Thursday, October 26, 2006

Tis the season for REHAB

It is the time of the year when the ocean gets too freezing cold for me to swim in, and I start my hydrotherapy at The SPAW. Since swimming is crucial to maintaining my muscle tone, which in turn provides support to stabilize my bad elbow, I go to my rehab center twice a week during the winter months.

The SPAW occupies the entire left wing of Aldergrove Animal Hospital located in Aldergrove BC, about 60 Km east of Vancouver.

So this morning, mum woke me up a little too early for my liking and started the hour drive to Aldergrove. Can you see I was barely awake in the trunk of my SunshadeMOBILE??

We arrived at MY pool, and I couldn't be happier. I again, un-locked my car door on my own because I just couldn't wait to get out. I hadn't been to the pool since June, so I was extra excited!!

The pool water is heated to about 30 C (or ~ 86 F), so it relaxes the muscles and increases blood circulation to my arthritic joints.

This is a salt water pool which means no chemical disinfectants need to be added, and yet the water is as clean as any other chlorine or bromide pool. Mum loves the fact that there are no chemicals in the pool, but I DON'T....... for reasons you will see later.... SIGH..

This green thing that I'm standing on is an underwater treadmill, or hydro-treadmill. It is mainly used for post operation dogs to maintain range of motion without having put stress on the operated limbs, or partially paralyzed dogs. I used the underwater treadmill after my two ACL reconstructive surgeries back in 2003.

The treadmill is on a power lift that can be raised and lowered from the edge of the pool to about 3 feet deep to accommodate dogs of any size. See now the treadmill is lowered:

The removable railing can be put in for treadmill work, and taken out for swim therapy.

Aldergrove Animal Hospital is the first vet hospital in Canada to have an underwater treadmill and pool. The design of the treadmill & pool is also the first in the world. Ohhh.... do I feel lucky!

I almost forgot! The pool is equipped with an underwater camera that allows the vet and therapists to monitor progression of therapy in an individual.

This is a hoist that can pick up large, paralyzed dogs, or dogs who aren't willing to walk into the pool on their own.

Now that you've seen MY pool, here is me in ACTION!!!

Even tho the pool is only 9' X 12', I still have so much fun swimming in it, and I ALWAYS manage to flood the pool area with my "dolphin-ic" flips!!

Usually a dog goes in the pool with a trained therapist. However, I'm an old-timer and since I'm only in for maintenance swims, Dr. Jeff Bowra lets mum swim me on her own. Dr. Bowra is the head veterinarian at Aldergrove Animal Hospital as well as the "rehab vet". Using hydrotherapy, he has successfully rehabilitated many dogs like Goldie who suffers from paralysis back to being able to use all four legs!!

This is a video of me first getting into the pool:

Did anyone count how many times my mum said "Good Girl"??

Note to mum: Mum, I know I'm a good girl, but I really don't need to be reminded every 2 seconds you know. It gets quite annoying (I bet even you would agree!!).

This is a video of me swimming against the jets. The jets are designed for dogs to "swim against the current" for strengthening and conditioning. We do a few of these every time we come.

Notice how smart I was to stay out of the jet's way??

I get quite warm exercising in the heated pool, that's why I was panting so loud.........

Now remember how I said I didn't like the fact that it is a salt water pool?? Well this is the reason!!

It seems like wherever I go, whatever I do, I always end up in the bath tub....... Mum says salt water can sometimes give me the itches, so she always has to rinse me right there at The SPAW. SIGH.... what have I done to deserve this??

Lastly, I've been wondering about these pictures on the walls of The SPAW.

Is it just me or are these pups super flexible??

To see all the rehab services offered at The SPAW, please visit:


jaffeboy said...

The SPAW looks so cool!!! You are lucky to have one "near" you.

umekotyan said...

Good evening.
Treatment with the seawater pool was seen for the first time.
If I did not know Miss. sunshade, it is likely not to have known all my life.
I also think dog's synchronized to be doubtful the last photograph exaggerated.
Moreover, the sequel is the enjoyment.

Anonymous said...

oh sunshade, i don't mean to be rude or anything but it's so funny to see you swim! with all that back-leg-kicking and stuff :p but it all looks so fun! you sure looked a little suspicious when the ramp was going down and the water level was coming up :p hee hee... but i must say you can swim really well.

those pictures are a little freaky! especially the synchronised swimming one...


Joe Stains said...

wow you are a good listener and a good swimmer. you are lucky you get to do fun stuff like that!

Isabella said...

