Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Working Stock Can Be Hazardous To Your Toes!

At least that is what Reese thinks. She told me after we were curled up on the couch for a little snugglin' on Saturday night that herding is like running. You don't feel the pain until later after the thrill is gone. Yes, she managed to rip up the pads on her toes on both front paws. Not all the toes but a good chunk on one and two of the pads on the other foot. I wouldn't say she was limping but she was stepping gingerly.

She did manage to bang them up enough to have them bleed all over when she was upset about a squirrel dude boppin' across the street. So that was a minor setback, but otherwise I was able to keep her quiet for a few days and that helped a lot.

In the process of soaking them in water she managed to tip the bowl over on the kitchen floor, which is carpeted so that provided some humidity in the house for awhile! The next time we used a different approach for soaking the toes. I thought it was a good opportunity to teach her another husbandry behavior. So I taught her to put her own feet in the water and swish them around and stand there for a few minutes at a time. How did I do this, by simply shaping the behavior with a clicker, it took literally minutes. I love clicker training, the applications you can use it for are endless.

Reese is doing better already so it won't be long and she will be back to long walks and working stock. I ordered some Musher's Secret Wax so we will try that once she gets a little thicker layer of skin over her toes.

She is getting tired of playing hide and seek games with her toys and would like to go for a walk or a hike. It has been nice cool weather this week so it is kind of a bummer that it happened, but now we know we need to toughin' up those dainty little feet.

I started running again, I wanted to get a little base under me before I start taking Reese. So in a way it has been good that she has been laid up. This way I know she can't go, so I don't feel so quilty about not taking her. She'll be running laps around me soon enough.

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