-Cosette had a good annual checkup at the vet a few weeks ago.  She received her Bordetella, Rabies, and DA2P-P-C vaccinations, along with a yearly Lyme Disease vaccine.  Lyme is somewhat prevalent in our area, and given how much we hike, I can't take the risk.  I also brought in a stool sample for their internal parasite test.  Her heartworm test is done in May.  Everything went well.

-Joel's doctor visit went not so well, because he wasn't there for a physical, he was there for a diagnosis.  He has been having pain in his right foot for about three months now, mostly at the onset of increased exercise.  His doctor suspects he has torn his Achilles tendon, and has cleared him only for light cycling/spin and walking.  About three months ago, we were playing a wicked game of racquetball, and during a particularly tight and aggressive move, he most likely tore the tendon (or aggravated a pre-existing unknown condition).  He's been trying to restart his exercise regimen since then, but every time he does, his foot flares up within a week.  He has several standing appointments for ultrasounds and physical therapy.  If no progress has been made, they will re-evaluate and possibly run an MRI to see the extent of the injury.

-I've been doing some thinking.  Much like Pooh Bear.  "When you are a bear of very little brain, and you think of things, you find sometimes that a thing which seemed very thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it."    Except, the thing seems as thingish inside as it does outside.  I've been contemplating how to keep my two dogs entertained independently.  Cosette, see, loves to retrieve.  She loves to retrieve on land, in the water, while traveling, when at home.  She loves to take walks, and go for hikes.  Cosette is very easy to work into exercising.  Trooper, on the other hand, likes to run.  He likes to run to go get things, and then likes to keep running.  Sometimes he will retrieve consistently until he grows bored (usually after about 15 throws).  This, as you may know, is not enough to wear out a Lab.  Then he just likes to go lay down, or if he's out with Cosette, to play chase with her in the yard.  The problem is keeping him going.  So I sat down and mulled this over, think, Pooh Bear, think, and I came up with a plan.  With Cosette I will continue to use retrieving as her main mode of activity.  Trooper I will take around the neighborhood so that he is able to continuously run.  I don't have enough of a consistent running habit to support this endeavor, so I chose the next best thing:  rollerblading.

Trooper is a work of art when he runs.  I plan on writing a little more about this in the future, possibly integrating it with some video, because Trooper really is beautiful when he runs.  When we are on flats or downhills, I'll encourage him to "stretch it out!" (stretch implying lengthening his stride) and he'll just simply fly.  I mean, he really will.  It's beautiful.

The dog exercise plan has worked out fairly well so far.  I'm just trying to make it consistent now.  It's hard to get up the motivation to go sweat in the heat some evenings, when I could just be throwing a ball around like I do with Cosette.  But, with the knowledge that he's a happier and calmer puppy when Trooper has been exercised - and allowed to fully run - I'll strap on my Rollerblades and hit the streets.  I bet Pooh Bear wouldn't Rollerblade.

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