Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dog Days of Summer

The Stikeforce fight never happened due to my opponent not making weight. She came in at almost 4 pounds over and was unwilling to cut one pound to be able to fight. So, no Showtime this time. It was frustrating, but I'm confident that I'll get another opportunity to be on Strikeforce.

This past weekend, I decided to push myself and take a jog down into Hogsback (a canyon that is a good, challenging hike). It was Memorial Day, and I invited one of my training partners, Derek Ellis, to go with me and my 2 labs. We stopped several times so everyone could stay hydrated. We made it down to the creek, and my female lab, Raven, collapsed. I figured she was overheated, so I had Derek help me get her into the water to cool down. It didn't help. She wasn't moving. I pulled her out of the water and thought about what I could do.

I seriously doubted my ability to pack her up out of that canyon (a mile straight up with some rock climbing- and my Raven weighing around 90 pounds). We tried to make a sling to carry her out, but that didn't work. We figured we could take turns and take lots of breaks. One nice teenage guy helped us get her up to the trail. From there, I started to feel desperate. She was like a dead weight.

That's when my heros came up behind us and offered to help us carry her out. Mikey Cramer, Steven Hayward and Jesse Hayward- THANK YOU! These guys took turns with us either carrying her or pushing me while I carried her. We were all spent by the time we made it to the top. A few times, I felt like my back was going to break under her weight. Amazingly, we got her out of there in record time, and they got us to our car which was parked down the road.

From that point, I called my husband who met me down town to see what we should do. I lucked out and ran into a friend, Scott Williams, who works for Fish and Game. He gave me some sage advice on how to get her cooled down and hydrated quickly. Thanks, Scott. Without his advice, she wouldn't have made it through the night.

First thing the next morning, we got her into Mill Creek Vet, where Mark Whinning came out to my car like a knight in shinning armor and scooped up my sweet Raven like she was light as a feather and immeadiately started the process of healing her. It was touch and go all week. I don't think I've cried that much in my life- so many emotions.. worry for her, guilt for taking her down there, fear of losing her.... It was a bad week to say the least.

Dr. Whinning found out that she had a heart condition and had damaged her liver through the ordeal. He kindly tried to relieve me of my guilt by letting me know that it was a pre-exisiting heart condition. That helped a little. He said he'd let us know by Friday what our options were. We were expecting the worst.

I got a call from my husband on Friday letting me know that Raven was being released and that she was probably going to be ok. I can't describe how much joy filled my heart right then. She made it, thanks to all the hard work of Dr. Whinning and his staff. I asked my husband to bring her by my work, so I could see her before he took her home. He pulls up, opens the door, and there's my precious Raven. I give her a hug and a kiss, and I'm able to go back to work with a weight lifted off my heart.

I had to write this as a warning to other dog owners. My dogs were both in pretty good shape- they were my running partners. I had taken them down into the canyon before, no problem. It wasn't that hot on Memorial Day, but it was hot enough. Don't take your dogs out for exercise unless it's early in the morning or after the sun has gone down. Don't take them hinking somewhere unless you can carry them out (not only are there heat issues to consider, we have tons of rattlesnakes around here). Always pack plenty of water for them. And, this goes without saying- but I've seen some cases of poor judegemnt in town, NEVER leave your dog in your car when you run errands. They will DIE.

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