Happy Thanksgiving…

Happy Thanksgiving…

**If your dog has Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome (SARDS), please see my warning at end of post.

I haven’t posted as much as I would have liked to as my visual issues seem to be worsening. On the bright side, December 6 the “eye surgery gone wrong” from October 2015 will be corrected.

Sasha has been doing well. Her vision has remained the same which is disappointing but she’s not done treatment yet. Her distance vision is still fairly good but her near vision is hit or miss. Dr. Plechner who developed the Plechner Protocol which we’ve been following was became ill a few months ago. He had severe pain in his back which required him to be hospitalized and retire from practice immediately. I *think* he has moved  from California back to his home state of Idaho or perhaps it’s Iowa. I’ve been blacklisted by a young female who is his _________. I entered a blank because I’m not sure what she is other than she came to the USA from Chile, is young, married within the past few years and has a dog that was successfully treated for SARDS using Dr. Plechner’s Protocol. She was so grateful that she made a Facebook page devoted to his work called “Blind Dogs Cure for SARDS by Dr. Plechner”.  Naturally I joined and enjoyed giving little updates on Sasha’s progress as well as posting short video clips whenever I caught her focusing on something. I also was buoyed by reading posts made by other SARDS dog owners because we were all on the same journey, just some at different phases.

One Sunday afternoon in August this young lady posted on the page (which is actually a page attached to her personal FB account as opposed to a stand alone account) that Dr. Plechner was in the hospital. Many of the people who frequented the page live in CA because that’s where his practice was located. Some posted that they were going to visit him later that day. They asked what hospital he was in and one woman commented it was an hour drive but she was going. He had been seen in the ER but not admitted. How do I know this? Because as she was writing on Facebook I was on the telephone with him. Silly me posted on the page that he had been released from the hospital. Well did she become angry! She deleted my post almost immediately. Before I even knew what was happening she was posting that people were writing bad things about him yaddy yaddy and his supporters were outraged. I responded but she deleted it within seconds.  Then I found myself blocked from posting and all my videos purged. My daughter had previously ‘Liked’ the page so she posted something benign;  just to say we only wanted people to know he wasn’t admitted so they didn’t make an unnecessary  trip to the hospital. Boom! Her post was deleted and she was blocked. I was also his “friend” on his personal FB page but lo and behold when I tried to post something a few days later I discovered I was blocked there as well. That told me that she had access to his personal FB password because without that she couldn’t have blocked me and Dr. Plechner isn’t terribly FB savvy. After thinking about it for a few days I became concerned that she also had access to his email as whenever I sent him one he didn’t respond, quite unusual in of itself.  I’ll admit I was pretty angry because here was Sasha, just starting to regain glimmers of near vision and  I was cut off from communicating with him by someone whom at times I referred to as a puta. The first thing I did was contact Sasha’s two Maine veterinarians as well as the lab in Texas that processes the highly specialized endocrine tests and essentially revoked their right to share any of Sasha’s medical information with Dr. Plechner because for all I knew, this power-hungry chick was in control of his email. I’d found several veterinary articles posted on the internet under her name. Very detailed and methodically written. Yet in my collection of You Tube videos on SARDS dogs, there was one she made and honestly? She couldn’t even pronounce many of the medical terms and it wasn’t due to a language barrier ~ it was just obvious she didn’t have a veterinary background. So there was no way I was going to take a chance with Sasha and risk an email suggestion that was really written by her. Would you? I didn’t think so. And in the spirit of honesty I’ll admit I was angry for several weeks and would probably have kicked her to the curb if I got my hands on her. Not sure (my memory tends to fail when I’m stressed) but someone told me Dr. Plechner was moving or had moved already back to his previously mentioned home state in September so I waited a bit and tried emailing him several times with nary a response. After two months I stopped trying. Sasha is in more than capable hands with Drs. Stuer and Noble. It’s just that not a lot is known about SARDS so it would be nice to be able to ask  Dr. Plechner, “Have any of the dogs you’ve treated had this or that happen”? He  probably knows more about this disease than anyone else.


