For the last week or so I have been wallowing in self pity. Rampage has been on the injured reserve list since Memorial Day due to some mysterious injury that no one can find. He doesn't want to walk up stairs but I don't really think he's limping. However others have seen him limp on his front right. Some have said he favors the right rear. Some say maybe the spine by the tail. The ortho vet's diagnosis was some sort of soft tissue injury, probably groin strain. He has been on a rest since then. Who knows, it's still a mystery.
Then I take Icon on a 15 mile hike and he tears up his pads after only 7 miles. This is the same Ohlone Trail that he hiked 30 miles on last December. Why would he tear up his pads after only 7? Thankfully I had some booties for him to wear but it was a case of too little to late. It took at almost a week for his pads to heal.
Around the same time I start having pretty bad headaches and achy muscles and have to start loading up on advil to get through the day. I get a cold sore (one of nature's ugliest creations) and after I live through that I find what I think is a beginning cold sore just below my armpit (is that even possible?)! To spare some boring details around disease progression it turns out that totally separate from the cold sore (but due to the same weak immune system) I have shingles. This means that after lurking in my nerve cells since I first beat them at 6 years old, Chicken Pox finally came back for its revenge! And trust me, it had the upper hand for a few days before I went to urgent care to get medications to control the horrible pain that comes with them. At some times during the day Chicken Pox still wins a battle but the pain gets better every day so I'm hoping I'll win the war.
So yeah, for those reasons I have been wallowing in self pity and coming up with excuses not to even take the dogs on their nightly walk.
But over the last two days I've realized how immature and selfish I have been. Aside from a little "flea on the dog" I am in good health and all of my dogs are in good health. I am so thankful for this.
I am so thankful because there has been such heart-wrenching news lately. My friend and Rampage's "auntie" broke her arm just as she was getting ready to start taking her handsome red boy Riff back to agility trials after a prolonged back injury. What cruel twist of fate would let this happen? She is one of the most caring, expressive and empathic women I know. She doesn't deserve this.
Paulette, owner and trainer of agility sheltie extraordinaire, Rush, has been fighting cancer for longer than anyone should need to and she's back fighting in a hospice. I got to know her in 2009 when she and Rush welcomed us with open arms our first time on the World Team. One of the reasons that Paulette and I got along well is Paulette loves to talk and I love to listen; a perfect pair. I think of her daily and I SO want her to be well enough to come to the Czech Republic to watch Rush run at the World Championships again.
And of course there's Elicia Calhoun, who has just lived through the worst nightmare that all dog-lovers fear most. A horrible accident. One dog dead on the scene. Two missing dogs. A long search to find them and only one recovered. I'm so happy that they were able to find Tobie alive, but how heart breaking to lose Nika. She was an amazing Aussie even before she lost her eye, but after? Wow, what they have accomplished together shows what the relationship between a dog and handler can overcome. I can't even imagine what that loss must feel like to Elicia.
Excuse my gushing, I'm still on very high doses of medications for my stupid shingles. That's my only excuse.