Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Today, mom took me back to that place that was so nice to me but made me really sore afterwards.  They took me to the back without mom and the doctor did a bunch of that range of motion stuff and tested to see how I could move.  They also measured my joints and pronounced me cured.  I was glad to see mom when the nice lady took me back to her.  She told mom that she can start to gradually work me into being free to play again.  Walks, then off-leash play for a little bit gradually getting longer and longer thru a month.

Mom's been taking me down to the Potomac River boat ramp to swim every day.  I love to swim.  She throws a tennis ball for me to swim after.  Yesterday, a man and his 2 kids were way out in the middle of the river fishing and they walked back.  He said it never gets deeper than his shoulders.

Mom's been working the van house again.  I think we are going on another trip.  I hope I get to see my friend Pete the poodle again!

Monday, June 11, 2012


Resting in the shade with my cat, Syl
I'm still not allowed to play and run.  Last night, mom came home and I could smell my favorite dog buddy on her.  I couldn't believe she did that!  Visited Zepher without me!  I miss Zepher.  She's fun to play with and I trust her.

This week, mom's been taking me down to the C&O Canal for 10 minute walks.  I love the Canal.  So many interesting smells.  Lots of pee-mail left there.  The longer walk starts to hurt my right elbow - the one that got so sprained.  It was better on today's walk.  After we walk, mom has me walk on some uneven rocks by the lock and has me do waves with my front paws.  The right one hurts and I get up on all 3's to help.  Then she asks me to crawl.  Crawling is fun.  Then we go back home.

I try to play with my cat, Syl.  That works for a while until I get too rough with him.  Then he goes off.  Mom tells me to be quiet in the house.  I have to admit, I do get pretty noisy with him.
At the therapy place
At the therapy place at my vet's, I get laser treatments and a really good body rub by the nice therapist.  I step over bars.  She put them up to 10" and that was hard on my elbow.  Then I go into the glass box with her and walk on the treadmill in water.  Last time, mom put a tennis ball in the box so I played with that while I walked for 12 minutes.  We go again tomorrow.
Going into the water box

on the treadmill with my therapist making sure I don't do anything stupid.

Mom loads my new puzzle toys and I work them until I get all the treats.  Mom said she read on the internet that someone said their smart dog was busy with this puzzle for an hour.  Hah!  I get it done in 15 minutes.

I still have naked legs but a little fur is growing back.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Therapy Begins

It's been a really dull 2 weeks.  Over the weekend, mom gave me 2 new games from Nina Ottoson.  The first one, Dog Finder, was more interesting than the other ones I had, but I figured out how to get all the treats under the sliding "bones" in about 10 minutes with no help at all.  Mom loaded it up at the hardest setting too.  Later, she put down one that was really hard, Dog Casino.  I could smell the treats in it but I couldn't figure out how to open it.  I tried to dump it upside down but mom put her foot on it and wouldn't let me do that.  She took off the plastic bones and let me try again.  Then I got the drawers open and got all the treats.  It's a lot more confusing than the other puzzles.  Later, I figured out to pick up the bones and I want to chew them but mom makes me drop them.  Then I smell the treat and eventually open the drawer and get it.  There's another one I can smell she put up high, the Dog Twister.
Dog Casino - this one is hard

Dog Finder - easy peasy

Today, I finally got to go somewhere and do some things.  Mom asked me to get in the car and we went to the vet's!  I like the vet's.  The vet took out my stitches and talked to mom for a while.  Then we went to a new room there I'd never seen.  That was fun and the new person was really nice to me.

They made me lie down on my side and mom held my head while the lady rubbed this weird thing on my joints they called a laser.  It helps my inflammation go away and felt good.  Then she felt around all my joints and pushed and pulled my arms and legs. Then she measured all my joints.  She said my right elbow is about 10cm bigger than the left one but both rear legs were the same.  My right rear leg was a bit stiff.