I read something once and it really is true:

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison.”

That’s why  I’ve come to the realization that I need to let it go because why spin my wheels when I have no control over the situation? It’s pointless. Dr. Plechner helped Sasha regain some of her vision after we were told it was impossible. And for that I am extremely thankful.

*I feel morally obligated to  advise any dog owner whose pet has SARDS to be very careful if following Dr. Plechner’s Protocol. As I’ve written many times, it works ~ Sasha is proof along with many other dogs. Sadly he has allowed a non-medical person to have free reign with the part of his life she should NOT be involved in ~ his medical work. Not only is it a slippery slope but a dangerous one. All I can say is I do not trust any form of communication regarding Sasha as I have no idea if this woman is doling out medical advice or if the communication is from him. In my opinion her involvement should be limited to the Facebook page she set up about his work and that’s it. To allow her to dictate if a patient has access to the page or him is unconscionable. I love Sasha too much plus she has endured a multitude of treatments and tests therefore I WILL NOT jeopardize her health or welfare on information that “could” be coming from a 20 something non-medical person who’s claim to fame is setting up a Facebook page. Not happening!

Finally,  while not Thanksgiving related, this is about “letting go” and too cute not to share!

I’m not a savvy blogger  so unsure of menus, icons etc. Please click to see Sasha’s You Tube channel which chronicles her journey from onset until present day. If you like it, please subscribe to her channel.

🌰🍁🦃Next up ~ Sasha’s tummy ache🦃🍁🌰

Sasha Makes The Newspaper…

Sasha Makes The Newspaper…

On August 28, 2016 one of our regional newspapers, the Sun Journal in Lewiston Maine, did a feature on Sasha. The article was written by Lindsay Tice, Staff Writer. The photographer that came to my house was Daryn Slover and the one who photographed  Lucas at his shop,  Beyond Shoe Repair, was Andree Kehn.


Animal Tales: Shoes for Sasha

Lindsay Tice, Staff Writer

Lewiston-Auburn Sunday, August 28, 2016|

When Sasha took her first steps in her new shoes at the Farmington Farmers Market a few weeks ago, Dottora Quick was moved to tears.

Quick’s 8-year-old German Shepherd had been turning under the toes of her back left paw for a while, the lingering result of a spinal embolism. It took nothing for Sasha to trip and fall when she walked, to cut her knuckles on rocks and scrape her paws on pavement.

But in the Farmer’s Market parking lot, minutes after Lucas Argrew from Beyond Shoe Repair fitted her with a prototype pair of boots he’d specially tailored for her, Sasha got up and walked without trouble. After years of medical problems, it was the first time in a long time that anything had been easy for her.

“Sasha’s just always been my lovably sweet, goofy girl,” Quick said. “Forget her pedigree, Shutzhund training and all of that, she’s just a sweetie. And then all of these “things” happened to her. Every time I turned around it was like, ‘Oh, my God; what’s next?’ Yet she’s met everything head on and  landed on her feet. So seeing her walk perhaps 10 feet in that asphalt parking lot — I was just overwhelmed and began crying.”

They were steps made possible thanks to Argrew — a cobbler who has a lot of experience with corrective shoes for humans but didn’t hesitate when asked to help a dog.

He’s a pet parent himself.

“I really love my animals. They’re a huge part of my family,” he said. “My wife and I don’t have kids; we have pets.”

Sasha’s health problems started in 2011 with a Fibrocartilaginous Embolism, which left her nearly paralyzed. Treatment and physical therapy helped her regain most of her movement. Earlier this year she battled, and is recovering from, sudden blindness.

But “knuckling” was a persistent problem, and in recent months it got worse. Quick bought pair after pair of dog boots — in stores, online and from Canada for up to $50 each — hoping one pair out of 10 would both protect Sasha’s paws and brace her foot enough to lessen the drag. None did.

Quick dubbed the growing unused shoe collection “Sasha’s Boot Emporium.”

Sasha’s favorite trips to the Sandy River near her home became more difficult. She loved to swim and it served as physical therapy for her, but her back paw scraped painfully on the river rocks.

