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Progress Report

As most of you know, I had shoulder surgery on August 11 for a detached rotator cuff and torn labrum. My recovery is exceeding all expectations (of the surgeon and PT) and I am back already, working with you and your dogs. It’s going to be a long recovery period, and I have been strongly cautioned to be careful and not use that arm at all, and hey, I can manage that. I am just excited to be back working with you.

Something that was going on behind the scenes during this time was my dog, Reggie, who was not doing well. He is almost 13, but suddenly he was acting lethargic, and dragging his feet on our nightly walks. At times he would stop, and felt like he couldn’t walk any farther. So I took him to the vet for a check up and blood test, which showed anemia. Dr. Boggs advised a certain senior dog vitamin with iron, but told me that we should have another blood test done in a week, and if the present level dropped any lower, we should do imaging to see if there is internal blood loss, or cancer... Cancer.

Reggie has been my partner since he was the size of a little stuffed animal. He is my demo dog when I teach group classes. He and I have performed more than a thousand comedy shows together for kids and families, and for adult seniors. He’s been on TV three times. Reggie is the reason I became a dog trainer. He is so human-like, that he’s more like a roommate than a dog. I couldn’t sleep at night, thinking about how life would be without him.

So both of us dragged ourselves and each other through the week. I carried a credit card with me during our nightly walks, in case he collapsed during a walk and had to be taken to the emergency center. I started giving him his new vitamins, and on Friday I took him in to the vet's office for more blood work. I had to wait until Monday for the results. Monday afternoon I got the call from Animal Veterinary Center that his blood levels were back to normal, and suggested a couple new pain meds for him to try. He still gets tired during the walks, and he still sleeps a lot, but he’s going to be okay.

That Monday night, I finally got a full night’s sleep, and my shoulder felt better.

Give your dogs a hug today, and a special treat from Reggie (and me).

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