Dogs and needles...

3rd Mar 2011

Tuesday just gone (1st March), saw the end of the first week of BMC Master Classes supported by Cotswold Outdoors. I visited Durham Wall, a first for me; Awesome Walls Stockport, which seems to go from strength to strength; Creation Brum another first for me and finally way out East Norwich Wall at UEA. All the groups have been very friendly and full of people keen to learn, which as a coach is always a pleasure. Some people had travelled some distances to get to the various centres, so it was great that they could make it. So to all of you, I hope you have remembered all that we covered and you are now trying to put it into practice in your everyday climbing- it WILL help and make a difference. Looking forward to meeting the southern contingent next week.

I have a busy weekend ahead, presenting films and lectures at The Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (ShAFF) in The Showroom, our very own thriving independent cinema. I hope lots of you will come along and check out the films, personally (and I think I can talk for Tim too, he’s been subjected to a fair few) most of them were a pleasure to watch, eye opening and refreshing.

I haven’t really sat down and blogged for a while and explained what’s been going on in my world over the recent few months. But if I could sum it up in a nutshell, I would say my life consists of Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and anything doggy related, mainly visits to the vet!

It’s been a funny old time since xmas but one of the great things that has happened is that I have found a genius Chinese Doctor who seems to be making my shoulder better. The difference between how it feels now and how it felt when I first started seeing him is amazing. Admittedly, I have been going a lot (but that’s the way it works, the benefits are lost if the time between sessions is too long) and taking various Chinese Herbal remedies but there is a tangible change. I am so convinced by this Doctor, that I will tell just about anyone who will listen! The Doctor gives a combination of treatments like Tui Na massage the herbal remedies, acupuncture and cupping. The massage is divine pain. It’s the sort of pain that you just know is doing you some good. He is working on quite a few of my aches and pains at once, so although I’m going a lot I really feel like I’m getting value for money. Added to that, I’m in there for between an hour to nearer two. So if you live in Sheffield and have either a sports injury or pretty much any type of health ailment that is bothering you, then go to The Chinese Doctor in Hillsborough Shopping Centre. You won’t regret it. Is there such a thing as a acupuncturism? Because I think I might be becoming a devotee…

Anyway, I’ve rambled on enough about my Chinese Doctor, so now to dogs. Tim, Kodo and myself now have a new member of our family (a permanent one this time), she’s called Buis (pronounced ‘Bwee’) and is a Mastiff cross. Don’t ask how it happened as it’s a longish story but suffice to say Tim and I both fell in love with Buis down at The Sheffield Pound and now she’s at home with us. She was found tied to a tree in some woods, pretty skinny and defensive aggressive- well you can’t blame her. She’s a big girl and I’d always thought I didn’t want a big dog (they certainly come with their unique issues) but you can’t help who you fall in love with can you? Anyway, she was very timid and scared at first but has soon overcome that and it’s now a battle to keep her off you as she wants cuddles all the time. She’s a beautiful dog and seems to love people, she does need better socialisation with dogs though. She’s not aggressive but big and bouncy and needs to learn how to behave, all in good time. We’re very glad we got her and she has slotted right in very quickly. But then Kodo damaged her other rear cruciate ligament, poor thing. She could barely walk and was hobbling for a few days. So what with getting Buis and all her vacs, pet passport etc sorted out suddenly Kodo was needing vet treatment to. We’d be in one day with one dog, then come in the next with the other. I don’t know why we didn’t set up some sort of temporary camp there, the amount of times we went in. Unfortunately for Kodo, after x-rays, it turns out she’s got arthritis in both her rear knees. So although she probably has a tear in her cruciate, Scott the vet decided to hold off from an op and see if it would improve with conservative treatment. Poor Kodo, she’s so stoic but she’s obviously dealing with pain on a daily basis. But the thought of her having to go through that operation and the recuperation process, was something Tim and I were not looking forward to, so in a way it’s a relief. She seems to be improving, she’s lost her limp and is enjoying walks. We just need to be careful not to overdo it.

Which we probably did a few times already, we’re such bad owners! Yesterday, we went to Rivelin for a photo shoot for ‘Climber’, it was the most lovely day. My first time on rock for absolutely ages and in fact my first ever time at Rivelin for some strange reason. It was also Buis’ first cragging day and she seemed to love it. She didn’t get freaked when we were climbing and behaved pretty sensibly. Some dogs hate their owners climbing and can get upset and the whole fun day out, turns into a bit of a nightmare. It’s pot luck whether your dog will love it or hate it, fortunately Buis seemed to take to it very well.

Finally to climbing!! Well, I‘ve been managing the once a week either at The Foundry or sometimes The Edge. The Chinese Doctor has said not to overdo it and to be honest, there’s no danger of that! It’s been nice though because Tim is keen so we’ve been going together and occasionally we’ve made it down twice a week- wonders will never cease. Obviously, this whole situation is very frustrating but there’s not much I can do about it. It’s been going on for so long now and I’ve gone through such a range of emotions that I don’t really know where I’m at at the mo (bad grammar I know!). But the main thing is that the shoulder really does feel like it’s getting better, so if it keeps improving at this rate I’ll be happy and should be able to up things in a couple of months.

Meanwhile, it’s muddy dog walks, excruciating massage and weird bruises all over my back.

Oh nearly forgot my furniture making course I’m doing at college. I’ve already made some shelves and tomorrow am starting a dog toy box- cool!