And I have to say, I’m feeling pretty fit today. I’m aware that this feeling won’t last but for now, I’m quite proud of myself.
I had new Movie Night posters to put up for next week, so I walked the dogs.
I know. It’s hardly shocking. I have dogs. Walking them is fairly standard in the day-to-day.
I walked them individually. Like an athlete.
During our sunlit sojourn up the road, Poppy tried to run across the street. We were passing the woods, and something in her mind clicked. Crazy-eyed, she strained on her lead. She has a ping-pong sized tennis ball that she dotes on but she’s only allowed it when we walk in the woods. It’s more obsession than doting, but sometimes semantics are necessary to spare psychological investigation.
Anywho, when the light started to fade and the night drew close, that was when I walked Doobie.
When I say he doesn’t have the sense he was born with, that’s not quite fair. He doesn’t have the springiness he was born with. As such, he doesn’t like other dogs. So we have to walk him at times when nobody else is about.
A while ago, Aimée told me about spoon theory. The idea is: every individual starts the day with a set number of spoons. For every stressful or difficult moment, they lose a spoon. If they go through a particularly trying encounter, they can lose more than one spoon. The fact is, you only have so many spoons. When the spoons have gone, they’ve gone. If Doobie sees another dog on his walk, he will lose a lot of spoons. There may be none left by the time we get to the end of the road.
Hence, we have to walk him when there are no other dogs, or he will lose all his spoons. You’ve probably read the word ‘spoons’ enough for now.
Doobie also has a spinal condition. It is degenerative, but not life-threatening. His spinal discs are growing extra bits of bone, which are bridging the spongy cartilage, and giving him something of a hunch-back. It’s almost certain that Doobie sees other dogs as a threat. He does have reason to view them this way; in his little life, he’s been pounced on repeatedly.
When Doobie was only a few months old, I was walking him through the forest above my house. There was only me and him at the time. About halfway into the forest, I saw a woman, chatting on her mobile phone, and a large husky padding along in front of her. The husky wasn’t on a lead. In fact, it was hard to tell whether the dog was anything to do with her, until he came bounding up and leapt on my boy. I stood between the two dogs and quickly swooped a barking Doobie up into my arms, something I later learnt was an error as it taught Doobie to be loud was good, and he would receive comfort from me, but in my defence – I was trying to keep him alive. Finally, having not ended her call, the woman came up and led the dog away by its collar. I asked her if she’d seen that I had had to stand between the dogs. She had. I asked why she had her dog off lead if he seemingly wanted to eat other dogs. She explained that he was her daughter’s dog, and usually he was friendly.
On a personal note: I find it utterly maddening when people insist their dogs are friendly. The trouble is, your dog might be friendly, but that doesn’t mean mine is. He likes his space and, in all honesty, I think it’s a bit shocking to him that other dogs even exist.
There was a lady in the woods with a standard dachshund some years ago, before Doobie’s back trouble. From nowhere, this unknown dog sniffed at Doob, jumped on his back and started humping him. Doobie wasn’t troubled, so I didn’t intervene.
The lady was slightly startled and said, “Oh well, at least your dog is female.”
“No,” I replied, “he’s a boy. But they seem quite happy.”
“My dog’s not gay!” she proclaimed, horrified. “He’s called Rambo.”
Physio was quite hard on Doobie. He’s not quite six, and physio can be challenging generally.
I really don’t know if the acupuncture was worthwhile. His acupuncturist (I know, “Really? She’s joking, surely?”), was pretty convinced that his sessions were doing him good. Sadly, whatever good work she was doing was getting undone on the bumps of the journey home. Travelling half-hour on the main road, even avoiding potholes, there are natural curves in the road, other idiots driving badly, forcing swerve and braking, and a car isn’t an easy place for a dog to keep his balance.
To be clear, he had a crate in the car, with soft stuff to lie on. He was by no means loose. However, we decided to blame the thrum of the engine and the bends in the road for the continuation of his symptoms.
We gave it half a dozen sessions over a few months, and with my almost certainly paying for her last holiday, we knocked it on the head. Doob has gentle exercise with me – I don’t do heavy exercise, and the other dogs in the house have been great with him.
I’ve had a bad back myself, and physio, and it’s not fun. Doobie actually wound up with more therapies and offers of such than I did.
I think my life hit a zenith when my dog was offered reiki.