It’s been 17 weeks since Susie-Belle partially ruptured the cruciate ligaments in her knee and although she’s doing very well and continues every day to regain her strength, she is, and probably always will be quite stiff in her back legs and hips. The Xrays we had taken at the time of the injury showed her hips to be in a bad way: years of multiple pregnancies, poor nutrition, and harsh confinement have unsurprisingly taken their toll. We have her taking a range of excellent supplements, she’s having regular massage and acupuncture and we are slowly increasing the distances she is walking once again. So, we’re hopeful that all of this will keep her active and she will be able to enjoy getting out and about more, especially as the better weather is round the corner.
One thing is for certain, Susie-Belle never wants to be left out of anything we do. Even in the darkest, wettest days of mid-winter when she was on severe walk restrictions, she came out and about in her buggy….
Some days her knee clearly still bothers her but once she gets moving she’s keeping up well again on the walks and if I try to sneak out with Renae and Twinkle without her, leaving her with Michel, she lets me know clearly she is not impressed.
So I’ve been wondering how we are going to manage this summer on our longer walks which we all enjoy as however positively I think, the reality is that Susie-Belle’s stamina is not as good as it was, and we don’t know how much this will improve. One thing we do know, is that we are not leaving her out of anything we do, we have to find a way of making her part of our activities. Over the winter if she has slowed up on our gentle wanderings round the field, I’ve picked her up and carried her to give her a rest and this has enabled her to accompany her sisters out and about. Much as she likes to be carried and I love to do it, over more than a few minutes, holding her in my arms is a bit awkward and without having my hands free, can make managing Renae and Twinkle a little tricky. Michel and I have discussed the best solution and did try a rucksack-type bag carried on my front we were loaned but Susie-Belle was a little too big for it and it didn’t feel quite secure enough.
Then I came across an Australian business RARE bags that makes bespoke bags from recycled, reused fabrics. It’s a company that speaks to me as their bags carry messages and say something to those who listen. They hope to raise awareness on a variety of environmental and welfare issues and inspire action. I relate to this and when I saw their slouch bags I wondered if this would be a solution to helping Susie-Belle come along with us on all our walks and activities.
I made contact with Karen on Facebook, we discussed Susie-Belle’s measurements and it seemed that the slouch bag they make might work. So I ordered one, thinking even if it wasn’t right for Susie-Belle, I’ll find a good use for it – one can never have too many bags!!
Well it arrived this week, and Karen has produced the perfect bag for us. It’s totally unique, handmade, and Susie-Belle slips into what I can’t resist calling Susie-Belle’s Papoosie perfectly.
The bag is soft, supportive, and Susie-Belle relaxes straight into it. The straps are adjustable, which was important, as it means I can get the position exactly the same as when I hold Susie-Belle, just slightly above my hip – this is comfortable for her and me.
As well as the bag being practical for the purpose I intend it and comfortable for Susie-Belle, it carries messages that I love……..
I couldn’t resist the “We Rise by Lifting Others” – it would be harder to find a more appropriate message to have on Susie-Belle’s Papoosie.