This great article on dog injuries is giving me food for thought on taking Ash to agility classes!
Great to meet Abby and Maddy who were taking advantage of a bit of space away from other dogs who interrupt a good ball chasing session. Abby (or was it Maddy?) is a ten year old Poodle with great breeding lines and well trained. Starring in a local Gold Coast TV show this Poodle knows a few tricks. Ash and Abby chased ball well together, Ash enjoying the company like it is a bit of competition, more motivated next to another motivated fetch dog worker.
On of the dangers for a front leg tripod dog is the joints of the remaining front leg wear and develop arthritis as the dog gets older. Exercise and keeping the dog light are necessary to the dog’s health and prevention of arthritis. Working at the dog’s pace with a game of fetch halfway on the walk or short jog on the morning is good. And most important is to find some soft ground – the fire trails through the bush or the beach are great.
Here is a picture of Ash fetching stick in the bush. On the way home we run and walk through the grass by the path – my feet get a bit wet and grassy but hey it is still a dog’s life!
Sometimes it is a worry to the owner of a three legged dog to think about the best ways to exercise and keep the joints healthy. Ash really enjoys water and was encouraged to do so from a young age (as soon as the stitches came out for her). Using water to take some of her body weight off her joints is a safe and healthy way for her to exercise.
These are some pictures of Ash enjoying a nearby swamp, about knee deep in places, on a hot afternoon.
The last thing we wanted was a ball obsessed dog. You know the ones, at BBQs they come up to you, ball in mouth, drop it on your feet and bark excitedly. They are used to having the ball thrown for them whenever they want and their owner has not controlled when and where this happens. Balls like all toys should come out when you want and not in the dog’s time. Very cute when the dog is little and keeps bringing the ball – ohh how smart, but not controlled and it could get annoying. Ash is ball obsessed but only when we go to the dog park. She has no balls lying around at home and we do not play fetch with a ball at home. All her toys we play with when we want and on purpose if she asks us to play with a certain toy, we change toys or get her to do something else first. Ball obsession at the park keeps her out of trouble with the other dogs and gives her a sense of purpose when she is there. Chasing the ball really serves to exercise her and with a few added tricks in the game her mind can work too.
When I knew Ash was going to be three legged I really wanted her to enjoy swimming, the best low impact exercise there is. She is a bold and brave dog so getting her into the water was not too hard but the front propeller was on half power and her head would take some time to stay up high. Here at Brunswick Heads, Northern NSW the river takes a turn and there is 100m of undulating shallow water. From knee to ankle deep the sandy bottom changes in depth. This gave Ash the chance to find her feet then take a swim giving her lots of confidence in the water.