Lenten Challenge, Day 21, with Dog Update. The “What Have You Gotten Me Into,” Edition

So last night was physical therapy for the dog. They had him checked out by another vet, who made some basic recommendations about exercises I could help him do at home, and then we introduced him, briefly, to the underwater treadmill. It was really all fun and games until we hit the underwater treadmill— lots of dog people cooing about what a great dog he is and giving him attention and treats. It was great, because Monday night, when he just wanted to lay on his back in the yard and have his belly rubbed, I decided to teach him “roll over,” which came in handy Tuesday when the physical therapist couldn’t get at his right side, because he was laying on it. He totally responded to the “roll over” command, which let us wrap up the exam.

But then she had me lead him into the glass box of the underwater treadmill. He was not sold on getting up there, and even less so when she had me get out and she got in wearing hip waders. It’s empty, when you get in, you close the doors, and it fills from the bottom up, so we heard it for a long time before we saw it. And then it covered his feet. He tried to move to higher ground, but the vet had a harness with a handle on his back, so he was pretty limited. And once it was filled to shoulder-height, she started the underwater treadmill, to get him used to it. I was right there, talking to him and petting his head to keep him calm, but he just kept looking at me like “what have you gotten me into?!”

He did great for his first time. He’s smart, so he totally figured out that the sides and front of the treadmill don’t move, but he was game for walking on it, the longer she worked with him.

I bought a package of visits and stopped on the way home for dinner. He’s usually good in the car for a bit, so I headed for a restaurant, but got distracted by a natural pet food store. When I came out after dinner (about 45 minutes absence, total), he had emptied one of my library books on CD from its case and chewed on the case. I was furious, but on closer inspection, it doesn’t look like he damaged the actual book, just the case. I’ll figure out for sure later today and throw myself on the mercy of the librarian. Keep a good thought for me!

He has been so docile, since he started having problems, that I’ve been lulled into a false sense of security. He’s systematically destroying a throw rug in my living room, and now this. I would be outraged, except that I’m so relieved to see him be a puppy again.

She gave me exercises to do 3 times a day, to improve his range of motion in his “wrists,” where it’s severely limited, and so far, so good, there. He let me do them last night and this morning. I don’t expect that he’ll continue to let me, without incentives. The p.t. vet also told me she thinks I’m seriously overestimating the cost of the surgery to repair his angular limb deformity, like by 100 percent. Which would be awesome, because I talked to a pet insurer, and they would class this as a “preexisting condition” and refuse to cover it. Half the estimated surgery cost is more in line with what I was thinking back when I thought the surgery news was good news. I’m afraid to let myself relax into that idea, though, because it’s safer for me to adjust my spending to save more now than it would be for me to feel like I had more room in my budget, and end up with a higher estimate, even if it was lower than the total I’ve been working from. I’m also not counting the cost of the pt and supplements he’s on, so… not going to treat us like we’re out of the woods just yet.

In terms of cleaning, I did a couple of loads of laundry, and assembled a cart that I’ll use for canning. I transferred my canning stuff from the broken down, cheap cart it was on. I also spent about 20 minutes rearranging things in the pantry that had gotten out of control (plastic bags, things that had fallen off the shelves.) The pantry is an area that needs quite a lot more attention, but I think this was a good first step. I probably spent about 90 minutes on applied cleaning.

Tonight shouldn’t be a black hole, the way that Wednesdays often are for me— my class is half as long, so we might actually get home at a decent hour, which would be nice. Sweeping and at least spot mopping the floor would really help.

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