Sunday, April 3, 2011

Die, evil one! Die! (and a quick update on CL's health)

(if you look closely, you will see a replicate of Pip's cheap date...)

Some folks have asked CL, "Why the tie downs?  Why not let Max roam free?"  Max is allowed at least 3 off leash sessions in the yard, during the day.  In between those moments, he spends time in his crate, tied to the wall, or connected under the apple tree.  He has "issues," most notably a 30 second attention span and the ability to escape and eat ANYTHING (including the power cords on her $18,000 motorized wheelchair...).  When he had first arrived, CL could not take a pee without incessant whining and barking, aka the "Max meltdown."  Prior to our care, Max had no training and he was used to life as a "lap dog," where he was fed from the table and carried everywhere.  (Ah yes, CL has very little patience with people who treat dogs like infants...) When she left the house for 5 hours, he yelped, whined and barked the entire time (according to a very understanding neighbor who has many yapping poodles).  The second time Max was allowed off leash?  It resulted in an amazing escape attempt-- he climbed a 5 foot chain linked fence, using all 4 of his paws.  When CL thwarted the climb*, he tried to sneak under the 1 inch gap, getting trapped in the wires.
So, um,  Because of these challenges, Max' life has become predictable, structured, and rule-driven.   Slowly, as he becomes calmer and gains more focus, he will be given more "free to roam" time.  He has made some amazing improvements-- he's 100% crate trained and house-trained; he no longer fights the tie downs; he has no longer tried to escape during his "free time" (knock wood); and he has stopped chewing the wires on CL's wheelchair. When CL leaves, he spends 5 minutes barking and whining-- then, he calms down.  CL can take a shower, go to the bathroom and get the mail without a "Max meltdown."  Woo hoo! 
With his high energy and incredible smarts, Max will make an amazing dog for the right forever family. 
* Thank dawg CL has started using the bosu ball during daily exercises.  One of her biggest challenges with walking is that she can not tell the position of her feet (she has proprioceptive impairment and no feeling in her feet).  Sometimes, her brain actually believes that her feet have disappeared!  Kaiser designed an in-home physical therapy program that helps her maintain range-of-motion and muscle strength-- but, they insisted that there was nothing that could be done to help her with balance and feet positioning, except to watch herself in a mirror while moving her feet.  The Kaiser rehab doctor even went so far as to tell CL, "I guess Yoga will help you stretch, but there's no evidence it will help you with positioning and balance."  Four months ago, CL expanded her horizons and started working, remotely, with UW-SeattleBoston and the Reeves Foundation.  She learned that Spaulding Rehab had created a successful swim program for quadriplegics (because, yes, Kaiser built a pool for rehab and NEVER FILLED IT WITH WATER-- oh boy, don't get CL started on those frackers...)  Hmmm...where was I?  Um, yeah, Spaulding...they also developed bosu ball exercises for her proprioceptive impairment, and they work! CL will never be able to walk more than 175 feet; but her balance has improved and she can "stand tall" without falling, for up to 5 minutes. (Much better than the 40 seconds of stand-without-falling, before the bosu ball). Yoga, the bosu ball, and CL's innate stubbornness have given her more joie de vivre...and, of course, have enabled her to thwart Max' escape attempts!


Wild Dingo said...

there you go again, as usual, always proving the so called "experts" that they have shit for brains. damn it CL... you just can't let them keep a loud boss broad down can you? ;)

big happy sighs. good for you for taking action. i'm huge believer in that yoga crap. but you knew that. and Juno used to do the boso ball too. i should get anoterh for the two of us. i could use that thing myself. seriously.

and uh, wtf are you doing fostering a little shit like that? he's a doll. but he's out to do some serious naught! i loves him! (so does juno...)

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

What an informative post!

Thanks for sharing the updates on both species!