Thursday, 24 November 2011

Kai, an update

I mentioned in a previous post how I felt that CRPS was ruining my getting to know Kai, and my ability to do things with him. As with everything it was borne out of the frustration that comes with having CRPS. Everything is harder and it's more difficult to get involved when you are confined to a chair in the living room. I am so grateful for the support of Eric who as always did all he could to help me do more with him. It is some time since that post so I feel it's time for an update.

What am I missing?
Things have moved on tenfold. We've worked really hard on me doing things with Kai so that he got to know me better. As a result he now comes over to me across the corridor frequently, looking for a cuddle or to play. He wags his tail at me, something he wasn't doing. He jumps up at the side of the chair asking to come up. He lets me groom him easily without wriggling as much. We play rough and tumble on my lap. Or tug with one of his toys. In essence doing a lot of the things that I wasn't managing to. In the last couple of days I've been training him to come to the side of my chair, stand on a small wooden box we've put next to it and then put his paws on the arm of the chair so it's much easier for me to pick him up. If he does it right he gets a treat. Working really well and means I have a way of getting him to come up should I need to when Eric is out. He picks things up so fast!

A particular delight for me was when we came home last week after leaving them all for the second time. Normally it is Eric going out and coming back, so gets a lovely welcome from Kai. This time we'd both been out and I was the first one through the door. The other two came dashing through wagging their tails, jumping up etc. I always make sure I'm holding on to my grab rail tightly, as it's so difficult to greet them whilst maintaining my balance. That's why Eric stays behind me to keep me steady. Kai was jumping up and down, wagging his tail like mad trying to get to me to say hello.  The exact same reaction he gives to Eric when he comes in. It was wonderful to see him so pleased to see me. Without thinking I picked him up and was licked like mad with his tail wagging like mad. Just as well Eric was behind me because of course I immediately fell backwards, couldn't grab onto anything to support myself and had to be rescued. Nonetheless it was one of those wonderfully spontaneous moments you get so much pleasure from.

Our wheelchair friendly vegetable garden
Possibly the funniest time I've had with Kai was when I was in the garden earlier this week. We have raised beds so that I can reach to garden. I was doing some weeding and turning the soil over. Kai Had been lifted into the bed and decided he was going to chase my 'spade' (it's more like a large trowel with a long handle). Huge fun was had as I moved it backwards and forwards with him pouncing on it every time it landed. Lots of woofs and play poses. I can't remember the last time I've laughed so much. Absolutely priceless and so lovely to be able to play with him in a normal way for once. His beard was absolutely black by the time we'd finished!!

Yesterday proved just how good a bond we have developed. I was in a really bad way with stabbing pains in my eyes, awful headache and was sick several times. I was sat forward in my chair, Bella had disappeared as she can't cope with me being sick. Little Kai came over and asked to come up. He sat on my lap absolutely still with his head rested on my stomach looking up at me. I then went to sleep with him snuggled in the crook of my left arm and Bella in her customary position lying across me. They were still there when I woke up. Now that's what I call being looked after.

As I write this, Kai, who was lying on the bed rolled over and fell off! Thankfully his bed was there for him to land on. There's certainly never a dull moment with him around, and I'm sure that all three of my wonderful dogs help me cope better with CRPS. I may be stuck in this chair but boy do they keep me cheerful....

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