Friday, 16 May 2014

Odin Goes Boating Again

(Boats Chalices & Sickle - posted by Cath)

Breasted up down Seabrook locks.
Since leaving hospital nearly 3 weeks ago Odin has had three checkups. One at the hospital, and two at our local vets. We had told our vet that we wanted to take Odin boating, if he was up to it, so on Tuesday 13th May, she checked him over again. She continues to be happy with his progress, so said that it was OK to take him boating, as long as we follow some fairly obvious rules:
  • wear a buoyancy aid - because he's still a bit wobbly
  • take it easy
  • lift him on and off the boat - no big jumps

Happy dog!
Given what he has been through recently, is it a good idea to take him boating? 
At home we are carrying him up stairs - in the last day or so he has started to walk downstairs, but is very reluctant to go upstairs. He sleeps in our bedroom, and carrying even a small and cooperative Labrador upstairs is hard work - we are worried about what will happen if we trip.

Odin's chosen spot for much of Friday
He needs to be gently rehabilitated - short walks. We live in a quiet close, but the road that it connects to is busy, and he finds that disturbing at the moment, so it involves lifting him into the car, then driving elsewhere to take him for a short walk.

As he gets better he is starting to get bored, but doesn't have huge amounts of energy to investigate things.

Still happy dog!
On the boat he can be lifted on and off much more easily than carrying him upstairs. He can go for short walks between locks, when he's not walking he is watching the world go by from the boat. Our vet said that we can ring at any time if we have concerns while they are open, if they are shut, we can ring the Royal Veterinary College. If we are really concerned, then our son can drive to us in less than two hours to take Odin back to support services near our home. 

Yes, there is a small degree of concern about taking him away from our home, but to be honest, there was concern the moment we took him away from the hospital - how were we going to deal with it? We have to take him out boating sometime, or we will never go....

Thursday 15th May

We went down to the boat, loaded everything, and Odin was sick, not a lot, but he was sick. Fortunately the boat has carpet tiles - which were removed and scrubbed under an outside tap. Earlier in the day I had given him some dog treats - biscuits - the first he had had since being ill, and it looks like they are just a bit too much for his sensitive stomach. We spent the night on our moorings.

Friday 16th May
Slapton Lock

Because Odin was sick yesterday evening , we gave him a bit of the 'sensitive' tinned food, but the rest of his food today has been his normal Labrador specific 'kibble'. He hasn't shown any more signs of being sick. Hurray!

We set off at about 9:15, moving both boats. It's been a long day, moving two boats is always harder than moving one, it takes longer, and you don't get breaks from steering. Apart from waiting for locks, and a short stop at Tesco in Leighton Buzzard, we've been going solidly all day - finally mooring Sickle at her home mooring after 7 pm.

We may gloss over what caused us to briefly be going opposite ways!
It's been a glorious day. Odin had a few short walks on short flights of locks, and has watched the world go by from the back deck. He has been really good about not trying to jump off the boat at locks, and allowing us to pick him up to lift him on and off.

Cooks Wharf to Fenny Stratford
Miles: 14.9 (Chalice), 14.9 (Sickle), Locks: 15
Total Miles: 29,8, Locks: 15

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