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June 27, 2014: Ryder – A Progress Report

We brought Ryder home from the Far Country Animal Clinic on early Monday this past week, and then began doing post-op care. I presumed that this would be a long, arduous process, requiring considerable time and patience on Pete and my part. I braced myself, but let my maternal instincts kick in. I know from all my TTeam training that healing best occurs in mellow, low stress environments.

We left the clinic with a purple bag containing Greenie Pill Pockets (you insert the pills in the pockets and the dogs eat them – this we decided some time ago is preferable to stuffing them

down a dog’s throat), and Ryder left with six pink stitches on the side of her snout and an Elizabethan collar encircling her ruff. I said to Pete that because she had a Satellite dish on, that Ryder could now more easily tune in to Animal Planet.

Ryder at first had to get used to navigating with the collar on. And the other dogs had to get used to her wearing it. It was also kinda tough, going upstairs groggy—but we of course gave her an assist. Ryder also had to figure out how to drink water and eat. For the meantime, cleaning herself off was out.

I considered her weepy right eye and the redness that accompanied this as a cause for concern. However, Ryder was unfazed by her condition. She rested the first day, and in the evening, she and I went for a collar-free walk. Once back at home, she cleaned herself off. Pete continued to give Ryder her medications, and occasionally cleaned the collar.

It’s now six days since the accident. Ryder is back to behaving in her usual manner – that is, she spends considerable time trotting around the house, looking for something to do. And if there’s nothing to do, she will find something to do, one of her favorite activities being taking her toys from one room to the next. In between, she looks for alternate items to chew, such as books left on windowsills. She has also again taken to sitting on the stairs beside the kitchen window and peering outside at the passing riff raff.

There are other signs indicating that Ryder’s on the road to recovery. Her eye is no longer weepy, and the red on the side is now pink. And she and Jenna have been attempting to rough house in non-cone moments. Ryder has also taken to hanging out with me in the mornings when I write. In fact, right now she’s on our bed, crashed.

My waking thoughts have centered around obsessing about how lucky we are to have Ryder, and how lucky we are that she wasn’t killed or permanently maimed. I’ve also been thinking about her future trail training. We will, when the time comes, chunk things down, and at first have her go out on the trail with Pete and Tinni. We’ll next include Raudi. And later, much later, include Hrimmi who we will pony. This was definitely a hard-earned lesson for us all. As I now know, it’s a wise idea to train trail dogs, otherwise, unforeseen things can happen.