Day 5 - August 28thJen's house, in Santa Ynez, is a crazy awesome place. There's lots of visitors, 3 other dogs, 1 miniature horse, many fish, tons of space, and a huge, grassy backyard here. The horse, Jiminy Cricket, just hangs out in the backyard, grazing and occasionally chasing the dogs around. There's also a snake (which they're looking to get rid of) and a rat who was promoted from snake food to pet after he survived more than two weeks in the snake's cage.
Castor and I have really missed being surrounded by animal people.
It seems to be working. He's eating normally now, and I think it's because I stopped pampering him. I started feeding him standing up, like he's used to. He's also drinking.
No more breakfast in bed for him. No more superfluous treats either. It's time to get back to routines and adapt for his acclimation to a healthy tripawd life. That means no gaining weight, lots of massaging and stretching, lighter walks, and more strength training. Squats, here we come! (Sit. Stand. Sit. Stand. ...)
I saw a really helpful video on the tripawd website. It is a series of 3 interviews with doctors at C.A.R.E. in Santa Monica. If you're interested, the exercises and stretching part is here. I might take Cas there for a consult too.
I guess my hard-ass philosophy on training will come in handy now, as will his incredible obedience and strength of will. It turns out all those times I wouldn't let him jump in and out of cars were great for his adaptation now. Plus, no treats or overfeeding have kept him lean.
It's also good that I'm a yoga teacher; I have a sense for giving adjustments, and I can practice honing those skills on him.
He's in great shape for what's coming.
Get off my back already
Castor is done being slung around. I only help him now if there's a big step. Not only is he getting around well, but I'm no longer nervously shadowing him. He's got it!
He walks (hoppily), pees, and he even pooped this morning. I didn't know how he'd manage, but apparently, if you have to go, you just do it. I'll spare you the picture. (LOL. Perhaps my documentation has gone overboard.)
Cas and Jiminy sittin in a tree...
Seriously, how weird is it that in Jen's backyard is a miniature horse named Jiminy Cricket who belonged to Michael Jackson? Surrealy weird, that's how. (Again, I am absolutely serious.)
He's adorable though, if a bit mouthy. Minis negotiate space differently than other horses. He moves more quickly. Apparently, me made it into the house one day when the sliding door was left open. Not a good, since there's mostly hardwood floors. They got him out unscathed, thankfully, after a worrisome slip.
Jiminy has been in his stable since Cas arrived, just in case he decided to chase him around or try to bite him like he has Maya and Doodle, the Burnese Mountain Dog. He was out today though, so Jen and I decided to see how it went.
Cas hopped out, and immediately, Little Man (Jen's affectionate name for Jiminy) came trotting over. Cas was staring so hard, with both ears and eyes, his forehead wrinkled all up. Jiminy's never taken such notice or interest in a dog.
Perhaps the stallion was thinking, "finally, a mate!"
To prevent any attempt at mounting or nibbling, Jen and Steph were right there with us. Cas sat down (he can do so with so much grace already), Jiminy stood; and they sniffed eachother, muzzle to muzzle, for at least a minute. It was adorable.
Unfortunately, no pics or video, because I was too concerned with his safety at the time. We are going to try to get some before I leave though. Stay tuned.
Anyway, he had a blast outside. He hopped around with the dogs, B-lined for the horse stable fence after Jen escorted Little Man inside. I actually had to hold his collar to slow him down. It was fantastic, save an ultra sad moment where he sat/fell at the wrong angle on his incision. He whined several times. Heart wrenching.
But he got up again, no problem. No tearing; no seeping. Thank goodness.
A brief absence
I went to a party at Eric's house this evening. It was the first time I've left Castor alone since being here. He was fine; I'm such a worrier. Anyway, it was good to spend time with non-Castor friends.
Sarah, Eric's wife, is amazing. She has so many animals. A rabbit, several dogs, 3 birds, fish, I imagine, some horses, most of which she's rescued. She is a Veterinarian too. Her and Eric have 3 kids. Currently, Sarah is pet sitting 2 labs for friends...for 3 months!
One of her birds is quite a love; he loves people. And by loves, I mean is known to scream if he's not getting attention. So cute, I was tempted (and encouraged by Sarah) to bring him home. The following isn't the best video (too dark), nor does it show him at his most cuddly (with Sarah), but it's a taste.
A highlight of my evening was coming home. Cas was so excited to see me, I was worried he was going to hurt himself, hopping around like a goofball! A ridiculously cute goofball. I missed him too.