Well as promised, here's the update on Gracie's swimming lesson!
For those that don't know, and don't want to wade back through my blogs, one of my labrador puppies, Gracie, has hip dysplasia. Previously I thought she'd have no option but to go for a full hip replacement, following consultations with specialist vets.
HOWEVER – then a certain Jill Franks mentioned her bull dog used hydrotherapy for his, so I thought I'd ask about it. The vet duly referred me, which was nice as otherwise I wouldn't have known about it, and off we went to Grayfriars in Dorking, a referrals-only treatment centre.
First Gracie had a full physio and it turns out her range of motion in her hips is not severe. So swimming might help. They gradually build it up, so her first session involved four laps round the pool, 'assisted'. Not only did she get a lovely lady called Lisa (in the pic above) to help her, but Gracie also got her own doggy life-jacket to wear! Bless! Lisa's own 9 year-old lab had a similar problem, and swimming helped so much she now helps out down there in the pool in her wet-suit.
Inside the enclosed pool it's very warm and humid, as you'd expect. Gracie's first session was alongside a little fluffy border collie cross called Oliver, with whom Gracie duly bonded and proceeded to follow him round the pool. Her second session was with Monty, an older labrador with a weird way of showing his excitement at being in the pool – Darth Vader breathing! But again Gracie took to it like a, er, dog to water, and followed me round the edge of the pool.
It was sooooo cute seeing her in the pool, and she certainly didn't seem to mind doing it at all. She wasn't that thrilled with the hair dryer booth afterwards, but we're working on that. At least she smells fresh now! Lol!
She has to go a couple of times a week initially, then she can work up to swimming unassisted, then work to once per week for a while. The logic is similar to that of how Pilates helps aches and joints – careful exercise improves the condition instead of aggravating it. I was also given a few doggy-physio exercises to do on her at home, so I really hope this will help build the support around the joint enough over the months ahead, to not need imminent surgery.
Have any of you had any experiences of how this type of thing has helped?
Well it's the start of March already – I'm hoping to have a small prize to win soon in a little competition so get thinking about what you like most about the month of March! It's been brighter of late, cold but sunny, and the crocii (crocuses?) and daffodils are starting to appear. At least they're not a month late like last year!
With that, it's time to start thinking about the garden. So I've bought myself a couple of Richard Jackson items to get it all underway. So I could have chosen 'planting magnolia trees' as my TiFFT (Try it For the First Time club) for February.
Or it could have been some of the things I got up to in Gran Canaria. Or maybe building the new pen to keep climbing labrador Daisy in. Or ordering an item from the new QVC iPhone app (it's brilliant!). Or washing the carpet – see previous blog. Or it could have been getting a Kindle and reading my first stories on it (fab by the way). But as I've reported on the new Facebook group (search TiFFT – you're welcome to join) – I've chosen something very simple and novel for February's official First Time experience. I noticed one day that my Twitter account had something very rare – identical numbers of tweets, followers and following!
Now that's quite hard to achieve, and a little bit weird. So I took a picture of it, posted it on Facebook, and here it is. 242 for each. What's yours?
Do join the Facebook group too if you'd like to. Then each month you can add your latest experiences on this blog, and discuss them with others on Facebook. Well why not do something different for 2011? We are!
P.S. Next week – going to see West End production for son Brad's birthday, and maybe the chance to win a QVC presenters' calendar!…