Anya the Frenchie Takes a Water Walk!

Aaaaaand we are walking! Kinda sorta.  Well, here’s what happened.

They did Anya’s therapy interview, and I said she was dragging her legs around behind her, kind of up on them, kinda not, but I had NO idea they consider this walking for dogs recovering from paralysis!  I thoooouuuuugggghhht that walking would be this precise, move one rear foot forward properly, with the pad side of the foot down, then the other.

But apparently the path back to some version of normal walking is weird and really whacky.

So I sent her down to therapy, they called me down when she was almost done so I could see her on the treadmill. The therapy director said, as soon as I walked in – “Wow, she is doing great, I think I’m much more impressed with what she’s doing than you are.”  Huh?  She’s just dragging her legs around.  Yeah, that’s walking!

I had no idea.  She hops and drags and splays and wobbles, sometimes pads down, sometimes walking on the tops of her feet, and it is gloriously messy.

But she walks great on the treadmill, it’s easier.

She still doesn’t have proprioception (knowing where her feet exactly are) so she won’t always flip them back pad side down if you flip them back, but that comes later and more nerves fire up and reconnect, or she may always be a little drunken in her walking. We don’t know.

So they sent me home with some exercises to help her get more weight aft (is that the right one or is it fore?) because she puts a ton of weight in her front legs since she doesn’t always know what the hell her back ones are up to.  I ordered some cheap yoga mats (she can only borrow one of my expensive Manduka ones temporarily) to lay down in the kitchen so she has good traction to walk on, which helps her feet find their way again, and instead of taking her for a walk in the sling on her hips and holding her trying to make her walk properly, I let her go, just use the sling to keep her upright and not falling over and injuring her back.  It is OMG crazy, and she is so fast!  I will try and get a little video.  She thinks we’ll do four more therapy sessions, and she’ll be good, the rest will just be time and more healing.

So that’s the update on little semi-crippled girl.  I’m super happy, this process has been a crazy learning experience.  But as her movement has increased, she’s getting more pee/poop control. Too much?  Well, I spend a big chunk of my day concerned about it!  I never thought in my life I would ever be kneeling on the bathroom floor, eyeballing a pupper’s backside to see if more poop was on its way before we wrapped things back up.   Well, life doesn’t always turn out quite like you expect, but we have a great sense of humor about it. She turns around and glares at me, and I just laugh at both of us.

If you are celebrating Christmas, are you ready?

  • Musette says:

    as a Dog Mom, I know the joys and weirdness of a recovering dog.  SO glad to know she’s mending!!!

    And LOL!  on Watching the Pooter.  Been there!  xoxoxoA

  • March says:

    Woohoo, Anya!!!!!!

  • HeidiC says:

    Go, Anya, go!

  • Kathleen says:

    Great news Patty!  Kiss your sweet Anya from me, she is amazing!

  • Ann says:

    This is great news, dear Patty! And every day (and after every session) you’ll see more and more improvement. This is such a wonderful Christmas gift, isn’t it? Happy holidays and hugs to you and all the STC gang!

  • Jennifer S says:

    Yay! Sounds like good progress is being made and Anya seems super game about it lol. 

    Christmas sneaks up on me every year. Pretty sure I’ll always not be ready until maybe I retire!

    • Patty says:

      I am never really ready, and I do the most relaxed Christmasses I can think of, only four presents I buy, and that is it. Tree up, a wreath, no elaborate decorations!

  • Dina C. says:

    So glad to hear that Anya’s progress is coming along nicely! 

  • Koyel says:

    Thanks for sharing <3 So happy for you both. 

  • Shiva-woman says:

    I’ve been there in all kinds of ways. Had a dogs, several cats with the chemo and radiation and other issues, the back leg paralysis. Life throws us curves, but I’ve been blessed to have critters throughout my years.  And I totally get watching for the uhhhh… minutiae of daily elimination and eating etc. My kitty family and dog protector are the best. So it’s worth in the end and I’m hopeful that they are somehow reducing my karmic debt. Good luck with your pooch!

    • Patty White says:

      Oh, thanks.  There is something life-giving in helping an animal recover or just to live when there is no reason – except someone to give them a hand – for them to not live.  They always teach us more than do for them.

  • nicevulady says:

    My oldest dog is having back leg issues.  Thanks for the yoga mat tip.  Hope you have a healthly and happy Christmas surrounded by all those you love and who love you.

    • Patty White says:

      Yeah, yoga mats or those traction rugs, anything that will stay in place and give them some traction.  It’s like they revert to puppy muscles, you know, when puppies have a hard time getting all four legs under them and standing, just not enough strength or balance or whatever else they need.  Happy Christmas to you too and all of those in your life 

  • Sarah says:

    Go sweet puppy Go.  

  • taxi says:

    Congratulations to Anya & to you!! Progress!


    • Patty White says:

      Every little bit is!  And it’s more than I was expecting.  But I can’t reallhy say I’m grateful beause I was okay with her being paralyzed, I’d accepted it. It’s a gift, maybe more for her than for me.

  • Tara C says:

    Yay for the good news, go Anya!! 🙂 Dogs are amazing. And you are too.

    • Patty White says:

      Thanks, Tara.  I think this is what anyone would do for a pet or human they loved, but I know that’s not always the case. It just feels weird because I think it’s the bare minimum of decency to do this.  Maybe the world will eventually change to one that is kinder to those who cannot do everything and need some help.