Monday, July 22, 2013

Saving Your Dog

So, the boy is home from camp.  Every single thing we wanted from this, every lesson, every experience?


And our fears?


So he had an amazing time--made friends, had fun, sat under the stars with other musicians and jammed in the night, had philosophical discussions, built rockets, dissected sheep brains, went hiking, performed skits and improv, and had an all-around amazing time.

Sadly, he's too old to go back next year as a camper--instead, he'll be a "Counselor-in-Training." Worried that will put something of a barrier between him and the friends he's made this year.
Hoping not.

He had the fancy Canon camera for the whole week and took NO pictures.  He managed to take three before getting in the car.  Goodness.

Since coming back, he's slept reasonable hours AND passed up hours of PS3 time in favor of practicing new songs for next year.  I am LIKING that!


I want to talk about something super-serious today.  Something that most of us have witnessed with a smile and a cry of amazement.

Something that can kill your dog.

I'm talking about jumping/twisting/flipping/frisbee-catching/treat leaping.

Dogs aren't cats.  Though no one ever tells us this, fact is, they're not built to leap into the air and twist about, catching things.  Long and low breeds are especially prone to spinal injuries from leaping and twisting, but it can happen to ANY breed.

It happened to Spartacus here just the other day:


Spartacus is the sweetie-pie of an old high school friend of mine.  A smart, lovely, funny woman with a heart that heals bigger with each break.  Her sweet Spartacus broke his back last week while leaping for a cookie.  He was paralyzed from the hips down, and lost all bladder and bowel control. Despite surgery, his hurts could not be healed.  Spartacus is coming home today for one last night with his adoring family, and will then be euthanized.  My friend's heart is broken.

While not uncommon, this sort of injury is not often spoken of.  This wasn't a matter of extreme athleticism gone awry, but rather of a dog leaping/twisting in the air to grab a cookie and his spine fracturing.  It could have been any dog.

It could be yours.

So, please--I know it's fun to watch your dog fly sideways through the air, twisting to grab that frisbee or Beggin' Strip, but your dog's risk of debilitating injury increases dramatically with such actions.  If it inspires your pup to leap and twist, it could damage his spine.  

Take a lesson from Spartacus.  Let my friend's tragedy mean something.  Protect your beloved dogs from hurt by not encouraging leaping/twisting.

Thank you.


Time to call the doctor for our boy, and then get myself back in bed.  My old L3, L4, L5, S1 injury is flaring up something awful, and I fear I'm headed for a spate of "barely able to walk."  Hoping to be able to make it into (and back out of) the dentist's office on Thursday.  

That's all.

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