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GrumpyGhostOwl GrumpyGhostOwl is a Female
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In hindsight, chopping the wood, wearing the pashmina and agreeing to help Beth sell her staghorns were probably not the brightest things I've ever done.

It all started when I adopted a purebred Australian Kelpie from a working dog rescue group. Skye is a working breed dog and if it were possible to humanely harvest the energy of the Australian Kelpie, the coal, uranium and hydroelectric power industries would collapse overnight. Yes, Kelpies basically dial everything up to eleven.

When I first began leash-training Skye, she was still very nervous and traumatised by her early experiences, so she walked close to me at heel, relying on me to protect her from the great big strange new world in which she found herself. I don't think she'd ever seen a forest before, having been born in sheep farming country over in New South Wales on the other side of the continent, so she wasn't too sure about things.

Now, most pups will at some stage go through the hole-digging stage, and since Kelpies dial things up to eleven, it wasn't so much hole-digging as open-cut mineral sands mining. As luck would have it, Skye started work on a hole one evening in the dark, and when I went out to call the dogs in, I stepped in the hole and went over, tearing ligaments in my left ankle.

Well, I've had worse and I keep hot packs and anti-inflammatory gel in the first aid kit, so I muttered a few bad words under my breath, treated the ankle and walked it off.

As Skye settled in and became bolder, she began to engage in play. This was great until the time she tried to get me to play while I was walking the dogs from the vehicle to the back gate after a day out. Skye somehow managed to wrap her leash around my left ankle, then she leapt backward while I was in mid-stride, so I fell forward and broke my right kneecap on the concrete paving in the carport.

Well, it wasn't that bad an injury, I mean, I could still walk on it. I couldn't kneel and my shin was a giant bruise from knee to ankle, but I had some low-strength paracetamol+codeine pills left over from when they were still on Schedule 3 (Pharmacist only, no prescription required) and I only needed those a couple of times, so, armed with an excuse not to clean under the coffee table, I pretty much walked that one off.

Then she really did it.

As Skye got bolder, she took it into her head that she was going to round up every last Kangaroo in the district and pen the lot of them. Never mind that we don't have a pen, that was what Skye was fixing to do. This was all very well when the dogs were in the yard behind the fence, but when we went on our walks, if Skye saw a 'roo, she'd take off after it with a great bounding leap.

Only trouble is, she was on a leash.

Now, I'd fitted both the dogs out with matching harnesses with nice soft cotton interlock chest plates, so that if they did hit the end of the leash, the harness would absorb most of the shock, leaving the dog uninjured.

At the other end of the leash, there was just the hand-grip and me.

At 15 kilos (that's around 33 lbs) Skye is a nice medium-sized dog, within normal height and weight range for her breed. Force equals mass times acceleration, however, and when 15 kilos of Kelpie takes a running jump after a Kangaroo, that's some acceleration, right there.

Given that Skye resisted all my efforts at positive reinforcement training (she just wanted to take off after those 'roos!) the lunge and leap to the end of the leash was repeated several times a day.

Who knew that the weakest link in the whole setup would turn out to be my collarbone?

You guessed it: stress fracture.

Now, at first, I didn't know it was a stress fracture. Sure, I'd felt something go 'Snap!' and doubled over with a burning, stinging sensation and then let rip with a stream of, shall we say, creative invective through clenched teeth, but I thought I'd just pulled something.

So after the walk (funnily enough, all my positive reinforcement training was ineffective, but the swearing seems to have done the trick and Skye is now a lot better on the leash) I did what I usually do: I chopped the wood for kindling.

After a few days, I'd started to notice that my left shoulder was getting a bit sore. I looked in the mirror and all around my clavicle there was some really interesting swelling and inflammation. I thought back over the sequence of events and called my doctor's office to make an appointment.

"Hmmmmm," said the doctor, and touched a fingertip to my clavicle.

Well, now, I'm not usually one for swearing in public but I said a word I don't usually utter in polite company and doubled over in pain. "Let's not do that again," I suggested, once I'd caught my breath.

"Let's get an X-ray," the doctor said. "In the meantime, you're going to have to immobilise that arm."

"Wood's not gonna chop itself," I pointed out.

"You've got a reverse cycle air-conditioner," she parried, and wrote out a prescription for pain relief pills.

