Happy Birthday to Cabana!

Cabana is ONE!
I won't continue on with my bazillion things at bazillion months--all good (and not so good) things must come to an end. And trying to think of so many things to make a list every month was taxing! I will commemorate by saying that Cabana is a sweet, energetic and happy puppy.

The hats in the photo may be fake, but I did celebrate my birthday this week, too. Although 45-years old may not qualify me for any senior discounts at Denny's, I'm feeling a bit decrepit these days!

My left hand and arm are taking a toll from taking care of Cabana. I'm very left-handed (my right hand is quite inept), and I use my hands all day for work (sewing, graphic design) and hobbies (gardening, computer). I have had problems in the past with carpal tunnel and repetitive motion injuries, which make me very susceptible to re-injury.

Holding Cabana's leash during walks, coupled with the pressure of making dozens if not hundreds of small corrections over and over, is probably the major stresser on my left hand. It's not that Cabana pulls overly much even (although she definitely does her share), but simply wrapping my fingers around the leash has become uncomfortable. I've taken to looping Cabana's leash around the belt of my camera case (which holds a bit of kibble, my keys, and a just-in-case poop bag). Being able to let go of Cabana's leash for even a few seconds every 5-10 minutes seems to help.

What DOESN'T help is that I like to hold Cabana's bones for her in the evening while watching a TV show. Or that one of Cabana's favorite games is tug-of-war. I have cut back on doing these things with her, but it makes me sad because she loves them so much.

At the one year marker, Cabana still hasn't gone into season!! I'm looking forward to this milestone because I have heard that female dogs get calmer after their first heat, and because Cabana will be at the GDB kennels for the 3-week duration. It's not that I want to "get rid" of Cabana--I know I will feel quite lonely and even slightly worried about her when she's away from us. But I'm hoping that the long break will give my hand and arm some time to recover.

For now, we will celebrate Cabana's birthday with lots of new toys (I went a bit crazy at Petco last week with birthday money burning a hole in my pocket) and some extra kibble (just a little) for dinner.

Erin and her Dogs  – (October 5, 2009 at 10:21 AM)  

Happy Birthday to you and Cabana!! I totally feel you about the left arm thing, after Rei left, I was determined the next dog wasn't going to do any pulling, as I didn't know if I could take that!!
Man my arm hurts just thinking about that!

Anonymous –   – (October 5, 2009 at 10:55 AM)  

Happy Birthday to the both of you!! :)

Hobbes Dogs  – (October 5, 2009 at 12:01 PM)  

Happy birthday to both Cabana and you! I definitely think it's a good week to have a birthday!

Deborah  – (October 5, 2009 at 12:36 PM)  

Happy Birthday to both of you! I love birthdays! Did you get Cabana anything? I love your birthday hats! Have a nice day!!

Lauren and Spike  – (October 5, 2009 at 1:41 PM)  

Happy Birthday to both of you!
I know how the arm thing feels. It's miserable taking my Boxer for walks. He is so strong that my arm hurts and my hand cramps up by the time we return home from a walk. I really need to get a head collar for him..

Becky  – (October 5, 2009 at 2:50 PM)  

Happy Birthday to you and Cabana!! May you both have an incredible year to come! I feel you on the left hand deal. I broke my left hand/arm 9 years ago and it starts throbbing on long walks. Fortunately, the ergo harness makes it so much better.

L^2  – (October 5, 2009 at 3:06 PM)  

Happy birthday to you both!!!

Carrie and Waffle  – (October 5, 2009 at 4:20 PM)  

woof woof woof woof
woof woof woof woof
woof woof woof woof
woof woof woof woof
(woofed to the tune of happy birhtday)

Lisa and Ellie  – (October 5, 2009 at 4:42 PM)  

Happy Birthday Cabana!!! & to you! :D

I didn't realize you were a graphic designer too! AWESOME!

Martha G  – (October 5, 2009 at 6:00 PM)  

Happy birthday to you and Cabana. She'll go into season eventually. Just remember watched pots don't boil! : )

I've been having hand problems, too, and I think mine started with walking dogs at the humane society. Most of those dogs are mega pullers.

So, rest and ice. That's all I know to do as NSAIDS are out for me. I may have to switch to working with cats.

Sarah and the Pack.  – (October 5, 2009 at 7:55 PM)  

Happy birthday to you both! I have also heard that they become calmer after going into season, though it is looking more and more like I will not be experiencing that with Millie before she goes back.

As far as pulling, have you tried a head collar at all? I know it made a huge difference for me working with dogs at work (who are all rescue dogs) and is saving my arm and back!

Cabana's Puppy Raiser  – (October 5, 2009 at 8:15 PM)  

Thank you for your kind birthday wishes, everyone!

Deborah, yes, I bought Cabana FIVE new toys!

Martha, you can tell I'm watching the pot? Sigh, is it that obvious?! I guess it is!

Sarah, I use a head collar every single time I take Cabana out. It doesn't seem to make any difference with her. I've been told twice in the past week by random passing people that they don't think her head collar is working. I think they're right....

Megan, Fullerton & Paris  – (October 5, 2009 at 9:02 PM)  

Oh my goodness!! When did she get that old, where did the year go? Happy b-day to both of you. How exciting!

I feel you with the left arm thing. I call it puppy raiser arm/syndrome. After long outings or walks I usually have to use icy hot, my elbow and hand kills. Fortunately Fuller is not a puller, he is pretty good about keeping a loose leash. :D My arm appreciates it.

Sarah and the Pack.  – (October 6, 2009 at 3:17 PM)  

Hmmm.... are you using a gentle leader or a Halti? Sometimes I find different dogs like/do better on on or the other due to their head shape. When I had to use one on Millie, I used a Halti. Too bad we can't use the easy walker harness... those always work well on my pullers at work!

Cabana's Puppy Raiser  – (October 6, 2009 at 3:32 PM)  

Thanks for your suggestion, Sarah. I saw a harness at a store recently and wished so badly I could buy it! But I think I will see if my group leader has a Halti that I can try (we're using a Gentle Leader now). I've heard that, too, that sometimes one works better than the other.

OSU 98  – (October 7, 2009 at 7:25 AM)  

Happy Birthdat Cabana and Mimi!!!

Kate Richardson  – (October 7, 2009 at 10:24 AM)  

Aren't birthdays fun?! I baked a cake for ,my first two pups' birthdays, but I decided that I ended up eating the whole thing. So, to save my waistline, I've started celebrating with a game of tug and a long walk.

I know quite a few people who have similar frustrations with their left hand and arm. Luckily, I've been able to avoid it somehow. My brother and I were walking across a parking lot the other day and he actually commented on how I walk "lopsided." My right arm swings naturally when I walk, but my left arm stays still and my hand curled as if I were holding an invisible leash. I guess that's what I get for holding a leash for five years!

Good birthday wishes to you and Cabana!!!

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