Author Topic: Are my spouse and our spoiled Eskie deal breakers?  (Read 544 times)

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Offline Tuttleturtle

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Re: Are my spouse and our spoiled Eskie deal breakers?
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2017, 11:55:56 AM »
I have a disability including muscle weakness (neurological, it's complicated). Every time I'm walking Pippin he's doing forward momentum for me. Our standard walk is a mile at a time. I have absolutely no muscle tiredness or pain from this, and actually have less pain in my body even in ways that aren't what I'm using it for.

My muscle weakness comes from hemiplegic migraines - I don't have full hemiplegia but will have standing or walking and a migraine trigger and then I'm on the ground because that side of my body can't hold me up anymore. Once it hits I need forward momentum to keep myself moving, it's the only thing I've found that helps me, and I'll do it with a person in front of me on my weak side all day.
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Offline Azariah

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Re: Are my spouse and our spoiled Eskie deal breakers?
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2017, 12:11:48 PM »
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Those harnesses are ridiculously expensive.  Why not hold off until you know for sure what you need?

Yes - there's a person on another very small service dog forum I belong too - one that I respect a lot. She bought a harness that was a fortune and it ended up not working for her.  She's giving it away to a person that might have a similarly sized dog. But I feel bad for her as I think it was in the hundreds of dollars. Her dog really really doesn't like it as I understand it and she doesn't want to force it.
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Offline Ariel

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Re: Are my spouse and our spoiled Eskie deal breakers?
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2017, 02:17:25 PM »
I have a BLD Basic Assistance Harness for Jubilee, but only because it was Saxon's and I already had it. It's held up well, but there are other harnesses for cheaper which will offer good counterbalance and pulling options. There is a BLD Fanatics group on Facebook and for as many people who are head over heels in love with their harness, there are just as many trying frantically to sell or trade their brand new or barely used harness because they spent $500 and it doesn't fit their or their dog's needs.
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Offline Summertime.and.Azkaban

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Re: Are my spouse and our spoiled Eskie deal breakers?
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2017, 02:42:22 PM »
I am going to need a harness to use with my greyhound. I am definitely going with a cheaper harness and altering it myself before I invest in a BLD. I've decided to try a Bridgeport raised handle harness. I know that Bridgeport has questionable quality and fit, but I am comfortable with leather and can extend, cut back, pad or alter whatever I have to. Bridgeport has also changed their website and they now offer in between sizes and customization according to their website, I'm not afraid to throw out $70 to see if the harness is going to work. I would not be as nonchalant about a $500 harness. I would want to meet with someone who has that harness and put my hands on it to even make sure it feels like what I'd need.

I think the "suitcase" style semi-flexible handle is going to be better for me and I have only found two sellers who provide it - Bridgeport and Active Dogs and Active Dog's handle is rigid for bracing not for walking. I think that Circle E might be willing to hear me out and possibly work to make this style of harness but the style is not popular (I can't even find pictures of a dog wearing these harnesses outside of the seller's site and certainly can not find reviews or videos about them) and a greyhound is a hard dog to fit.

I have heard from others and thought about the probability that any off-the-rack harness is going to realistically fit a grey, which I've taken into account. If I can't get the Bridgeport to fit I'll sell it or donate it and work on getting a custom fitted harness made, probably from BLD. I'm going to try everything else before I invest in a BLD because it will be an odd size that will likely only fit another grey, the cost is a little cringe worthy and I have ethical concerns regarding purchasing anything from BLD.

BLD has some pros - their basic assistance harness is one of the safer and more comfortable harnesses available, they are custom made to your dog's measurements and the leather is high quality, but they are also very expensive, and their ethics are questionable in selling stupidly high rigid handle harnesses.

I don't know. A BLD is not my first suggestion or first option when looking at harnesses.
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Offline OlgatheGSD

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Re: Are my spouse and our spoiled Eskie deal breakers?
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2017, 02:47:36 PM »
Those harnesses are ridiculously expensive.  Why not hold off until you know for sure what you need?

