Finally today is the day! Going to meet with the shoemaker. I noticed something extremely odd this morning when I woke. Sasha was still sleeping on the floor near my sofa and I saw a puddle of urine under her. To say I was shocked is an understatement because Sasha has never been incontinent of urine. The only incontinence she’s ever had was fecal after the neurosurgeon altered her prednisone dose. Then it dawned on me; the Medrol increase which Sasha had started on Thursday evening and I figured that came into play. So we used wet doggy wipes to clean her fur the best we could (not an easy task with an 80# GSD), spritzed her with some Burt’s Bees doggy spray then left for Farmington to meet Lucas Argrew. The Farmer’s Market is set up in the parking lot of the State District Court. As soon as we pulled in I saw the shoemaker booth at the end. We parked as close as we could because in my haste to leave I forgot Sasha’s boots. The Farmer’s Market is actually quite nice. It’s centered around organic produce sold by local farms, jams, jellies, pickles etc. made by local people as well as wonderful home-baked breads and pastries. I introduced myself to Lucas who I found to be extremely pleasant. Most of all, he liked dogs. I could tell by the way he interacted with Sasha; it was natural as opposed to the “forced niceness” from non-dog people.
Lucas Argrew owner of Beyond Shoe Repair
Wow is he talented for such a young man! I brought my Mac so I could show him the original Rufi Boot plus photos of the some variations. I also brought my boot collection.
We decided instead of using the boots that I have, he’s going to make Sasha a custom pair of boots. Vibram sole, sheepskin to line the upper strap as well as other areas. It’s $130 and I’m fine with that because the RuffWear boots alone (recommended over UltraPaws) were $80 and I could return them easily since I purchased them from REI. He’s also taking one pair of the UltraPaw boots (that I bought too big), stitching up the sides a bit and making a wrap for above her hock with a ring attached plus rings on the toes for the knuckling strap. These will be her water shows for river days.The strap connectors will be a hard plastic on the water shoes (so they don’t rust) but metal on her other ones. Sasha needs water shoes because swimming in the river is a major part of her life PLUS it gives her exercise for her legs, targeting muscles that need it like her quadriceps and hamstrings. I was a little surprised that he wanted to construct a custom pair but to take the UltraPaw boots and customize them to fit her, add leather etc. it would have been almost the same amount of money if not more. His suggestion is actually better because they’re going to be customized specifically for her feet with a soft inner lining. He took all her measurements and I’m quite excited. I am so blessed because Lucas is truly gifted. He thought of so many things for the boots that I never would have, like substituting with Vibram sales for durability. I never heard of Lucas and Beyond Shoe Repair before this but just from this initial boot transactions and seeing first hand how beautiful AND durable his work is, I would recommend him to anyone. He is without a doubt a true artisan. Not to mention a huge dog lover. I was really impressed by him as well as the products I saw displayed and the finished work he was giving customers who came for pick up. My late brother-in-law was an Italian cobbler and people from all over NYC used to come to him because he did such good work. Talking to Lucas was like talking to Angelo ~ minus the accent. He told me that he does work for people from other states; many send him their Bass or LL Bean shoes/boots for repair. Just think, if I hadn’t seen the online newspaper article, I never would have known about him! I am finally on the right track!
I never fully explained how the boot works. Sasha “knuckles” which means when she walks she sometimes turns her left rear toes under. This not only makes a dog lose their balance but it causes abrasions to the top of their foot. Dogs that knuckle have had such severe scrapes that they’ve lost a toenail. With a customized boot, there is the bottom boot and a cuff wrap goes just above their hock.
A strap is attached by a clip to the boot and to the top wrap. This is called a “knuckling strap”. It’s adjustable in case it needs to be made looser or tighter. The purpose of the knuckling strap is to keep the foot straight in a normal position and not allow the toes to turn under. Sasha has been pretty fortunate in that she never had serious abrasions from knuckling because we live in a grassy area ~ that is until today. Just from walking in the asphalt parking lot of the Farmer’s Market she got several abrasions on her foot, several quite close to her toes and two that actually scraped part of her nails down.
These are probably the worst abrasions Sasha ever got from knuckling. They happened on the asphalt parking lot where the Farmer’s Market is set up because she only had one small superficial abrasion this morning and I put bacitracin on it before we left. She only walked about 5′ on the asphalt but it did a number on her foot. The custom boot will hopefully eliminate any more injuries like this. My poor Sweet Sasha… I treated her foot and of course had someone take a video. BTW, the Darth Vader breathing was the person filming me as I cleaned Sasha’s foot. Sorry for the blurry beginning. *Hint* Gender is male.
I’m not a savvy blogger so unsure of menus, icons etc. Click to see Sasha’s You Tube channel which chronicles her journey from onset until present day.
💜Next up ~ Rainy Days & Mondays💜