We went to see Dr. Lirtzman today, and I got the news I was looking for! Two or three brief walks a day in the neighborhood for the next few weeks, with increasing “road time” after that. Although I still have some soreness in my shoulders, there is very little swelling and I no longer have the telltale head bob that accompanied my previous lameness. Dr. Lirtzman was pretty impressed.
Dad wasted little time in starting our exercise program. When we got home from Dr. L’s place, my treat bag and clicker were waiting on the front porch, and we hit the sidewalk before I got to eat breakfast. Suddenly, my Gentle Leader wasn’t such a distraction anymore; it felt great to leave the yard once again! Like most of my walks, this one had frequent interruptions for practicing my obedience skills. I have to admit they’re a bit rusty, but once the clicker started clicking as I did what was asked, it all came flooding back. I was heeling with a loose lead—paying close attention to turns and “about-faces” dad would make—”whoa-ing” as he stopped, and performing sits and downs crisply. Mom would’ve been impressed (or thought I was dropped on my head), and dad said if I keep it up, I might earn my Canine Good Citizen certificate after all!