September 29, 2008

My personal best today!

by winecountrydog

I had my PERSONAL BEST DAY today since major life-saving spinal surgery!

A lot of humans had a personal worst day, sorry to hear. That was 'cuz of the record single-day drop of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Today I did two things dog-ma and I thought we'd never see me do again in my doglife:
• Stand up on my hind legs and do my wave dance with my front paws.
• On my own, carefully jump out of the backseat of dog-ma's car.

Dog-ma and Tilin Corgi at Bodega BayDog-ma was in awe and got a wee teary. She started to tell me not to stand on my hind legs, then thought better of it. After all, doing the wave has been impawtant to me since puppyhood. Humans love to watch and wave back.

I'm almost eleven years old, and the wave is still truly one of doglife's great pleasures. But dog-ma won't be allowing me to do it much, I can tell you that.

I tend not to paw-write about landmarks in my recovery. Dog-ma and I have been trying to get our minds off pawsonal trauma and drama. I mean, we're exhausted from worrying about me. Every time I have a setback in controlling my muscles, or have a day where I'm doggone tired or off my food, dog-ma gets that "911 look" in her eyes. Then I think, "Uh oh, I'd better get better before dog-ma goes over the worryin' edge again."

Dog-ma has dutifully protected me throughout my journey to mobility. She has lifted me at least 500 times. I don't jump up into a car or bed; I get lifted. Dog-ma sez that her biceps are the only things better off than before.

Except fur my rear leg muscles: They're better, just as my vet surgeon (Russ Gurevitch DVM) predicted they would be. My hindquarter muscles are really rebuilding. At the same time, the rest of me has gotten skinny. All my nourishment is going into helping atrophied muscles and nerves. Dog-ma sez I look like Popeye in the behind region.

While I'm on the subject of muscles and personal best, I have to say that dogs show great muscle strength in the sport of weight pulling. We corgis admire them.

The International Weight Pull Association (IWPA) promotes the sport of dog pulling through organized events.
The purpose of IWPA is to promote the working heritage of all dogs. The IWPA also promotes a program to keep your dog in good physical condition with a constructive outlet for canine competition.

Dog Pulling is akin to a tractor pull. Dogs compete to see who can pull the most weight 16 feet. They pull a wheeled cart on an earthen surface, or a sled on snow. The handler has no contact with the dog during the pull, so it is up to the dog's willingness to pull. Safety of the dog is of paramount concern. Since IWPA's organization in 1984, no dogs have been hurt in competition.

Our fellow herders, the Australian Cattle Dogs, are really good pullers. Finn was the first Australian Cattle Dog to attain a Weight Pulling Championship in the history of the UKC.

Finn -- the late, great Australian Cattle Dog champion weight puller
Other canine breeds do great weight pulling, too. Check out pullers like the Mastiffs, including Bullmastiffs, and also Old English Mastiffs at Devine Farm.

And paw-leeze read good articles about this dog sport. I like the article at Pet Tech Transport. I always like the articles and photos at See the article "Australian Cattle Dogs Excel at Weight Pulling" by ACD lover and author Teressa Keenan.

1 comment:

Annabelle said...

Very well done wc dog. Am so pleased to hear of your improvement in the leg muscle department. I am sure your dog-ma is very proud of you indeed but will make sure you take it really slowly.