Thursday, June 23, 2011

Week 7: His Royal Highness's Daily Routines

Week 7 has come and is almost gone! Taj is definitely starting to be able to start to put regular weight on his leg (maybe bearing 85-90% now). When we do our morning 'walks' (all of about 700-800 feet round trip), he walks the WHOLE time (he used to hop half his way back) and this is with the tail-end of his pain-killer medication in his system.

To my delight, he has also started to do his myriad quirky Taj-like things (these started back around 6-weeks which is likely the point he started to feel much better and more like himself). In the morning he does his doga: starting with "downward dog" (a looooong play bow stretch back -hold for several seconds) ... followed by (the disdainfully named) "cat" pose (arching the back up high and leaning slightly forward and stretching out those hind legs!). 

The all-too familiar sight-hound position that
Taj managed to roll himself into this morning
When I scratch his back above the base of his tail he'll do his "dance" now where he high steps back and forth with his hind legs. He now is "talking" incessantly again and letting me know exactly how he feels. He also sits and looks out the window in his Sphinx-pose for large portions of the day. He now is doing his "scratches" again after he marks his territory ("I am Taj... There take that... You want some of this? I own this place!".... and he insists that we walk to the absolute furthest part of the yard possible - of course. Overall, it feels good to have the old Mr. Taj increasingly back!

Taj commends himself:
Looking quite pleased at this feat
I captured a bit of his absaluki ridiculousness this morning. His majesty (interesting "Taj" means "Crown Prince" in Sanskrit) rolled into a very comfortable sleeping pose. Any saluki or hound owner will instantly recognize it: on his back, legs splayed in every direction - the upside-down position of saluki sleeping glory. Taj hasn't been able to do this in a long time as it's tricky to balance the fixator leg, and he was beyond quite pleased with himself.

If there is an expression of saluki glee this is it!
I had to get to work so wanted to give him breakfast before I left (how dare I attempt to disturb him - I know I am heartless)...otherwise he wouldn't eat until evening. I can't leave the food in his cage. Taj likes to 'bury' things and that means the crunchies would be 'buried" (aka sloshed all over the place) when I got back. I tried to get him up, which he absaluki refused. He looked at me as if to say, "I will only eat my breakfast upside down today, mommy. Can't you see how glorious this is?" I obliged, " you wish, your Majesty."

As if this wasn't enough - he actually had the nerve to give me "stink eye" when the bowl was not "easy access" enough. "Tilt the bowl more my way, you human slave! I said a 45.5 degree angle! Now pat the bowl so the crunchies fall towards the bottom!" Half-amused, I took this as a sign that he is indeed starting to feel much better. 

Upside-down watering too: "Tilt the bowl, human slave, tilt the bowl!"

Yes I know, it's not best to feed your dog off the ground - let alone - UPSIDE-DOWN. But Taj was convincing (and he's fine now). I do use elevated feeders for the boys. My dad, a master craftsman, helped me engineer two feeding stations - which we built in his shop over a weekend. And yes, I actually measured the dogs to get the ideal height AND I decorated them. Fleur-di-lis for Taj of course and pretty blue flowers for Rumi!

Rumi and Taj's Feeding Stands

Close of up Taj's with Fleur-di-lys detailing, of course!

Otherwise, waiting, healing, waiting, healing... Our daily routine has become fairly set in stone now:

AM: Rise and shine, I let Taj walk to the stairs, then I carry him down. He walks outside and we do our ~800 foot "big" morning walk which consists of walking up the street one way (to the best vantage point) and then walking down the street the otherway (again to a good vantage point) and back inside (only allowed 10-15 minutes). Then it's breakfast in bed! After that is XPen time until early afternoon.
PM: Early afternoon, another bathroom walk. Back to the XPen. When it's cooler around 7-8PM we go on a 45-minute wagon ride around the neighborhood with Rumi - stopping to say hi to neighbors, neighborhood dogs, to smell bushes, look for bunnies, squirrels, and evil kitties. Another quick bathroom break and back to the XPen. Dinner Time!
Night: Then I usually take him out to sit with me in the evenings. Right before bed we do our half-hour pin cleaning session, another bathroom break, and then I carry him upstairs to his "bedtime palace" (i.e. upstairs XPen).

Occasionally we do fun variations when I have time that involve things like sitting outside on a blanket with a leash while I read books. We usually do 1-2 weekly field trips now where I'll either pull him down to Duffy's Outdoor Tavern or take a car trip with the wagon and then pull him around somewhere new.

I can't wait until we can start walking regularly again - hopefully we will see a nice big cartilage callous in our 8-week XRays next Tuesday!


  1. Taj is a real crown prince, isn't he.

    Those feeding stands are so great!

  2. Thanks Saori! I checked the pet stores here and didn't see any I liked and luckily we were able to built them fairly inexpensively - plus got to spend time with my dad.

    Taj is indeed a crown prince. But he brings me a lot of happiness so it is a fair trade!