Eventer Struggles: Today I Tried To Ice My Dog

This morning, I diagnosed my 11-year-old Lab/Rottweiler/Mastiff/Greyhound mix, better known as “Doodle”, as a 3/5 on the lameness scale. She hopped unevenly down the stairs and trotted into the yard looking off in her right hind. I exclaimed, “She’s like a 3!”, and my husband looked at me somewhat befuddled, and continued drinking his coffee.

There are things you say and do as an eventer/horseman that much of the general public doesn’t understand. Luckily, he’s used to the weird things I say and do because his mum and sister are also riders, although somehow he managed to escape absorbing any horse skills whatsoever.

She loves the water, so I thought maybe I could ice her, but it turns out that ice and water in a bucket are not something she is interested in having any part of, and who am I to wrestle her 96 pound self into a bucket. We tried to cross tie her once for a bath when she rolled in something especially noxious, but she escaped that too. I’ve come to realize that my animal and human management skills are somewhat always equine based. I can’t be the only one with this issue. Can I?

I sometimes work in human chiropractic medicine, and I am responsible for patient intake, where I get an elaborate history of their physical issues (lamenesses) and any chronic pain. As I listen to them whine  explain every little ache and pain, I catch myself designing them a proper SmartPak based on their needs and have more than once accidentally called the glutes their “haunches” and their legs the “hinds.” I don’t know why it makes sense to me that the arms are the fores and the legs are the hinds- it just does.

I do hope “regular” people can forgive us for talking about their dog being scopey, internally considering giving their children tubes of Total Calm and Focus, clucking at them in the grocery store, suggesting a bag of fluids after they run a marathon, and looking at one another and whispering, “he wouldn’t pass the jog” when our athlete friends are injured.  The struggle to be appropriate in the non-horsey world is real.


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