Flashback Fur-iday: A Logan’s Elbow

I’ve been part of the van Bryce clan since the beginning of 2011 when I was two. Logan had just turned seven at the time, and although supposedly entering his senior years, he was not an easy guy to keep up to, even with an already lurking health issue.

A game of “kick the ball” back in 2011.

If you’ve been reading our blog for a time, since back in the days of Logan, you’ll know that he struggled with arthritis and lameness in the latter years of his life. In fact, without the lameness and the medications that made it manageable, he probably would have lived longer, might have even been here to celebrate his sixteenth birthday in January.

But that’s not the point of today’s post, because I know Logan wouldn’t want me rehashing his many health troubles or his ultimate demise.

How Logan would prefer to be remembered.

I’ve hurt myself twice in the past six months, both times resulting in a sore leg and a limp. The first time I just tripped and landed badly, the more recent one, just a few days ago, I tried to climb through a gate and, when I didn’t fit and pulled back, I wrenched something. Again, soreness and a limp. It will probably go away in a few days of lighter exercise and that will be the end of it.

Nobody knows what started Logan’s elbow troubles. It could have been any number of things, partly because he was so active—

I’ve had a hitch in my giddy-up for a long while now … years. Not sure just where it got its start–a bad landing jumping for a ball, playing a bit too rough with a friend, too many miles on the trail behind a horse, or some perfect storm of a combination.

April 2016 – The Trouble with Elbows
Beach run with a new buddy in California.

—and partly because his stoic nature made it near impossible for a vet to figure out where the pain was.

The first (vet) who checked out my limp gave up when I wouldn’t flinch and give her any clue as to what was hurting. She called it “typical Border Collie stoicism”. I just called it “not liking vets”. Ever since I was kicked in the face by a horse and had to spend a night at the vet hospital … alone … and have surgery the next day, I’ve not been a fan of vets.

April 2016 – The Trouble with Elbows
“This little skiff of snow? Nah, not a problem.”

Having always been such an active guy, Logan had a hard time admitting defeat as his arthritis worsened. I can understand that. Even though I am far from stoic, or so they tell me, I’ll limp along if it means the difference between going for a walk or not.

Admittedly, I find it hard to keep up with horses these days, even at a walk. Their walk is my jog and I just can’t jog for four or five hours straight anymore, in fact, a couple of hours across the prairie normally has me limping. So, as angry as I was with Chico for spoiling what was a great gig, he saved me from having to admit defeat and retire in disgrace.

June 2015 – Trailer Days
Logan logged a lot of trail miles over the years.

It frustrated the poor guy no end that one small joint in his body was keeping him from living the kind of life he most enjoyed.

Darn thing is like my Achilles’ heel. (Think there’s any chance a “Logan’s elbow” might become as famous as an Achilles’ heel?)

April 2017 – A Shot in the Arm

One of the best treatments for Logan turned out to be our winter trips to the desert, for a couple of reasons.

When we travel south for the winter, not sure if it’s the climate or the leash time, but my elbow hardly bothers me at all. Almost makes the many hours of terrifying interstate highway travel worthwhile.

April 2016 – The Trouble with Elbows
In the desert, leash time doesn’t mean boring.

T tried a bunch of treatments and remedies for Logan. You can read about them back through the years of the blog, but the one with the most dramatic result was a joint injection in the spring of 2017. Sadly, the treatment’s effect was very short-lived, and its temporary success had unexpected consequences.

You see, with my right leg no longer slowing me down, I’ve been a lot more active and am now discovering that some of the other parts of me are older than I thought they were. For example, my backend seems to be having some difficulty keeping up with the front, and it wobbles sometimes after I’ve exerted myself. I’m always tempted to look back there to see what the heck is going on, but I don’t of course. I forge on like nothing has happened, hoping nobody noticed but me.

2017 – The Domino Effect
“Anybody see that?”

I’m pretty sure I’ll be fine with a few days of lightened activity. After so many years of trying to help Logan, T’s pretty keen on not letting me develop a chronic problem. And, whenever I feel short-changed on a walk or upset about my outdoor time being curbed, I just remember the wise words of my old buddy…

So, to all my ‘nines out there (that’s peeps in the canine world), I know you can’t help yourselves, but try not to wear out any of your parts while you’re still young.

April 2016 – The Trouble with Elbows

Twenty-five and Counting

… lakes that is. Yup, another four since last Fur-iday’s blog and this trip isn’t over. I’d tell you all about them but we’ve been on the road all day, I just finished a long walk and dinner, and that means nap time. Don’t want to get off schedule. Tune in next week for the full lake tally and tales!