dancing horses

dancing horses

Monday, December 29, 2014

A New Addition

Ed and I had been discussing getting a second cat. A female who might actually want to hunt.

Unlike Martin. He hunts when the mood hits. In fact we're not sure if he just doesn't pick up mice that have died of natural causes and bring them home for credit.

With all that has happened Ed suggested that after Christmas we go to the shelter and pick up a kitten. So on saturday we went to the shelter and got this little love:


We named her Peach. 
She was quite vocal in the cage and as soon as I picked her up she began to purr. 


I love kitten toes

We brought 'her' home and she immediately imprinted on me.

Today I got a call from the Shelter. Turns out that we brought home a boy cat. Oops. I sent Ed a text. I also said that it's too late to return 'her/him'. All he said was, 'fine. I hope that he likes to hunt because we're not getting a third cat.  So we need a new name. 

Since we got him she has been stuck on me like a little burr. For the first time in a while I found myself laughing out loud at  his kitten antics. His purrs are like little warm vibrations wrapping around my heart.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Grief and Comfort

Pushing a boulder uphill.

That's how it feels.

Not that this is going to be a wallowing post. I promise. Well maybe a little bit. It's not that I've not experienced grief and loss before. I have. But it never gets easier.

The response to my blog was tremendous. It went viral over FB and then beyond. That post have over 10,000 hits. That led to lots of people getting in touch. And it opened me up to some who were looking to add to my pain. I had to put on the comment moderation feature. I'm glad that I did. Some 'comments' were so awful that they left me shaking. It would be easy to focus on those and let the whole experience make me bitter. But I refuse to allow that. It would be a dishonour to Steele who's approach to life was one of optimism and confidence. And it would make me a lesser person. I do not want to do either of those.

So let me tell you about the incredible generosity of spirit offered by friends, family and perfect strangers. Some have shared their stories of similar loss, not to take away from my experience but to let me know that they understand. Two friends came by on the one week anniversary of his death to make sure that I was not alone.  We have received flowers, cards, calls, emails and hugs. A woman I barely know sent me a painting that she did of Steele. It is incredible. But I can't show it to you because it's off being framed.  I cannot begin to list all the small kindnesses and love shown to us. But I am grateful to everyone.

Ed has been my rock. Despite his own pain every time I turn around he's there trying to look after me. I was unable to sleep - I keep reliving everything every time I closed my eyes. My doctor gave me some sleeping pills which are helping. Being able to sleep makes it easier. The daily chores of work, barn and house help establish a rhythm.



There was a special gift under my tree from a dear friend.

Steele in a SnowGlobe

Another friend sent me this poem:

Requiem for a Spanish Horse       
    
The eyes tell all
bold blood of ancient breed
gazing out in curious joy
fringed in beauty and
as deep as a starry night sky.

Quiet respect flows through that great heart
beating within the curved chest,
bonded horse and woman
woven, golden thread by
golden thread,
through daily patient persistent intent,
and love,
and action.

Those eyes are closed now
the heart is still
and we as the human halves
of this equine equation
must suffer the curse of memory
and rage at the broken bond
and stories stolen from us too soon -
too soon.

Yet comfort comes in unfathomable form
A dream, the hour before waking
an endless herd of joyous galloping,
beautiful horses
tall and small,  all colours and shapes
and breeds
wheeling by
and there in the centre
our boy, our beautiful perfect boy
mane flying,  tail plumed, carefree bucking
in a prairie of scented, flowing grass -
There were people, too
some astride, some running beside
no saddles nor bridles needed
in perfect balance and harmony

There in the centre,
our beautiful, perfect boy

solid and whole.


Day by day my heart is being eased by the love and friendship of those around me. 

Thank you. 


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Season's Greetings




Wishing you all the best for the Holidays whatever holiday you celebrate (or don't). May the season be filled with joy, love and laughter.

Give your 4 legged companions an extra hug from me. K?


Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Companion



As I said in my previous post Irish has also been profoundly affected by the sudden loss of his buddy.  We had to give him a sedative in his feed to keep him from running the fence line. This took the edge off but he was still terribly lonely. He spent his day moping by the barn (often in Steele's stall), staring over the fence line into the next field and moping down by Steele's grave. It was heart breaking to watch.  Friends of mine who live nearby offered me a loan of a horse for Irish.  I did not want another horse and I was definitely not ready to see another horse is Steele's stall but that was not the point. The point was that I would be letting Irish suffer because of my own pain. So I agreed.

