New Elbow, New Rules…

First of all a quick update about Finleys elbow as he had his first vet check-up after 2 weeks. Doctor Marese checked Finley leg, elbow, movement (as in how he is using the leg in his current condition), recovery of the surgery holes and removing the stitches. His ‘wounds’ recovered very nicely and his stitches got removed within 0.3 seconds. The vet hadn’t finished her sentence or both stitches were already out! No pain and nothing special. Luckily Finley loves everyone and doesn’t stop wiggling his tail for ANYONE!! He is not really like me, so he also loves standing on the table and moving up with the table as a flying carpet…

His elbow moves well, but is still a bit warm. As his elbow was inflamed quite bad the vets took a precaution already, by putting Finley on medication for 6 weeks instead of the standard 2 weeks. We notice that his body is still working hard to solve this. The fact that Finley is still limping as before is normal during this stage of the recovery. The vet told Mom that she cannot forget that they have been poking and teasing this elbow joint only 2 weeks ago! In a few weeks the limping should decrease and become better. Then the thickness of the joint (extra fluid filling) should be decreased as well. All fits into a normal recovery picture, which is AWESOME!!

Because Mom and Dad were super serious about Finleys recovery, we all got rewarded with Finleys good recovery! This resulted in two weeks of short 5 minute potty breaks for Finley and driving along in the stroller for my walks. Mommy cleared her entire schedule and stayed next to Finleys bench all day-every day. We noticed that Finley had a hard time when she went to the bathroom, kitchen or anywhere else without him for 1 seconds. And to be fair…Finley was taught as of 8 weeks to be by her side ALWAYS and ANYWHERE. Not a surprise he has a hard time now he has to stay in puppy-jail (aka the bench). She even sleeps with Finley in a separate room from Dad, because then she can put her mattress on the ground for Finley. (Dad did not prefer to sleep on the ground)

Because the vet was happy with the results after these strict two weeks, Finley got a training schedule. The schedule shows how long Finley can walk and for how many times a day. Currently Finley is walking 5 times a day for 10 minutes. Last week we did 5x a day 8 minutes. And to be honest… I stay at home during those walks for two reasons:

  1. Finley must concentrate during these walks. It is advised to walk in a firm rythm to build muscles and stamina. (So NOT my thing at my 12 years of age). And,
  2. Why do I have to go out 5 times a day??? Leave me alone and just pick me up 3 times a day, thank you!

Finley loves being outside again and walking at Moms side again, like a true service dog! But they are following the schedule strictly and keep a sharp eye on the watch.

We all hope the further recovery of Finley will be as successful as the start was and he will be like the ‘old times’ soon…Except for a few changes:

  • No more roughhousing with other dogs in the doggo parc and,
  • No more flying around and jump-attacking tennisballs or stickies
    • Instead, I get to swim and retrieve from the water a lot OR run short bits besides the bicycle.
  • No more sneacking and jumping out of the car, before giving Mom the chance to pick me up
    • Instead, train to wait patiently in a down position so Mom gets the chance to install the antislip ramp to the back or side of the car. On command Finley is allowed to walk down the ramp calm and patiently.
  • No more jumping on and off the couch or bed whenever we doggos please
    • Instead, we get a ramp for the sofa and bed. Especially getting off is terrible for our shoulders, as all weight lands on them. Finley was already taught young to use these ramps because he is everywhere where Mom is, as her service dog.
  • No food or drinking bowls on the ground
    • Instead, all our bowls are at standing height. This way we don’t have to bend over all the time for a long time to be able to eat or drink. Some say this is better for our joints as well. For Finley we also make sure all buttons and pull-cords are at his standing height.
  • No more unauthorised snacking! Wait… what… No no no.. that was not part of the deal…
    • Instead, our food intake has been adjusted. Both Finley and I get the glucosamine with chondroitin supplement on a daily basis. Now… I get waaaaaay to little kibble for my age! But because I have the talent to gain weight fast, Mom an Dad decided to give me a standard mealsize. No other extra’s then an apple or carrot a week for me. By monitoring my shape closely they adjust if necessary, because I also loose weight easily when I am more active. That’s a talent most lab’s dont have hehehehe…
      Finley is basically getting the same treatment, but his standard kibble meal twice a day is smaller with the simple reason he eats more snacks during his training and braingame sessions. In the end it all adds up! Also for now Finley eats a bit less, because the less weight he has, the easier his recovery is.

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