the leash and handle bar, ready to abandon dog. Juno took to it perfectly. One word and she knows to either slow down or speed up. After one word, she's learned not to cross my front wheel. With Loki our starts go a little like this:
Loki crosses the front wheel.
He heels for 5 seconds then pulls.
He responds, "Arrgghh, Arrgghh," while he jumps up on my left side then crosses my front wheel. I stop.
He gets into the heel position, I start again.
Same sequence repeats 2 more times. Then he falls into a perfect run next to my bike.
Once he gets going he's pretty fun to bike with. He actually gives me a work out. I have to pedal to keep up with him. With Juno I go fairly slow so she's not over-doing it and she's trotting not running.
It's actually beautiful watching Juno. She's tempted to run but trotting is what's required for her to use the forward and back motion of her legs and tummy muscles. She'll start off slowly but at the end she gets into a zone, with her nose forward, eyes squinting and she's working like a sled dog. It's stunning to watch, even at a trot. We started at 10 minutes with some breaks and she's up to 15 minutes already with one or two breaks.
It's only been a little over a week and already it's helping her with pain. She's so full of herself that the other night she bitey-faced Loki until he couldn't take it anymore and ran away. Then she chased him across the room, mounted him from the back and bit into his back, much to his surprise. He stumbled over to me, in shock and picked up a toy to console himself. She promptly marched over and literally punched it out of his mouth. If my mouth wasn't open from shock, I would have cried from pride. Pay-back's bitch.
I'm thrilled that she is "too good" (surgeon's words) for surgery and really happy to see exercise is the answer. The gold beads helped a lot in acute pain, but did nothing to help her move properly and build muscle strength. I've heard a thousand times that walking is the best form of exercise, and in Juno's case, that is just not so. In fact, that type of movement makes her more stiff. I realize now that she'll need specific exercises on a regular basis for life. Cycling with her is a lot of fun. Over the next few months I'm hoping to work her up to an hour of cycling a few times per week with rest days for long walks. I'm on a mission to get her fit!
Before we left California to move here, I told Mr. Wild Dingo to be sure to pack my VooDoo cyclocross bike because I wanted to put flat pedals on it and use it as a "cruiser" bike. All of our bikes are custom in one way or another: either the frame, the paint or the components. We have a lot of bikes. He has five bikes here alone, and I have three, and we still have more in California. We use them. The VoodDoo is not a particularly nice bike, it's old and heavy, so it would have been perfect to convert to a "cruiser."
Sigh. Nothing says "I told you so" like flat pedals on my custom-designed mountain bike.
"Hey Princess, did you see that bicycle that just went by? Maybe he'll let us run with him."
"Big Boy, the bikers are mine. Back off, or I'll give you more of what I dished out last night!"
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