Tuesday, March 16, 2010

tricky t-day ~taking it easy

Well, I've realized a lot of our trick repertoire involves jumping and rear leg stuff.

I've been at a loss these past 4 weeks about what to do with Oreo, besides cross paws, shy, bang, and sad.

I once tried teaching Oreo to be ashamed, where he put his head under his crate pad. I had done it through luring with a treat under the pad. I was never really able to fade the lure. Now, that Oreo is more clicker savvy, I decided to try doing it through shaping.

Much more successful this time!

Hsin-Yi also gave us a few ideas for bed rest tricks. One was to teach Oreo to cover himself with a blanket. We started that this week. We are only at the step where Oreo holds the blanket in his mouth. Holding things in his mouth is a new skill for Oreo, which I'm very excited about. It really opens up the opportunity for a lot of new tricks. Again, the clicker has been key in this learning process. Hsin-Yi is a great person to watch if you want to see clicker skills and shaping at their finest.

Anyway, here our some taking it easy tricks.

Oreo & I did attend our league match on Saturday...as spectators. I carried him the whole way from the car to the building, and held him on my lap inside. Oreo was a bit nervous (it was crowded), but he took treats from people, as long as the treats came out of my treat bag. He has to make sure no one is trying to poison him!

Later that night, Oreo started limping again, and it continued into Sunday. Very disappointing. I thought he had been improving.

I called my vet and asked for an anti inflammatory. She gave me some, assured me Oreo would get through this, even if it meant surgery. That was the first time she used the dreaded "s" word. However, she's hoping it doesn't come to that.

Me too. I feel so bad for my little boy who has no joy.

Oreo may have swimming lessons in his future.


Priscilla said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Oreo. We didn't know it was so serious. But we'll pray that he doesn't need his surgery and hope his leg heals fast. Swimming lessons sounds like a good way to help :)

Ricky the Sheltie said...

First of all, I love your taking it easy tricks! Very cute! You could get Oreo to hide in a bag (we did that after learning to hide my head under a blanket like you guys did). My roll up in a blanket trick looks just like Oreo's so far. I don't like holding anything in my mouth so it has been a struggle. Last week I was holding the blanket and mom said roll over, and I accidentally kept the blanket in my mouth and got a little tangled in it and that scared me! (Great, mom said!) Also check out this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_xkl_glXm8 - I think there were quite a few tricks that don't involve jumping and rear legs - we're working on snob and duck and curl.

Keep trying not to worry about Oreo - he is young and I believe he will heal without surgery! I wish the vet wouldn't have even mentioned that! Swimming might be really good for him. We think about you guys all the time and are always sending you good thoughts for Oreo's full recovery!

Dawn said...

Oreo looks so happy to be working, even if it IS taking it easy tricks! I hope he doesn't have to have surgery. Seems like that would dampen the joy of summer for sure! I hope he likes to swim! :)

Diana said...

I think the anti-imflammatory is a good idea. Did you say it has been 4 weeks? I cant remember if you had xrays done. At this point you have given rest a good shot. If it were me, I would find a good rehab vet and get an elvauation. They are good at assessing whether its muscle or a bone issue and getting you back on track faster. ( beware its not cheap). Poor Oreo. He sure is cute in the video. Diana

Kathy said...

It is TERRIFIC to see Oreo back to his old tricks (pun intended), LOL. He looks happy to be working on tricks!

OOOOOOOOH I hope that this is just another bump in the road,....I know these soft tissue injuries can really take a L O N G time to heal and go up and down in their progress. When Breeze had her first real injury a few years ago that never seemed to heal I did take her in for a second opinion with a rehab specialist. It was REALLY expensive, but this vet went over all the supplements, her whole diet, measured everything. The appointment was about 4 hours and the entire time was with the vet. She set up a whole exercise program and sat with me and watched everything to make sure I was doing it just right. Turned out her right thigh was an inch skinnier then the left thigh, and she felt she had a partial tear of the ACL that no one else had picked up since it was just a partial tear. Anyway, gosh I love my one regular vet and she is really good but a second opinion was a godsend in our case. The rehab vet was hours from me but she was great about showing me what I could do at home because she knew I could not come back a couple of times a week, the exercise program was such a blessing and that is what has made the difference over the next few years. I have been pretty impressed with what your vet sounds like she has told you so far, but before I would consider any talk of surgery I would get another opinion. In some places I know they would have done surgery on Breeze with the ACL, but this rehab vet had a great track record of using controlled exercises to avoid surgery and have good healing.

Take care of that guy, LOTS of ice alternating with heat to help with the inflammation!

Lian said...

Oh Sara, I am so sorry that Oreo sounded serious. I know how you feel as I am the same with Sing. Hope with more rest, he will be ok.

I find the other good way to rest the dog physically but mentally still working is the Nina Ottoson toy. I recently bought two from Crufts and the boys just loved them and they cracked them within seconds! Duh! But, I went on to buy two more, so they are getting busy again. At least I know Sing is resting physically but mentally he has something to deal with.

Good Luck with Oreo. The KNIGHTs shelties sending big slobbery kisses to him xxx

Sam said...

Oh man, I'm sorry to hear that he came up limping again. I thought this week would have went by and then he would be as good as new. Hopefully this will be the last incident and he'll be OK after this. Swimming sounds like an awesome idea.

Sam said...

Ack- sorry for the triple post, I'm on a shoddy connection.

AC said...

No!! I'm bummed to hear Oreo's limping again. What a frustrating problem. I really hope you're able to find a rehab solution to avoid surgery and get back on track as soon as possible. It must be so tough to see Oreo's enthusiasm have to be contained.

On a higher note, his "hide" trick is great! I can't wait to see the "cover" trick as you progress.

Also interesting that Oreo is sensitive to which bag his treats come from. He sure is a smart boy to notice!

Honey the Great Dane said...

HI Oreo - I'm sorry to hear that you've got a leg ouchie like me - although your one sounds much more serious!! I have been reading your other posts and I hope the rehab vet will be able to help you make it better. Poor thing - this has been going on for a while now!

I LOVE your "take it easy" video (and what great music choice too!) It looks like you've been keeping busy even if you can't bounce around too much. I must post my video of learning the blanket trick too so that you can see how I'm doing (only got halfway and haven't practised it since we moved to Brisbane!)

Hey - have you heard of that book called "101 Dog Tricks" by Kyra Sundance? It is full of good ideas for tricks. I think your human might like it. My human ordered it from Amazon.

Honey the Great Dane

Honey the Great Dane said...

ps. Oh - I forgot to say thank you for the HUGE compliment!!! You're making me blush! :-)


Becky said...

Hi Sara, I came over from Dad's blog and am not totally up on what's goign on with Oreo, but in case you're not already using them, I want to highly recommend a glucosamine-condroitan supplement for Oreo's joints (doesn't have the toxic side effects of the stuff our vet gave us for our dog's limping), as well as some flaxseed oil on the food as a natural anti-inflammatory (great for the coat, too!). These two things have helped our dog a LOT.