Well, she had me there, sure enough, so I left the office, having undertaken (but not promised, not an actual promise) to try and be good.

There was a meeting of the Fire Brigade social committee that night and I turned up sporting a sling and a scowl over my usual clothes. "What did you do to yourself?" asked the Social Secretary. I gave her an abridged version of events.

After the meeting, damn it all if she doesn't send around an e-mail to the rest of the Brigade, telling everyone that I've fractured my collarbone! The first I knew of it was when the phone rang and one of the neighbours said he was coming over to chop the kindling. Then the phone rang and somebody else offered to help with the gardening. And so it went.

I felt kind of embarrassed, but everybody meant well, so the wood got chopped and the peach tree I'd been planning to move that weekend got moved for me. It's reminded me that I live in a really nice community where everyone watches out for everyone else.

A couple of weeks went past and I was doing pretty well. I'd gone two days without needing to take any of the pills (I don't like pills) and that was when I made the mistake of wearing my blue woolly pashmina. It was cold (it's winter here) so I was wrapped up warm as I left the Post Office and bumped into another local who had just returned from an overseas holiday. My arm in its sling was hidden underneath the pashmina, and this particular person is quite a tall and strong gentleman who likes to hug his friends. I made sure I stood just out of reach while we chatted. Then it happened. He reached out for a friendly hug, I stepped back, opening my mouth to explain that I had a sore shoulder, and he grabbed my left arm and tried to pull me in for a hug.

I let out a squawk (no bad language this time, thankfully) and hurriedly explained that I'd injured myself. There was an awkward exchange of goodbyes and we went our separate ways.

Ow. I took one of the pills when I got home.

A week after that, I was feeling pretty good again. I'd gone another couple of days without needing any pain relief so I thought I'd try leaving the sling off.

I needed milk and I'd had a notification that a parcel had arrived at the Post Office so I loaded the dogs into the SUV and drove into town. In the general store, a local lady stopped me and asked if I'd help her sell some of her staghorns on line since she doesn't have the internet at home. I said that I'd be glad to help, and that was when she thanked me and slapped me on the back, hitting my left shoulder blade and jarring my clavicle. Again.

More pills.

It'll be four weeks this weekend since I felt something go, 'Snap!' I'm healing up, and I'm trying (really!) to avoid doing things that could aggravate the injury any further.

It's been a comedy of errors from start to finish, and I might even get a fic out of it, once I no longer need the pills. At least I've kept my sense of humour. I mean, it hurts, but it's also pretty funny if I tell it right.

But, yeah: chopping the wood, wearing the pashmina and agreeing to help sell the staghorns were probably not the best choices under the circumstances.

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Ow ow ow owwwww! Ouch! Oh, ow! YOWCH! Oh, for the love of -- AAHHHEEEE!

GGO, I'm glad you're able to keep your sense of humor through this! I'm sending...oh, hang on -- EEEeeeeyOWWWWW! Sorry -- I'm sending you some gentle, carefully-placed hugs.

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And THAT is why I rarely walk our dogs, especially our male dog...

We have 2 Shiba Inus and they're much the same as far as activity levels. They're both seniors, Nobu (male) is 11 and Miko (female) is 8. You'd swear they were puppies with ADHD the way they act! Miko is a bit easier to handle, so I usually walk her if I go for walks. But Nobu... A few times I had to take him out the front door and just about face planted off the front stoop. He pulls so hard! They both do, but he takes it to a crazy level. He's so bad, we had to get a leash for HUGE dogs, you know, the ones that you would use for a Great Dane or a Rottweiler. We were afraid he would snap a nylon leash for dogs his size.

I've tried training them from the time they were puppies, but it's never stuck. Shibas are very cat like. They're highly intelligent, stubborn, and they have this "MINE!" oriented way of thinking. I've seen some online that are incredibly well trained and I'm wondering how they do it. Hell, Nobu is so bad that I had to get him "chill the f**k out" treats. Literally! It was either the natural route or the doc was going to give him Xanax because the older he gets, the more hyper and anxious he is. Funny, I used to tease that I should give the dog one of my Xanax to chill him out. Who knew they could actually take the same meds as me? Biglaugh1

Take care of yourself! Nothing strenuous until you heal and watch those pain meds. It's pretty easy to get addicted, so I'm told. I couldn't say personally... Here in the US, all that is regulated. Even if they did give me pain pills, I rarely take them anyway... And no dog walking without wearing full football gear! Biglaugh1

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God Lord, GGO! I'd be looking for an exorcist. I'm glad you're starting to feel better. Maybe you should have had a shirt made with 'Touch my left arm and I'll break your fingers!' on the front and back. But it is funny that your swearing got to Skye more than anything else.