After that, the lady put some pipes up about 5" and had me step over them slowly.  Then I was supposed to crawl but I got up instead/  My elbows do hurt some.  Mom took out a treat and then I did it.  We had a brief potty break and when we came back in, the lady took me into this strange box with her and it filled with water while the bottom moved.  The water came up to my chest and I had to walk in it for about 5 minutes.  She said I did really well in it.  When it stopped, the water started draining out.  I almost opened the door but the lady got to it before it opened.  I was a little antsy, so I tried to jump up but they said I wasn't supposed to.  Then we were done.  The lady gave mom a bunch of papers so that she would know what to do at home.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I'm Sooo Bored!

Best Buds
After a week after coming home from that strange place, I'm feeling better.  Mom puts a lot of pills in my food now and she puts extra salmon oil over it (yum!). [The antibiotic- done with that, Deramax - an NSAID, a pain killer, Dasuquin, and an herbal anti-inflammatory]  Mom lets me go outside on the rope on the van if I don't do much out there.  I like sleeping under the back end of the car and sometimes, my cat, Syl, joins me.  We are good buddies except when he's mean to the other cat.

I'm feeling better so I want to play and romp some but mom stops me and won't let me run at all.  I like being outside so i can see what's going on and smell things.  I can find hardly any toys so I picked up a catnip mouse the cats ignore and tried to get mom to play with me.  I dropped it in her lap and dropped it at her feet.  She knows that means I'm asking her to throw it for me.  But she won't.  She puts some treats in my puzzle toys but that doesn't take but a couple minutes for me to get them.  I just topple the flapper one upside down to get the treats -  really easy - and the jigsaw one isn't hard to get the treats out.

Mom put the cone of shame back on me a couple of nights because I was licking my legs and wouldn't stop.  They are starting to itch [because they are healing].  I'm learning not to go up the stairs anymore because she tells me not to every time I try.  it's confusing but whatever mom says is what I try to do.  I just wish I go run around and play like we used to.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Wearing a T-shirt

I've never worn clothes before.  Mom put me in a t shirt to keep me from chewing and licking my sutures.  She felt sorry for me in that awful cone.  I did my best hang dog so she would.  The problem was my foot would pull thru the sleeve and get caught in the body and I'd be in a pickle.  Or the sleeves would unroll and I'd step on them making it hard to walk.

Mom tried getting the shirt to fit me better (she won't take it off!).  First try was to safety pin the tail around my back.

She gathered excess material around the neck and safety pinned it on the back of my neck.

Then she gathered the front and safety pinned it so it stays closer to my chest.

Finally, she safety pinned the sleeves on both side of each of my legs to keep them from falling down.

That seems to keep it in place and I don't get into trouble.  Mom thinks I look both ridiculous and cute. But I'm leaving my sutures alone.

Mom went upstairs this morning to put some laundry on and I followed her up because she forgot to tell me to stay downstairs.  She was startled to find me there (I don't know why - I always like to dog her.  I'm a dog, after all.)  When we went downstairs, she put a sling around my chest and made me take each step one at a time while she lifted my front so I wouldn't put much pressure on my elbows.  I'm still on painkillers so I felt ok going upstairs.  She is treating me so weirdly.  As long as she puts my pills in cream cheese, I like taking them.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I have naked legs!
It's been a strange couple of days.  They were really nice to me at that place but my elbows hurt.  Mom helped me into and out of the car.  When we got home, I didn't get to go play and mom put this awful thing on my head.  It's bad enough I have naked legs now, but why is she punishing me by making me wear it?
Why, why did she do this to me?
She walks me outside on a leash to go to the bathroom and won't let me run even a little.  I get these extra cream cheese treats with pills in them.  I don't get to do much.  Mom makes me lie on my side so she can put cold things on my elbows.

Today, she left me at home for a couple hours so I just slept until I heard the car.  I hate the cone on my head but I'm figuring out how to move my head to stop hitting things.  When she came back, she had my hamburger and chicken for my dinners.  She took off the cone and put a T-shirt on me.  She said my new therapist (that I haven't met yet) suggested it might work to keep me from licking my sutures.  It feels weird but it's a lot better than that cone.
I can pick up my stick without the cone!

