Guido at Pacific Beach

May 21, 2006

Using his cart, and not.


Our recent trip to Pacific Beach was a lot of fun for all of us. We were particularly interested to see how Guido, who has degenerative mylopethia (DM) would do on the beach, and in his cart.

First, though, was getting to the beach. That's actually a fairly long walk through sand that's hard for folks with all paws at 100%. So we brought with us the stroller we'd used last year for Vera:

Guido in the stroller

I got my work out pushing through the sand, and Guido got to ride like a prince.

(Videos are all in "avi" format, and range from about 2 to 4 megabytes in size.)

Guido still has use of his hind legs, but it varies a great deal on how tired he is, and whether or not he can sucker us into lifting or carrying him. This video's a great example of him on the beach without assistance:

Cigar Boy
Cigar Boy

You can see he can walk, but his right leg has a real tendency to fail on him. When he's really tired, he'll try but will often sort of half walk, half drag across the floor. And, of course, it's a degenerative disease, so it's only slowly getting worse.

So Guido has a cart. He can use it, but motivation is the key. Here's an example of him just sort of following along with us.

Guido in his cart
Guido in his Cart

Add a little "motivation" (aka food) and the pace picks up:

Guido in his cart - faster
Guido in his Cart - Faster

A little "motivation" and even problems can be solved:

Guido in his cart - solving problems
Guido in his Cart - Solving Problems

It was really interesting to see Guido get more and more comfortable and/or active. Before we quit for the day, a tennis ball was all he needed:

Guido and the Ball
Guido and the Ball

it's unclear exactly how comfortable he'll be with it over time, but it is clear that one of the ways to get him accustomed to it, is to put him in situations where he forgets he's in the cart. Sometime I'll have to take a video of Guido in his cart doing his most favorite thing: getting "hosed" - biting at, running after, and barking like a fool after the water coming out of a hose nozzle.

Yes, running.