That's awesome, SunShade. Is it real expensive to go there?
Big Wags,

Buster the Wired Fox Terror said...

Spaw treatments, aren't they for the filthy rich and famous?

Bussie Kissies

Bogart H. Devil said...

Hi beautiful!

You're my Airedale Esther Williams!!!


T-man Angel said...

Miss Sunshade,
That looks like a SPA treatment, not SPAW (hee hee!). The warm water and currents look wonderful. You're so lucky to get an indoor heated pool to yourself, even if you have to bathe afterwards (ugh!).

JustMeCopper said...

Wow, I am overwelmed! My Mom needs to find a place like that for me! I've never been in the water ... except to take a bath and I hate baths. Maybe I wouldn't like it there because I hate baths!

Deb said...

Great job Sunshade! You sure are lucky to have such a place. The SPAW looks like a lot of fun too and maybe even I would like it since it's heated and all. Keep up the good work!

Your pal,

Joey said...

Hi Sunshade
My brother - Jack had his ACL surgery in year 2002! He did the traditional surgery instead as he is not quite as active as you. So far he walks very well on the operated leg. Only his front arthritic right leg is giving him problems once in a while.
HC is considering doing professional hydrotherapy for him soon. But the one we have here not as advance as SPAW, definitely!

Fu Fu said...

Sunshade, The SPAW looks like such an advance place. I dont think I've seen such a place for pets in singapore before. And Wow on the poster doggies in the place. hee
Can you do any of the pose?

~ fufu

Studly Dudley said...

Mm.. Miss Sunshade in a hot pool.. need I say more??

Your Mum must sure love ya.. driving all the way out to Aldergrove from Vancouver! Car rides are the best, too.. and your trunk sure looks comfy.. maybe there's room for two?

Slobbery love licks,

Anonymous said...

hey sunshade, you thought too windy and cold and won't be having a swim at the beach... but seems like the beach is coming to you!!!

how nice!

wet wet licks


Charlie said...

Wow, Sunny, you are a great swimmer!! You must be all tuckered out after a day at the SPAW.
- C

Jay said...

Hi Sunshade, I showed J the SPAW facility and she is very impressed.

Brandy needs hydrotherapy but those we have here is definitely not as advanced!


Toby said...

Wow Sunshade, the SPAW looks amazing!~ Must be so much fun there!!! (Oh, you did a great job avoiding the current!). We tried to count how many times your mommy said "good girl", but we lost track. LOL.


Scuba the Muscle Boy said...

Wow Sunshade. What a pawsome idea to have a spaw..

Back on posting the awful pictures -
I now know what you are talking about

Early this year, I chewed an oxtail which got stuck inside me (almost killed me). We went to the vet and when mom said I had oxtail, he immediately said "WHAT!!!! oxtail. You don't need to go on" and I was X-rayed immediately and they found the oxtail bone. It was immediate surgery. Thank goodness I am one of the vets favourite so he did the surgery personally.

It was a scarry experience for me and mom, my godpa (in Boston)and all my friends' moms and dads

Boo Boo said...

Hi Sunshade,

Thats really very impressive. Our hydrotherapy in singapore is NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING close to what you have over there.

Ours is just a pool for the dogs to swim in ... yes, just a NORMAL looking pool ... *pout**

You are sure very lucky gal !!

Good Girl, good gal, Good Girl ... :) heheheheh

fee said...

miss sunshade!

you look so cool in the pool; mom says shuai dai le!


Murphey said...

Wow, I can't beleive that you like the water! No matter how many times my lady would say Good Boy I would not get in, no way, no how, unhh uhhh. Even though it looks like fun, I don't like water!

Murph the Dog

Marvin -The Hollow Hound said...

Hi Miss Sunshade!

Hey, your video looks like real good fun and exercise as well. I have never seen anything like this for Dogs.....I am amazed! Goggle Eyed Marvin ;0)

Anonymous said...

Sunshade, your mum can never say "good girl" enough and you can never really hear it enough. You are a Good Girl.
And I want to know if humans can get in the pool, too?

Chelsea said...

Wow, I would like to go to that spaw one day. You look like you are having a blast!


Maximillian the Valliant said...

Well I'm quite peeved! I wrote a beautiful long sonate and letter to you, sweet sunshade and it isn't there! I did this yesterday??? My blogger has been giving me nothing but trouble recently. I just don't get it.

Anyway, I don't think your mom could say good girl enough. My Mom uses that to build the self esteem of the poor doggies she saves from the pound. It works how much better off are you to have heard it all your life?

