I first wrote about Sheba and our fitness program for her back in June. We had started running together and she loved it. Then last week I wrote about our frustrations with keeping up that routine. A couple weeks ago Sheba started limping and we didn’t know why. In the past, she has hurt herself jumping for the ball or Frisbee so it may have been that again. She usually recovers in a couple of days. The limp was hard to pinpoint, but seemed to be coming from her left front leg and would seem worse after lying down for a while. We were keeping her as quiet as we could, but she wasn’t recovering like she usually does. Then on Friday she was far worse when we got home from work. That was after keeping her quiet all day Thursday as well. Now her back left leg seemed to be bothering her. We decided to give it the weekend and see how she did. She could still get around fine, other than being slow on the stairs, and at no point was she ever holding a paw in the air or not using one at all. She didn’t seem to be in a lot of pain or we certainly would have gotten her to the vet immediately.
She didn’t seem any better on Saturday or Sunday morning. Then my hubby remembered that we used to give her some baby aspirin on our vet’s advice for the occasional limp she might have after playing ball. So we gave her the usual dose, with the plan that we would be calling the vet first thing Monday morning.
Towards the end of the day Cricket wanted to play ball so we started throwing it for her. Sheba was outside but we didn’t expect her to show any interest. Next thing we know, there is Sheba, running across the yard after the ball! Then prancing back across with the ball in her mouth, with no limp to be seen! She also ran up and down the stairs a couple of times. She was out there “playing the field” like she always does, and looking so happy. Now I never thought of aspirin being a miracle drug, but it seemed to have done the trick with her! We didn’t let her play very much, but she seemed fine the rest of the evening. Monday morning there was only a slight sign of a limp!
Hubby is back to running again, and he went out after work on Monday. We had decided to put off calling the vet just yet. He took Sheba for a walk for his cool down and she did fine. So far, we’ve only seen a sign of a slight limp this week, and she’s been going up and down the stairs normally. We are still not letting her overdo it, we don’t let her jump for the ball, and we are still only walking her and taking her for swims. We are keeping a close eye on her, but right now we are hoping we won’t have to take her to the vet after all. If she seems to continue to do well, perhaps I can try taking her for some short runs again.
For now we are enjoying our visits to a small pond just down the road from us, less than a ten minute drive. Tewksbury Pond is in the next town over, it’s a quiet 47 acre pond known for its Coldwater fishing. There are no gasoline powered motors allowed on it, so it is very clean. The rail trail that runs by our house also runs by the pond. Sheba and I have been going for a short walk down the trail then we found a great location to get down by the water where she can swim out for her ball. There was one fishing boat there the first time we went, and yesterday we saw two bicyclists on the trail, and two loons in the water; other than that we’ve had the place to ourselves.
Sheba is a very strong swimmer and she loves it. She doesn’t always pay attention when I’m throwing the ball, but she’ll hear the splash and know where to swim to. She will chase that ball for as long as I’m willing to throw it.
I hadn’t taken Sheba swimming since last Summer so the first time out had forgotten how wet I was going to get! I foolishly wore sneakers. Sheba doesn’t always feel the need to bring the ball right to me…she likes to drop it in the water just out of my reach. I got my sneakers and socks soaking wet, and almost fell in completely! Since then I’ve been smart enough to wear my water shoes which I have for kayaking, and I remember I will be getting wet, since she also likes to stand right next to me and shake off. I know our time is limited for this swimming, it’s already been feeling like Fall here in NH. I hope we have a little more Summer weather left to come, and afternoons can be warm even well into Autumn.
Last Friday I was so frustrated with everything, but things are really looking up now! As I said, Hubby is back to running, so for his cool downs he is taking either Kobi or Sheba for a walk. I have been running with Cricket. Even on the days we run, Cricket still wants to play ball later, and Sheba will join in a little bit. We are still being careful she doesn’t overdo it. I also got Hubby to go for a walk with Cricket and I last Sunday. It seems we are finally getting back into some routines, and it feels good! Best of all, we are back to having fun!