I call this Back-Log Blog #1
It is amazing how easy it is to get out of the habit of writing for a blog. I realized how lame I have become when I opened my draft folder and found about 15 brain dumps just waiting to be turned into actual blog posts. It sure looks like I have some catching up to do. I picked the topic of this post at random (have to start somewhere).
This blog goes back to when Phoebe was close to recovery after surgery on her paw. The original injury (a fractured bone in her paw) was most likely the result of repeated impact from jumping and running on hard surfaces.
Phoebe is a jumper. She jumps off beds and couches onto a hardwood floors, jumps over anything that is in her path when she runs through the house, and jumps like a crazy dog when she is at the front door waiting for a walk. I never realized how much she jumped until I was supposed to prevent her from doing it.
Just to put things in perspective, even when we limited Phoebe’s activities she still managed to break not one, not two, but three leg braces. Those things are pretty sturdy. I tried to bend / break one using full force and couldn’t do it, yet someone Phoebe was able to hammer through three by doing nothing more than just being Phoebe.
Needless to say, I cringed every time she made a move. I was at an absolute loss on how to lessen the impact every time her foot hit the ground. I piled pillows next to the couch, laid trails of rugs and pillows down the hall, kept her on a leash when she was on the couch or bed so she couldn’t hurl herself off, etc. That was alright for the short term, but I needed a better solution.
After Phoebe’s paw healed, I was left with the dilemma of trying to prevent future injuries. My fear was that if I simply let things go back to normal then she would eventually get another stress fracture. On the other hand, I could not navigate over mountains of pillows forever. Then one day I got the idea to use the same kind of mats they use in a gym to reduce impact when exercising. It took a awhile to find something I could live with. I mean really – I love my dog, but the idea of blue wrestling mats as floor covering did not thrill me. I did some hunting around and finally found what a I needed. A fold up exercise mat and a low impact puzzle mat.
The Fold Up Mat (AKA Jumping Doggie Runway)
This is an S.A. GEAR 3′ x 8′ Gym Mat and cost about $50 (cheaper than a broken paw) and it suits my needs perfectly. Since it is in my bedroom, I did not want anything too unsightly and I wanted something that I could put away easily. Heck, it even makes a good door stop.
The mat is thick enough to prevent hitting the floor full force. In fact, when I walk on it, it does not even compress all the way. Phoebe weighs a lot less than me and even with the added velocity of jumping the mat doesn’t compress much. After the first few airborne Phoebe events, I stopped cringing. Now, I feel at ease just letting her do her thing. After months of vigilance while Phoebe’s paw healed, it feels real good not to worry about her taking a dive off the bed.
The Puzzle Mat (AKA Doorway Rug)
This is the Venture 6-Pack Carpet Tiles with Microban and runs about $70. These come in a pack of six 2′ x 2′ tiles. You can combine them to make a square or rectangle. Use one, or use all six – whatever works. They lessen the blow when Phoebe is jumping on what used to be tile and when put together they actually look like an entryway rug.
I must admit that when my feet hurt, I love to stand on them. I wish I could cover every inch of my house with these things.