The next hurdle was going to pick up the horse. The idea of trailering a horse and holding it's life in my hands seemed to be more than I could do. So I called a friend who has tons of experience trailering. He said he would help. When he arrived Ed had the trailer all hooked up. My friend said 'you might as well drive there. I'll be with you.' I looked at him but agreed. So I climbed in. After all, the trailer was empty, what could go wrong? By the time we arrived it was pitch dark and I was trying to figure out how to back up the trailer. Seriously. I back it up all the time but I couldn't wrap my head around it. So my friend asked if I wanted him to do it. I said yes and he backed it up like a pro.

When we loaded up the horse my friend told me 'I'm not sure how to drive your truck so you better do it." That was, of course, a lie that I saw through but decided to give it a go. And so began the slowest trailer ride in history. I was so careful that the progress was practically glacial. But we made it.

Ed was in the barn with Irish waiting. He said that as soon as I drove up his head came up and the dull look in his eye disappeared. I brought in his new barn buddy and with tears in my eyes put her in Steele's stall.


So meet Lexie. A little quarter horse mare on loan to Irish.  She is sweet and gentle and with the kindest eye. 

The next morning I put halters on both of them, tied up d'Arcy and  turned them out together while I did the chores. They got along famously from the beginning. Irish spent that first day staying within 10 feet of Lexie all day. He showed her around the paddock. 


A horrible picture from my iPhone but it shows Irish feeling much perkier
I spied them both staring over the fence at the next pasture.
Lexie: "that looks like good grass over there"
Irish: "yes. It's very good. You will love it"
Lexie: "how do we get over there?"
Irish: "we can't. The servant blocks it off when the weather turns cold. She won't open it until the weather turns warm again."
Lexie: "why can't we go now?"
Irish: "I don't know. She says something about saving the grass and hooves and winter. To be honest I don't really listen"
Lexie: "Servants are weird"
Irish: "Ain't that the truth?"

My heart feels better seeing Irish returning to himself. He and I have been through a lot together over the years and he deserves to be coddled. Lexie gives me breathing room so I don't have to make any decisions soon.







Thursday, December 18, 2014

Of What Value are Horses?

The support from everyone to what happened to Steele has been met with overwhelming support. However, I feel a need to respond to an Anonymous comment on my post about what happened to end our journey together.

First off, I'm sorry your horse had to be put to sleep, but to say "fucking dog" is not fair to anyone. A horse is a hobby, a dog is a companion, a friend, a protector, an aid to the blind, an aid to the sick, an aid to those with PTSD .... I could go on and on. You see, although some people like, maybe even love their horse(s), what do they really do? When was the last time you saw a "seeing eye horse" or a "watch horse", or one trained to find drugs, survivors in an earthquake amongst the rubble, I didn't see one helping find the bodies from 9-11 or the Haiti earthquake. I can't seem to find any horses that are MWH - Military War Horse. None that can sniff out IED's, unexploded ordinance or weapons caches. Dogs have been known to frequently give their lives to protect humans ... again, no stories about horses doing the same. Dogs are smarter, can be more easily trained to benefit man, are more agile, more adept, less fragile, have keener sight, hearing and smell. Yes, I feelsorry for you and your horse, but please ... just because 2 dogs doing what to them was natural and fun, to run ..... don't put all dogs in your "fucking dogs" category. They are far more beneficial to man than are horses. (from a loving dog owner)

I do realize that the dogs were doing what they do naturally and I am a dog lover. I thought about removing that last line but decided to leave it. I could try to help others understand with long explanations as to why I said what I said but what would be the point?

However, there are many points wrong with these whole perspective. First of all it demonstrates a flaw in logic called the Unwarranted Assumption Fallacy. To quote Wikipedia:
  • Unwarranted assumption fallacy - The fallacy of unwarranted assumption is committed when the conclusion of an argument is based on a premise (implicit or explicit) that is false or unwarranted. An assumption is unwarranted when it is false - these premises are usually suppressed or vaguely written. An assumption is also unwarranted when it is true but does not apply in the given context.

