Sleep Deprivation

I’m so flipping tired.

I haven’t had a puppy in over 15 years. I’ve also never crate trained. All my previous dogs lived outside with access to my parents’ five acres. So this is an entirely new experience for me.

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She’s stupidly cute though, which makes it easier for me to forgive the sleepless nights.

And it sucks. Lina has yet to consistently sleep for longer than 1.5 hours at a time before needing to go to the bathroom. She came half potty trained by nature. She likes to go outside. She’s only had a couple of accidents in the house and those were mostly our fault. Which is lovely. But she won’t use the puppy pads and this makes nights hard.

It likely wouldn’t be so bad except I’m still training for my half marathon. It is in just under three weeks. I’m running 10+ miles on Sunday and over 25 miles each week. I NEED rest to recover. And I am not getting rest. I’d be tired with either the puppy wakeup calls or the running alone. Combined? I’m dying.

We have turf in our backyard so out of desperation we have bought a small square and put it in the bathroom Lina can access from her sleeping area. We hope that she might decide she can use that during the night. It isn’t ideal but it is temporary until she reaches an age where she can reasonably be expected to hold her bladder. I’ll settle for her only using it occasionally if it means I can get several hour chunks instead of only single hour ones.

On the horse front, Scarlet is okay. After struggling with the setbacks I was talking to a lot of friends to try to figure out what to do. L suggested being very precise in our exercises and documenting them in a notebook. Which is a really smart idea and I’m annoyed it didn’t occur to me earlier. It’s not like I have 30+ blank notebooks sitting around my house. (I totally do.)

So I’ve been keeping track. I can’t say if I’ve really seen any benefit yet except that I know for sure how he did the day before. It has been less than a week so I do not have much data to go off of. But I do feel better about our walks. We are at between 6-7 minutes depending on how speedy Scarlet is walking.

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He is moving fairly well at that distance. Im thinking about adding 30 more seconds to our walk. That is only 1/12 of the shortest time we’ve done our current distance in. I’m hoping that will be a sufficiently small enough increase where it doesn’t cause Scarlet any issue.

Its a lengthy process and I’m running out of ability to actually handle everything. I only have a few more weeks of running so that will be up then. I can’t wait until then. And hopefully I’m put on the schedule for my vet asap. I really hope that will help the issues Scarlet is having. 

Forward and Back, Rinse and Repeat

Rehab is so incredibly frustrating. I hate trying to figure out how to write these posts now that we are pretty exclusively just walking. Especially hate writing them when we take another step backward.

Scarlet had been doing really well most of this week. We had gotten up to about 7-9 minutes of walking. He had nice distinct hoof beats. Not much interfering. He would even march us back to his stall. I was really pleased.

Friday I added about three minutes onto our loop. Saturday we walked a short bit and grazed a lot. Saturday we also were struggling to get back to our stall. We had lots of loss of his hind end. People kept asking if he was alright and if I needed help. I get that it comes from a good place but jesus people. You see me clearly walking a lame horse carefully. Of course he isn’t okay and no I don’t need help. F off. (mostly me being pissy that my horse isn’t fully healthy. I didn’t actually tell them to f off.)

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Emotionally Saturday was ridiculously hard for me to deal with. I should be able to walk Scarlet a few minutes more without this huge setback each time. Sunday could have been worse. He was fine walking for a short walk with only a couple of issues. Its difficult for me to deal with such huge downswings like this.

I got on the schedule for an acupuncture treatment. Unfortunately, the vet doesn’t have any openings until the beginning of March. So we are going to have to continue as we are until then. Unless someone drops an appointment. Always possible. But not something I will bet on.

Reading back, this post looks like I’m looking for sympathy. Really, its not. I don’t have it all that bad. But my problems are still problems for me, so I can’t discount that. This is more a rant to expunge the doubt, fear and frustration. If I keep them in, I will explode. It’s not so bad that I’m going to have a breakdown. But on a bad day, it might be the straw to break my camel’s back. Hopefully not. Hopefully we recover and the treatment helps a lot. I just really want to continue forward.

Exciting News! (Plus Regular Scarlet Update)

Please welcome Lina to the family!

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We got a puppy! Its kinda the whole reason I got a house. I was very insistent that we have a decent yard for puppies and possible future kids. I’d planned on trying to make the puppy happen sooner, but then Scarlet’s neuro issues happened and I couldn’t justify the cost. So I put my puppy wishes on hold.

