Wednesday, November 9, 2005
The Little Engine That Could
Photo courtesy of www.smile4katie.com/
4 months have gone by since our last update and we apologize for the long delay. We recently experienced the death of a very close family member- another unhappy milestone in a very challenging year. We know that many people have an interest in Tinker's recovery, and your support has been wonderful.
The last 4 months have been amazing as Tinker continues to progress. He has pretty much been given free rein in the house. He's not allowed to do steps, but he walks around at will when he is on the middle or upper floors. We have a metal gate in the living room to keep him from using the stairs to the first floor. We also have a wooden gate that we use to prevent him from going upstairs during the day or downstairs at night. We quickly learned that we have to keep him crated when we go out (which he doesn't mind), because Virginia's separation anxiety leads her to knock the gates down if we leave them up. I got a shocking surprise one day when I came home and opened the front door and not one, but two dogs, were there to greet me! "Hmmm", I thought, "What's wrong with this picture?!" (Tinker also managed to go up the stairs one day - which prompted us to immediately block the stairs at all times).
Tinker not only walks in the house, he jumps and runs as well. Yes, you read that right. We would rather he did neither, especially jumping (this usually occurs while he does his happy dance as his food is being prepared), but it is quite an amazing sight to see. He's back to trying to rile Virginia up by dancing around and bumping her, and sometimes he will jump on the futon to follow her (we cringe every time he does it). Recently he has even been doing some mini zoomies. He kind of looks like a miniature horse galloping around, looking like he's going 90 mph- but sideways!
We have also started to take Tinker on walks outside without additional support for his legs, in order to work on his balance and coordination. No rear harness, no cart, just the good old fashioned way - and he's doing remarkably well. His right leg is still noticeably weaker than his left, but he has begun to raise it off the floor, while in a seated position, in an attempt to scratch his right ear. We know one day he will accomplish this. He can already use his left leg to scratch his left ear. We have also noticed in the past month that his tail position is slightly higher- it had basically been at "half mast" since his injury. It is gratifying to see that subtle improvements still occur- maybe not as dramatically as in the first 6 months, but nevertheless he's still improving. We've eased up on the frequency of his physical therapy, but he still goes to hydrotherapy once a week and acupuncture once a month. And Virginia still accompanies him to his sessions and cheers him on (and appreciates the treats at the end of each session).
Most importantly, Tinker just keeps on smiling....our sweet, funny, goofy little boy who has enriched our lives. There's never a dull moment when he's around - and we are all so glad he's around - even Virginia :)