So first of all let's look at horses are companions/aids etc:
1. guides for the blind: http://www.guidehorse.com
2. Helping veterans, police officers and others with PTSD: http://www.va.gov/health/newsfeatures/2014/September/Reining-In-PTSD-With-Equestrian-Therapy.asphttp://www.calicojunctionnewbeginningsranch.org/ptsd.htmlhttp://globalnews.ca/news/1565784/equine-therapy-program-launched-for-rcmp-members-with-ptsd/
3. War Service: seriously? My grandfather was in the British Calvary. How could this person not know the long history of horses and war. But here are some links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horses_in_warfare, and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIo3ZfA9da0
4. Dogs and humans have a long history. So do horses and humans. Horse made agriculture easier, allowed for travel and trade.
5. assuming that the dogs were having fun so it's all okay and i should get over it. Well. We will never agree on that point.

Now let me tell you all a personal story. This is one I have about my first horse- a small Quarter Horse named Woody. I did a blog post about him last year. He is an awesome horse. One summer he was being pasture boarded and was turned out with another horse. I would go and get Woody, ride him and bring him back. His pasture mate ignored me. One day I was there riding over feeding time. The Barn Owners asked me to take both horses feed out when I was done. So after my ride I brought Woody to the field and he trotted off like always. I grabbed the feed bucket and was heading to put it in his pasture mates feed bin. I heard a noise and looked up. This horse was charging me with his teeth bared, his ears laid back and his neck snaked out. I was too far away from the fence to run and it was clear that this horse was coming at me intending damage. I grabbed the feed bucket to swing at him and hope that it made him veer off. When he was about 10 feet away Woody came flying out of no where and stood between me and the other horse. That horse tried to get around him to get at me but Woody kept between us and would not leave no matter that the other horse was biting and kicking at him. I quickly walked to the feed bin and dumped in his feed. I backed away and the horse went to his feed. I went over to Woody's bin and dropped his feed in. I began to head back out of the field keeping my eyes peeled but Woody left his grain and followed me all the way to the gate. Once I got to the gate he went back to his feed. After that he always escorted me to the gate every time.

And a more recent story. When Steele was laying in the mud, exhausted, going into shock and his hind leg was trapped under the roots and muck I was trying to frantically to free it I could not get a purchase or on the right angle. I climbed by his belly so I'm in between his front and hind legs. This is an incredibly dangerous position- if he began to flail I could have been seriously hurt. I knew that but I couldn't get a purchase. So I risked it. As I worked on freeing his lower leg he kept the one on top dead still. When I moved away he would kick and try to get a purchase. When I went back in he would hold it still.  This happened again and again. I am convinced that he was being careful of me.

There is the stuff you know and there's the stuff you don't know but you know you don't know it and other stuff you don't know and don't know you don't know it (read that a few times) So my point is don't assume that because you don't know something that it doesn't exist.

I can't answer the question about the value of horses. Obviously to this person they have no value. To me and many of my fellow bloggers and friends they are priceless.



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Aftermath

First of all let me say how honoured and touched I am by the support I've been getting from all my family, friends and strangers. It seems that my blog post has gone out into the wider internet and has had thousands of views.

Through my blog post and through FB dozens have strangers have reached out to offer condolences. I want you all to know that it helps. It truly does. Ed and I are still shattered but the support makes it bearable.

As a result of so many people sharing my story I was contacted by two radio stations to do my story. I didn't want to. the thought of speaking about it was horrible. But I wanted to get the message out about controlling and training dogs.  So I agreed. The first was last night. I was able to get my full story out and after the host called me back. He wanted to make sure that I was okay.

This is the one I did this morning: http://www.cbc.ca/informationmorningns/informationmorningns/2014/12/16/spanish-horse-suffers-disturbing-death/

It was much briefer and I thought I was composed. Turns out I wasn't. It was awful. I was awful. But if the causes just a few people to take more care with the dogs they choose and the training they do then it's worth it.

The night of Steele's death I went out to the barn to check on Irish. The barn felt colder and emptier. He was standing in his stall with his head hanging. His hay was untouched. I hadn't offered him grain but had given him alfalfa. That was untouched. He lifted his head and looked at me and I saw my sorrow reflected back. I cried again. I went and put some of his oats in a bucket and held some in my hand.
"you have to eat. I don't want you to colic"
He softly took some and chewed. I stayed out there for a while, slowly filling my hand with grain while he slowly ate. When he stopped I put it the rest on top of his alfalfa. Before I left I turned on the radio. I'm not sure if the noise was of any comfort or not but I believed that it wouldn't hurt.

After a sleepless night I went back to the barn. Ed offered to go but I needed to do it.  He had eaten some hay and some of his feed. I mucked out and then went out to secure the small paddock. When I let him out he trotted to the fence, looked towards where Steele had run and whinnied. He looked at me and then spied d'Arcy, my BC. He leaped away and ran back to his stall. I realized that he wasn't seeing the dog he grew up with and who shared his paddock. He was seeing a predator and he was terrified.  I took my dogs back to the house.

