Mo Bloggin'

A little o' this, a little o' that

He swims!

So I took Cutter for his first spa treatment a couple of weekends ago and have to say I’m hooked!    So much so that we went again this weekend, and are scheduled for another visit in two weeks.

You’ve never seen a cuter sight than my “Butterball” suited up in his life vest and floating in the water like some sort of aquatic dirigible (he’s not quite sure what to do), looking at me like this is just another thing to do, or as if we do it every day. 

A little back story: Cutter will be 11 years old in June, and doing pretty well considering the fact that he’s been an epileptic for six years now.  The past two years have been especially tough, as the seizures have progressed to multiples (called clusters) and he’s had to go to ER for several days a half dozen times now (cha-ching!).

While he remains radioactively cute, there’s no question that the heavy duty anti-seizure drugs he’s on (again, cha-ching) have taken their toll, as has Father Time, and Cutter is sedated and lethargic much of the time.  I take him for walks (well, more acurately, strolls–he’s s-l-o-w) and he drags his feet to such a degree that I’m concerned he’ll rub his skin raw on his toes.  People have suggested booties for him, but with his lack of coordination (he stumbles very easily) I’m afraid they’d cause problems for him. 

What to do?  Due to age and inactivity, he’s losing muscle mass and strength, and it’s hard for him to get up some days.  And his stamina is just not there–a walk around the block is all he can handle, and he fades fast.  Plus there’s the aforementioned toe dragging (his nails are worn down abnormally) and risk of scraping his skin raw. 

Then I thought of swimming as a way to build muscle tone, and remembered that  a world class doggie spa is just down the street from me.  I made the appointment and brought him in, nervous at how he’d react.  He’s not overly fond of water when we go to the river, and may step in a few inches or so, but that’s about it.  The great canine therapist  who worked with Cutter, Carol, put on his life jacket (talk about CUTEr!) and lifted him into the water with her.  He looked at me with wide eyes for a minute but didn’t struggle in her arms as she sat with him and let his feet touch the bottom.  She began to work his back with deep massage, noting how tight his muscles were over his hips.  He visibly relaxed and she moved him to deeper water, so he was floating, suspended by his life jacket and supported in her arms–a big Rottweiler bobber.  He was obviously loving it, and I could tell he was comfortable enough to fall asleep. 

She moved him out to the deep water–where she could stand and he was at cutter-swims-0051her chest level.  He let himself be moved around without any fear, and just hung in the water, legs limp with relaxation, and didn’t do anything when she let him go and encouraged him to swim.  Nothing happened until I opened the bag of cookies I brought with me, sitting by the poolside.  He was uncoordinated and clumsy in the water too, but made his way to the pool edge for his reward and ridiculous amounts of praise from me.  We did that another four times and he got better each time, and seemed to be getting the hang of it. 

The indoor pool room is tropical in its delicious moist heat, and the pool is jacuzzi warm, and I was a little concerned it would be too warm for Cutter–but I think he enjoyed it as much as I did and only began panting a bit on the last swim-for-cookie.

Advertisements

Single Post Navigation

3 thoughts on “He swims!

  1. Kare Hertz on said:

    Sweeeeetest story, Maureen. Thank you for sharing this with us. You’re a fantastic writer, Gal. 🙂

  2. Melodie Mason on said:

    Loved it!!!! And loved seeing Cutter taking to the water. What a great idea. I hope as you both enjoy these outings he will regain some muscle mass and you’ll see lots of improvements.

  3. Pingback: Swim update « Mo Bloggin’

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

valbjerke's Blog

Real Life Random Ramblings

psychologistmimi

Food, Road Trips & Notes from the Non-Profit Underground

Citizens for Duvall

A grass roots group that gives a voice to its citizens outside of city council meetings.

Pet Zoo Kibbutz Shiller

Adventures of a pet zoo keeper

camino times two

walking together from Le Puy to Finesterre

Trish the Dish

Keeping Our Family's Bellies FULL... One Dish at a Time

KURT★BRINDLEY

WRITER★EDITER★PRODUCER★CONSULTANT

Hen Corner

A little bit of country life in West London...

morrisbrookfarm

Going back...a return to rural life

Relaena's Travels

Eternal Journeys of a Curious Mind

The Global Warmers

8 dogs, 2 elderly adults and an aging RV

Fiber Trek ™

A TV show Connecting Community, Craft, Fiber and Farms

Brookfield Farm Bees & Honey Blog

musings on bees, life, & nature near Mt. Baker Washington

An American Editor

Commentary on Books, eBooks, and Editorial Matters

The Task at Hand

A Writer's On-Going Search for Just the Right Words

ella gordon

textile maker

Jenny Bruso

An Unlikely Hiker Blog

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

Squash Practice

A Growing Concern

Food, Farming and Faith in Snohomish County

Icelandic Fiber Farming in Cascadia

Carol Lea Benjamin on Dogs

Understanding dogs and the many roles they play in our lives

Mo Bloggin'

A little o' this, a little o' that

Living Your Sacred Livelihood

Weaving the Wisdom in Nature with Possibility Practices

Chris Morgan's Wildnotes

A BLOG of pictures and thoughts from the field

Denise Fenzi

a professional dog trainer specializing in relationship-building in competitive dog sport teams

thekitchensgarden

farming, gardens, cows, goats, chickens, food, organic, sustainable, photography,

Black Sheep Creamery

Artisan Sheep Cheese, Wool and Lambs

Woolyadventures's Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

flippity felts

Needle felt designs and tutorials by Gabby Dexter

Single Life, With Puppy

Suddenly single at 55; what to do but get a puppy?

Eat, Play, Love

making memories through food, wine and travel

Pam Grout

#1 New York Times best-selling author

Karen Maezen Miller's Cheerio Road

paradise in plain sight

CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD

She turns coffee into books so she can afford to buy more coffee. And more books.

Lorelle on WordPress

Helping you learn more and do more with WordPress

Adventures in Natural Beekeeping

Bees, Hives, Swarms, and Everything under the Sun

CARROT QUINN

dispatches from the wild

The KiltLander's Blog

JP's Outlander Recaps and other perspectives from the Dirk Side

Great Scot!

Cultural Musings of An Outlandish Nature

Fringe Association

Knitting ideas, inspiration and free patterns, plus crochet, weaving, and more

The Outlander Podcast™

Chatting about All Things Outlander

The Year of Living Englishly

Coming Home to Cows, Cryptic Crosswords, and a Cambridge Don . . . and back in Boston

%d bloggers like this: