writer, warrior, whack-a-doodle

The Return of Juno's Inner-Cracker

The Return of Juno's Inner-Cracker

March 10, 2011
Posted in: Dogs | Reading Time: 4 minutes

One of the things I love about Loki is his ability to go from zero to completely crackers in 3.5 seconds--for no reason. He'll suddenly bust into circle sprints:  tail and butt tucked under, ears flat back, mouth wide open, eyes dialed wild and paws in full-throttle. Yesterday, Juno busted out the crack-a-tude too-- for no apparent reason:

Oh yeah, her body language meets all the cracker criteria. She ran circles around the yard like she had ants in her jodhpurs.   Juno's inner-cracker is re-emerging. And that's a great sign. 

Juno's Physical Torture Therapy is going great. She's had two water-treadmill sessions and already she's up to 15 minutes on it. On her second visit, her therapist noted that her strides were longer, which is good. Apparently her hamstrings are too tight so after all daily exercises, I stretch them for her. She is also up to 50 minutes of bike-jogging with me. We started bike-jogging 3 weeks ago at 10 minutes. We go up to three times per week. She goes much slower than Loki but each time she gets a little faster.  I let her pace herself and she stops when she needs to.

We finally received the Walky Dog bike leashes, but I found biking one dog at a time is pretty easy to do unleashed so he or she can pace him/herself rather than me pacing and not really knowing when it's time for a rest stop.  Yesterday, while bike-jogging Juno, I saw a horseback rider so I leashed her and rounded the corner. We walked by the rider without one cry or pull of her leash. Other than cats and rodants, I have no fear of her being aggressive to any other type of animal. Still, I'd prefer she'd ignore them so I was very pleased she was able to control herself.

Seperately, Juno and Loki are a piece of cake to handle on or off-leash around temptations. Together, they egg eachother on.  Juno typically will be the first to break obedience and Loki cannot stand to see her break so he breaks in order to herd or correct Juno. He finds out he can't, so he returns to me. So for now, I'll continue to bike-jog them separately off-leash. I also found a name of a trainer who will work the dogs next to horses thanks to my vet and hope I can carve out some time for this.

For those who've asked, that patch of fur she's missing was from her MRI and lumbar tap last month. It's interesting that we've gone through so many diagnostics only to come full circle back to the same conclusion we did last year: she needs lots of various exercises. All the long walking in the world wasn't helping her. Since she's been bike-jogging, she's had so much more mobility, her "sit pretty" is very solid and she's starting to sit more squarely. She's also using her bed at night more often than the floor. When she's in pain she prefers to be stretched out on the floor. Now she'll curl up in her bed. Also curious, she uses her back legs and paws now to scratch her ears like a normal dog. She's never really done that and quite frankly I noticed that after the gold beads and osteopath work. I believe the gold beads and osteopath help tremendously with pain but ultimately muscle build up in her legs is required for her to be stable and keep pain away.

Juno also lost some weight and she needs to lose more. I'm just thrilled she's feeling good enough to get her cracker back on.

Unfortunately Mr. Wild Dingo rarely gets to see this side of her because Juno enjoys playing the sullen, aloof Siberian around him. So for Mr. Wild Dingo's sake, here she is putting the smack down on Big Bad Boy:


"My name is Juno. Hear me ROAR!"


"Cupcake, don't let your mouth start something your head can't stand!"


"Welcome to the University of Siberian Smack-Down!"


"Where I shall school you in taking a beating."


"That's it Daddy-O, grab all the scruff , while you still can."


"Don't sweat it dollface. I have plenty of chompers in this here mouth."

"Stud, if you're big enough, you don't need them ..."

" ... And if you need them, you're not big enough to push me around."

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17 comments on “The Return of Juno's Inner-Cracker”

  1. Love all the photos, glad to see the cracker side of Juno too. 🙂 Been missing your funny composition lately. Thanks for bringing a smile to my face.

    from Sarawak, Malaysia

  2. Yay! We love when the inner-cracker comes out to play (well, except when it's 10pm, and then I'd prefer it stay inside...)! Nice to see Juno going crackers, AND doing the smack-down on Loki (most excellent bitey-face photos!!!). I only have one question: what is this green stuff the dogs are play on? 😉

    -Dr. Liz (the doggies are napping after an early-morning frolic in the snow)

  3. I'm so glad to hear that Juno is feeling better! As much as it must suck to go through all of this, it's really interesting to hear about the therapies that you've tried and what has worked the best. From an outside perspective it's really cool. From an inside perspective, I'm sure that it has been a very difficult road to travel.

    Keep up the great work with both dogs and we're keeping everything crossed that Juno continues to improve!

  4. I'm so glad to read that the various therapies are working for Juno. As Lindsay said, it is really interesting to read about this from the outside. I really appreciate the knowledge you are passing along on your blog.

    I hope that she continues to show improvement!

  5. That first picture! She's pushing-off with her hind legs 🙂 It will be interesting to see if her mastication-related activities decrease as she gets more and more exercise. Watch out Loki! The bitch is back!!

  6. We used to get that occasional cracker dog outburst from Dakota, even in her older years. Just out of the blue crazies. We rarely see that with Phantom and TD is so tired out by the crackerdog Pest anyway. BTW, "your" little girl is still pretty little. She is still the same weight as last fall - about 42 lbs. - and is much smaller overall that the two boys. Even Phantom who only weighs his skinny bone 43 is much "bigger" than she is. Just the angle of the photos that makes her look bigger, and she has also developped a very full coat.

    So good to hear about all the positive changes for Juno.

  7. Juno is on FIRE! That water treadmill sounds like just the ticket. And the stretching after exercise. So important. I bet Loki is pumped to have a wrestling partner.


  8. I just love how Juno puts Loki in his place. Girl power! I'm so glad she's on the mend. Won't be long before she goes back to being a mischief-minded Sibe!


  9. Hey, I might have to check out the walky dog bike thing. I'm tall so my seat is high anyway. I might be able to fit two. I bet when you get both of your dogs going really well with the bike you could probably take them together. I trained them separately to it and then started taking them together. However if Juno is an instigator . . . 😀 You know what's best and safest with your guys.

    Thanks for the info on teaching hold. I hadn't thought about the sit being completely a separate behavior. Sometimes I forget dogs don't generalize well. Too bad because that would make things so much easier for us lol! Jackal already knows give, so for the informal bring the leash I might just have him bring it to me since I only have a month. I've tried to teach hold before and it's always been so difficult for me for some reason. I might work on it separately. 🙂

  10. We're so happy to read Juno's joie de vivre is returning! And that she is once again able to enjoy curling up on her bed, which suggests she is actually getting some real, deep sleep instead of just lightly dozing as the chronic pain allowed. Yahoo, Juno!

    Jed & Abby

  11. Yay! GO Juno!!! Love the action shots!

    And you know I am eternally in awe of you handling the 2 dogs - it's why I would never have 2! 😀 Am too much of a lazy coward and can't be bothered with the extra hassle & work & challenge coz I know how much they can egg each other on!


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