Ed and I went out and repaired the fencing. I could follow Steele's path: he ran through two fences and two gates. I took photos before we repaired it and then turned on the electric. I then let Irish out. He seemed to settle at first but then he started running the fence line calling. All morning he rotated between running and calling and standing there with his head hung low. I went out to bring him in and had a moment of panic when I couldn't find him. He was in Steele's stall. I closed him in and gave him hay. Which he ate. He seemed happier in that stall so I left him there. I then called the vet who prescribed some sedatives for him. Cynthia came to help and he seemed to relax in her company more than with me. I believe that we were just feeding each others sorrow. She could treat him more normally. In fact she was a balm to both of us.

Irish is responding well to the drug - he's eating and drinking but that is a short term solution. I realize that I need a companion for him. I can't even imagine another horse in that stall but it is not about me. My vet says he has a horse that could help I just need to figure out how to get him. I know I have a trailer but I feel in no fit state to drive myself, let alone take responsibility for a horse. Then there's the bills. I have a bill over $500 for the vet and I have no idea what the excavator cost. I have no regrets but because of a careless dog owner I have a substantial bill and broken heart. Steele paid with his life and I would give anything to have him back.

However we will figure it out. We always do.

I also have to figure out what to do about this blog. I'm not ready to let go. My journey with my dancing horse is over but not over. If that makes any sense at all. I wouldn't expect too much coherence. However, I don't want him remembered for his death but for who he was. My funny, beautiful, infuriating, perfect, argumentative companion.  I would say that he was going to be a star but he already was. Like Achieve1dream said "I never met Steele but I loved him anyway." http://rdxhorses.blogspot.ca/2014/12/rip-steele.html

We all did. and it's helpful for me to know that.
video



Sunday, December 14, 2014

It's all Over

I cannot believe that I'm typing this. I keep starting and stopping but I am filled with such rage and sorrow that it needs to come out.

Steele is gone.

In a horrible, tragic, senseless accident.

I rode him this morning and we went on our first solo hack in the woods. I was so happy. I had some friends drop over and when they were getting ready to leave I saw two strange dogs in the yard. When I went out I saw Irish running frantically and Steele in the neighbours field. I screamed for Ed, grabbed a halter and lead and took of running.

I called Steele and he saw me but one of the huskys went after him and he bolted again. I saw him go through the fence and then into the swamp. Where he fell. I ran up to him, he was wet and totally panicked. I put on his halter and spoke soothing to him. He tried to get up but fell. And fell again. And again.

Ed has caught up to me and I told him to call the fire department and the vet and put Irish away. He ran back to the house while I desperately tried to keep Steele's head above the water. It was the longest time in my life. I also asked Ed to call a neighbour who had a lot of experience with horses. He arrived right before the fire department. We realized that his hind leg was trapped in the swamp under some branches and muck. The vet called and I told her to come right away. Steele was going into shock. He would struggle, each time more feebly. He started to tremble and close his eyes.

The fire department guys arrived and I handed over Steele's halter and ran to trucks. "Get some ropes, blankets and a shovel" I ordered. The chief looked at me and did what I said. We got the blankets on him and his hind leg loose. He tried to get up but kept falling over. The damn dog was around too. I told one of the fireman to take care of it or I would. It disappeared.

After an incredible ordeal of wedging tires under his back and getting a rope around him we got him to his feet. He walked forward but couldn't put weight on his right fore. He stood there, covered in sticky, awful mud and was shaking. I put a blanket over his back. The man who owned the two dogs arrived. A neighbour came over and told us that he saw the dogs chasing Steele. At that time the vet arrived. She examined him, asked me to walk him forward.

She came up to me and said "I'm very sorry but your horse has broken his humorous"
I looked at her. "He'll have to be put down" I said.
"Yes" she answered. "the fire chief is taking me in his truck with the siren so I will be as fast as I can with the stuff"

I turned away and the guy who owned the dogs was looking at me.
"You killed my horse" I said
"I'm so sorry"
"YOU KILLED MY HORSE"
And I couldn't stop screaming it as I advanced on him. Ed caught up to me and grabbed me. I collapsed to the ground screaming. I was making a hysterical spectacle of myself and I didn't care. I screamed at the universe over and over. I couldn't breathe and I cannot describe the depth of pain and rage I was feeling. It was swallowing me. I could feel Ed holding me and it seemed like he was an anchor holding me to the earth.
I took a shuddering breath and got up. I walked to Steele who looked at me with such pain and confusion my heart broke even further. I wrapped my arms around his neck.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I should have protected you. I'm sorry. I love you." I said it over and over didn't care who heard.

