Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Back to work, but still healing...

Hi everyone! Sorry it has been so long since the Shelties and I have updated; I was able to go back to work 2 weeks ago and it's taking a little time to get used to. I was supposed to go back part time (dr.s orders) but as business has been a bit slower and our hours are at full-time minimum (35-36 per week) so I figured that I would give full time a go. Looking back now, after two weeks have gone by, Im not sure that was the smartest decision. Ive been EXHAUSTED! Although I cannot be sure that it has been STRICTLY work that has made me so tired; Im still having some issues with bleeding (just part of the territory when you're on coumadin and Plavix) and I haven exactly been resting on my time off. The first week back wasnt so bad, but last week was the killer. I had been put on a 4 night schedule, and then Friday day. It was 5 straight shifts with all but one night. It was hard to get used to, and definitely took it's toll. But even being that tired from working, it was hard to say "no" to going outside when it feels like the never-ending winter is finally drawing to a close.

It's not like I feel obligated to be outside, but it feels like a tremendous waste if Im not. I have learned so much from this whole experience about not letting life's precious moments slip by; knowing that nothing in life is garunteed, including tomorrow. And I know that applies to not only my own life, but to the other lives I cherish so much. Having to leave my girls at home all day has made going back to work that much harder. I know that they are either curled up on the couch or on their memory-foam beds sleeping, and they really arent that concerneed at all about where I am or what Im doing, but I am the complete opposite. I think I have developed separation-anxiety! Sure, work is busy and I have to focus on the task at hand but during the down times it's hard to prevent my mind from thinking about them and fantasizing about the next adventure that we will have: walking in the woods or through open fields, running on the beach or kayaking.

Now, I know that my girls need exercise: theyre herding dogs bred to be outside moving their flocks around day in and day out. I also know what a well exercised dog looks like: tounge hanging out, look of glee on their face, and knowing that they are wondering when they'll be able to take a nap! And I know that exercising them is as easy as sitting on my back deck throwing the frisbee through the yard. Sure they love to do that, and it is a tool that I can use on days like today where we may not be able to do anything else, but...what fun is it? I know that we both like being outside hiking or taking a long walk much more. So thats what we've been doing. Hitting the beach last weekend, walking in Newburyport and at Woodsom Farm on Friday and then hiking some cross-country trails and walking at a park and playing Chuck-It on Saturday. But as juch fun as it all was, an as much as we all enjoyed every second of it, I think that the plan may have back fired.

In my attempt to enjoy life more and not letting any moment go to waste, Im afraid I wore all of us out. Im afraid I forgot that as much as we like being out there, enjoying the slightly warmer weather, the stronger sun and the fresher air, it is important for us to continue to take baby-steps. Im still not 100% and still have a long road of recovery ahead. If I continue to take steps at leaps and bounds rather than at a slower and more comfortable pace, then Im going to be on this road for a longer period of time. Im going to find myself getting more tired and more frustrated. Im going to look back and wish that I could do it all again, wish that I would have taken my time. And of course this also goes for the girls. They too have been cooped up all winter with out much exercise. Their little muscles and joints will also need some time to warm up, stretch out and adjust to a more demanding work out. Although they also love to be outside and will do anything or go anywhere that I ask, I have to keep their health and well being in mind. Just because we all want to, and our spirit is willing, doesnt mean that we can or that our bodies are yet ready.

So we, well I, made some mistakes this past weekend. We did too much, too quickly. Although yes, I did rest (I was so tired, I couldnt help but not to) I also pushed us harder than we should have been. We walked and hiked at about 4 different locations and played Chuck-It to top it off. Needless to say, now that the new work week has begun, I still feel tired. And I KNOW the girls do, because they are both sleeping right now! Heidi is stretched out against the side of the couch and Shelby is curled up in Heidi's crate. They are probably going to be thanking their lucky stars that I'll be gone today! They'll at least finally get to rest!

So as you can see, Im still continuing to learn. This experience is still teaching me lots. Im still going to be hard pressed to stop myself staring out the window day dreaming while I watch the beautifully setting sun, and Im still going to be itching to get out and enjoy the weather that I know will just get more and more pleasant, but Im also going to really try and remember to take it easy; to take it slow. Although I dont want to waste any of the precious time that I have, I also dont want to rush through it so fast that Im not enjoying or remembering it. I want to make sure that I notice the sound of the wind gusting through the pine boughs, making them creak and whine while they are pushed and pulled. I want to make sure I appreciate the smallness that I feel as I watch the waves crash against the rocky shore with the sun sinking slowly into the vastness of the sea beyond. I want to forever imprint the earthy, citrusy smell of nature (and their Quantum natural tick repellant!) that my dogs keep in their fur after one of our favorite walks. I love how that smell fills me up like drink as I wait for sleep to carry me away to my dreams.

So this is the goal for the days off that are coming up next (this Friday and Saturday). Sure we'll be out and about if the weather is nice and enjoying a bit of it, but I'll also take some time to read some of the books that are still lingering around from my work absence, catch up on everyones WONDERFUL doggy blogs, and maybe even watch some movies (yes, Lassie is included!) My girls will get to play more indoor games, and get to munch on a few more treats. You know, the stuff that Sheltie dreams are made of. I dont doubt that we will hit some "doggy stores" and do a few "field trips" as well, but I really am going to try and remain concious of the fact that we are still supposed to be RESTING. Im going to try to keep in mind that although the days seem beautiful right now, they are only going to keep getting better; if I wear myself out at this stage of the game, Im going to be REALLY upset at not having any energy once the seventy degree days hit. And of course my girls will be pretty upset too!!

Luckily the weather for this weekend is forecast to be cloudy and a bit rainy this weekend, so that will help keep me indoors and in the slow lane. The Shelties dont really like being out in the drizzle either (yes, they WERE bred to live on the Shetland Islands, home of some of the worlds wors weather!) so Im sure they too will be content just snuggling and hanging out. Although I will be thee first one to say that I have a long road ahead, and will be the last to say that this journey is over, I am so lucky that I have such wonderful Heart-Dogs to help me through this all. I know I still have much to learn, and I know that they still have much to teach. Lucky for me their love, patience and intuitiveness is never ending and unconditional. I will be forever grateful to my furry Sheltie-shaped Angels.


  1. I was just thinking about you yesterday, hoping your health was ok, since you hadn't posted in awhile.

    Glad to hear that you have been out doing things you enjoy! Now take it easy - your dogs need a few days of :) I think Oreo couldn't wait to get rid of me on Monday after what I put him thru over the weekend. LOL.

  2. thanks for visiting my blog guys and for the info about the rake brush - we actually have that very same one!!!!!! and two others like it, but they still didn't get to that undercoat of mine.
    Woofitty woofs

  3. Your coming activities sound perfect and I'm glad you've learnt you need to take it easy. :) I'm sure your girls have loved the activity though. I hope work gets better once you've got more into it and isn't too draining. Wishing you continued recovery!
    ~Dee (Ludo's mum)

  4. Im glad that you are doing ok. Ive been worried about you since you hadnt posted anything. You do need to increase your activity slowly. I hope your energy come quickly. Diana