Category Archives: dog walking

Thanksgiving in Texas: a guest post by Lola

My person is still working hard on her NaNoWriMo project. I hope she is almost finished. Meanwhile, I’m helping out on her blog again with another guest post.

We went to Texas for Thanksgiving this year. It takes a long time to get there – we have to drive for two days across the desert and over mountains. The first day in the car is fine, but when we have to get in the car that second day, I’m feeling pretty stir crazy. It’s all worth it, though, to spend some time with some of my very favorite relatives.

The best part of being at G&G’s house is that there is always something happening, especially in the kitchen. If I sit politely, I get treats. My person’s mom is a dancer, too, and I love to watch her practice her clogging dances. She even had a performance while we were visiting. (She is the tall one who looks like my person.)

G&G live in a house with a really big yard. It has a tall fence to keep out the deer, so my person lets me run around as much as I want. There are lots of creatures that do come inside the fence, like a fox and raccoons and squirrels and birds, so I have plenty of scents to chase.

I like to follow my person’s dad as he works in the garden. He lets me help him dig and he doesn’t mind if I accidentally fill in a hole he is digging. He just chuckles and empties it out again. Sometimes he gives me empty flower pots to play with and he is always willing to pause in his work and throw a ball for me.

We go for long walks every day and we see lots of those deer that can’t come into the yard.

There is even a little pond that I can play in. Heaven!

The best part about this visit was when my favorite little person arrived with her family. We have so much fun playing together.

I do get a little time to myself for long naps on the couch when all of my people go places I can’t. This year, they went to the Texas Furniture Makers Show in Kerrville. Then they went to a place called Grape Juice that my person said was a wine bar. Another day, they went to the 11th Street Cowboy Bar to listen to music and dance. I don’t know why dogs can’t go to these places, but I will admit that after so much playing, I’m happy to have a little quiet time.

On Thanksgiving Day, we went to visit more relatives and my canine cousins.  Annie and Ranger are Wheaten Terriers and they are so pretty! They win prizes and everything.

Ranger is only two and he loves to play with me. We had a ball even though Annie, who is nine, sometimes had to bark at us to settle down.

After another long ride in the car, I’m home again. It’s good to be back at work patrolling my yard, but I sure did have a great time in Texas. I hope your Thanksgiving was as wonderful as mine.

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Filed under dog walking, Dogs, Gardening, Lola, NaNoWriMo, Travel

A Pain in the Hip

I’ve been struggling with hip pain for months.  At first, I thought I had pulled my left hamstring.  I know that type of injury can take a long time to heal, so I tried to be patient and to baby it.

The pain got worse, not better, so I asked my chiropractor for help. She suspected that my problem might be a tight IT (iliotibial) band, a long band of muscle and connective tissue that runs from the hip down to the knee on the outside of the thigh.  The pain in my hip appeared to be caused by tension on the hamstring at the insertion point and not by an injury.

Evidently, tight IT bands are common to runners.  When we run on canted roads, it’s as if one leg is shorter than the other, which strains the IT band.  Also, when I look at the bottom of my running shoes, the wear pattern shows that I’m still not running evenly on both feet almost five years after surgery on my left foot.

The biggest problem with my hip pain is that, although the tightness in my IT band seems to be caused by running, the activity that hurts the most is sitting.  This makes it a challenge to go to a play or a movie, to sit still at my book group, and most importantly, to write.  My kitchen timer method helps.  I sit for forty-five minutes, then get up and move around before I sit down again.  But I still struggle with an aching hip at the end of the day.

I tried the stretches that my doctor and my chiropractor recommended and they relieved the pain.  🙂  But never for long.  😦 I was hoping for a definitive solution.  I stopped running hills and ran at a slow pace for two months.  No change.  So now I’ve stopped running for the summer while I work at correcting my stride.  Lola is okay with that because as long as she gets to go along, she doesn’t care if we walk or run.

Walking correctly seems like it should be easy, but I have to concentrate on each step to make sure that I push off the balls of my feet the same way on each side.  I start out fine.  Then my mind drifts.  What has Lola found in the bushes?  What am I going to fix for dinner tonight?  What point of view should I use for my new novel?  I’m lost in my head for a few blocks until I remember what I’m supposed to be focusing on.  I’m not giving up, though.

Meanwhile, I’m thinking about trying a standing desk.  I put my netbook on a stack of books on the kitchen counter and I think I’ve found a good height.  I’d like a slightly less temporary solution than a cookbook and a dictionary, so I looked for affordable desks online, but haven’t found anything I like.

My husband offered to build a standing desk for me, but that’s not a quick solution.  I know he would build something beautiful, but considering how little time he has for woodworking, it would be months before he finished it.  Besides, maybe taking a break from running will solve my problem. If it doesn’t, I’m considering acupuncture. Have you tried it?  What did you think?

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Filed under dog walking, Running, Writing