Thursday, February 28, 2013

Quick update

Just wanted to post a quick update on Max's progress...

When the weather has been nice we've been taking him for walks with the other dogs and he's been riding in Buster's old Pet Gear Expedition.. if you  have a dog who is weak, tires out easily or can't walk that weighs under 150 lbs... this is a MUST HAVE!!!  I have gotten more use out of this cart than any other piece of equipment or dog toy I've ever purchased...

Max AND his bed in the pet gear stroller holds up to 150 lbs 

So.. yesterday we're walking along and Max decides he's going to start kicking and sit up (he's been sitting up and looking around while he's in the cart. He's actually watching things and will turn his head now and pay attention to one particular thing as we walk by! It's very cool to watch!  He even sat up when he saw the kids playing in the street and they came over to pet him.  This time however he was kicking and trying to get up so I knew what he wanted to do, and took him out of the cart and he stood up on the side of the road, by himself.. leaning against my leg and peed!  He peed for the first time on a walk since July!  He was so proud of himself!  Then when we got back to the house he got out in the front yard and wanted to practicing his walking more and then he pooped outside standing up!!!

So proud of my pee'er and pooper!

This morning he's been a crazy man!  We got up at 5AM and went swimming.  Max got in a good 5 yards, but he was super active and moving those arms AND legs like crazy to get himself where he wanted to go!  He flipped himself back to the side he wanted to be on if I flipped him to his other side, he sat down, stood up, kicked me, growled at me.. let me know I was in the way!  Really doing great this morning!

After his swim and a quick towel dry I put him in his cart so I could dry off and he rolled across the room.. and kept on rolling around. Almost rolled over Buttercup.. It was a slow but determined roll!.. He actually rolled around in his cart for 2 hours after his swim!  Super active.. Then he hate his breakfast  and we rolled for another 1/2 hour and then I took him out, blow dried him and we practiced standing for another 20 minutes (until I could handle no more!- he could keep going) and he practiced taking steps... sometimes he forgets to bring either his back or front legs along with him.. We did a little practice sitting down too. He still is reluctant to bend his elbows when sitting and standing - I am not sure if that's a balance thing, or what. He will bend the top one when sitting or laying down, and will bend both if I pet the top of his head or back (I guess a "duck and cover" reflex maybe??  He'll also bend them in warm water no problem

Now he's taking a nap in the sun!

I've had to try hard and remember that it's ok for him to be uncomfortable and he's gotta try and do this stuff on his own and not to scoop him up and help him stand the second I see him struggling to sit or stand or walk. 

We've been practicing balancing while standing - he'll stand on all fours and I'll be next to him with my arms on the other side of him but not touching and he can try and stand up and if he wobbles and hits my arms or my knees he will try and center himself again - sometimes he falls but he's pretty good with trying to get himself back into the center.

The other thing I've noticed over the last 2 weeks, the other dogs and the cat have been MUCH more interactive with him. They are going up to him and sitting with him, sniffing him, barking at him and hanging out with him.. Our vet's kitten even started to clean him on Monday!  I think they are all sensing / seeing that he's more able to look aware and be more reactive to stuff going on around him!

I'm proud of my super Max!

More images of the Pet Gear Expedition:
2 labs in a Pet Gear Expedition

It's great for off roading. We take ours in the woods on the trails and to the beach all the time like these guys do. It's very rugged and we have had no break down issues at all!!!  It also folds up and easily fits in your trunk or the back of your car

Our rottie likes to poke her head out of the top  when she rides in it, but most usually hang out - the front and top flaps zip to keep your buddy safe inside where they can see out all sides and have good ventilation. You can also Jog with this cart too and it has brakes in the back and a couple of pockets to put your keys, poop bags,cell phone and other stuff you want to carry.  

This is how Buttercup our Rottie likes to ride!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Max's neck works!

Finally caught Max lifting his head and looking around after waking up... FINALLY!

Max working on standing.. and sitting outside

Well.. it's a beautiful sunny 50 degree February day... no complaints here.. Max has really been enjoying standing on the hill in the back yard.  For some reason he seems to have a little better balance there but still needs to be able to lean against me, but he likes to take steps outside - maybe it's because the ground is softer than the floor? Or he's just outside and enjoying being outside.

He also has been going to the bathroom when he goes outside too which is kind of nice ! (Especially when I remember to move my food out from under him... )

(Oh and he's also been sitting up and looking around each time he wakes up and can do this on both sides now!  ... And is using his right arm to help push himself up... and for the first time yesterday - although this hasn't been consistently repeated - actually blinked when I  pulled a "3 Stooges" on him and waved my fingers in front of his eyes.. The last few times he's actually moved his whole head rather than blink.. he definitely can see and his depth perception may just be making a come back - Fingers are crossed.. 

Anyway - thought I'd share some pictures of today's outting..remember he could barely lift his head a month ago. Now he can hold it up for 10 min or so before it gets weak.  Wish I had the video camera..

Max sitting up on his own - that head is still heavy!

Max watching stuff while leaning against Mom

(he just ate.. and hadn't licked his lips yet.. saving it for later. )

Leaning - that head gets heavy!

I wish I had video he was moving his right arm down the hill and trying to get up I had to straighten him out so he didn't take a tumble but he was trying hard!

Standing on all 4s.. and leaning against mom (who can't focus the camera in on all of Max)

Leaning against mom

Hey You... What's going on?!

Mom's favorite beach... nobody around as far as the eye can see!  Sorry had to throw this one in.. it's what keeps me sane!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Max Sat Up!

So.. not only is Mr. Max working on his standing and walking skills these day, but he also just woke up from a nap (see below) and sat up on his own and looked around and then focused in on me.. then went back to sleep. This is the first time (That I've witnessed - he may do it at night b/c I find him starring at me quite a bit after he repeatedly clears his throat until I wake up) that I've seen him do it!

He also barked yesterday loud enough that he could be heard on the other side of the house!   Super Max is still coming along... side muscles are getting stronger - it's amazing how many muscles will atrophy and you have to build them up... #1 recommendation for anyone dealing with a bed bound, or stroke patient pup... if they can't physically move on their own.. definitely do range of motion as much as you can every day and try to do any sort of resistance with them - even if it's just pushing  - Nobody explained to me how extremely important this was  - although maybe nobody knew..  - other than a human physical therapist.. and what I had been doing prior was not enough.. Every few hours Max stands up and practices taking steps on his own or even just balancing on his own. Now I can see him standing in his cart with his legs wider apart vs. crossing like he used to - his hips are getting back in place..  The other thing that I've noticed is the muscle atrophy  above his left eye is lessening. His vet saw this too..  (He's trying to sit up again and just wagged his tail!)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Catching up...

Sorry it's been a while since we've posted.. Lots to catch up on.. but for now.. just posting a few pics and videos of Max.

**Max can now stand for over 10 minutes on his own while leaning up against someone or something... He has also started to take more and more steps while standing up and leaning against someone.  He has been working on being able to lift his left front leg higher and higher and placing that foot perfectly - vs. knuckle walking.. his elbow is still stiff but he's been working hard and about 25 % of the time he gets that food placed perfectly!

His infections between his legs are gone too!**

Max swimming - this is what we did during the Superbowl... and after he got out, all he did was wiggle around and want to stroll around in his cart.. !

Max and his new doll

Max and his bone

Max has a bone in bed and nobody can get him!

Practicing standing on his own and squatting
Hanging out on his bean bag chair watching TV