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BONZ: Ahna is a senior sheltie who keeps moving with physical therapy

Hi dog buddies,

I don’t mind too much going to see my veterinarian because I know I’ll get a doggy ice cream cone at the end of my visit. But even so, seeing him and his pretty nurses once a year is enough for me.

But Ahna, a 15-year-old Shetland sheepdog who lives with her sibling sheltie Lily Rose and human parents Leigh and Wayne Erickson in Baytree, turns out to be a regular visitor to the clinic.

For the past fou4 years, Ahna has been involved in physical therapy for her arthritic hip joints.

“I’m in it for the long haul, Bonz,” Ahna told me. “I’ve had massage therapy, joint supplements, under water treadmill therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic therapy and for several weeks I was put in a hyperbaric chamber to stimulate the blood flow to my hips.

“But my arthritic hips are being maintained and I’m a happy girl,” Ahna said.

“Wow,” I exclaimed. “It sounds like you’ve done a lot of hard work and seen a lot of specialists. Do you have time to, you know, just be a dog?”

“Ah,” Ahna sighed, “you’re still a silly young pup, Bonzo. What you don’t know yet is as you get older, you can train your humans to do what you want them to do. The dog-human roles do a switch-a-roo.”

“No kidding, “I said. “Can you give me an example?”

“Sure,” Ahna said. “Sometimes, when I’m bored, I’ll let out a bark for a treat. I may not even be I’m hungry but I know my humans will get me a treat.

“I would like to make something clear to you Bonzo,” Ahna said. ‘I have nothing to do with my border collie roots.

“I’m not a sheep herder and I have never been a working class dog. I’ve seen sheep on the farm next door in Illinois where I was born. But I’m simply a retired, senior sheltie who gets pampered. The hardest work I do is physical therapy and that has gotten easier.”

“I hear you Ahna,” I said.

“Just remember Bonzo,” she said. “You have to keep things going. If you don’t move it, you lose it.”

“Yeah, well thanks Bonz, that’s sweet,” Ahna said. “I think I need to give out a bark to get my favorite treat ¬– honey nut Cheerios. Being an inspiration can be exhausting.”

Keep trucking, Ahna.

Till next time,

The Bonz

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