Ed helped Steele keep his head up and 3 other fire men helped him to stay upright. I will always remember that. How they gave what they could to support an animal they didn't know so he wouldn't suffer as much.

After an eternity the vet arrived. She explained that she would sedate him and then administer the dose to send him on his way. She said that he might react badly and that I did not have to stay.
"I'm staying"
"are you sure"
"yes"
So she sedated him and slowly the pain faded from his eyes. I was shaking and couldn't stop. It was shock and the cold water I had been in for what seemed like hours. She then administered the injection. He fell softly not injuring anyone. I held his head until his eye showed that his soul was gone.

Ed walked home with me and arrangements were made to pick up his body and bring him home. I walked along the road and my regular vet pulled up. He had heard what happened.
"get in" he said
"no" I said
"get in"
So I did and he enfolded me in his arms and I broke down again.
He drove us home and I got out. I went right to the barn to check on Irish. He was upset but uninjured. I wrapped my arms around his neck and he enfolded me in an embrace.

I went into the house and got into the shower. I was filthy. Next thing I knew I was huddled on the bottom of the shower sobbing uncontrollably. I got out of the shower and dressed. I looked out the window and saw Steele's body- they had brought him home and a back hoe was digging a hole.

I had one more job to do.

I went out and Ed came up. I asked him to stop the back hoe and I put a halter on Irish and brought him out. He was agitated but walked beside me. He stopped and looked at Steele. I stood there with him and reach forward with his nose and blew gently on his leg. He gave him a nudge and then looked at me. If animals know (and I think they do), he knew his friend was gone.

I am sitting here experiencing waves of rage, pain and numbness. I cannot get warm.

My perfect, wonderful, beautiful boy is gone in a pain filled, terrifying ordeal.

Because of a fucking dog.

run free my darling. I'll see you again.
DC Acero, AKA Steele, 2010-2014

A Break in The Weather

The rain has finally stopped. Which is good because everything is a soupy mess and the ground can't absorb anymore. And not only did the rain stop but the sun is out and it's reasonably warm (for Canada in December). So I made plans to ride every day for the next three days. 

My friend Cynthia has loaned me a horse size bridle for now so I don't have to make any decisions. She also had a hunt style bridle but after trying it on, I realized that I didn't actually like the wider nose band on him. 



t
Steele doing his donkey impression. He just wants to get going not mess about with photos. 
Cynthia came out to ride to. this is a picture I sent her of how Irish was preparing for her.

He used to be the cleanest horse but these days he's embracing his inner foal. He had so much mud caked on that I decided to start removing it outside with the shedding blade. I'm glad that I did- there was a lot of dust. 

I got Steele ready earlier and headed up to the ring. I wanted to see how he'd respond to Irish coming in after. I could definitely feel that he was excited and I had to regulate his pace a bit but he listened nicely. When Irish came up the hill to the ring he got even more excited but I simply put him to work steering in different ways and walking through puddles so he couldn't be too distracted or do something silly. Irish was also excited and was trotting beside Cynthia as she brought him up. But he's older so the silliness doesn't last long. 

After some walk work I asked Steele to trot. He responded with enthusiasm. I was really making use of engaging my core while riding and I find that that makes such a difference in getting him to respond. I'm actually beginning to overcome my tendency to lean forward when a horse is feeling excited and engage my core and lean back as a first response.  (Thank you Jane). A couple times I could feel him getting a bit balky but I sat up and urged him on and that disappeared pretty quickly. We did lots of circles and figure 8s and serpentines. I find that those help keep his mind on me and not on the million other things that he could pay attention to. After some trot work I let him walk and then we stopped in the middle while I coached Cynthia on some exercises to loosen Irish up a bit. Steele loves this part. He stands like a statue and enjoys the rest. 

After a few minutes rest we went back to work and I asked for a canter. It was a bit wild and wooly but I've been working on making sure that I'm relaxed with it. He cantered a bit frantically and then broke to trot. I just took a deep breath, regrouped the trot and asked again. Each canter was a bit better. He tends to get a bit excited going down the long side and it's more of a hand gallop (or thats how it feels) but it's easy to ride so I simply try to stay balanced and let him know that there a corner coming up so we probably should slow up a bit. He began to lower his head and blow at the canter. At first I thought it was a wee buck but it wasn't. It was just him loosening up. I hope I'm not cursing myself but he has never bucked under saddle. 

