October 24, 2019

Both Hounds Get Their Walk Yesterday

For the first time in a couple of months, due to Stella's surgery and mine ... both Heidi and Stella got their walk in yesterday. Each hound was taken separately at different times of the day. Since it had been a couple of months since their last one, they both were asleep early and soundly ... they never woke up to beg for my food during the baseball game nor when I headed to bed. Photos below.

I followed the great news my doctor gave me on Tuesday and had my biggest day of activity. With my Apple watch recording every move and then synchronizing with the Activity app that comes with every iPhone ... I recorded 11,369 steps, a total of 4.6 miles with 3 different "workouts" where I click the green walking icon for a walk outside. 2 of those were the hound walks. Heidi got in .42 of a mile and Stella's normal path we always take was .69 of a mile.

At no time did I feel sore or tired ... I felt stronger than ever.

The one big thing I noticed after the doctor appointment on Tuesday where I was given the okay to bend more than 90°, knowing that stiffness and soreness I would feel in my hip when bending that far was a normal "get in shape" pain and not "you've damaged your new hip pain." With that I was able to sit in a chair and bend over far enough to put on my sock on the right food plus tie that shoe as tight as my left shoe. You don't realize how nice that was to do. I also sat both food dishes on the floor for the hounds without using "the grabber' but used the wall with one hand to balance myself.

Stella must have sensed I was feeling pretty good, it was soon after the temps crawled above 50° that she gave me that look to go walking. Yet I had a long list of errands to run around town. When you cannot drive and are getting things delivered by Amazon Prime and dog food by Chewy, you collect a lot of corrugated cardboard. That is the only kind of cardboard that is now recycled locally. It was good to see the city's set up for recycling drop off since they changed from curbside pickup in June. After seeing their set up I'll start recycling glass and #1&2 plastic again.

With the perfect weather, not getting really hot until mid to late afternoon, Heidi has never been more active. She patrols that stone yard like she did with the green grass in "the tropics", lays and sleeps in the sun on the patio and does laps around the edge of the fence with her nose to the ground. I was planning to give her a walk when I got back from errands but I was going to take her by herself.

I stopped by a locksmith, then the bike shop to pick up the bicycle they had been storing since my wreck. I had dropped it off the day before my wreck for them to change out a long stem for a shorter handlebar stem. They loaded the bike for me. After that it was a trip to the Animal Shelter ... dangerous for me. I wasn't going their to look or get a new dog but to drop off a brand new bag of Diamond Natural for Large Breeds. It didn't take more than 100# of food to see the hounds lose their shinny coats, started shedding and both were licking their paws.

I changed to that brand when I found out that Chewy did not sell Fromm dog food and I had to have my dog food delivered when I couldn't drive or lift heavy weight. Feeding  them a 33# bag of Fromm had them looking the best they had looked in a long time, no shedding and no licking their paws.

They were happy with the donation at the animal shelter. I had to take a look, see what kind of dogs they had. I stepped outside in a large area that was immaculate with the row kennels on each side. I didn't count how many there were but every kennel was filled and as soon as I was outside 99% of the dogs were barking at me. I walked by each kennel looking at each dog. All kinds of different mixed breeds and pure breds. Each had a card telling me who they were and how they arrived at the shelter. A few were the type that you wanted to rescue but I remembered what my friend told me a few years ago ... "Steve you cannot rescue every hound that needs rescued" ... so I continued my walk around the edge of the LARGE area and made it home "dog free."

I decided I'd try a test when I left. I let Heidi stay outside with Stella but I took my phone with me this time so there was no video recorded. I would be able to tell what Stella did by the time I returned a little over two hours later. It was in the low 70s mid-morning so they would be okay. A full water bowl was left but this time in the shade on the stone next to the fence instead of the patio. You wonder why??  :)

I expected the worse ... either a tunnel dug under the concrete blocks blocking the bottom of the gate, or my steel screen door tore into or bent, or my kitchen window that sits low having it's screen tore out. All repairable stuff if destroyed and if it happened it would not surprise me.

I had good news when I got home.

Normal night time position for Stella while I watch ballgames. That walk she had earlier put her in a deep sleep where she didn't move for the rest of the night that I was up.

I didn't see them standing at the gate when I pulled in. They were when I left. I glance in the living room window that lets me see the patio door from there. Neither hound was standing at the patio door. THAT was also a good sign. I quietly entered the house and walked to the back ... Heidi was asleep in the shade on the patio and Stella had cleared out all the stone for a cooler dirt floor to sleep on in the shade in the corner of the yard.

No scratches on the steel door nor any signs of that taking place on the patio floor. I even saw evidence Stella had slept out by back fence when there was shade, once again a spot where stone had been cleared to the dirt floor for cooler temps. I returned home a little after 11am with the temps already up to 77°. The gallon water bowl was completely empty but it was not tipped over this time.