“With the kind of knuckling she had, I wouldn’t be able to take her in the river,” Quick said.

Then Quick read in her local newspaper that Argrew from Beyond Shoe Repair would be at the Farmington Farmers Market. Maybe, she thought, he could help.

At the market, Quick told Argrew about Sasha and asked if he might be willing to tweak a pair of her store-bought boots to fit better. Argrew, who has a rescue dog of his own, said he could do more than that.

“We thought we could kind of up the ante,” he said.

It wasn’t the first time Argrew had been asked to make or fix something unusual. Since opening his shop in Auburn two years ago, he’s worked on equestrian gear, furniture, orthotics, straps for prosthetics and dog leashes.

“We’re ‘Beyond Shoe Repair’ because we do a lot of things beyond just shoe repair,” Argrew said.

But dog shoes? Those were new.  

Argrew spent about five hours turning a pair of Sasha’s boots into prototype custom-fit water shoes, with light-weight canvas uppers, a grippy sole and a padded support strap around her ankle — perfect for navigating the rocky river.

They were the shoes Sasha wore when she took her first successful steps in Farmington.

“When I was standing there that Saturday, crying and dumbfounded, all these people were talking (and) I heard somebody say, ‘Look at that dog’s face; she looks so happy,'” Quick said. “I looked at her face when I heard that and thought, ‘She does look happy!'”

Quick asked Argrew if he could design a second pair, this time for everyday wear. Argrew agreed. These shoes he would make from scratch, contoured to fit a dog’s paw, with calf-skin inner soles, the same rubber soles used on human shoes and a tongue so the shoes could be loosened as needed.

“He is really a creative artisan,” Quick said. “The more I think about it, the more amazed I am.”

At $60 for the improved boots and $130 for the custom-made pair, Sasha’s new shoes were more expensive than the others in Sasha’s Boot Emporium, but they were in line with high-tech dog boots sold by commercial brands.

The first boots Argrew created for Sasha had to be tweaked — her paw sometimes swells, so the left shoe has to be made bigger to accommodate it but Quick has been so delighted by the first model that she’s showed it off to Sasha’s vets, in a video online and plans to post about them in Sasha’s blog.

Argrew said he was happy to have helped Sasha walk easier.

“We just know how important it is to be able to help customers who can’t help themselves,” he said. “(Animals) can’t really tell you what’s wrong, but you can obviously see and try to correct the problems they can’t correct on their own.”

Quick is already thinking ahead for Sasha: snow boots by Argrew.

“If there’s one silver lining in everything that’s happened with Sasha, it’s been finding him,” Quick said, “because I think it’s just going to make such an impact on her quality of life.”

Have an idea for Animal Tales? Call Lindsay Tice at 689-2854 or email her at ltice@sunjournal.com.

August 24, 2016

Dottora Quick plays with her German Shepherd, Sasha, at her home in Strong. Sasha wears a custom-fitted corrective boot on her rear leg.


Lucas Argrew, owner of Beyond Shoe Repair in Auburn, works on a pair of custom corrective dog boots for Sasha the German Shepherd.


Parts of a prototype for a pair of corrective dog boots designed and crafted by Lucas Argrew, owner of Beyond Shoe Repair in Auburn.

August 24, 2016

Lucas Argrew of Beyond Shoe Repair made a custom corrective dog boot for Sasha.


Taa Daaa ~ Custom Boots!

Taa Daaa ~ Custom Boots!

On August 20, we met Lucas Argrew at the Farmer’s Market for Sasha’s custom boots. Needless to say I was super excited! When I first saw them I was dumbfounded because they were everything I could have hoped for and more; he’d thought of every detail. Once Lucas made sure they fit properly, I had him explain everything because I was afraid I’d forget.⬅︎

While he was explaining the details, Sasha got to meet his dog Fred who was a rescue dog adopted by Lucas and his wife. Fred was a tad bashful at first but he quickly overcame it as you can see. Nary a growl from either dog! Too bad he’s a “younger man” as Sasha IS single you know.

