My new dog that I have had for nearly a year has me out of bed at 5.30am. Even though I have always been able to get up early and preferred it, I confess it was a bit of a shock. Then I started to appreciate it. It meant I could go on the computer in peace to wake up, get things organised but not in a hurry and achieve such a lot by 10am if I was at home or be really ready to leave for work after 7am. So I have kept the habit. It works. The origin of the proverb Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy , wealthy and wise probably comes from Aristotle and Mama Lisa's World fills in some of the historical and linguistic transformation of this saying. Aristotle said : "It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom." I have found by being up early I am more active and have the time to be active rather than frantically trying to fit everything in. It also means I have time to think and sort things out properly and so I am probably wiser. The wealth for me is not about riches and lots of money but all my bills and financial affairs are in much better order because I have been thinking things out well and I do take the necessary action to sort out financial matters quickly and effectively. I am not tired. I don't leave things because I am tired. Wealth can mean a lot of things to me. Not just money. My health is my wealth and I am certainly healthier because of my energetic dog. I also have the time and frame of mind to engage with others better so my relationships are healthier and they to me are a sound investment. If it comes to riches, then that is something altogether different. We have a world full of the rich and famous. Most of them look awful, are pictures of misery and are very unhealthy. They are not an inspiration. Yes, there are rich people who are happy and well but the richest seem to be in a state of perpetual torment as far as I can see and not very happy at all. I'll stick with health and wealth.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Saturday, April 06, 2013
This is so incredibly moving. Tom Barbour has a Facebook page which is equally inspirational. It is a humbling experience to see what he, his parents and Project Walk have been able to achieve. Tom is tackling his challenge head on. He has been surrounded by people who care and you can see his trainers have some expert skills. The way in which they can help him move forward is extraordinary to watch. Tom is showing us that 2013 is about getting stuck into it, setting your goals and dreaming your dreams. I feel sad it is costing so much money. When some is so willing to tough it out the really hard way, when someone, against the odds, will take their life into their hands and show they are determined to better themselves and then show it all online so others can gain courage and determination too, then it's sad it costs so much. Makes me put the idle, the destructive and the disruptors into perspective. Why do we focus on them and not people like Tom? Our TV programme The Project picked up this story and it came up in my Facebook feed. That to me is what we should do. Care about those who are adding to our world. Spend time with them helping them and encouraging them. Go with the positives and pay no attention at all to the nay sayers, the negative people and those who would use our time and energy to feed their lack of capacity to achieve something as awesome as Tom Barbour, his family, his friends and his trainers. I look forward to seeing him walk.
It's a fortnight tomorrow since the labrador retriever cross slammed into my leg. It has been quite challenging and hard because I am normally very active. The knee exercises worked. Pedalling on my exercise bike for short amounts of time really helped. Resting it helped. Having a bath helped. Bracing it with a knee brace helped. Wearing good sneakers helped. What also helped was the amount of encouragement and praise I got at work. People could see I was struggling at times but they kept chatting to me and kept me moving and came along side me at my pace. They let me work out what I could and couldn't do by myself but then they really encouraged me when they could see I was going along better and better. They also were good at making me laugh. Toughing it out was worth it. My leg is almost back to normal. I can go up and down stairs slowly. I can almost manage slopes and I have been able to do some of my yoga poses. I still have trouble getting up if I crouch or squat. Pushing myself safely through different routines has brought back normal knee use. I don't need the knee brace anymore but I do need proper shoes with non slip soles. I cannot afford to unbalance that knee at all. Tackling it this way means I have been able to take control of my injury and work through it. I needed things to do and I needed to be able to gauge how well I was doing , so having benchmarks and goals was a good plan. By the end of next week I am expecting to be practically perfect in every way. Cannot wait!
See part one of the story.