Btw, I see now why you have such a gorgeous physique..all that swimming. I was enthralled!

But I must, I fear, point out to you that your ball is well...not.

Just thought you should know.

Are you ever going to answer my question about when your birthday IS in November?

Loving thoughts,

Bailey/Tasha/Maddie said...

WOW what a lucky dog !! do you see many small dogs there .. I would love to take my guys but only if its a kiddie pool :) :) :) :) :) :)

p.s. how much does it cost per session

Sunshade said...

Jaffe: The SPAW is very cool, and it is fairly "near" lol.

Ume tyan: I think those pictures are exaggerated too!! How is that possible? I mean I can almost do what that dalmatian is doing, but not quite with the arch.

Hey Chiyo: mum thinks I look like a frog..... in the pool.... can you believe it?

Joe: I am a good listener when I'm stuck in the water LOL. Otherwise, I'm known to have selective hearing!

Isabella: hey girlie, it's $30 CND for half an hour for mum to swim me herself. It is about $45 CND with a therapist.

Buster: I am filthy most of the time, but can't say I'm rich, and I'm working on my fame here!

Butchy & Miss Fitness: I'm sure Miss Fitness, you would love to use that treadmill, except it might surprise you when water starts to flood over the treadmill..hehe!

Oh Bogie: hey handsome, thanks!! MUAH!

T-man: I am very lucky to have my own spaw, but I am very put off by the rinse I have to get afterwards.....

Copper: hmmm... I don't like baths, but I love the SPAW. YOu just never know!!

Roo: yes, the warm water feels so good. It does get a little hot for me woolly coated girl after a while.

Joey: I heard little dogs do very well with the traditional surgery. Your brother Jack sounds like he is doing well! Hydrotherapy really helps with muscle tone without having to put any stress on the effected joints!

Fufu bear: I'm working on that dalmatian's move, but for some reason, I just can't seem to get my back to arch that way.... what am I doing wrong?

Studly Dudley: there will always be room for you in the trunk!! Just remember to bring a bottle of Merlot, and we'll be in our own limo!

Booboo: plan worked! I knew if I stopped swimming at the beach, mum would take me to the pool. I have her wrapped around my big toes!

Charlie: how did you know I was all tuckered out? Even tho I was only in the water for half an hour, but I swam for a solid 30 mins. I slept for the rest of the day when I got home. I didn't even move when mum had to go to work!!

Jay: hey, unless Brandy has had surgery, you can just take her to any pool and swim her there. Singapore is so warm, so you don't need the heated pool!

Tobes: thanks for trying, I lost count too and gave up. Mum told me to shut the sound off when I kept playing the video trying to count how many times she said "Good Girl". Mum said it was annoying??

Scuuuba: Thanks so much for letting mum know!

Hey Bond: Well Singapore is so warm, so you guys dont' need a heated pool. An underwater treadmill would be cool tho wouldn't it? I bet you would like it since you are a retriever!

Fee: REALLY? Your mom thinks I'm very shuai?? Thanks *wink*

Murph: I wonder what you would do if you were taken to the SPAW? Maybe you would pee in the water?

Goggled Eyed Marvin: hehehe...Marvin, it is pretty cool huh?

Hey Ellen: Usually therapists go in the pool with dogs so yes, people can go in the pool. However, I think I know what you are really asking. The water temperature can be adjusted, so if people want to use it as "hot tub", then the temperature can be adjusted to hot tub temperature. YOu would just have to stand in the pool or maybe sit on the treadmill. I have not taken this up with Dr. Bowra tho.......hehe!

Chelsea: you mean a supermodel like you has never been to a spa?? You gotta get your mama off her ass and make some appointments for you!

OH my dear Maxey: I am soo disappointed I didn't get your sonate... blogger can be so annoying and frustrating at times. I think you have to make sure you are signed into your account first before posting message, otherwise your original message will be erased after you signed in on the bottom....

Really, you dont' think that's too many Good Girls?? My self esteem is pretty up there tho...hehe! Don't worry, I won't bring my ball/ring on our date ok??

My birthday is November 25 *smile*.


Love nibbles to all,
Miss Sunshade

e said...

I wish we had such a place like this in Singapore or Japan ...

AWESOME, sunshade. You are probably the luckiest, most doted on DWB-ber I know.

Fei & E

Kerrio said...

Awesome - we have dog pools over here but NOTHING like that!

and erm... that picture of the greyhound diving?

I want. Ooooo I do.

Snogs from the dogs