Sasha’s boots once again generated a lot of attention from the market shoppers as many of them stopped to watch and ask questions. As before the people in the booth next to his were able to answer some of the questions since they’d been there from Sasha’s first visit. To be honest I was a bit dazed and once I finished recording Lucas’s explanation/instructions for the boots, I chatted (more like babbled) to Lucas’s wife who is just as nice as he is. Delightful couple and devout animal lovers.

Lucas took one boot back with him for a final adjustment but the other one came home with us. The soles are made of Vibram to ensure a good grip. The inside is lined with a soft material which will eliminate the need for a sock. To accommodate the swelling that occasionally occurs in her rear left foot (the problem child) he made the openings expandable so the boot won’t be snug. He also put several velcro closure straps to ensure they stay on. Lucas put rings on the toe area which are actually integrated into the sole of the boot. This way when the knuckling strap lifts the front of her foot up, it’s not just lifting the end of her toes but rather the whole foot which is more ergonomic. The top wrap/cuff that goes above her hock is lined with sheepskin so it won’t irritate her leg when walking. The knuckling strap attaches to the cuff then to the rings on the boots. The straps are  completely adjustable so if one needs more tension I can add it.

Finally, Sasha’s first walk in the dining area!

Needless to say I am extremely happy! I’ve already asked Lucas to start working on a pair for winter as Sasha loves the snow.

Now that Sasha has boots, all she wants to do is dance!⬅︎ 📢

I’m not a savvy blogger so unsure of menus and widgets. Please click to see Sasha’s You Tube channel which chronicles her journey from onset until present day.  If you like it, please subscribe.

💜Next up ~ boots of course💜

SARDS: Recovering Lost Vision

SARDS: Recovering Lost Vision

As I researched Sasha’s diagnosis of SARDS (Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration), watching YouTube videos posted by other owners of dogs stricken with this terrible disease and reading their blogs gave me an “inside view”. It enabled me to see the dog in their home environment as opposed to a clinical one where we all know they’re usually apprehensive. I also joined several Facebook groups for both blind dogs and groups specific to SARDS.

Again, I want to stress that while social media can be a great resource, please do not take everything you find as factual. Read posts, take notes (gotta love C&P), interact with other owners but always refer to your veterinary specialist for treatment options. I thought of social media and the internet as my process of forming a conglomeration of “medical possibilities” which I could then research further and present to her team. Remember, always learn everything you can about your pet’s disease because in order to be an effective advocate for them, you need to understand it. I know that can seem like a daunting challenge, especially if you aren’t  in the medical or scientific profession. Take it step by step, focusing on one thing at a time. You don’t have to be an expert nor be able to rattle off medical terminology. All you need is a working knowledge of what your pet has, how it’s been historically treated, if there are other forms of treatment and what has worked as opposed to what has not. And ask questions!

Now that my PSA is out of the way, I’m going to share videos of dogs with SARDS that have been posted online. As I’ve always said, I’m not media savvy so hope this works. Most of the videos were posted in a public Facebook group so I assume you might have to log into Facebook to view them. Let’s give it a whirl…

Sweetie July 31, 2016

Sweetie August 22, 2016  Week 3

Sweetie August 24, 2016

Hana Before and After August 15

Bruiser May 11, 2016

Bruiser May 21, 2016

Bruiser September 23, 2016

Bruiser Sept 24, 2016 ~ 7 months into treatment

Gracie March 19, 2016

Chase February 29, 2016

Lila January 15, 2015

SARDS ~ Shasta’s Story (blog)

Then by chance you discover a blind dog whose story is so remarkable that you’re  compelled to share; a dog with such an indomitable spirit and amazing strength that it takes your breath away. Turn on your volume, take a 5 minute break and allow me to introduce to an amazing dog.

Freedom the Blind Siberian Husky


I’m not a savvy blogger  so unsure of menus, icons etc. Please click to see Sasha’s You Tube channel which chronicles her journey from onset until present day. If you like it, please subscribe to her channel.

♥︎Next up ~ a town in Massachusetts♥︎


Sasha And Dr. Stuer..

Sasha And Dr. Stuer..

