a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Transient failures

Friday, October 12, 2012

Transient failures

SUMMARY: Pondering the frustrations and annoyances.

You know about transient failures, right? A brief malfunction that happens at unpredictable intervals. Like when you can't post a comment on Facebook, and then, moments later, you can.


Remember back on September 16/17, when, after showing no signs or issues, Tika became suddenly so much in pain that she could barely stand? And then, after 26 hours, abruptly with no apparent cause, she turned right back into her usual bouncy, running, cheerful self?

Yesterday morning, we were out in the yard. I threw the toy for the dogs a couple of times, then left them to their own devices while I wandered around picking up a day's worth of dog poo. Suddenly behind me, a sharp, high-pitched yelp! When I turned around, Tika was on three legs and beating it for the house (she always goes inside when she's in pain, and sometimes even up to my bed).

I looked at and felt her pads, her toes, her toenails, her whole front left leg, and got no reaction. But, every time she tried to stand, a little whimper and back on 3 legs.

Human Mom is cursing the luck--we have a USDAA trial this weekend that it's too late to ask for my money back from. And class Thursday night, to boot. But I'm not going to fall for the trick of taking her to the vet again, since the last time was an expensive way of learning nothing.

So. Fast forward a few hours, until about 2 hours before class, I walk into the front hall where the leashes live--and Tika appears with a huge bouncy sproing, then leaps several times straight up in the air with all four feet off the ground. (She LOVES going for walks.) And no hint of any kind of soreness.

I ran her tentatively in class, then full out, and she ran just fine, didn't look uncomfortable at all. She's still fine this morning.

Transient failures of Tika's body. Hope it doesn't happen again any time soon.

Last night, as on most nights recently, I herded Boost out the back yard before bedtime to try to get a little pee out of her so I wouldn't have to get up in the night. There are 5 steps down from my porch to the yard. I've gone down those steps a zillion times, day and night, light and dark. And the back light was on.

And yet, somehow, I hit the last step wrong just WALKING calmly down the steps. My ankle twisted under me and I hit the pavement hard. For about 30 seconds, I thought maybe I had broken my ankle, it hurt so bad. Thank goodness, the pain died away quickly and allowed me to concentrate on emitting profanity about my hand, knees, arm, and shoulder.

The short story is that I lived to tell the tale. I have skin scraped from one knee (apparently onto the inside of my jeans, which were unharmed in the making of this film). The other knee is bruised feels a bit twisted (dang, and it felt SO GOOD in class last night). The ankle is a bit sore, although only slightly puffy in one spot this morning. The wrist only hurts when I laugh--no, actually when I play tug with the dogs or try to open a prescription pill bottle or reach suddenly for the computer mouse or, like, bend it. My back and shoulders just feel out of sorts in one way or another.

What happened to my brain/feet/instincts last night? Dunno. Transient failure. Hope it doesn't transiently fail again.

... because we're off to try to pick up a few more of them thar Qs in Dixon. Glad that both Tika and I can still run.


  1. Oh man, that spill sounds bad. I'm glad it's not broken, hope you can run....and am worried about Tika too...seems strange. Maybe she fell down the stairs when the lights were on...

    1. Everything seemed pretty good by saturday morning, with only some lingering pain in my shoulder. My crappy knee tended to freeze up more than usual when I was sitting or standing for more than a few minutes, but I was still able to get it to loosen up and run fairly well. Thanks. I'm sort of hoping it's just a transient pinched nerve in Tika's neck and nothing more serious.

  2. Im glad you all are ok. I fell one time stepping off the couch holding my 2 year old daughter. We were putting up Christmas decorations. When I stepped down, something happend and I fell to the ground. Thank goodness by daughter was ok. But it hurt soooo bad, I was sure I broke my leg. But after a few minutes I was ok. So weird.

    1. Sometimes pain seems to have no relation to the actual severity of the injury, doesn't it! I think one of the most painful nights I ever spent was about 20 years ago when I slid into base in a softball game and peeled the skin off one knee--basically a scraped knee like a kid might get. But, boy, it sure hurt! Glad you and your daughter came out OK from that fall. Must've been scary.