Terii’s Cycling Babble

The Paw Drama Continues
March 13, 2012, 7:12 am
Filed under: Day Rides, Misc

There is a bit of cycling thrown in. Not much admittedly, but some at least.

The last visit to the vet Friday, March 9th showed Loke’s infection making inroads toward healing. The area was dry and the wound next to his nail showed good granulation. More worrying, the swelling along the front edge of his webbing had spread up the side of one toe and inching toward the other. I’m not entirely sure about the anatomy of the webbing of a dog’s foot, but it felt like the problem was along some kind of connective tissue along that front edge.

Niclas was baffled and went to do a bit of research before deciding to give Loke a medication for the swelling. He thought it’s some kind of inflammation though uncertain what is causing it. He told me it might be a week before I saw improvement, but if it got noticeably bigger I was to call him right away. I made a point of asking if it was okay to continue the rolling walks. No running, just keeping Loke to a walking pace with the trike. He said yes, but definitely no running and keep the distance down, not my 20+ km outings. 3-5 km was fine.

I was half cringing as I went to the pharmacy, but surprisingly, the medication was less than a 1/10 of the cost of the vet visit. Certainly better than matching it.

The next morning (Saturday), Jens and I went to an ‘out door activity’ expo. All types of fishing, camping, scuba diving, climbing, skiing, kayaking… you get the idea. It comes every year in March and we generally make a point to go. Usually we go on the Thursday it opens because the sheer number of people during the Saturday and Sunday make us completely nuts. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do it this year since work had the hubby in Paris for a week. Saturday it was. Didn’t help it is in the same convention center as a boat expo.

I bought another pair of my favorite kind of shoes! Five Fingers! Even a good pair of hiking boots or sneakers leave my feet feeling pounded with sledgehammers after more than a 20 min walk. Oddly with ‘bare foot’ shoes, my feet seem invincible. These are cute black and white pair with sneaker like lacing. A bit heavier than my old pair so I can wear them when it gets below 50 F without my feet freezing. A great price too! Over 400 kr off the normal price.

Even better though, Jens and I found a really good deal on the Primus shelter I’d decided on for Loke on our overnighters. We had to order it from the Naturkompaniet ‘stand’ at the expo, but it was already 150 kr cheaper than it had been when I looked at it in the store at Stockholm. We also received another 10% off for ordering it from them at the expo. When I it first looked at it online 3 months ago, it was over 800 kr, but we bought it for barely over 600 kr.

I was over the moon as we drove home. The shelter meant being even closer to being ready for tours.

That lasted until the next morning when I gave Loke his pills and did the daily foot check. The swelling had spread to the 2nd webbing of his foot. I felt absolutely devastated. I’ll admit, I sat down and cried which led to a depressive state for the rest of the day. What would we do if our high energy, needs-to-run furball ended up crippled? He would go insane from boredom and excessive energy with no way to burn it. What would _I_ do without my cycling partner?

Apparently, the meds just needed another day to work. Yesterday when I checked, the swelling seemed down. Or at least different so I decided to hold off on calling the vet clinic. I felt a little better. Not exactly hopeful, but not quite so upset.

Today, the swelling is definitely better in both parts of the webbing. If the trend continues, I might think about giving Loke a proper run. Still only around 3 miles, but let him stretch his legs a bit so he won’t be giving me so much in the way of nasty looks.

I’ve also decided to order a Medihoney product. A skin cream which will hopefully keep the infection in check until the antibiotics are out of Loke’s system enough that when the infection returns we can get a clean sample. If I have to massage Loke’s feet every day with a honey based skin cream for the rest of his life, I’ll do it. I might grumble about the necessity of it, but I’ll do it and then kiss the furball between the eyes as I tell him he’s my good boy.

Okay, that out of the way, on to the cycling stuff!

I made an attempt to go riding yesterday. Sunday I should have, but my mood was just too dark for me to emerge into the light of a golden sun. Yesterday, the hubby worked from home, so I decided I’d take Loke for a rolling walk and then take a longer solo ride. Jens could keep Loke from shredding shoes and howling over the fact the trike was going without him.

As Loke and I trundled along the basic River Loop. The sun shone down and last autumn’s leaves bounded and skipped over the paths like herds of tiny, panicked gazelles. Of course, that made Loke want to chase them so I did a lot of brake clenching.

While those capering leaves made for a pretty image, I wasn’t happy to see them as they were a sign of the high winds I could feel tugging on my hair and snapping the flag. By the time I got back home with the furry one, thin clouds had moved across the sun, dimming it and equally dimming my enthusiasm/determination for a long ride. I was also starving, but Jens was so paranoid about someone riding off on my trike I couldn’t take time to slap a sandwich together.

Off I went with a gurgling tummy. With the veiled sun, it felt much colder than 50 F and I’m sure the north wind didn’t help. It was relentless. I crossed the 272 onto Gamla Börjevägen. I just kept feeling hungrier and hungrier as a headache began to build up. I came down the first hill across the highway and straight into a wall of wind. Definitely brought back memories of my last tour where parts of it felt as if I slogged through sticky mud instead of solid pavement. My thoughts of a 35+ mile (50+ km) ride dwindled to the 18 mile Börje/G. Uppsala loop. I hit a stretch Loke and I usually cruise along at 10 mph and I was only doing 6 mph with a hill which would slow me down to about 2 mph. I stopped at the next bus stop.

At the rate I was going, a measly 18 mile loop was going to take me over 3 hours. The few hills I’d done without Loke reminded me how much he really helped. I was ravenously hungry in spite of the two oranges I’d eaten before Loke’s rolling walk and my head felt like it was going to split open. The sun dimmed a bit more and I just felt miserable. All joy had gone out of the ride. I turned for home.

With that wind at my back I ripped along. Except for one steep hill, I maintained a speed of about 16 mph. Gotta love tail winds though it wasn’t all the wind. I pushed like a mad woman with images of ham sandwiches dancing in my head.

When I staggered back through the door with the trike, I’d covered around 10 miles total. Annoyingly, those thin clouds vanished about 20 minutes later leaving a flawlessly clear sky. I was too miserable to make another attempt as I think I discovered the main culprit that killed my will and determination for a decent ride. 2 hours after the outing, I was buried under blankets on the couch with sweating shivers as I eyed a thermometer with a blinking 38 c on it. That’s roughly 101 F.

My fever’s down a  bit, but I still have a monster headache, so no riding today. Not even a rolling walk with Loke. One thing yesterday showed me is that Loke is more than just a cycling companion. He’s like my physical therapist. He pushes me in terms of distance and time on the trike (when his own feet aren’t having problems), but he also tempers my pace so it’s not so brutal on my knees. My left knee is bugging me quite a bit after yesterday’s pedal hammering which I wouldn’t have done so much of with the furball at my side. I need my buddy with me on my rides. Yep.



2 Comments so far
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You’ve probably thought of this, but why not tow Loke in a trailer behind the Trice and let him run when you stop at a church or the like?
You’d be together, both get exercise and it rests his feet :0)
I tow camping kit behind my Trice with no trouble at all.

Comment by dexey

I’ve thought of it and had it suggested on a bent forum I’m part of as well. The problem is, Loke isn’t much of a ‘rider’. He’s not wild about rides in the car so to keep him in a trailer with the open road so close and begging for running paws would require hogtying him. I think he’d learn to dread the trike at that rate. 😛 I have such a silly puppy.

Comment by Terii

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