We do christmas stuff in mid janurary, and I'm definitely not in a rush to spend $500+ :smile:

I figured by then I will know what I need and I will go from there. I have PT starting next week and it will be at least every other week.
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Offline SandyStern

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Re: Are my spouse and our spoiled Eskie deal breakers?
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2017, 05:21:55 PM »
I have no problem with people expressing opinions that BLD products are too expensive, or not to their liking, but I object to this:
Quote
their ethics are questionable in selling stupidly high rigid handle harnesses.
I use that harness with a "stupidly high rigid handle." I use it correctly, as intended, and when I ordered it, the company provided me with information that mirrored everything Kirsten told me, from her relevant professional experience.  SD#2 used it for several years and now SD#3 wears it.  For those of us with a Trendelenburg gait defect, a rigid harness is absolutely necessary. I need to have that handle in the correct position to exert a brief upward force on the handle as my right leg leaves the ground. When the right foot hits the ground again, the force is removed from the handle, but my hand needs to rest on it as the left foot goes up and off. I walk fast, so the time between upward force and no force is probably less than a second. Short of having an actual robot programmed to zip along beside me, there is literally nothing that allows me to walk properly without damaging my other joints except a dog with a rigid harness.


Offline Ariel

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Re: Are my spouse and our spoiled Eskie deal breakers?
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2017, 05:36:01 PM »
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For those of us with a Trendelenburg gait defect, a rigid harness is absolutely necessary

I was told a year and a half ago I had a Trelendenburg gait by my hip surgeon. I didn't think much of it. I don't want to hijack the thread, but if you ever took any videos of you walking without your SD and walking with him I'd be incredibly curious to see. If you have any and feel comfortable sharing, I'd love if you would PM me.
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Offline SandyStern

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Re: Are my spouse and our spoiled Eskie deal breakers?
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2017, 05:45:44 PM »
I can get you some video of me and SD#3, and let me think about getting some without him.

Offline Summertime.and.Azkaban

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Re: Are my spouse and our spoiled Eskie deal breakers?
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2017, 06:42:47 PM »
Sandy, we are going to have to agree to disagree. I do not agree with using a rigid harness handle that is taller than 6". At all. I hardly feel amicable about bracing handles in the first place, and I am skeptical of bracing on a dog regularly at all.

Anything higher than 6" is unstable, unsafe and poorly thought out. BLD will make harness handles up to 10"! 10" is incredibly high, stupidly high! It is so unstable. If you were paying attention to what Kirsten has said you will know that the higher the handle the more unstable it becomes and the higher the likelihood that the handle will flex or the handle will tilt back, bend the harness and dig into the dog's spine - possibly injuring the dog.

10" handles are inexcusable. As much as I would benefit from a public access trained service dog I would not choose a service dog to mitigate my disability if I could not do so while respecting the integrity of my dog's bodily well-being. I could not choose to sentence a dog to early retirement and arthritis and inevitably permanent disability to benefit myself. If a 10" handle is necessary the dog is 10" too short and the handler should be looking for a taller successor dog.

Perhaps we are not communicating well. I am not familiar with the term walker-balance dog and I don't know if you are pulling up on the handle as you walk or if you are pushing down. I can not speak to the safety of how you are using your dog, but I do know that bracing down on a 10" rigid handle is unsafe. With most makers 6" is pushing it. 10" is utterly unthinkable.

I'm using 10" as the standard height I reference as I'm complaining because that is what BLD thinks is the maximum they feel comfortable selling. I am not pleased with their assessment.

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Offline Summertime.and.Azkaban

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Re: Are my spouse and our spoiled Eskie deal breakers?
« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2017, 07:08:14 PM »
I'm going to double post to add:

I am unusually combative because insurance has been withholding access to medication and I am in a steep angry/depressive decline. I am not able to envision what you are describing Sandy but I don't think it is what I am taking issue with. I am opposed to the use of 8"-10" rigid handles for bracing or forward momentum when the handle is used to bridge a gap between too short dogs and too tall handlers. I am more than willing to try and understand but as I said before, I think there is a deal of miscommunication going on between the two of us. 

