And We’re Back

Hello, world. It’s been a while! Shortly before Christmas a smear article made the rounds on the internet, attacking dogs like the one I own. It hit me harder than I expected it would, and every time I saw it passed around somewhere a little more joy was sucked out of my favourite holiday season. So I shut down my computer and took a break, choosing to focus instead on the things outside of the internet sphere. Unfortunately that also meant taking a break from blogging, and by the end of the month I had kind of lost my mojo. I have renewed vigour though, and a resolution to take the blog less seriously and just babble about whatever pops into my head.
And ridiculous photos like my dog wearing Canada mittens.

And to post ridiculous photos like my dog wearing Canada mittens.

Unfortunately I can’t say I did much hiking, or even walking for that matter. I’ve had bad joints since I was a kid, starting with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis when I was six. Even though it went into remission I’ve more or less had light chronic pain and weak joints ever since. It’s normal for all my joints to ache in cold, damp weather but my hips have been worse than normal. I realized it had gotten really bad when J offered to go for a walk and I turned it down because my hips were too painful. I knew I had to get it under control because 1) I’m too young for this and 2) It’s not really fair to expect Suki to become sedentary every winter. Our winters take up too much the year for that. The silver lining is that I can be a guinea pig for anyone whose dog is suffering from arthritis. For me what has helped tremendously so far is wild salmon oil, even more than glucosamine. After realizing my joint pain was getting in the way of being active I went out and bought wild salmon oil capsules, and since then I’ve not had another day bad enough to immobilize me. Last weekend I was even able to do a mountainous hike up to some falls. The next thing on my to-do list is to start encapsulating eggshell/eggshell membrane, which shows promise as a joint aid, and to increase my consumption of gelatin-rich foods (like bone broth), which is good for cartilage health.

Thankfully Suki's body is holding up much better to aging than mine is.

Thankfully Suki’s body is holding up much better to aging than mine is.

That’s not to say we didn’t get out and about at all, just less than I would have liked. Back in December we had a huge (for here anyway) dump of snow and we spent most of the day outside playing in it.
13.12.10 13.12.1413.12.16
 I’ve also been trying to make up for the decreased exercise by training Suki more to at least keep her mind busy. Suki can now sort of do a footstall, which is a disc dog move where the dog jumps up and balances on the bottom of the person’s shoes. This month we may actually try working towards a polished obedience-style heel, something we’ve just never worked at for no explainable reason.
An early footstall attempt, except she's standing on my legs to give her more area to balance on.

An early footstall attempt, except she’s standing on my legs to give her more area to balance on.

Then finally, and possibly most exciting, Suki was featured in an article on Schipperkes in Show Sight magazine! There is a facebook group for Schipperke fans, and in January someone posted asking for photos of Schipperkes doing activities. I sent in a handful of photos thinking maybe they would use one somewhere in the article, so I was shocked when I went to check in February and found they had not only used two photos, but that the photos took up the entire page width right below the title! I’m extra proud of my dog right now.

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