I've been licking my lower legs and mom tells me not to.  I got a fresh bone tonight.  Yum.
Ohhhh, the shame.  I wish I knew what I did wrong.
 Last night, mom put my bed downstairs and slept on the futon.  She tells me to stay downstairs when she goes up.  I'm confused.  The cat went upstairs and was confused too when mom didn't go up there for bed.
This is weird.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Surgery Day

Last night, mom dropped me off at the new vet's.  The people there were so, so friendly to me.  I was surprised when a lady took me back and mom didn't come along.  I know she will but I was here all night so I just pretended I was at home and slept.  I've never been away from mom for a night before.  Not since I came to live with her.  The two people at the front desk came in to pet me goodbye for the night and again this morning.  They are so nice!  They told mom that she could call every hour all night long if she wanted to get reports on how I was doing.  I don't think she did.  She says that with surgery, you have to lay a lot of trust in the hands of the people doing it because there isn't anything she can do and worrying or nagging doesn't help. It's not like she can do a better job or has the tools, even!

They called mom at 9 am just to tell her that I was going to have my surgery in the early afternoon, then again at 1pm to tell here that I was getting prepped for the anesthesia.  They told her I was being a very good dog and not fussing at all.  I'm wagging my tail at everyone who comes by.  I don't understand why I'm here but mom has taught me to be patient and she will come back.  I do find it exciting to watch all the new stuff here.  It's so different.

They said I would be all done in a couple of hours or so and they would call to tell her how I did when I wake up and the Doctor would call at the end of the day.

But now they gave me a shot and I'm getting sleepy ....

I woke up but I feel very weird.  People here are still really nice to me.  I woke up around 4p but I'm not sure because I don't actually tell time.  The Vet called my mom who still is not here.  He said I did really well and don't have any cartilage damage at all and no pieces grinding my joints.  But I do have a lot of inflammation that is causing my pain.  He shot me with cortisone to help that.  They gave me some kibble.  It's not nearly as good as the food mom gives me.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Celtic Festival

Yesterday, mom and I went to a Celtic Festival ( that welcomed dogs!  I was so, so excited!  So many people, dogs, and new things.  I met Irish wolfhounds (they look like a giant terrier, but aren't) that made me look like a small dog, an Irish Deerhound, Greyhounds, Westies, Rough Collies, Golden Retrievers, a Corgi, and some Border Collies.  I love to meet new dogs and people.  Lots and lots of people asked to pet me and sometimes, I remembered to not be too pushy about it until the people invited me.  Mom wants me to learn to wait for people to want to pet me instead of me assuming that all people will love me.

I was good about not being afraid of all the loud noises.  Those pipers are loud but I was ok with them.  I just kept pulling on the leash because I was so eager to go to the next thing and mom is pretty slow.  She did a whole lot of training and finally after a couple of hours there, I started listening to her again.  When I picked up a stick, she used that and I remembered all my training then.  I love sticks and toys best of all.  Liver is nice but toys are best!
Dog Parade of "Celtic" Breeds

There was a collie (smaller than me) that pulled a little cart and mom talked to the lady (  She recommended the cart place that caught her eye earlier.  Mom was glad to get a good recommendation for them so she is putting the starter cart kit on her list for late summer when I should be all healed up and ready:
Collie pulling a cart, Border Collies in the Parade.
I can do that!

One of the Greyhound ladies told mom my martingale collar to was too loose and adjusted it.  I responded a bit better after than and mom was glad for the help.  She told mom that a wider collar would be better and she gave her the name of a place that made pretty ones:

We watched Border Collies working sheep.  Boy are they good but they look just like a predator stalking the sheep.  This was the first time I have ever seen sheep but I just knew that I was born to herd sheep!  I so wanted to go out and help the Border Collies.  They do what they are told and I don't know those things, but I really, really wanted to try.  I wouldn't slink down to the ground like they do tho and stare with the hard eye.  I would stand upright and look at them to tell them to go the other way and race to the other side to move them back like I do to the neighbors on their ATVs.  It was hard to contain myself, but I stayed with mom and another lady who petted me and told me to stay.
I was born to do that!