I am not trying to single out anybody except those who choose to sell equipment that is usually unsafe for users simply because there's a market.
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Offline OlgatheGSD

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Re: Are my spouse and our spoiled Eskie deal breakers?
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2017, 01:39:39 PM »
Huh. I just looked up videos on the Trelendenburg gait and that's how I walk. My right leg is about an inch shorter from it being out of proper socket placement and it heavily strains my entire body and makes muscles weak in that leg, patricularly my hip and thigh. I can't move that leg forward when it's strained so that's why I pivot and swing forward. I've also had to drag it if I walked too much without olga or someone to hold onto. This is why I want to see if a wheelchair will work, but that is only if PT says it will.

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Offline SandyStern

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Re: Are my spouse and our spoiled Eskie deal breakers?
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2017, 01:53:59 PM »
Michelle, I'll tell you the same thing I told Ariel offline, which is that unless your PT says you shouldn't, I encourage you to do everything you can to wake up your sleepy medial and minimal glute muscles as well as the abductors on the inside of both legs. Strengthen your core every chance you get.  Orthopedists are famous for focusing only on bones. They would step over your inert body to get to the x-ray viewer and say, "Perfect! You're perfect!"

Whenever you limp, you are putting stress on the "good" leg and the opposite side of the back, and you are not using some sneaky little muscles that are all too happy to take early retirement. Once those little guys check out, it is really hard to get them back. I had to lie on the floor with my eyes closed, visualizing the muscles and willing them to fire as I clenched the surrounding muscles. It took months, and then one day I felt a teeny sensation about as strong as a butterfly's wing.  But I got it, and I could keep working on it. You might have orthopedic surgery one day that will fix your bones, and if that happens, you will be way ahead of the game if you've kept all the muscles going.  Good luck with this, all you youngsters. I will help you as much as I can. Do not go gently into that good night!

Offline kserotte

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Re: Are my spouse and our spoiled Eskie deal breakers?
« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2017, 05:53:55 PM »
Michelle, I'll tell you the same thing I told Ariel offline, which is that unless your PT says you shouldn't, I encourage you to do everything you can to wake up your sleepy medial and minimal glute muscles as well as the abductors on the inside of both legs.

I second this.  Fight for every scrap of mobility you can salvage.  As a nurse, I know what happens to bodies that don't move.  Years of PT have not allowed me to do the things I used to do, but I can't give up.  I have no choice but to continue working on my strength, flexibility and stamina in spite of my physical condition.  I'm no longer working to improve my ambulation.  I know I'm not going to run again.  I'm working to maintain my cardiovascular conditioning so I don't die of heart disease.  I'm working to maintain as much flexibility as possible so I don't develop painful contractures.  I'm working to maintain my weight so I don't have the added difficulty of moving extra pounds around. 

Never, ever, ever give up.  I was working out in an anti-gravity treadmill earlier today.  It's not going to make me walk normally, but I felt muscles working that have been sleeping for at least a year.  That felt so good!

Offline Azariah

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Re: Are my spouse and our spoiled Eskie deal breakers?
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2017, 08:48:23 AM »
My muscles have started to atrophy. I didn't notice it till over a year after I quit working. Now I am trying to get a little of it back. I'm walking like 5 houses worth a day. That's how much I have fatigued. I wish I had been more aware.
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Offline kserotte

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Re: Are my spouse and our spoiled Eskie deal breakers?
« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2017, 11:00:44 AM »
You might actually be able to get some strength back, with the right physical therapist.  They are not all the same.  I have finally found one who is well versed in my condition, and she is working wonders for me.  I don't know if I will be able to get back enough strength to partner with a BMSD, but I am sure going to try.