Heidi normally wanders at night between her bed and the living room before we call it a day but last night she never came back to the living room once she head toward her bedroom. That walk was good for her. She didn't walk fast yesterday but her tail was up and wagging as we cruised down the sidewalk.

I almost forgot one of the fun things I did yesterday before coming home in the morning. I did my own grocery shopping instead of having them delivered. I didn't buy much and the heaviest bag was just two 1/2 gallons of Almond Milk. I did not go through self-checkout. I had no problem navigating the store without being ran into by someone's cart ... yes it has happened before.

Also after some lunch I put the hounds in the dark cool bedroom and took off downtown to the only place that sells Fromm Gold for Large Breeds dog food. I use to have to drive 50 miles round trip for this food, not anymore. Less than 2 miles each way. Furbabies Pet Bakery is only open noon-5pm but they have all the top brand names plus they have home made dog treats.

Right after I took this photo I asked Heidi if she wanted to go outside ... it's the nightly question I ask and she will trot to the patio door for her last pee of the day then go back to sleep.

But not last night ... she didn't even look at me. She just changed her sleeping position and went back to sleep. It wasn't until 2am when she woke me up to go outside.

Someone asked me the other day how I was able to feed the hounds without breaking the 90° bending rule. Before I let my dog sitter go, I had her move that case you see things sitting on from the garage to here. Just that added height put the food container high enough that I could get to the food out without bending over much. The bag was high enough for me to reach without bending over.

Once the bag was lighter I could pour it into the food storage container, all without bending over and breaking the 90° rule they gave me. I'll keep this setup a while longer until I can bend over without bracing myself with my opposite hand.

Yes, those stains you see on the trash can, and the case are nothing more than bloodhound drool and nose smudges from Stella smelling kibble and wanting kibble between meals. Since I am now allowed to bend over, today will be "clean up Stella's dried drool" from one end of the house to another. Luckily only a damp microfiber rag is needed to get that job finished.

While waiting to talk to Mike at M&M Cycling, to get my bike, I noticed a display of Hammer Nutrition. Most of the product was for bicyclists that race and for recovery after their training or racing but one product caught my eye. "Joint Health Support." I had nothing to lose and when I saw the words  "go to work immediately" I bought a bottle. I took their max dosage recommended yesterday twice and I have not taken it yet today ... I had ZERO soreness this morning after my biggest day of activity since my surgery. That's all I'll say about it. Pretty amazing.

While taking photos of Stella last night I focused in on a Menu I have sitting on the shelf under my small and soon to be replaced coffee table. It was a place I visited while on deployment in 1994. Great food, strong beer and owned by Australians. Mad Dogs in Kowloon Hong Kong. I have no idea if it is still there.

With me able to walk Stella again I am trying to remember if we walked before or after her breakfast. It was just after sunrise but now sunrise is a couple of hours later than before. Plus it's about 20° cooler now. If I wait until after 7am, we don't have our empty streets where she can trot on and explore at her leisure ... all within the 25ft retractable leash So we are kinda between a rock and a hard place to decide when to go. I do know for sure that our walk in the late afternoon when it was cooler with the wind but not the temp, was the wrong time to walk ... to many cars and noise.

Heidi's walk will be late morning like before.

The doctor told me that I would start experiencing more improvement than I had so far and based on all the activity I did yesterday and how I feel this morning, I'd have to agree. I've never felt better nor moved better and it's only 6:11am as I type that. I have some things to do at home today as far as cleaning the house but I hope to take a short trip for some hiking with my camera this afternoon.

I'll post today's photos later tonight. One thing about the new iPhone camera ... I love the photo quality. This morning I discovered the possible reason why they are so clear and sharp. The photos downloaded into my computer with .HEIC instead of .Jpg or .Jpeg. This explains it the best ... smaller file with better quality than a .jpg file .... yet when I moved them from my computer to the blog the transfer program turned them back into .jpg files so you should have no problem opening them.

It's going to be a good day in the Wild West today ... I feel a short roadtrip today with camera(s) in hand.


  1. You are doing so well - certainly should be pleased about your progress and the fact that you have basically done it all on your own.

    Question: Did the doctor give permission to start sitting on your sofa again, so you don't have to use a chair to enjoy your games?

    Take care.

    1. Yes he did and it felt great to sit on something soft.

  2. When the doc says "no twisting," does that mean the knee pretty much needs to point forward? So,no cross-legged sitting type postures,etc? Are you able to squat and stretch? Must be nice to get into more comfortable sitting positions.

    1. No twisting at the waist, no crossing legs, no turning knee inward while sitting as if you were rubbing the back of your calf or scratching the back of your ankle. It's nice to be able to bend over sitting in a chair, enough to where I can tie my right shoe and put my sock on.