It was great schooling session. I'll tell you what we did next in another post. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What to do when the weather won't cooperate.

The weather since we've been home from our trip has been a yo-yo. If it's warm it's raining- hard. If it's not raining it's freezing cold. In the past week the temperature has fluctuated from 12 above to 12 below. It's making it hard to adjust to coming home. I find myself looking at photos from Australia- where it's getting warmer not colder.
warm seas and sunshine. sigh


I've been able to ride a grand total of 3 times since returning. It's weather like this that makes me long for an indoor. However, that is not likely to happen unless I win the lottery. And if I understand how that works I would need to buy a ticket first.

Irish has been been trying to help me by coating himself with mud.
Irish "see, now you're not bored"
Me: "no I'm just coughing"
Irish: "well nothing is perfect" 

Another way to occupy the time is on-line shopping for a new bridle. Steele has outgrown his cob sized bridle. I'm having a hard time finding a replacement. Which is, I know, ridiculous. I mean how hard could it be? I love the hunter style bridles but they only seem to be brown. The 'dressage' bridles all come with flashes and I don't want a flash. I know I can take it off, but I would be irritated by the little holder on the nose band. I have a flash attachment for Irish's bridle and use it when I'm hacking out. But I don't want to put a flash on Steele. I've actually started saving to have one made. But in the meantime I need something to school in. I have his current bridle on the last holes and it's workable but not ideal. I don't want it to rub or pinch.
love this, but it only comes in brown
So while I scan the internet does anyone have some ideas for me?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

d'Arcy goes to the vet

My Border Collie, d'Arcy is 10 years old. Or is it 11? I can never remember. Anyway, he has lived to the fullest and has had his share of knocks.

  • At 7 months he underwent surgery on his shoulder for OCD
  • At the same time the vet removed a tooth that he broke off leaping at a ball- that was about to be hit by a bat. 
  • he's been kicked in the face by a mare who did not appreciate his dedication to duty. 
  • he's banged into trees, rocks, rolled down hills and generally run into stuff. 
  • and he had his leg in a  cast after getting under the horses while they were galloping in the field. 

If he had a mission statement it would be "It's just a flesh wound" 

So Ed and I were not surprised when this summer he began to exhibit signs of arthritis in his hind end. Not that he let it slow him down at all. At night though he seemed to be in discomfort. So we cut back on his exercise- I stopped taking him for hikes through the woods. When he seemed really bad we gave him an aspirin at night (on advice of the vet). This fall I often needed to help him upstairs at night. 

Last week I came home from work and changed to go out to the barn. d'Arcy tried to get up to go with me. The operative word is tried. I watched him struggle and realized that he couldn't get up. I immediately grabbed the phone to call the vet. By the time I was done booking that appointment  (for an hour later) he had struggled to his feet but was standing all off-kilter. I did the chores without his assistance and we took him to the vet after. 

I hadn't ever seen this particular vet before I was impressed with her. She took a thorough history and did some neuro tests. One of them was to bend over his foot to see how quickly he flexed it back. On the front his reactions were normal. On his right hind it was delayed and on his left hind he let it there, seemingly oblivious. We reviewed all that it could be and prognoses. We decided to start him on some anti-inflamatories to see how he responded. 

That was Wednesday. we carried him upstairs at bed time. 
Thursday- he was perky in the morning and that night he walked up with assistance. 
Friday- he walked up on his own.
Saturday- same
Sunday- he ran up the stairs and was bouncing around like his normal stuff. We also noticed that he was sitting. He hadn't done that in a long time. 
Monday I called the vet to give her an update. She called me back. She was surprised that he was doing so well. As we talked she said that his response made her think that it might actually be something else causing all this. She said that they will sometimes see this dramatic response to the drugs with Lyme's disease. hmm. We definitely have ticks and while I had both dogs vaccinated and I do the repellent it's never 100%. 

So I brought him in for blood work. The vet called back- the results were positive. 

So now he's on a course of strong antibiotics. While I'm not happy that he has Lyme's I am really happy that it's not degenerative arthritis, cancer, stroke or any of the other horrible things. 

With luck he'll be back at it in no time:

Wish us luck.