Onward & upward β€” Casey’s recovery from CCL surgery

Can’t believe it’s been a month since my last blog 😦


Casey continues to do well, yippee! We make a point of doing his physical therapy daily. His routine includes a 1-mile walk plus one or two shorter ones each day augmented by his exercises. I’ve found that by adding music the time passes more quickly and we both seem to enjoy our time together. I’m not sure Casey isn’t all about the treats, but as long as his tail’s wagging while he’s doing his exercises I’m happy!

In the last two weeks Casey has passed two milestones:

1. He returned to dance (canine freestyle) class! While his endurance still needs work he was really able to keep up with the rest of the class.

2. Last weekend we took Casey out on his first real hike at a local nature preserve. We were out for exactly an hour, going up & down hills, across fields, etc. You could see how happy he was and pooped by the end.

Casey should be off all restrictions next week, however, I will likely keep him on leash for going down the stairs. It may be his eyesight vs. the leg but I’ve seen him lose his footing on the final steps and don’t want to take any unnecessary chances.

This has been quite a journey but I’m thankful that all has turned out so well. Many thanks go to our support team of family, friends and medical professionals β€” we wouldn’t be where we are today without everyone’s help β€” Thank you πŸ™‚


Permission to Walk

Casey was given permission to start doing short, 5 minute, on leash walks as soon as his bandage was removed (following his ACL/Cranial Cruciate Surgery). Being all terrier β€” meaning he’s quite resilient and self-assured β€” Casey was ready to give it a shot. The literature we were given indicated he might not bear weight on the foot for up to 2 weeks, but that we should be looking for some toe tapping within a few days. Well, my boy toe tapped from the minute the bandage was off. Within the week he was balancing himself on the bad leg to pee!

The following week we had some very wintry weather, not terribly conducive to lengthening our walks to the 10 minutes as prescribed. So I decided to do our walking in the basement. How boring to walk aimlessly around a basement for 10 minutes…so I added some music and all of a sudden we were dancing πŸ™‚

As soon as the music started Casey’s tail started wagging. He was delighted to walk to the beat. Yes, there were treats involved, which made the entire experience much more fun. The change in Casey’s attitude was instantaneous. Here was another instance of being able to use his formal training (canine freestyle) to help him rebound from his injury. Adding music has been so successful that we have incorporated the “dancing” as part of our program even when we’re able to go outside for longer walks.

Canine Freestyle

I started training in canine freestyle (dance) a couple of years ago after auditing a seminar. My dog Casey has many talents but did not thrive in most of the venues I presented to him. In spite of this he earned β€” his conformation championship, titles in agility, rally obedience and traditional obedience.

However, when given the chance to dance to music you could see a change come over Casey. While we “dance” primarily for fun the World Canine Freestyle Organization offers a video competition. You can actually compete world wide without having to leave the comfort of your training facility! We completed our 1st competition this last December with a qualifying dance.

My original goal was to put together a video that people who’ve known Casey through his life could see. I wanted them to have a chance to see for themselves how a dog, who was once referred to as “too far gone” (too reactive for even a pet home) by a respected breeder, could flourish and indeed thrive given the proper time, commitment, support, love and opportunities for success.

Casey has taught me many things and has been an inspiration along the way.

I hope you enjoy the video πŸ™‚