But about two weeks ago, a friend texted me asking if I needed a free golden/husky mix puppy. Need? No. Want? Hell yeah! Her coworker’s neighbor breeds goldens. She’d gotten a golden from him and its a good dog. He rescued a husky and day one she got loose and happened to be in heat. So he ended up with a litter he wasn’t expecting. So I managed to talk my husband into it, contacted the breeder and set up a date to pick up the puppy.

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We brought her home on Saturday. It was a fair drive from the breeder to our house. She didn’t like the car very much. She rode on our laps the whole drive but was concerned about the noise and corners. Luckily, she fell asleep for a good chunk of it.

Bringing a freshly weaned puppy home is hard. She had a bunch of siblings and half siblings to play with, not to mention a bunch of farm animals as well. So she’s feeling very lonely. Shes pretty cuddlesome so we are keeping her occupied as well as well as we can.

I’d love for her to spend more time out in our backyard. She seems to prefer it, likely because she was raised outside. But it just so happens to be raining. So we go out for pee breaks and spend some time running around out there to exhaust her. But I don’t want to have to dry off a puppy every time she wants to come inside. And she wont spend time out there without me or my husband sitting with her for now. Its only supposed to rain until Monday so she might get more time out there soon.

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Scarlet is doing okay. I’d like to get him another acupuncture visit. Trying to figure out where to get the extra money from. Its been about a month since his last one. He isn’t struggling at the moment, not exactly. He’s definitely lopsided in what he can use of his body though. I’m okay with that to an extent. It’s going to happen due to his nerves just regrowing as they like. But I’d like to get the vet out since we had such a tough time with the farrier.

While I figure out where to come up with the money for that, we are just doing our stretches and walks as normal. We aren’t back up to the full walking distance that we had been. I’ve been busy with my half marathon training which means I have less time in the morning. And I want to make sure that he is fully okay before we take another step up in distance. He’s pretty content though. He gets treats, gets grain, gets groomed and has to do a small bit of exercise. I think he’s pretty comfortable as he is. It’s just a long road ahead.

Forward and Back

Rehab is a frustrating cycle. For the most part, its pretty boring. You just do the same thing you did the day before for a while and then add a tiny bit more of whatever when your horse can handle it. But sometimes, those tiny steps forward don’t work out.

I initially had Scarlet walk over a pole twice. But then he was very sore and having issues with his hind end getting disconnected more often while walking. It went away with a few days of non pole walking. I decided to try just once over the pole. Similar, less extreme result. I probably could have pushed and have him continue to do that. But the losing his hind end is… mildly scary. He pivots around uncontrolled for a bit until he gets his legs back under him. Its not very safe for him and its not super safe for me.

So I decided to step it back with maybe more arena walking as that is slightly harder for him than just walking on the hard ground. He did well with that. I think it was harder for him but an acceptable level. I’m not sure if it is something that is going to prep him for eventually stepping over a pole. I was contemplating whether we should try something else when the latest setback happened.

He got his shoes done last Friday. It was difficult for him. He was having a bad balance day and it was really hard to get his hinds done. The farrier did his best, braced him and sped through it. But it was still really hard.

So Saturday Scarlet was really sore. So sore that he’d swing his hind around because he couldn’t catch himself and he wouldn’t seem to be able to stop. I ended up doing something mildly stupid and helped brace his hind so that he could get it under him. It worked. We had the hardest time walking back to the stall. It was very scary.

I’m positive that it is just soreness making it hard for him to compensate muscle wise for what nerves he is lacking. Its the same reaction that the pole caused, just more extreme. I don’t really have the extra funds to have the vet out for another treatment yet. It hasn’t been more than a couple of weeks since our last one. And he was great on Thursday so I decided we are going to take a step back.

Sunday I went out and groomed him. Then did his stretches inside his stall. Then we exited the stall carefully and did a very slow, gentle three-ish minute walk. Just enough to get him stretching. He loosened up a bit by the end of the walk so I think that was the right choice. He wasn’t really struggling and he was walking a bit better at the end than the beginning.

So we’ve had some more setbacks. And I’m unhappy with it. My horse is struggling and there isn’t any way for me to magically make him better. Sometimes that weighs on me a lot. I’m pretty sure we have a really good chance for getting back to a lot more work, maybe even 100%. But it is long. And it is hard when we go backward.

My plan is to continue with the gentle walks and take the distance based on how Scarlet feels each day. I think he will probably recover by the end of the week. And then I need to be very careful about any increases. Lots of thinking will go into them and I will not hesitate to give Scarlet a gentle walk day if he seems to need it. It’s a process. A long one but we will make it work.