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Monday, August 1, 2016

A Healing Vacation

After the wildfire, evacuation, and my string of bad migraines, we decided that we needed a serious break from everyday life. We packed up the LabMobile, including all of R's rehab devices, and we headed to the Crested Butte area of Colorado. We camped above 11,000', and we had many lakes around us for most of our days there.

It was exactly what we needed, and it also seemed to be what R needed to get stronger. We'd felt like his post-surgery improvement had slowed down a lot. Before the trip, he was still limping almost daily, and we were nervously controlling his activity to make sure that he didn't hurt himself. Ironically, our vet was encouraging us to increase his activity even more despite the limping because she thought that the limp was simply a "habit" rather than a sign of pain. I'm embarrassed to admit that we'd been afraid to actually follow her advice.

But, in Crested Butte, we had lakes galore. We let R play as if he'd never had elbow surgery. He was the happiest dog in the world. His limp vanished despite intense activity like this leap off the shore of a lake.

After the first day of letting him play around the lakes with no restrictions, I held my breath, watching to see if his gait got worse. It didn't!!!! So we played more!
In between multiple swimming (and diving) sessions per day, R went on progressively longer trail runs with the Runner. He still didn't limp!

I was doing his intensive rehab with him every day in our campsite, and he seemed to be getting stronger at an incredible rate. I'm going to share an update on his rehab soon.

By the end of our trip, we humans felt sure that we'd made a good decision when we chose CUE surgery for him back on April 15.  We hadn't seen him walk with no limp in a couple of years before this trip.

His sister was thrilled to have him playing with her again.
I'll tell you more about our trip in future posts but I had to share this very happy highlight first!


  1. So glad to hear about R's improvement and see him having so much fun.

  2. That is so very wonderful, for all of you, but especially that handsome R!

  3. That is awesome news. Vacations are good for everyone!

  4. Good news! I'm so glad you were all able to get away. I love the photos. Such dog joy! Now I hope to hear you are feeling better too.

  5. I love that series of pictures, and it's such GREAT news about R's rehab success! Huzzah!!!

  6. What a treat to hear such good news. I'm sure the water also helped. So glad for all of you, human and canine. You all deserve it.

  7. WOOOOO Hooooo. My momma smile and smiled as she read this. And guess what???? I can swim real good now. Last Wednesday I swam across a pond/lake and I love love being in the water. I even am learning to leap out into the water like Bert. Dog oh Dog swimming is the BEST. Someday I hope to be as good as Bert and R.

  8. WoooooHoooo!! OMD, this is the bestest news!!! I am doin' my happy dance and some zoomies and then a cookie.
    It is so FABulous to see those pics! YEA!
    Oh, and Ma hopes your my-grains are betters....she had a bad week last week too...frickin' my-grains....
    Ruby ♥

  9. A great vacation for all! fantastic for R!
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  10. I can see they have been in the water so much, very wet in the last photo.What a wonderful break, and rehab, all going well there, Hope you managed a short time off rehab duties!!!

  11. We are soooooooo happy for R - for all of you☺

  12. that good news deserve a wild leap into the water... have tons of fun!!!

  13. It's so healing to see R so active and happy
    Lily & Edward

  14. WE are so happy to see him jumping and playing! He looks happy and I know that makes you happy. stella rose

  15. Oh, seeing R play like that just makes our hearts soar!

  16. These are the images that only dared to appear in your hopes for R and now they are reality!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  17. Watching R and Shyla have so much fun together,,,makes us feel soooo good! Good going R !!!

  18. Yay, R! I hope this lasts! We have setter (elderly now) who has a permanently mangled toe and nail from an accident before we got her as a puppy. She enjoyed hunting and romping and retrieving the tennis ball - until she got tired or bored and then she would deliberately start limping so we would let her stop! It was hilarious, because she would be fine as soon as we let her stop and move on to something else! But the next time she got tired of doing something, up she would come limping and holding the paw up, looking pitiful :)


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