Post By Lisa Harmon
Being a warm spring day, today was Kenai’s first gardening lesson. Namely, some flowers taste good and leaf piles are gobs of fun to pounce on. The fact that flowerbeds aren’t meant to be walked in hasn’t quite sunk in yet, and seems fated to join the pile of other gradually learned lessons! A lesson for me is that dirt in pulled weeds also taste good to puppies, so they have to go in a container too tall for him to stick his little nose in…
And the first ticks are being found on little beige bottoms, so we’ve added critter checks to the coming inside ritual of wet towel wipe downs, muddy feet cleanings, and briar removals. All part of living in the country. The upside is Kenai already knows what deer look like, the sounds of foxes, and has the space of 3 acres to explore. The downside is having to watch for snakes, coyotes, loose packs of neighbor’s dogs, groundhogs, and bobcats.
And BB also got in on the fun, picking up and carrying off the twigs and small branches as I pruned. The multiple ice storms and tornados made a mess of the trees, sadly enough. But my dogwoods and redbuds made it out in good shape. The peach trees and cherries weren’t so lucky.
Kenai seems to be in quite the growth spurt right now, nibbling his back legs and not wanting to take the stairs to our bedroom. I can tell from carrying him he’s packed on several more pounds since his last weigh in. He and BB both will get their ever treacherous 12 week shots in 4 days, so I will be watching them very, very closely for reactions.
April 14 little BB is going to University of Missouri veterinary clinic to see a specialist about his leg. The exercise everyone thought would help straighten his leg may actually be twisting the tibia farther out of alignment. He is in pain alot, so he gets a little “massage” with a homeopathic pain rub I’ve used in the past, on Taj and Shabah. There is no smell, and no irritation to the skin. A very light touch doesn’t bother him much, and he perks up for a time afterwards. Poor sweet fella.
To make matters worse, both boys have loose stools with bouts of diarrhea and have since we picked them up over 2 weeks ago. The vet gave us pro-pectalin, but it has not been helpful. It seems another puppy from the litter was diagnosed with coccidia infection. It is an intestinal parasite, and so tomorrow involves a trip to the vet for Sulfadimethoxine. Depending on how they respond to treatment, the vaccinations may have to wait.
But poopy troubles haven’t stopped them from having a grand old time in our finally sunny yard. Kenai gallops and leaps like an antelope, his taped ears bobbing up and down like antlers. And BB bunny hops along picking up sticks and helping add to the debris piles his brother makes a mess of. They both are getting lots of puppy lessons just by being puppies and trying new tricks–rosebushes have pickers, Momma don’t like digging AT ALL, running off down the road gets a boy scolded and put in the house… And yes, some flowers taste good!
Puppy class starts in a week and a half, and wouldn’t ya know it lands right in the middle of their stubborn stage! But this too shall pass, and hopefully soon–Kenai has lots of training and tricks to learn in the next two years, as he grows into being a service dog.
It is difficult to resist getting in a rush to train Kenai, which is a flaw of mine. With so much for the both of us to learn, I have that nagging, nasty concern in the back of my head that my energy will run out at the worst possible time. The fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue have a schedule of their own, without concern for the stages of puppy development.
I’ve said it before, but when I do go down in a flare, it’s seriously out of the game, as in game over. CFIDS is so hard to explain to someone else. It is beyond exhaution, like the worst case of mono ever recorded. Even when not in a flare, every activity of every day is analyzed, rearranged or postponed according to the amount of effort it takes. I suppose I worry some that I will fail Kenai in this endeavor. More by far than I worry that he will not have the desire and drive to finish his training.
I look at him gallavanting about, worriless and joyful, and I wish I could join him. Sometimes I think he wishes I would join him. Hopefully soon he will retrieve better, so we can have that fun together. Until then, I walk, and it is getting harder to do. All the same, we can enjoy the less vigorous fun, and just enjoy the sunshine together. That too is a good thing for a dog. Sun and fun, even if the daffodils and leaf piles take a beating!
to a dog, sunshine, tummy rubs, summer fields, and fresh water is all that is needed for contentment…