Keep safe!

Keep safe!
You are responsible for your own safety and that of your dog. The walks listed in this blog are not detailed guides. Plan your route! Click the landrover image for safety advice from Bowland Pennine MRT.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

11 weeks after TTA surgery - The Big Bed

Tomorrow marks 11 weeks since the dog had his cruciate operation. Looking back on my posts it's amazing how much he has come on, particularly in the past 3 weeks or so. 

The weekend saw a few trips out, along the banks of the Ribble and Docks and also what was probably our longest walk to date, a couple of miles around Mere Sands Wood. 

Trips to our local park on the flexi-lead have been good. He has started to look more cheerful being back on his old patch without such tight control and we've had a few short periods of jogging. It does feel a bit like teaching him to run after all this time but I'm happy with a slow and relatively cautious approach. In a few weeks time he might be ready to be let off lead if there are no boisterous dogs around. 

This morning saw another milestone.  As he is getting better we have become a bit more relaxed about him roaming round the house. He hasnt had free access to stairs but this morning we forgot to shut the kitchen door whilst getting ready for work. When we went in to our bedroom guess what we found!

How he managed to jump on the bed I don't know but it appears no harm was done. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Very Dog Friendly Holiday in North Yorkshire

When our dog was booked in for cruciate surgery a secondary casualty was our planned holiday in Cornwall in early June. We decided that even if recovery was going well, the six hour plus trip in the car wasn't a good idea for him and that as most of the places we like to visit involve a reasonable amount of walking we'd see how recovery was going and, all being well, book somewhere closer to home. So it was then that we took our first (and it certainly won't be the last) trip to North Yorkshire. 

It was a relatively quiet trip of course, ideal for an older or recovering dog! Here's a list of things we did which I can recommend for dog friendliness!

1. Ladycross Plantation Caravan Park and Lodges

A wonderful site on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors a few miles from Whitby. We stayed in one of the lodges, which were stunning. The site has a strict dogs on leads policy, not least to safeguard their free range chickens, but is very welcoming and a woodland footpath of a mile or so skirts the edge of the site. A great location for a holiday base. 

2. Fish and Chips and a stroll round Whitby

There were plenty of dogs in tow around Whitby. We weren't blessed with great weather but still enjoyed a few visits and sitting on the harbourside watching the world go by. Plenty of dog friendly pubs and cafes although we stuck with fish and chips - four times in the week. Trenchers were our favourite. Hadleys were good but a bit more greasy - good location for a walk up to the Abbey though. The famous Magpie was a bit of a disappointment given the hype. 

3. Robin Hoods Bay

The steep hill is worth it. At the bottom you'll find the village and best of all a dog friendly beach. Sadly the beach was off limits to our recovering dog (he was just too excited) but the hill was perfect for some strength training!

4. Staithes

A beautiful place. Less of a hike than Robin Hoods Bay. Although the tide was in when we visited there was still a small dog friendly beach to be found. A place I want to return to one day!

5. Falling Foss Waterfall and Tea Garden

A magical place. Heavenly walks in the woods and a great tea garden in a great setting. I'd say this is a must for anyone with a dog!

6. The Postgate Inn Egton Bridge

Fabulous pub. Dogs welcome in the bar. Booking advised. Amazing food!

Friday, June 24, 2016

10 weeks after TTA surgery

10 weeks after TTA surgery and all appears to be going well. After last weeks holiday it's been back to a quieter week but we have been to the park a couple of times, on the lead of course, and today walked round Mere Sands Wood. Today is probably the longest walk we have done to date, about 2 miles, although all very flat. 

We've incorporated a few short hills in to walks this week, although there aren't many steep hills on our doorstep. Jogging 20 yards or so has been largely unsuccessful as the dog can't be bothered to run unless there's something worth running for. When I try to encourage him with a stick for example he just gets too excited and jumps, which isn't what I want. I'll have to try a new tactic this weekend!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

9 weeks after TTA surgery

What a difference a week makes! We had a few days away in North Yorkshire this week. Not too far from home so we decided the trip in the car would be fine for the dog and it would be good to get a bit of exercise. 

Each morning we did a mile or so through the woods and he was quite happy wandering around Whitby. Whilst we didn't do the Abbey Steps we did park up at the top to take a look. 

Most challenging was the walk down to Robin Hoods Bay and back. If you've not done it, it's a very very steep hill. We also wandered down to the beach at Staithes. Again, a bit of a hill but he managed both fine, we just took it slow and steady. 

Still no off lead outside the house/garden, but that will come. Next week I might introduce some gentle trotting. 

Whilst his walking is great he isn't that comfortable coming down stairs/steps. If they are steep we just avoid them. Whilst standing he bears weight on his bad leg, but still has a preference for the other. 

I'll do a post about our Yorkshire holiday in a few days. It's a very dog friendly place!

Friday, June 10, 2016

8 weeks after TTA surgery

Another milestone! We have reached 8 weeks post op by which point the bone should have healed. 

The simple instructions from our surgeon to just add 5 minutes on to our walks each week seem to have worked well. He walks very well with no limp. Yesterday we had a trip to Cuerden Valley Park and enjoyed a wander through tall grass and more uneven footpaths. No problems at all. For the past week or so he has had supervised access to stairs and has no problem getting up or down. He's a little slow, but then he his 10, and being slow means he has to bear weight on his leg. He has also been off lead a bit in the garden, but only after other exercise, so the risk of some explosive outburst is reduced.

When standing he still generally has more weight on his good leg, but much of the time he stands more normally, and is happy to cock his leg from time when we are out, with all his weight on the bad leg. 

Our surgeons instructions took us up to 8 weeks so now it's a case of being sensible. We will have plenty of on lead walks, with more hills and steps, really just continuing to build up the duration. We'll also introduce some intermittent walking and jogging. I read some seemingly good advice along the lines of master the walk, then master a quick walk,then master a trot, then master a run - only moving to the next when the dog really has each nailed perfectly.  

It seems a long time ago now that we were trying to cope with the return of a poorly dog from surgery, and particularly the sleepless nights. Our downstairs setup with the pen and mats have meant we had no incidents of slipping on the floor or jumping on the sofa whilst our back was turned. Getting your house ready for the return of a dog from surgery is probably the best advice I'd give for anyone who is taking their dog for an op. 

Fingers crossed it will all be progressively better now 👍

Friday, June 03, 2016

7 weeks after TTA surgery

Another happy uneventful week. Walks went up to 30 minutes three times a day today. Although we are walking on the flat at whatever pace he wants to take, he looks like he could walk for much longer with ease. Standing though he still doesn't generally put all his weight on his leg and it doesn't seem to have changed much in the last week or so. 

In the last few days he has had a little more freedom in the house. We have taken up some of the mats in his pen so he can enjoy some coolness from the floor tiles. When supervised he has had a pad around our kitchen/sitting area but certainly not a free reign, given he'd be jumping on the sofa in a flash. 

After his walk he can now have some supervised off lead time. We'll kick that off with the flexi-lead tomorrow!

So, after 7 weeks he now walks for an hour and a half each day. I'd say that's a good outcome given a 5 minute walk was a painful struggle a couple of months ago. I'm certainly not regretting our decision to opt for TTA surgery and I don't think the dog is either!  Let's just hope the other cruciate ligaments hold out!