May 17, 2021 — We have the cutest dog!! Her name is Foxy. She is a pomarenian-poodle. She loves to jump up on our bed (we have a storage box at the base of our bed for Foxy to use it as the hopping step). She loves to chase this blue rubber ball up and down the stairs. Daddy thinks she’s very athletic — she loves to play with this ball and sometimes she jumps up, grabs the ball with her body twisted, lands and looks at me. But she has loose knee joints and, once in a while, she hurts herself. I would see her rushing down the stairs, jumps off the step and grabs the ball and….I hear her yelp and limps toward me…. Now possibly because of this loose knee joint, about 5 weeks ago, she tried to jump up the couch from a weird angle and…yelp rather loud and started to limp kinda funny. I took her to the vet the following day. The doctor gave us a couple of medications (pain-killer and anti-inflamatory med) and told me to watch over the weekend. If she still limps around Monday, bring her back. She didn’t seem to be in much pain — she walked around…except she’s now hopping along on her 3 legs.
When I took her back to the vet, the doctor didn’t like the way she was hopping and suggested we take an X-ray. Frankly I didn’t know what X-ray could reveal, thinking it’s a strained muscle or something like that. Well, lo-and-behold, the doctor told me, she had a dislocated hip joint. I still didn’t think it was that big of a deal — after all, King Kong just simply banged his dislocated shoulder into a tall building and “knock it back in the socket” (as he did in the newly released movie: “Godzilla vs Kong”)…!! Well, it turned out, dog’s dislocated hip joint wasn’t that easy. The doctor was a bit rushing — she suggested me to schedule a surgery right away; at that point, we would have had to wait for 6–8 weeks but there was a cancelation and she squeezed Foxy in the following week. Just to confirm, the doctor sent me some information about the surgery. It just freaked me out!! Basically, this surgery (Ostectomy) is to remove the “ball” of the thigh bone (femur) completely. In other words, after the surgery, there will not be any “joint” left!! I called the doctor just to confirm; I mean, would Foxy be able to run around and jump around ever again? No worries, the doctor told me. Apparently, muscles and fibers will eventually grow and stabilize the area to create “false joint”
Foxy had a surgery a month ago. It was pitiful to watch! “Make sure you do all the rehabilitation exercises (stretching and massaging first; then after a few weeks, actual strengthening exercises) and she’ll be running around in 6–8 weeks,” the doctor assured me. “First goal,” she said, “would be to get her (Foxy) to put weight on her all 4 legs in 2 weeks. Dogs get used to hopping on 3 legs so easily…”. In fact, Foxy started to walk on all 4 legs after a week. By the time the stitches came off 2 weeks after a surgery, she was (somewhat reluctantly) jumping up the counch. We were cautioned to go easy a bit but Foxy seems to know when she’s ready. She would go down stairs slowly but she was quite hesitant with going up. At times, it got me worried still. That was last weekend. This weekend (5 weeks after the surgery), now she runs up AND down on her own will. Yesterday, for the first time after the surgery, she jumped up to our bed. Coincidentally, my wife also had a major surgery in March. She has been frustrated with a slow progress and I’ve been using the example of Foxy to encourage her as well. It is amazing how quickly (well, much quicker for a dog!!) the body adapts to the stress.
The whole premise of Lydiard Training Method is based on the Power of Human Adaptation. He may not have said it this way; but the underlining theme of his training — and, in fact, he did say this over and over again if you read it closely — is that, “if you keep within yourself and keep at it, you WILL improve.” Train, Don’t Strain. It seems that Foxy knew about that as well. She didn’t rush it. But slowly and gradually, she is getting back to her normal self. I can see her right hip still a bit wobbly — after all, she doesn’t have any joint there!! But obviously I can also tell it’s getting stronger. If you keep within yourself, you will keep improving…!!” As for my wife, it’s been 7 weeks sincer her surgery. A bit slower than Foxy, but now she is up to 3-mile jog! We consider that as a triumph for she had a hard time simply walking a mile around the time when Foxy had her surgery. — Nobby Hashizume