We met a modern smooth collie that a couple had rescued in Richmond, VA.  He was sweet but seemed less sure of himself than I am.  His coat was a lot shorter than mine and he was smaller than me with a lot narrower face.  He was a sable and white like me with more white and his tail looked almost exactly the same as mine.

Almost everybody said how pretty I am and wanted to know what kind of dog I am.  Mom tells them she thinks I'm a old fashioned smooth collie like they were a hundred years ago.  Late in the day, mom saw that the ice cream man had Frostie Paws, so she got me one.  Yummy!  After we were done, she asked me to get trash so I picked up the pieces and gave them to her at the trash can.  She then started tossing her water bottle a little ways and asked me to get it so I had fun playing that game while she listened to music.  Pretty soon, a couple of young boys played with me too.  They were impressed at how fast I am!

It was a fun day, but I was pretty tired at the end of it.  It is tiring being (sort of) good all day.
There were a lot of these guys

Now, that's a big dog!

Listening to music and eating ice cream

Watching some historic fencing

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Old Smooth Collie Comparison

Dirona at 22 mos.

Yarrow, 1888 Ch Smooth Collie female
To my untrained eye, these two dogs look really similar except for color.

I think this one also is shaped very similarly to my dog.

 Here's champion rough from about 100 years ago
 Here's an old plate of collies from 1886, Colley Tree.
Notice how much more of a stop these old collies have and how many of their ears are not more erect than my dog's, unlike the modern collies who have smaller more erect ears, a narrower head and snout and a flatter face with smaller eyes.  The rough coats also tend to be a lot less full than the modern collie too.

Friday, May 11, 2012


At the SprinterFest
Mom, my 2 cats, and I went up to a SprinterFest in PA a couple weeks ago.  That was great fun and I was a big hit with the people there.  All I did was greet them and ask them to throw toys for me.  Which they did a lot.  Even when mom told them that just because I ask doesn't mean they have to oblige me.  In the evening at a little gathering, mom let me off leash because I'm so good these days and don't run off on my own.  Even when someone threw the toy near the road, I saw a road and knew I shouldn't go any further.  Mom was so happy I knew not to go to the road.

Then Sunday morning, my elbow really hurt badly.  I was limping so much but I still asked people to throw toys for me, 'cause, you know, I'm a collie, and that's what we do.  Mom kept me on a short leash.  On the Monday after, we to see my favorite vet, Dr. Ros!  I love Dr. Ros.  She kept me for an hour and drugged me and showed my mom xrays.  On the xray was a bone chip on my right elbow.  I was feeling pretty dopey but Dr Ros said I needed surgery.  She recommended a clinic that does arthroscopic surgery.  Mom knew from her own problems that arthroscopic surgery does a lot less peripheral damage than laying open the whole joint.  Dr. Ros said my sprain a couple moths ago was probably  because the chip caused me to move funny.  Mom loves me a lot so she called the clinic even tho the surgery will cost at least $3500.
Arrow points to the bone chip.
Hard to take a pic of an xray

We couldn't get an appointment before last Wednesday but my pain was nearly gone.  I'm a bit stiff but, ya know, I'm a collie, so I don't let that stop me much.  Mom won't play fetch with me, tho.  The other night, She stepped on my rope tug so I tugged but my elbow bit me and I yelped.  No tug for me either, now, darn it.

We went to the new clinic after a long car ride.  That was really exciting.  New smells and dogs.  People were so nice to me.  They even provided me with disposable water dishes.  They had a really cushy floor mom asked about.  It's made from recycled rubber.