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Thanks, everyone for your kind words.

Yes, Kitsu, dogs can have a lot of the same meds as us, after all, a human is merely a mammal with a complicated lifestyle. As for football gear, in this country, that consists of shorts and a jersey. All that padding is reserved for ice hockey players. Wink

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My male needs to take seizure meds and I was surprised that it was the same humans take (AND we can use the flex spending card to pay for it *shh*) but I was more shocked when she mentioned Prozac and Xanax! Who would have thought dogs can go mental and take human psyche meds? Tongue3

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quote:
Originally posted by Kitsu
Who would have thought dogs can go mental and take human psyche meds? Tongue3


Considering some of the humans walking upon the earth, that really dosen't surprise me!

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No new posts 12-07-2018 17:18 ElectricWhite is offline Send an Email to ElectricWhite Search for Posts by ElectricWhite Add ElectricWhite to your Buddy List
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quote:
Originally posted by ElectricWhite
quote:
Originally posted by Kitsu
Who would have thought dogs can go mental and take human psyche meds? Tongue3


Considering some of the humans walking upon the earth, that really dosen't surprise me!


Now, now, EW. Don't be uncharitable... to the animals.

Cross-species efficacy is why new medications get tested on rats before progressing to human clinical trials.

Personally I find rats to be personable creatures who do not deserve their bad reputation. My birds, on the other hand, find them to be quite tasty... They also assure me that rats do not in fact taste like chicken. I'm happy to take their word for it. I admit to being slightly annoyed at the rats chewing through the lid on the bin where I keep the kangaroo food, but I can't blame them for it. I will simply have to buy a metal bin.

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I have an 8 month old Jack Russell. He's an ADHD dog with a yappy bark and likes to go off at 6am... and throughout the day. Now he doggy cries when the baby cries. It distresses him. DH has had to go comfort the dog to let him its all okay.

We recently got him a collar with a zapper for barking. (I hate those collars being a country girl and not using them on property or in town-- but we have a 90 year old neighbour in suburbs of Sydney, and we consider her needs in sleep. She doesn't complain, but its manners to look out for her.)

I'd hear him... Wooollff.... yip ouch ouch... Wooofff... yip ouch ouch. He got the message. I bet now we could put the collar on without the anti-bark and he'd just not do it. Cooper is a smart dog.

Kelpies!!! I grew up with Kelpies and Cattle dogs. Highly energetic and as they grow older become a one person dog. Sharpie my grandfathers cattle dog was great younger, he would be friendly to everyone. As an old dog, no one but his master could go near him.

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ACDs and Border Collies can be grumpy buggers as they get older. Kelpies -- and surprisingly, Stumpies (which have a very different temperament to the red or blue ACD) -- not so much.

Fortunately the dollop of Kelpie blood in my older BC cross keeps her on an even keel where temperament is concerned, and as Skye grows older, her brain cells will start pointing in the same direction at the same time. Kelpies are idiots until they're 18 months old. Usually the older dog(s) keep them in line.

I'm not entirely sure what any of the Jack Russells or Tenterfields I've met actually look like. They're never still long enough for me to get a good look. Just sort of a vague white and brown dog-shaped streak that goes wh//yap-yap-yap!//oo//yap-yap-yap//sh!

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quote:
Originally posted by GrumpyGhostOwl
I'm not entirely sure what any of the Jack Russells or Tenterfields I've met actually look like. They're never still long enough for me to get a good look. Just sort of a vague white and brown dog-shaped streak that goes wh//yap-yap-yap!//oo//yap-yap-yap//sh!


The best bet for getting a look at a Jack Russel is to watch Frasier reruns -- the dog that played Eddie was very well-trained. (I also suspect age played a part, since he was pretty old when the series was produced.)

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Today I went to have a bone scan to see if there's anything happening in the clavicle and/or shoulder that I should be worried about.

It is now almost eight hours since I was injected with a radioactive isotope, and still no superpowers.

Bummer.

