January 16, 2010


Prancer has been a dog of interest for quite some time. I was attracted to Prancer when I first saw him because he was frightened being in the shelter yet at the same time wanted interaction. I was not allowed to work with him at that time because he was a stray and I don't have access to these dogs until they become available.

In Prancer's case I got special permission to work with him right as I went out for shoulder surgery. Then just as I was getting back into my shelter work Marley had his injury. So today was the day!

At first he was curious about me but a little reserved and cautious. That lasted maybe a minute. We made our proper introductions and got to work. I set up Cones and a "Star" so we had a little mini confidence course.

Prancer was very accepting to the TTouches I did on him but he seemed more interested in the activities going around us.

A quick change in the game plan worked wonders.

Prancer seemed to think I was nuts the first pass around the star and weaving through the cones but really liked the treat at the end.

We did some clicker training focusing on ignoring the treat and looking at me to get one, targeting to my hand and quick sits and a down. From there we went into more touches and a game of fetch and some cuddle time.

Then the process started all over again, the course, clicker training, touches, ball & cuddle. Each time he was more sure of himself going through the star and cones.

On our last pass (#8 or so) we even had another dog in the Interaction area next to us barking and playing. At first Prancer was watching the dog more than me. I changed my body posture to get more on his level, called his name and said "Lets go" and off he went through the course for a final time.

Prancer is a very smart boy that seems to really enjoy learning. He is going to make someone a wonderful companion.

January 12, 2010

Reaching New Heights!

So what is this clock all about??

Well Marley did 20 minutes on his treadmill tonight~ Not only that but he was in the tank alone. No help! He also didn't require as much cheering on and treats either.

Marley did drift off to the side and tried to stand on the edge that doesn't move. But Dr. Sosna has seen it all before and she has a fix for just about everything. A quick toss of a pool noodle in the tank and that problem was solved.

Both Dr. Sosna and his therapist, Elmer, are very pleased with how much he improves from one visit to the next.

I like to say that Marley was the perfect storm. We were monitoring his injury like hawks! Within 12 hours of becoming paralyzed Marley was in surgery with his fantastic Neurologist, Dr. Stevenson. Then his first post surgery TTouch session was while he was still in the hospital hooked up to tubes and it continues daily. Steve and I made sure he had the perfect set up at home - complete with orthopedic "hospital" beds. I even got to borrow the best of crates from my friend, Kerry.

I also found a website called DodgersList.com that is an invaluable resource for downed dogs. With their help we got through those first very tough and frightening days.

Now Marley has the best rehab Dr. and Therapists to help him get to normal......or better. Oh, and you should just SEE all his supplements. Marley is such a good boy he is sharing them all with Pierre and Sammi so they have less risk of this happening to them.

With all this support and the love and prayers from friends across the globe Little Marley Troup has no choice but to have a complete healing.

All of this hard work from so many people would be worthless if not for Marley's determination. Just look how hard he is working out on the treadmill with his little tongue poking out!

Tonight Elmer took Marley through an Obstacle course that helps him with his balance and teaches him to be more agile on his feet. Take a look at this video. Can you believe this little guy could not stand up 3 weeks ago?

January 5, 2010

1st Hydrotherapy Session

What a big day today was!

Marley went back to Dr. Sosna to have his first underwater treadmill session. Last week the plan was to have him try 5-7 minutes and that would be it for the day. Well Dr. Sosna was so impressed with Marley's improvement since the 30th that she said he could go 7-10 minutes! Walking on an underwater treadmill offers 12x the resistance of regular walking.

Elmer was Marley's therapist today and he was so nice and helpful. Many times a dog will be a bit frightened in the chamber because it is so different! It fills with warm water from the bottom up. Then the belt starts moving and they aren't sure what they are supposed to do. Elmer told us that sometimes it is a struggle to keep them from trying to get out on the first session.

As with everything else, Marley really excelled! Of course he was concerned at first but he never fought the process. When the treadmill started to move Marley started walking. Simple as that. With Momma and Daddy cheering him on, Elmer's expert handling and Daddy passing out liver treats Marley went the distance. He went the entire 10 minutes!

After he was done the water was drained and Marley was hosed down so his pretty white coat doesn't turn chlorine green. A good and proper shake off followed.

Into his Fido Fleece coat given to him by Trish from FBRN and he headed home.

I think he got a good work out, don't you?

January 3, 2010

We sure have been busy working with Marley and helping him regain his strength and balance. Marley is really doing his part and is not going to accept paralysis as his destiny.

December 28 we took the advise of Robyn Hood and put Candy Cane wraps on Marley's legs. I secured them with terry cloth scrunchies around his ankles. When you add all that to his walking sling and his harness & lead he looked an awful lot like an Marionette puppet! A very cute one at that.

You can see he has some concerns about what is going on but ever the little trooper he just went with hit. He didn't wear the wraps long but we did have him walk around with them about 5 minutes or so.

The point of the wrap it to bring awareness to the legs. It is much like putting a rubber band around your wrist. All of a sudden you are conscious and aware of your wrist. Leave it on for a while you you no longer think about it. TTouch wraps only stay on for a short time and can help with balance and body awareness.

The day after the wraps we noticed a significant improvement in Marley's ability to walk. He put more weight on his back legs. His feet had been quite stiff before and were now in a more natural position as opposed to him walking more on his toes. Steve needed to support him with the sling less and less.

On December 30th we visited Dr. Sosna, the vet that will assist us with Marley's rehab. Dr. Sosna shared details of Marley's surgery and recovery we were unaware of. Our Marley not only has IVDD but also a quite malformed spine. Protecting the integrity of his back is of utmost importance and we are at risk of more ruptures in other areas of the spine.

We reviewed some supplements that will be beneficial for him and set up a series of 20 rehab sessions that will be a mixture of underwater treadmill and weight bearing exercises. He will have homework too besides his therapy every Tuesday and Thursday.

Steve and I are very excited to get going on rebuilding the lost muscle in his legs.

Then on New Year's Eve Marley really had a great walk in the yard! Just look at him go!

Every day we are seeing Marley get stronger and stronger. His balance is improving and the exercises Dr. Sosna showed us how to do are really helping him shift his weight backwards and not carry everything up front. We are working really diligently on his muscle memory and making sure that he is in correct alignment as best we can.

Marley improves so much on a regular basis that it is a good thing we are aware of his malformed spine and the level of risk of having this happen again. If not, it would be tempting to forgo the 20 rehab sessions!