Monday, April 01, 2013
I have been in a lot of pain and trouble because a big black labrador retriever slammed into my right leg , trying to attack my dog, when I was out walking just over a week ago. I have blogged about that here. My first challenge was to get the medical help I needed since it just got worse and worse over the Sunday and by Monday morning I could hardly walk and couldn't really get my foot on the floor. I had managed to get myself home on the Sunday so I had assumed, wrongly, that it just needed some rest and a bit of TLC. I went to the hospital and got X-rays because I needed to know what I was dealing with. I was assured there was no real damage and I would just have to put it up and rest it. So I had 3 days off work, rested and still I was having trouble walking. I figured a big black dog slamming into my leg was going to do a fair bit of damage and to undo that I would have to approach it more logically than I was. My one day at work before Easter was good in that it proved to me I could just get on with it, but it was exhausting because it is a big workplace to negotiate. I got plenty of support and encouragement so that cheered me up. Since then I have learned it needs heat treatment, a bath and some careful exercise. I am indebted to knee-pain-explained for having such sound advice and some good videos to follow which are so clear. I realise I may need to get physio but my plan is to give myself a fortnight from the event. I have been doing the exercises, resting, using soothing creams and resting. Today I went on my exercise bike. I didn't know if that would be a good idea or not but I am not a sitter so not being able to move around freely is getting to me. Slowly, slowly I started and found I could pedal about half my normal speed if I took the pressure mechanism off. I couldn't pedal for too long but now I had a benchmark and something to work against and a way of exercising. Can't do my yoga, can't garden, can't walk my dog. I'm stuck, really! So, the exercise bike and the knee-pain-explained site have given me something to work with. I have had foot and ankle injuries before and can manage those but this knee one is new ground. I have a plan now and a bit of a challenge. I always find if I can measure myself against something to see the progress, then I feel so much better. It's obviously going to take a while to get my knee restored to normal, but I can see that I am moving forward and that is important.
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Sunday, February 24, 2013
I last blogged about the Thundershirt here. We have since had quite a number of regular and very happy walks. My dog has been totally in control and able to just have a nice walk. She has walked to heel , been calm and I realise she has had a chance to process information and so is no longer tormented with the fear and worry of what would be coming at her next. I thought it might be good today to take her for a walk without her Thundershirt. I wanted to know if the change was permanent or just brought about by the Thundershirt. As you can see she was walking quite calmly but was getting the old tendency of pulling out ahead of me. On the way back, as the 4WDs were coming at us on our side of the road , she was changing into that working dog behaviour again. Eying them. Watching them and sizing them up and her muscles were changing and she was getting ready to lie low so she could pounce. It didn't get that far, but it was all coming back to her. There had been none of that with the Thundershirt. To give you a rough idea , I'd say our walks before the Thundershirt were about 40% good behaviour. With the Thundershirt they were 100%. I had a totally calm dog who was walking perfectly to heel. Today, I'd say it was 80% good behaviour. She was a bit hyper, she was a bit nervous of the noises of cars, she was going to get back into the launching herself at cars. She was able to change, though , if I said something but before she couldn't. She was able to calm down if I praised her and she was able to walk to heel if I asked. What she was not able to stop was the sizing up of the vehicles and the need to be ready to defend herself/pounce whatever it was in her head. My decision is not to pursue this again for another month. I am just going to put the Thundershirt on her. In a month I'll try again without it. I had taken it with me today just incase. The fact I felt no need to get it out of my bag and use it tells me she actually did really well. I just need to avoid any difficult behaviour coming back - so Thundershirts are go!
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Success! I got her out on her walk in her Thundershirt last week and we went out again today. In between the weather has been too hot or I have not been home early enough from work. This has taken from since just before Christmas so it's been a while but so worth it. You can read the other Thundershirt adventures here. The difference was remarkable. We can now practise safe walking. No more stressing over car noises. No more pumping adrenalin. No more launching herself at cars and having to be pulled back. No more anxiety about being "under attack". She has always liked to go out for a walk but she has paid a price in exhaustion after and I have had sore arms if she has had to be held firmly or back to stop her from diving into cars. She now hears the cars, looks behind her and then thinks - oh, that's a car. She walks comfortably and happily and in a really sedate way. The training I have tried to put in place to keep her road safe has obviously stuck and she can use it. She sat for the first car we saw, as you can see in the picture. If she was herding and hunting cars I would ask her to sit, just to calm her a bit. Sometimes she'd go in working dog mode and size the cars up as she lay there. Now she is like a normal dog. She is still my dog. She still needs a bit of leash training but basically she walks at my side now and sits at every curb. The difference when we get home is noticeable. I do not have to make her rest for half an hour to get over the adrenalin surge and full on stress. She now has 10 minutes of wandering and a drink and then usually wants to go into the garden to play. Her new Christmas present was the best thing I could have got her for her health and well being. She is a happy walking doggie now and no longer a danger to herself and others because of her being so easily startled and so jumpy and then the added complication of being a working dog breed.