It took almost 2 hours for a very thorough exam.  The new vet watched me walk and poked both my elbows.  Even my left elbow was a bit swollen and tender.  He really hurt me when messing with my right elbow and I whipped my face around to let him know to stop that.  He even poked around and stretched out my hind legs but said they were fine.  They said I was a very good girl to let them do all that.

The new vet agreed with Dr. Ros that I had a bone chip and showed mom a video of the surgery and how he would go in with a tiny 2 mm camera, then a tiny tool to remove the chip and any cartilage pieces he finds in the joint.  The arthroscopic surgery is first diagnostic, then they repair the damage they find.  He then finishes up with a scraping tool to smooth it all out, and make it bleed a bit.  The bleeding forms a clot, then heals to fibrous scar tissue that protects the joint and helps the cartilage do its job.  There's physical therapy afterwards to help it heal properly and that will last some 8-12 weeks.  The vet wants to also scope my left elbow because he says we dogs almost always have some cartilage damage in the other joint too and it's best to clean it up at the same time.  He says they want us to walk on it the next day because that helps it all heal.

Mom said that was exactly what the doc did to her ankle some 18 years ago and she is still walking on it.  The vet said not doing the surgery means that the pieces will act like sand in the joint and grind away the cartilage until I'm an arthritic dog at an early age.  He says they do this surgery on agility dogs and they go back to agility but he agreed that it would be best for me if mom does not ever train me to do agility because of all the jumping.  He said her idea of carting was a good one and that would be a safe activity for me after I'm all healed up.  She's been teaching me to go in the directions she points and says.  I'm getting that if I listen to her and not just assume what she wants, because I'm a smart collie!

So, mom says I have the surgery next Tuesday.  She says if we are going to do it, it is best to do it as soon as possible and get it over with.  They won't let me go home until the next day and make a discharge appointment when they go over what we should do in detail.  So instead of camping in the lot, mom will take me there the night before and then pick me up midday Wednesday.  She thought they would kick me out like they did her just a little while after I woke up.  But, no.  Vets are a lot more caring and careful than people doctors.

A puzzle toy I solved in 5 minutes.
Mom's gong to get me harder ones for my recovery period

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I'm 2!

I'm 2 years old!  Today, mom took me driving and stopped to get something a couple of times.  She said she voted and got a part for her tractor.  Then on the way back, she stopped at a different park north of Frederick.  We walked for a little ways then we went down to the river where mom took my leash off and I got to go swimming!  I like this river - The Monocacy, mom says.  After a little while we walked down the path a ways where there were lots of dog smells for me and spring flowers for mom - Virginia bluebells, speedwells, violets, and others.  Mom let me walk off leash because there weren't any others out.  I ran down to a creek and splashed a bit.  Then mom decided to take a little bridge across the creek to a path on the other side.  It made a loop around a little island that abutted the river again.  I got to go swimming a whole bunch in several different places.  I jumped into the water and swam but then I wanted mom to throw sticks for me.  At the end of the island, we met some other people with dogs and all we dogs had a great time swimming and playing.  The water was a lot deeper there and I had to swim to go out to get the sticks.

I was so tired on the way home, I just laid down and slept in the car.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Canine Good Citizen

I'm now officially Miss Dirona, CGC.  I passed my canine good citizenship test last month and my certificate came today.  I have to admit that I just barely passed.  We took the test at my mom's friend's mini farm and there were so many distractions!  Turkeys and chickens and guinea hens and dogs, oh my!  It's an easy test except for my getting distracted and ignoring mom.  All I have to do is sit, down, (I even threw in a roll over, just for fun), stay, come, walk politely as mom and her friend with another dog pass by and shake hands, someone else handles my ears and paws (no problem with that -  I love people!), I get taken away while mom leaves for 3 minutes and I not supposed to act up - that was easy too except for the male dog trying to mount me, and finally weave thru a crowd without pulling on my leash.  Fortunately they give me more than one try to pay attention and not pull on the leash.  I'm a lot better now in everything mom asks me to do.  I even heel at Lowes and Home Depot and don't pull on the leash - mostly.