Still feels very odd to not take the dogs swimming all summer. Summer swimming is  like salt & pepper, soda & chips, apple pie and ice cream ~dogs & River Days. Definitely making up for it come next summer!

Sasha has fallen into a nice routine; she goes to Bethel Animal Hospital  every week for acupuncture with Dr. Stuer followed by a laser treatment session with one of the excellent technicians. If anyone has a concern as to whether laser therapy is uncomfortable or burns the dog, check out Sasha getting a treatment; no discomfort there!  Bethel Animal Hospital uses the K-Laser system. Laser therapy can progressively relieve pain and reduce inflammation (as you’ve seen when Sasha’s foot is swollen). It’s typically a series of treatments, the frequency dependent  on your pet’s diagnosis and your veterinarian’s recommendation.  Once your pet begins to show improvement, the frequency of treatments might decrease.  Often laser therapy  is combined with another treatment modality to give your pet the optimum benefit. As you know, Sasha’s program consists of both acupuncture and laser treatments on the same day. Looking back at the past few months, I can say with all honesty that Sasha has benefited more from this combination than she did when receiving Adequan Injections along with laser therapy.

Dr. Stuer always checks Sasha’s pupils prior to getting down to “acupuncture business”. That’s one of the many things I like about him (hold that thought). So far her pupils continue to react to light, something I was told on April 22 would “never happen”. Her right continues to be a tad more sluggish to react than the left but hey! It reacts.My motto has always been “Can’t is a fellow that never tried” and I was NOT willing to accept a diagnosis of permanent blindness without giving Sasha a fighting chance. This girl had risen past a less than stellar start in life, had some nasty fights with her sibling Inga yet through it all remained friendly and lovable. Make no mistake though; if a situation arises or she is given a command, she turns from silly ball girl to “Fang” in seconds. She amazes me…

I’d like to devote some posts to her providers for without them Sasha would not be where she is today; making slow but steady progress. Since I already touched on her visits with Dr. Stuer I’ll begin with him tonight.  As I once wrote I felt comfortable with him on a personal level but more important in his ability to accurately assess Sasha and her needs. His love of animals is evident by the way he gently talks to them, strokes their fur and intuitively knows what they want. But I digress…

Sasha September 20, 2016

As previously written, Sasha has been receiving weekly acupuncture treatments from Gary J. Stuer, D.V.M. who specializes in Integrative Medicine. He opened his practice, Bethel Animal Hospital in 1994. Upon his initial assessment of Sasha he noticed something I found uncanny. From the base of her rear neck extending to the mid-point of her back, her spinal column was warm to touch (a normal finding). However, from mid-point to her tail it became noticeably cooler. This finding is indicative of decreased blood flow which *could* be contributing to the increased weakness in her left rear leg. I would guess it’s all tied in to the FCE Sasha had in 2011. Amazing that no one had ever picked up on that before don’t you agree? Despite being in an exceptionally beautiful albeit rural location, Dr. Stuer has amassed rather impressive credentials:

  • B.S. 1983 University of New Hampshire
  • D.V.M. 1987 Tufts Veterinary School
  • Certified in Veterinary Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine
  • Board of Directors American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association
  • Vice President American Holistic Veterinary  Association

He’s also on staff one day a week at Portland Veterinary Specialists where Sasha’s BFF is ~ Sarah Noble, D.V.M.

Dr. Gary Stuer

Dr Stuer is also  the veterinarian that saved the life of a young (approximately 6 months) puppy that was discovered by Sunday River Resort security in October 2015 with his muzzle taped shut. He wound up being named Blue⬅︎ and after treatment and healing, was adopted by a wonderful family.

I’m going to be able to meet this sweet survivor at Bethel Animal Hospitals Open House on October 8.


Dr. Stuer and crew treated this little hero and he once told that the true sadness of the situation was that despite what man had done to him, Blue never behaved in a mean way. Dr. Steur said he was sweet from the day he was saved by the  Western Mountains of Maine until he was finally ready to join his forever home.

