Violet- the beginning
While there have been many posts about Violet the Samoyed there has never been a true introduction of the little fluff ball. It was pointed out recently that this was really a silly thing not to have done since I could have tracked her progress. While I do agree with this person (who said it after seeing the improvements over the past 12mths) I realised I have tracked her progress. I have hundreds of photos and videos to share of her progress, what has worked and what hasn’t.
Miss Violet has improved my observation skills and pushed me to be a more skilled trainer and more skilled in behaviour modification. But we will get to that as I describe the journey that we have been on.
Miss Violet was born in November 2017. I am a sucker for dogs born in odd years. I may actually only own dogs born in odd years (Fable, Bren’s dog, is the exception but she came before we met so doesn’t count!). I met Violet in May 2018, incidentally only a month after I injured my thumb and ended up learning a LOT about low temperature thermoplastic splinting.
Miss V had developed an unusual gait at a few months age. X-rays had been done and an initial exercise program had commenced but Miss V was not improving as fast as we wanted.
My initial assessment
• FLUFFING ADORABLE
• Hyperextended hocks bilaterally in stand
• Unable to sit unassisted
• Behavioural signs of discomfort on hip manipulation and some clunking
• Food obsessed
• Collapses into a drop
• Difficulty rising
• Fatigues quickly
• Easy to push over.
• Next to no muscle in hind limbs - gastrocnemius, hamstrings, quads, glutes
• Arched topline
• Weight shift forward.
I was willing to give a more intense therapeutic exercise program a go and the Breeder was willing to put in the time and effort to get this little girl right. Unfortunately, it became clear that it was just not going to be enough to practice using the right muscles during therapy when she did not use them at all in her daily life.
Violet was going to be the first dog I did custom thermoplastic splints on. As a growing puppy anything we ordered prefabricated was not going to work. I was unsure of how it would go and since she lived over 3hrs drive from me I decided that I would keep her for a few weeks while I developed splints and made sure she could move appropriately in them.