I've reached the point that I'm letting R "cheat" by running a bit. I view it as medicine for his soul. He's been resting for months (with no improvement), and we still don't have a date set for his surgery. It's not because we haven't tried, believe me!
We just asked the east coast vet again if he can set a date to do the surgery. The reply was resounding silence. Argh!
I have one more idea to pursue that might help us avoid waiting for the stars align for the east coast vet to do the operation. The problem is that I believe that the new option involves a far less experienced surgeon - probably not optimal!
To be honest, R has handled the rest better than I expected that he would. The Runner spends some outdoor time with him every morning, and I hike with him every evening. I do trick training and nosework training with him every day.
He exhibits over-the-top enthusiasm for every activity we do with him. Just taking out his nosework harness makes him bark insanely. And, you should see him search for the scent. Even when I mess up and hide the scent in a place that is very difficult for a beginner nosework dog, he never gives up.
I have never known a dog as intense as R. When I do nosework with him, I often think that he would have been an amazing working dog in something like Search and Rescue that requires incredible drive. Alas, the time for that has passed but we can still have fun with nosework games!
He still looks like a puppy to me a lot of the time. His eyes can be so innocent and naive. I sure hope that we can get his elbow surgery soon. Because a dog's life is so much shorter than ours, I feel terrible seeing months slip away without any progress toward a more active life for him.