I feel incredibly blessed to have such a skilled doctor on Sasha’s team…
I’m not a savvy blogger  so unsure of menus and widgets. Please click to see Sasha’s You Tube channel which chronicles her journey from onset until present day. If you like it, please subscribe.

💜Next up ~ dogs who have recovered their vision💜

April 7 ~ Sasha Lost The Light

April 7 ~ Sasha Lost The Light

I keep finding reasons not to do this post simply because it’s a very difficult one.

Sasha literally woke up blind on April 7, 2016; no indication her vision was “failing” prior to that day. No stumbles, no difficulty finding a tossed ball ~ nothing. The only difference in her life was

  • Sasha had  increased knuckling which is why I took her to the neurosurgeon for an evaluation on March 7
  •  During her next visit with the neurosurgeon on March 16 he drastically changed the dose of prednisone she had been on for 3 years as part of her successful Perianal Fistula Disease.
  • Since her prednisone was so dramatically changed her quality of life went down the tubes (clumsy when walking, fecal incontinence while walking ~ just a mess.

I remember April 7 as if it was yesterday. I was busy running around the house doing chores and in between I was doing research on what I thought Sasha had ~ a disc compressing her spine . She was scheduled for neurosurgery on April 11 and I wanted to know as much as possible about the procedure. My daughter told me mid morning on April 7 that she tought Sasha was having a hard time seeing but I dismissed it at the time. Her entire physiology had been altered so markedly since the prednisone change that I initially thought she was having a “loopy” morning. However it was evident to me within the next hour or two that Sasha really wasn’t able to focus. I can still feel the chill that ran through me when I slowly pointed my fingertip towards her eye yet she didn’t blink, a normal  instinctive response.  I was terrified…

I’ve written in previous posts about the protocol Sasha started for her blindness, diagnosed as SARDS (Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration) and the promising results she’s had to date. However I’ve never written about that first week; the fear I felt and more important, the obvious depression Sasha had fallen into. She just lay around, not interacting with her human or dog family. Sasha has always been a tad aloof which is often a trait of the German Shepherd however this was clearly a severely withdrawn and depressed dog. I had no idea what the hell to do! I wrote about reaching out to the veterinary ophthalmologist and her response. Part of me blames myself for “accepting” that response because as a nurse I simply couldn’t rationalize how a disc compressing a dog’s lower spine (leg involvement) could also have an impact on her upper cervical spine (eyes). Sasha had to be prompted and encouraged to eat and other than being walked outside on a leash (for safety) to go potty, she stayed away from the family by laying on the floor or sleeping in another room. I remember thinking at the time how similar the behaviors of a depressed dog and depressed human were.

Sasha was extremely fearful to walk down the 2 steps leading to the back even with a leash and one of us right by her side. On the third day of her blindness my husband made a temporary ramp which seemed to help a bit.

Sasha ~ April 10

My the afternoon of April 10, Sasha’s seemed a bit less depressed. She was scheduled for neurosurgery the next day and I kept clinging to the hope that this nightmare would go away as quickly as it started. Sadly, if you’ve followed her journey so far you know that the MRI’s revealed no disc compression anywhere along her spine nor did an MRI on her head show any organic changes. I scheduled her for stem cell therapy and the neurosurgeon had me taper her prednisone back to the original dose. It was almost magical how quickly Sasha’s body reacted; less clumsiness, no further fecal incontinence while walking, and most of all her spirits seemed a bit better. For the time being, Sasha was adapting. Now however her humans needed to get with the program. I laid carpet squares in trails throughout the house to give Sasha a “trail” to follow. I figured out a plan for her nighttime restlessness. ut there were things I didn’t take into consideration and the biggest one could have killed Sasha. My basement is finished and my washer and dryer are located downstairs One day I went down the 12 basement steps with a basket of clothes and began sorting. All of a sudden I heard a rattling type noise and as I looked at the stairs, I watched in horror as Sasha slid down all 12! I almost became hysterical because I knew I had left the upstairs door leading to the basement open and that she either got off track or followed my scent. The only blessing was that she slid down in the style of someone who was snow tobogganing.  She was on her stomach, head held upright both front and back  legs tucked slightly under. She never struck her head or even got a scratch but it took me the rest of the day to calm down.  I remember it was a Sunday and my husband went to the hardware store as soon as they opened the next morning and bought 2 sets of hook and eye closures so that we coud have one on each side of the basement door. It’s a pain sometimes but I refuse to take any chances ~ end of story.

