After three weeks of trips around the block, I finally got to take the “walk” I’d been waiting for last weekend. Mom and dad took me down to the San Rafael Valley in southeastern Arizona, home of oak-studded grassy canyons and the Mearn’s quail, a really cool little bird that pointing dogs love. While I didn’t get to run wild like Rana, I did get to test out my shoulders at the end of a 30-foot check cord (a big leash, if you ask me) for a few hours.
If pulling my folks down steep slopes and along rocky canyon floors is any indication, I’m feeling much better after my surgery. And while Rana’s feet were sore the next day, I felt fine and am eager to get off the check cord as soon as possible. I got to smell, see, and hear the hallmarks of fall, and even found three birds all by myself when dad let me out for a short break after he and Rana took off leaving mom and me at the car to rest for the afternoon. I didn’t point (I’m still learning, you know), but I did find them, which is where it all begins, after all.
At any rate, mom and dad were encouraged to see how I handled exercise like this. I still wince when dad cranks on my shoulders, but I think that’s to be expected, and it’s not like he spends all his free time trying to make me cry. From what Dr. Lirtzman told us at my recheck, it will be weeks—if not months—before a bed of tough fibrocartilage completely replaces the smooth articular cartilage that used to cover the affected areas in my shoulder joints. In the meantime, I’ll have to take it easy and I’ll be limited to shorter outings than Rana enjoys, but it will all be worthwhile if it slows the formation of arthritis in my shoulders over the years.