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GGO -- Yeah, that really sucks. With all the stuff that's been injected in me, I figured I would've had at least one little mutation, but nooooooo! The most I got were an upset stomach and an allergic reaction.

Damn you, Marvel!

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This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by ElectricWhite on 23-07-2018 at 12:26.
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quote:
Originally posted by GrumpyGhostOwl
Today I went to have a bone scan to see if there's anything happening in the clavicle and/or shoulder that I should be worried about.

It is now almost eight hours since I was injected with a radioactive isotope, and still no superpowers.

Bummer.


Ripped off!! you should at least have been given a mysterious bracelet with a symbol on it, and instructions.

My Jack Russell is black and white with tan patches. He's favourite hobby is chasing our pure white cat, and nipping at her tail. I think they actually like each other but neither will admit to it. Its more fun to hiss at Cooper and for the Cooper to bark at her and chase her across the yard. The pair of them should have a comic strip.

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This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by Ebonyswanne on 26-07-2018 at 02:55.
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GGO, hugs - gentle ones, as EW said!

Huggles

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quote:
Originally posted by Ebonyswanne
quote:
Originally posted by GrumpyGhostOwl
Today I went to have a bone scan to see if there's anything happening in the clavicle and/or shoulder that I should be worried about.

It is now almost eight hours since I was injected with a radioactive isotope, and still no superpowers.

Bummer.


Ripped off!! you should at least have been given a mysterious bracelet with a symbol on it, and instructions.

My Jack Russell is black and white with tan patches. He's favourite hobby is chasing our pure white cat, and nipping at her tail. I think they actually like each other but neither will admit to it. Its more fun to hiss at Cooper and for the Cooper to bark at her and chase her across the yard. The pair of them should have a comic strip.


Or their own YouTube channel. Put a GoPro on each of them and stream it.

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No new posts 27-07-2018 00:49 Becky Rock is offline Send an Email to Becky Rock Search for Posts by Becky Rock Add Becky Rock to your Buddy List
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Good news: I got the report back from the bone scan, and my favourite three words in it were, "No metastatic malignancy."

I feel like I dodged a bullet there.

The bad news is that I have osteoarthritis, but I can live with that.

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Congrats, GGO! As a fellow bullet-dodger, I can appreciate the feeling that comes after said projectile lightly brushed your hair as it zipped by,

Oh, and welcome to the "Joints of Rice Krispie Treats" club!

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Glad it wasn't something worse, GGO.

I've never heard it called that before, EW. I like that!

It seems everyone is developing one of the arthritises as they get older. I love the 'You need to work out to keep your joints limber', but its kind of hard to do when said joints feel like someone kicked you. I'm already dreading the upcoming winter, especially if this wet pattern continues when it gets cold. Four 30 or more inch snows in a lifetime are enough. It snows more in the WDC area than it does in the mountains in West Virginia.

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Haha, "joints of rice crispies." Good one, EW.

Getting old sucks.

In another episode of hindsight, I probably wouldn't have found out about the arthritis if Skye hadn't fractured my collarbone, so in a roundabout way, I suppose I have to be grateful to the little hooligan.

Skye's behaviour continues to improve as she approaches her first birthday and Sunka has been very good about administering canine correction if Skye acts up on-leash.

The collarbone is healing, but a lot more slowly than I would like. I've figured out that I can chop the firewood and carry out tasks where I can have my left arm close to my body without incurring any pain, but as you might expect, anything that requires reaching forward with my left arm, especially driving, is painful, as it exerts a turning moment on the collarbone, resulting in an owie. So, I have to be careful there.

Now that I know about the extent of the arthritis, I can work on preventative stuff including taking natural supplements like turmeric (cucurmin) fish oil and calcium + D as well as keeping busy and exercising. That's where the luck is: the arthritis has been picked up before chronic and widespread pain has become an issue, so I am still able to exercise and stay active without making things flare up. I am also, at this stage, able to avoid taking analgesia. I may well go into withdrawal if my hot water bottle should spring a leak, however. Heat packs are more effective and there are no side effects... not unless the hot water bottle springs a leak, anyway, in which case I may have to raid the bird treatment room for the 'instant' heat packs I keep in the equipment store.

So, thank you everyone for your kind thoughts and for the funnies. I'm still numbered among the walking wounded, but I'm getting there and I've managed to keep my sense of humour.

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