I’m trying to forget that first terrible month but every once in a while a memory pops into my head. For example, I was taking videos of Sasha every few days beginning right after her initial consult with the neurosurgeon on March 7. I recently looked at one I had taken outside on April 30, which was Day#4 following her stem cell therapy. I hadn’t uploaded it after I took it as I usually do with her videos ~ because it upset me. However I finally uploaded it on September 19 because I felt that in order for  her medical journey to help any other dogs, I needed to show all the highs and lows.

Sasha Goes Bump ⬅︎

I’m not a savvy blogger  so unsure of menus, icons etc. Please click to see Sasha’s You Tube channel which chronicles her journey from onset until present day. If you like it, please subscribe to her channel.


💜Next up ~ continued progress💜

Wow! Almost 2 weeks just to get out 1055 words!


Boots ~The First Week…

Boots ~The First Week…

Now that we have Sasha’s custom water boots, this first week will be a  “trial and error” period. I mentioned in my last post about the monkey wrench that entered the equation when the boot wouldn’t go on her swollen foot. I’m trying it with an extremely thin, almost nylon sock to see if that enables it go on easier. Worst case scenario I’ll get a larger water boot for her left rear foot next Saturday. Since her abrasions aren’t 100% healed, even if I can get the existing boot to fit comfortably, I still won’t take her in the river. It seems so strange as all the dogs spend several hours swimming and enjoying water play at least 3 times a week during the summer since ~ forever. I won’t take the others though if Sasha can’t go; it just wouldn’t be right. Since we can’t go for “River Fun” the cover photo for todays post is the area of the river that’s adjacent to my property therefore private for us.

I’m going to start with a short video that is a perfect example of what knuckling is. Please read the comment section of the YouTube video as it goes into more detail ~ not just about this particular video but what I’m writing next.

The boot is not meant to stay on all day. When Sasha enters the house we remove it, make sure her foot is ok and put on a pair of non-skid dog traction socks that Lucas also altered in size for me. The next few times Sasha went out I used her new custom boot. Then early afternoon I noticed this:

August 8, 2016
Area above Sasha’s hock

I had her come inside and immediately removed the boot. I checked her leg and then the boot and decided the reddened area above her hock was due to the edge of the custom boot. I cleansed it and applied the Calendula ointment.

I sent Lucas an email asking if the edge could be trimmed down somehow or perhaps wrapped. I decided in the interim to use her old boots instead.


I went back outside with Sasha again that afternoon to play ball and take another quick video (no wonder my iPhone 5S died ~ I videod it to death).  It was after I took the video and sitting on the ground with her that I noticed this:

All of a sudden it hit me.  It wasn’t the rim of her new boot causing the redness and now bleeding. As I described earlier, when she knuckles, her rear legs intertwine causing her to fall down. Instead of a plop however she sort of slides down onto her rear end with the affected back left leg stretched out in front of her. As soon as I saw the grass stain I realized that when she goes down the sliding motion of the affected leg is causing the area to become irritated ~ not the custom boot wrap above her hock. If you look at the bottom of her foot you can see an old callous that must have developed over time.

Needs to say although it was a setback, it was relatively minor and an easy fix. Everyone had to be on the same page however and always make sure she wore her new custom boot with the knuckling strap because when she’s wearing it she doesn’t knuckle at all. Or if she does, it’s just a slight backward movement of that foot, no intertwining legs and falls. Little did I know that to err on the side of caution, Lucas had a plan formatting in his brain.
I’m not a savvy blogger  so unsure of menus and widgets. Please click to see Sasha’s You Tube channel which chronicles her journey from onset until present day.  If you like it, please subscribe.

All in all, I’m feeling good!☚

💜Next up ~ life for a dog with sudden vision loss💜