My sprained hock is a lot better now.  Not getting to run around for 5 weeks was really hard.  Mom took me on some walks after 3 weeks when the vet said she could.  We went to the C&O Canal with my pack and I got trash for her and brought it back up to her.  She put some of it in my pack.  Getting the trash is fun!  Mom is so pleased with me.  We got to a camp where there was a lot more trash.  She tried to tie 2 bags to my pack but they slipped and I got spooked and ran.  Mom took them off of me and carried them herself.  She had 4 bags and I had another in my packs.  My pack isn't very big so it can't carry much.  I get excited and pick up sticks too because I want mom to throw them for me but she tells me to drop them and get the trash.
Trashy Dog!

but in a good way

We went again and got 6 bags of trash.  Mom carried 5 of the bags but said I should have a bigger pack.  The trash isn't heavy but it gets bulky -  mostly bottles people are too piggy to carry out despite the rules.  And the green pack slips off center.  She ordered me a new pack and it came today -  a large size but better designed than the one I had.  It's a Mountainsmith.  It was a bit big but mom got some clips to narrow the width of the back so it raised up a bit and the front strap goes across my chest instead of just above my legs.  It has a strap that goes between my front legs too that should keep it from slipping.

Mom is thinking about getting me a little cart to pull.  I would have to learn a lot of new things.
New pack is a little big

Pack with clips to shorten a bit

Saturday, February 4, 2012

22 Months Old

My mom has been remiss in helping me with this blog.  I'm now 22 months old.  I'm now pretty obedient most of the time and I always come to my mom now when she calls.  She hopes I can pass my Canine Good Citizenship test next week.  My biggest problem is still pulling on the leash and getting distracted by other people because I so love to greet them!  She's been working a lot on heel and I know what I'm supposed to do on or off leash but I still want to go faster than she does and I have to check myself.  Half the time, when she asks for come to heel, I leap into position at her side - cause I loves me my mommy.  Hey, I'm a collie!  Enthusiasm is my middle name!
Racing up the driveway

What we've been doing over the last few months:  Our van trip was fun.  I got to go swimming in 2 giant lakes mom called Superior and Huron.  That was a lot of fun.  In the fall, my mom got to work on house projects and I hung around a lot, often dropping my toys in front of her to get her to throw them for me.  In January, she got our driveway done with bricks and quit yelling at me for messing with the sand.


Striking a pose

Sticks are fun!

On New Years day a young border collie came to us and we had a great time wrestling and playing until he got taken away.  We haven't seen him since so he might just have escaped a visitor.  I get to go play with my favorite dog buddy, Zephyr a lot and we did some walks.  Mom throws a ball for me every day and I have fun racing after it.  I also decided that cars as well as school buses and trucks need chasing off our property boundaries.  I don't go into the road because of the fence but they always leave so my barking and chasing must be working.  I also chase and bark at raptors and flocks of birds.  They always leave too, so I must be doing a good job.

Mom doesn't like the way I push at her to let me go outside, so she hung a bell on the door and asked me to touch it.  I did and it made noise so that scared me.  She left the bell on the door and rang it every time we went out.  Took about 3 weeks but I got used to it and stopped being scared of it.  Now, I sometimes ring the bell when I want to go outside.  Mom tells me I'm a really good dog for that.

Last week, I sprained my hock - that reverse knee on my hind leg.  Mom took me to the vet on Monday and the vet wrapped my leg and told mom I can't play ball or run around for 3 weeks!!  Mom kept telling me to leave it when I tried to chew off the bandage so most of the time, I left it alone.  Today, she took the bandage off saying I was a good girl for letting it last the whole week.  My hock still swells a little but it is better.  She's been giving me extra treats too.  One of them is cream cheese that she forms into a ball, then lets me lick her fingers clean.  She says she is glad I'm easy to pill.  She's been hiding liver treat around the house for me to search and find.  That's a fun game.  I don't like this restricted activity very much.  I really want to go running and jumping.
Mom has me inside a lot and on a leash the rest of the time.