I have a fairly large backyard....as far as backyards go. Enough room for Truman to run and chase a tennis ball from end to end or herd a soccer ball around. But I was never able to use my backyard for these fun things because I never had a fence. Our playtime in the backyard consisted of him pushing a ball around with his nose and then spying a rabbit in the neighbor's yard and running off all over the neighborhood chasing that rabbit. I have the type of dog who requires tons of exercise and that exercise was me walking him up to eight miles every! single! day! Obviously, I found out this isn't always a safe option in the winter and since I won't be walking up to eight miles a day anytime soon I needed to put in a fence.
The funny thing about the newly fenced in yard is that Truman isn't sure what to do. I let him out there to "do his business" but I don't know if he understands it is ok for him to "do his business". He just sits there and stares at me like..."um...aren't we going for a walk?" So, then I have to walk around the yard with him so he understands it's ok. I don't get it. No fence = he runs off. Fence = he just sits there and stares at me. Maybe it's because he hasn't been with me for three whole months and he's getting used to his home environment again. Maybe he truly is the best dog ever waiting for my instruction. (But if that were the case he wouldn't have run out of the yard in the first place.)
He is getting more comfortable with the fence. It's only been a few days. Sometimes when I let him out there he'll trot off to find his favorite tree and go exploring. But he still loves his walk. It's a great bonding experience for us both and even more so now that I have to walk slowly. He just walks right beside me going at my pace and doesn't even bother with the rabbits and squirrels. He gets me out there walking again which is exactly what I am supposed to be doing AND he encourages me along the way....which I guess is what HE is supposed to be doing. That's a dog's job. He does it very, very well. Good boy.
Here is my ankle update for this month. It's been 11 weeks since my ankle surgery and I just started physical therapy a couple of weeks ago. Finally I can see some improvement and light at the end of the tunnel. I have a walking boot or walking cast....whatever you want to call it and I am to the point now where I can walk using that without the assitance of crutches. I don't walk very well without assistance but I am supposed to do around the house for practice. When I'm out and about I was using my crutches or just one crutch to help me walk with the boot. Yesterday at PT my therapist told me to finally ditch the crutches and she handed me a cane. I just stared at her for a second and was tempted to make a geriatric comment but I know she probably hears them ALL THE TIME so I refrained. I still feel double my age using it. However, using a cane to walk is much better than using a crutch. I can almost race someone down the hall now.
So, it's progress. Slow progress but progress. Monday I have an appointment to have a couple of the big screws removed so I can regain a better range of motion. That procedure will set me back a week or two but I feel encouraged that I am finally walking...however limited it may be.