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Archive for June 4th, 2009

We began work at Hip Dog Hydrotherapy this week with Ramirez. He’s gone there off and on for the past several years just to get relief from his aching back and neck. This go around is much more serious since we are trying to get his ability to walk back. His muscles are now all in different pain from the strange positions he puts himself in from being topsy turvey, so the massage is a big part of it. For centuries, Hydrotherapy (swim therapy) has helped injured humans heal. Now dogs recovering from various orthopedic, neurological and musculoskeletal injuries, as well as, those affected by arthritis and aging, can benefit from the Hip Dog specialized canine aquatic therapy and fitness program.

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Our usual therapist and friend, Tom, wasn’t at the pool this day. But Cheryl Ann stepped up and gave our boy loving handling and tried to make him feel safe. He did fight us quite a bit in the beginning but it was his first time back in the pool without being able to see or hear so well. I’m sure that affected him. Dakota is trying to cheer him on from the sidelines but Ramirez wasn’t impressed.

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It’s amazing how at his advanced age of 17 he’s retained his incredible muscle mass, especially in his thighs. Most old dogs begin withering away and you can see their muscles melt off their bodies. Though he slept about 23 hours a day before his world was turned upside down with the vestibular disease, he’s still a muscle bound boy. I guess because he’s always so tense, he’s constantly flexing. There’s not a strip of fat on him and there never has been. If he was overweight like a lot of people allow their dogs to be, he’d not have been able to walk a long time ago from his arthritis. He wants to walk again badly. He’s more frustrated than I’ve ever seen him. We pray all these things are helping him.

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I’m supporting his butt and Cheryl Ann is supporting his body weight. He’s kicking his own legs and really trying to go, go, go! Maybe he’s kinda gangsta now with his lean to the right? Back in the day, he was a magnificent swimmer though he disliked the water. He would swim across the pool to me and not even make a splash with his front legs. Didn’t want the water to splash. He was the boogie boarding minpin and would stand proudly daring you to knock him off. Again, so determined because he didn’t want the water to splash.

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