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February 21, 2012

When Lilly’s brain and spinal cord went kerplewy with inflammation, it greatly affected her ability to move her once-agile body. Her cognitive responses to things like verbal dog training cues are also impaired (for now), but we’ve made a few adaptations around the house to help her be where she wants to be and do what she wants to do … on her own.

For example, Lilly LOVES to nest on our bed in the master bedroom. BUT, it’s quite high off the ground. We worry about her trying (and likely failing) to jump up or jump down from the bed, so for now … we’ve moved the footrest from the reading chair.

best dog blog, champion of my heart, border collie climbing onto a bed
Step 1: Climb onto the footrest.


best dog blog, champion of my heart, border collie climbing onto a bed
Step 2: Use the footrest as a platform to climb onto the bed.


best dog blog, champion of my heart, border collie climbing onto a bed
Step 3: Relax.

You can see in both step 2 and step 3 that Lilly still doesn’t feel great. The tension in her face and the blankness behind her eyes tell a story all their own. Also, you can see here (in photos taken Friday, February 17, 2012) that her nose is still pretty crusty from the nosebleeds. Poor sweetie.

BUT, she can climb up on the bed and down by herself when she wants. That’s a huge step from a girl who was mostly confined to crate rest for her own safety much of last week.

About the Author Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related.

I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

  1. I remember when our Hershey became elderly and blind, we had to move things for her. She would often bump into the wall and reminded us of one of those toys, just back up and try again. I hope Lilly gets her footing and everything else back soon.

  2. Hi Y’all,

    You are still being safely kept in my Human’s prayers even when we stop but don’t take time to comment. We read you constantly in our email, but don’t always take the time to simply stop and say “get well soon Lilly”.

    Hawk aka BrownDog

  3. Once the initial healing period has passed, the important thing is to get the dog relaxed in calm! Good luck!

  4. Best way to aid any type of recovery is to let the dog relax and do what she wants to do, especially the mental side! Good luck!

  5. Hi Lilly,
    My name is Lily too, but we spell it differently than you. We blog hopped over from KB & K’s blog. We’re sorry to hear about your troubles. We know how heart wrenching it is when your loved one is so sick. I just got over cervical surgery and my Mom cried for me every day for like 10 weeks. We will say BIG doxie prayers for you and will be keeping you close in our thoughts.
    Lily Belle

  6. After reading on Romping and Rolling in the Rockies and KB linking to your site.

    Just had to pop over and offer paws across the pond for Lilly and delighted to see modifications around the home for her.

    The comfort zone of the bed is wonderful to see.

  7. Hi Rox and Lilly- just want to say hello and let you know I’m thinking warm fuzzy thoughts for you daily. You are all so brave and strong.

  8. K mentioned that Lilly was a very brave girl going through some serious sickies and we wanted to come by and leave some support and encouragement. Fight on beautiful Lilly! You and your family obviously love each other so much. Nothing is more powerful than love and hope! White Dog Army woos of healing energy and positivity.

  9. We’re also visitors who learned about Lilly from KB’s blog. Lilly looks like a wonderful girl and we will keep our paws crossed that she has a full and speedy recovery.

    Jed & Abby

  10. KB sent us over… We’ll join in the good thoughts and will cross our paws for beautiful Miss Lilly. What a scary time for all of you.

    -Bart and Ruby

  11. Lilly you are so beautiful. We are visiting from K and KB. I am so sorry to read of poor Lilly’s story. I hope she keeps getting better and better. I am sending some healing hugs and my friend Tweedles and I have some magic bubbles that we like to share which are full of love and comfort. I am showering you with them and hope they help, even just for a little bit.

    Loveys Sasha

  12. We stopped by to leave some good sibe vibes for Lilly – we know she has a long road to travel, but we hope things go well for her.

    Woos – Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

  13. Sometimes I think the more of those little victories they have towards getting their independence and lives back does much more than medicine! It’s such a simple adaptation, but it probably means the world to her!

  14. I “feel” the toughness of the changes for Lilly, and also the small steps forward in recovery. Thank you, Roxanne, for sharing this journey with us.

  15. Such good news that Lilly is continuing to improve. She is looking so much better. Keep up the good work Lilly (and Roxanne).

  16. I’d say that she’s making progress in the right direction. We have similar aids still around our house from our previous elderly dogs. E.g., we have a set of steps for easy access to our bed for dogs!

    I hope that Lilly keeps improving. I think that she’s going to get there…

  17. Oh, Lilly, she does still look sad 🙁

    Those socks are still super cute, though. And on the bright side, a new “trick”! Progress is being made.

  18. She looks so much better! I wonder if, down the line, acupuncture might also be helpful to her. Our first greyhound, a tripod, benefited greatly from it. And so did our current grey, who had a broken leg from racing and residual pain that acupuncture eliminated after only a few treatments.

  19. Enabling her to successfully do what she wants to do will surely aid her recovery, both physical & mental. Go, Lilly!

  20. Way to go Lilly and family. We’re all pulling for you! You look so stylish in your booties! Keep up the good work.

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