He looking at the light of his life, in both photos. And no, that’s not me. I’m a close second though. Especially if I have chicken.
…rolling in raccoon shit. You always think that I’ve been rolling in raccoon shit, even when I haven’t been.
Don’t trust me?
Sami and I hadn’t worked with the spider (an apparatus invented by Susan Salo to help the dog build a natural, healthy jump style) nor the ladder grid for months, but he performed beautifully. He loaded his rear, stepped into the optimum take off point, sprang from two rear feet, and arced nicely over the jump.
Recallers games built in all the foundational skills of ‘it’s your choice’, sit, focus forward, release, and drive to something.
The idea of travelling to Haida Gwaii arrived in my head unprovoked. Perhaps I was influenced by marketing that I no longer remember, who can say? It’s not something that has haunted me in the past.
My uncle lived in Charlotte for several decades but I visited him long after he’d sold his marine engine business there and retired to the Gulf Islands.
Nevertheless, the idea took hold. I tried to shake it off several times. Getting there is expensive and time consuming. One might try to convince oneself it would be a scenic voyage along the coast… but on a ferry?
Two days before I was about to leave, my sailing was cancelled. Bad forecast. I was quite disappointed and a tiny bit relieved. I could cancel the trip or consider flying.
I asked a friend. She emailed back one word. “Go”.
For the first couple of days, I kept waiting for something appropriately mysterious and magical to happen. Why had I been ‘called’ to visit Haida Gwaii, anyway?
I walked. I hiked. I drove. I ate. I slept. I explored the magnificent Haida museum in Skidegate. I took pictures.
And nothing, happened.
It was a trip about small things. Little openings of thought. Brief encounters with people. Better sleep each night. Looser walking each day.
Just small things.
I bought this gorgeous Salish Knitters hat at Elizabeth May’s campaign fundraiser last weekend. It’s beautiful, warm, stylish (ok, it fits me a bit better than Ruby) and celebrates the rising Green Wave of hope and action that’s rolling across Canada.
Ruby says “Vote this time with your strong brave heart.”
Not the Hitchcock version, although Kaylah probably experiences it just like Jimmy Stewart does.
Old dogs lose their balance. A lot. Sometimes, it’s the mild wobbliness you might put down to old age. And sometimes, when it comes on quickly, accompanied by a head tilt, and a tendency to turn in circles, it might be vestibular disease.
My Kaylah, 15.5 years, has had a challenging month. I took her to my vet for a blood test and checkup. The blood work came back fine, but showed signs of dehydration, not unusual for old creatures.
I made that classic error of messing around with something that was working fine. I asked him about prescribing pain medications, ‘just in case’ she’s suffering from arthritic pain.
Oops. That was a bit much to expect her body to cope with. So I stopped the meds, and nursed her back (plenty of broth and love) until the vertigo struck.
Head tilt, sudden flops to the side, endless circles. The worst part was watching her unable to get any rest. I remembered I’d read about a special ‘manouevre’ used for humans that get this same problem.
I tried it. At the end of the procedure, she remained in the last position I’d put her in. And slept.
Moves in slow circles,
for long minutes,
in a corner.
I stroke her coarse fur.
Her head lifts
and orients towards me.
she follows my rafts
wherever I go,
Bread crumbs through the forest
Shoving her sharp nose
into every delicacy I offer her,
I’m grateful when she does.
I tell her I love her,
A thousand times
It’s no antidote
nor protection against
the lump of losspain I see in the distance,
hunkered down and waiting.
It will come.
A giant black wave,
That will crash over my head
Crush my chest
and knock me down.
Nothing can stop that.
Not hope, nor prayer
Mantra nor talisman,
Not love, nor the tasty treats I offer her.
I’ll hurt like hell
Until one day,
the Losspain will loosen,
Relax its jaws
And let me slip free.
Free, until the next time.
Ruby is making great progress in her recovery. Within a couple of weeks, her puncture wound had healed and she was putting weight on her injured leg.
Hidden damage is still to be determined. How smoothly have the muscle tissues and tendons healed from whatever bruising and crushing she may have sustained?
Scar tissue can cause problems later on.
Doing mild exercises like this one that I learned from Susan Garrett’s Agility Nation Body Works are great. She loves looking for the treats and stepping over and around the bars helps stimulate her proprioceptive awareness.
Apologies to the amazing Amy Winehouse for adapting her song title…
I love her voice and her music. She was a great loss.