Titus was cleared last week to resume hiking on flat, easy trails.
His recovery had plateaued the week prior and I was feeling pretty down about it…but he started looking sounder again over the weekend, was released by the surgeon on Monday, and the iliopsoas was deemed still sore but no longer in spasm by the rehab vet Wednesday. He does not tolerate most of his at-home regimen, alas: warm compress, meds, and paws-up stretch, yes, but passive range of motion is a big no. But he liked the therapeutic ultrasound and cold laser at the vet and we’re hoping to get him on the underwater treadmill soon. I think he’ll like the strengthening phase much better!
For his first hike back, we made the short trek to the East Pond trailhead off Tripoli Road.
I had no idea what to expect from the little guy. Lilo has at last been emerging from her late-summer weirds and likes cool weather morning starts, so I was pretty sure she’d be good to go. But what would Titus think about being back on a proper trail after a full eight weeks away?
On the way out, he picked right back up where he’d left off! He was on a handheld leash because he’s not cleared to run yet and I had forgotten my preferred set-up for him (Kurgo Quantum hooked to my pack). He was calm, confident, and happy; he sniffed everything in sight and went down the trail like a pro. And thigh she’d never admit it, Lilo seemed to enjoy having her pet dog along again.
East Pond is just 1.4 miles from the trailhead. I opted out of the longer loop to Little East Pond for his first hike back; we went out and back the same way with a few very short side jaunts to investigate campsites. The overnight lows this weekend flirted with freezing. We’re not seeing much color change in foliage yet (and I don’t expect much given the horrific drought conditions), but hopefully soon!
Titus did lose the plot when we stopped at the pond for a snack and took probably half a mile of the hike back to regain his senses, the poor kid. He didn’t regress too far, though. We had a lot of leash biting and some demand barking and general frantic behavior, but he was trying hard to grab the tug leash and to offer self-control in the form of a nice heads-up heel(!). He eventually settled back into calm hiking. So, something to work on, but we fixed it before and we’ll fix it again. I’m pleased with how much of his good hiking manners remain intact!
It’s been a long eight weeks. He has a lot of healing still to do, but it’s so good to be back on trail with both my friends.