Everything has had to change a bit since Raven came home. Our dogs have always been very much part of the family and our house is their house. They sleep up stairs in our bedroom and come with us to as many places as possible. This is how it has always been. In fact I can’t remember the last time I slept without a dog in the room and on the bed. It is just part of who I am and how we live our lives. Raven can’t go up stairs and we are reluctant to carry her up and down now so we have had to have a rethink. Since Raven came home Paul has been sleeping on the sofa, Raven in the crate and with both boys downstairs too. Lily has been upstairs with me. The idea is that in time we will leave the boys downstairs with Raven so that she isn’t on her own but because I am needy and she has slept with me for nearly six years, Lily is coming to bed with us. It might not seem like a big thing to a lot of people, but its a huge change for us and one I am doing reluctantly. Maybe she will be okay to do stairs one day… or we will buy a bungalow… either way I hope one day things can return to normal.
We have also got to make sure that Raven has her meds three times a day, her physio several times a day as well as several 5 minute walks (these will start increasing next week). Might not seem much but she has 6 maybe 7 (can’t remember right now!) boxes of different tablets, some of them are antibiotics, some are neuro painkillers, some are anti inflammatories. One box she has with dinner only, the others she has either twice a day or three times a day. From tomorrow (19th) she will go down to twice a day for one of them and from Sunday she will have finished the diazapam. She should be off all drugs hopefully by next weekend.
Her physio is going well. She is clearly not in any pain at the moment and is happy out walking. The no jumping is a little more difficult, I mean try training a perfectly healthy puppy to loose lead walk without jumping and then try doing exactly the same where jumping could cause her back to break… Oh and did I mention that since coming out of the vets the world is terryfing and she is barking at everything? Yeah… so put that on top of trying to train a 17 week old puppy to walk nicely on lead, not be scared of the world and not jump up when jumping up is a normal response to being unsure and wanting reassurance. Yeah it’s not going to be easy. Her physio indoors is easy, lots of sits to stands, down to stand, a little weight shifting and massage down her back and back legs. All of which is much simpler then taking her out for walks!
So currently we don’t really want to leave her home alone. We know the others can and do play when we aren’t home and obviously with being stuck in a crate it wouldn’t be great if she got frustrated because the others were playing. We have no way really of keeping them apart as our downstairs is pretty open plan. Thankfully Paul’s work have been amazingly understanding. They have allowed him to set up a crate by a fire exit near the kitchen so she has her own quiet place. I then went and spent over £50 on chews and other things that might keep her occupied and delivered the goodies to them. They did help her relax and she slept the morning away. Paul woke her for her walk at lunch and we are hoping that because his work is in quite a busy area we can use it to build her confidence up again. Hopefully if she continues to behave then we will only be doing this for a month and then we can start leaving her home in the crate. We will see what happens when we catch up with the vet in a month.
In the mean time we have other changes to make. We are going to fence our top garden off, there are steps up to the grass and we keep these blocked off over winter anyway due to the dogs messing up the grass and turning it into a mud fest. However come summer Lily and Mozi love spending time up there sunbathing so we are going to fence it off, put a gate at the top of the stairs and if she still can’t use three steps come summer we will make a ramp for them to go up and down. This stops them jumping up and off the wall as well, just our way of trying to make it as future proof and safe.
There are other things we will need to change – the caravan for one. We also need to teach her to walk up and down a ramp, for the garden, the caravan and the car. She can still come to the events with us, socialise and meet people. In fact it is probably more important now then it ever has been. We also need to work out how we are going to allow her on the sofa because there is no way she won’t jump on the sofa, all of them spend most of their time asleep on the sofa and it would be too much to ask them all to suddenly stay on the floor. We don’t really want to either…
So many things to wait and see, so many unknowns. She has only been back a few days and so far we have got a good start but we will see how things continue. She has had two weeks now stuck not doing anything since all of this started, she is coping amazingly well, better then I would have expected her to. We are also in desperate need of some normality. Lily is supposed to be at an agility show tomorrow but I don’t think I can cope with seeing people quite yet so we will give it a miss. We still have lots to work on anyway and hopefully we will get back to lessons soon, will be easier to if Raven settles well at Paul’s work. We do have three other dogs that need us, need training and it is too easy to get caught up in what Raven needs. Hopefully if the plan works over this next week, Paul can look after Raven and tend to her needs and I can try and get the other three back to some normality and training. The boys have the last BSSF race to work towards as we missed the last one due to Raven going down to Dick Whites.
Fingers crossed this next week goes to plan!