09 October 2008

It's Good to be Home

Since we got home, we've mostly just been chilling out and trying to adjust to the time difference. I am trying to do some walking with Molly though to keep the muscles I built up on the trip. The good news is that on today's walk, Molly kept her leash loose for about 200 meters despite cars, horses, and people working on a fence on a property we passed.

Walking that far, even though it was on crutches, is really quite a work out for me, so as well as being very proud of Molly, I'm very proud of myself. One thing I learned on the trip was how and when to push myself and what the consequences are. The consequence is that I need to sleep 1.5 to 2 times as long as I've been active--beyond the 8 hours _at least_ at night--to recover at all. So I need a nap shortly even though I slept about 13 hours last night. I need 12-14 hours of sleep a day just to lie around and not really do anything all day. As soon as I add in any sitting upright or moving around, I have to sleep more. Such is life, but at least I have a better idea of how to cope now. Needless to say, I slept probably an average of two-thirds of the time that would normally be "waking hours" on the trip. I'm fortunately able to sleep quite well when fully reclined in my parents' back seats.

The past few days I've also started getting Molly back into a training routine. She is eating pretty normally right now although my DH is putting a lot of various extras in her food (not because she requires it but because we have stuff that needs to be used). She got pretty good, but not perfect, about eating while on the trip. I think she has more of a habit to eat now than not to, although there were days she skipped or we let it stand and she ate it later. But on the trip our schedules were all over and sometimes she seemed to need a rest before she could think about eating and we weren't about to get up int he middle of the night to give her 5 seconds to eat.

So, about this training routine. We got a lot of good tips from Erin for getting Molly working quietly. My DH hasn't had the extra energy to work with us to do the he-works-if-Molly-makes-noise routine, so I'm continuing with the retraining from scratch but requiring quiet routine. So the past few days she'd had several couple minute sessions with the old boot. It's actually going really well. I started with just touching the boot with her nose, what she first offered when I got it out, and am now up to short grabs and even a few double grabs. IF she starts making noise, the session ends, but I've managed to do a few minutes of training before it got that far. I'm going to try making my next few sessions even shorter to see if I can end the session _before_ she feels the need to make noise.

I've mostly been using shoes I can flip off without her help, so that way I'm not making her work and having to reward her for noisy efforts while retraining. Not much anyway. I've also been avoiding socks both for that reason and just because I generally don't like them.

My laptop died yesterday (screen won't get bright anymore), so my posting and activity checking out others' blogs and on my usual groups and forums will be very limited until I can find and install a replacement. Sitting at the desk to use the desktop machine is just too painful for me and even short posts like this one require a few breaks to get written.

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