Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The cure for coonhound depression

In my previous life (before spinal stenosis), one of my favorite pastimes was walking or hiking with Banjo. We would go to the urban grassland preserve here in town or, on a nice Saturday, we would head down to Dinosaur Valley State Park to hike, explore, wade in the river, "hunt." (At least Banjo thought we were hunting.) But with my mobility limited to about 15 minutes of painful walking, hiking fell by the wayside, much to Banjo's chagrin. Like that sad dog on the Cymbalta commercial, waiting expectantly with his leash in his mouth, Banjo would agree, "Depression hurts."

But in recent weeks a change in medication has relieved some of my pain, allowing me slightly more mobility. And I discovered a city park in nearby Arlington where there are wonderful nature trails, with native plants, a tiny creek, animal habitats, and a very comfortable cushioned surface (thick mulch, perhaps?) that is less stressful on my spine and legs. So I've managed to take Banjo hiking there several times and we're both loving it!

A couple of weeks ago Tevis and I spent a pleasant fall afternoon exploring the trails. At my insistence we stopped to take some pictures of Banjo in the ravine. As you can see, Banjo took umbrage at interrupting his hunting to pose for pictures! He wanted to get his nose back to the ground, sniffing for raccoons or possums.

Just like a child, he got a bit of an attitude and decided, "OK, if you're going to make me stop for a picture, I'll just make a silly face!"

As you can see from this picture, hiking is the cure for coonhound depression. (And it's pretty effective for humans, too!)


Thom said...

Good idea. I think someone needs to take me on a hike... we can skip the leash : )

Glad to hear you are more mobile. I understand... David is undergoing tests, MRI's, etc. for an arthritic neck and back with a bonus of compressed discs. It hurts to watch, much less live it.

Be well...

Galen said...

My sympathy goes out to David...these degenerative spinal problems are the pits! Hope he gets some relief!