A quick recap: in 2008 when Molly came to stay with Simon and I, they were involved in a major accident. Simon had some edema and bruised ribs. Molly had lacerations down both shoulder fronts, a completely out of whack neck (discovered days later, but that’s a rant best left for another day) and major head trauma. She was released from the Veterinary ICU after 3 nights when her eyes finally dilated on their own. She couldn’t walk. I made a deal with the vet that if I didn’t see obvious improvement after a 3 day weekend, i’d bring her back we’d put her down. She started to show improvement immediate, when she was awake. The first day home she slept 20 of 24 hours. I read every new study i could find on head trauma care in people, and used that as my guide. I gave her heavy doses of salmon oil as there are studies suggesting that the omegas cross the blood brain barrier to support healthy brain tissue and the creation of new neuropathways. I may have been overkill as there was no physical evidence of neurological damage, but it’s not like we (her vet and I) could do a full work up with questions to determine memory, etc. LOL However, many of her physical actions were consistent with bruising on the brain. So it was worth a shot. We also used a salt water rinse on her lacerations to promote healing and deter scar tissue development. The next steps once she started house training (again) and walking in straight lines was to start working her brain. After 4 weeks she was back to her normally horrid sleep pattern, including a 5am wake up call. For the last few years she’s done a series of food dispensing toys, learned tricks, and once the vet ok’d it – started back into sheep and cattle work.
That wasn’t very quick, but rather concise considering! LOL
The last thing on my ‘list of stuff to watch’ with Molly has been her body awareness. Puppies learn this from the time they start to waddle around. The process of climbing out of the puppy pen, running into things, falling over… all part of the process of figuring out not only how to use those little pink paws, but to get a sense of how their body fits into any given space. Molly has never really gotten this concept. I spent a month hearing a random thud in my back yard, only to realize it was Molly chasing Simon, overestimating the amount of room she had on a turn and hitting – the shed, the fence, and once… the cherry tree. And a sheep. /sigh
With this is mind, we started working on balance first. She learned ‘pretty belly’ – sitting pretty leaned up against my legs so i can rub her belly and her scars. She’s starting to lean less every time we do this. I also started hiking with her. First a while back at Robe Canyon, which has a lot of washes and cliffs and places where she needed to learn to listen on the trail, but still have fun. The challenges were minimal, but they were different than what she was used to and required some careful footing in places.
Today, i took her to the Fish Ladders at Granite Falls. There are a lot of different surface types, but most importantly, there are little coves off the main trail. The point of this was to have some fun off leash, but considering the terrain choices with lots of large rocks, sheer cliffs and such… to see how she was doing in finding her footing. She had a great time. 🙂
Still all legs…
It looks deep…
I had to climb down all of this to get to the water.
It wasn’t all perfect. She got a little over-confidant scaling the rocks back up to the trail and took a little tumble. She got back up and started looking for another way up almost immediately. I think with this… i’m going to close the accident chapter. She has proven the capacity to learn new things, is developing appropriate social skills, is physically sound, has a capacity to gain confidence and shows no indication of the seizure activity we were afraid of.
And she’s having fun. 🙂