April 30...Sunday...more cold with rain..."Enough is enough!!!
April 1-3 Sat/Sun/Mon...mild spring weather...having a pacemaker lifestyle is a huge adjustment. The question to answer will be what will I be able to safely work on...now. Not everyone is the same and
feeling my way through this process has not be simple. I will be able (allowed) to drive in about three weeks. The good news was a small income tax refund arrived today and my enclosed trailer was sold.
April 4 - Tuesday...cold, cloudy and windy with a brief hail storm around 1 pm.
April 5 - Wednesday - another cool day leading into warmer weather
April 6 - Thursday - high of 50°F...soon into the sunny 60's...The stress/struggle with my pacemaker is decreasing. In addition, the cortisone injections in both frozen shoulders seems to be working. It is difficult to rectify my health situation with the surgery. Simple things like taking a shower are not as easy as they once were. Living in a tri-level house complicates movement. Each step must be well measured. Next will be to see how well I can deal with yard work - liming, fertilizing and seeding the dogs' airing yard.
April 7 - Friday - high of 55°F...heading for warmer days...today was my second day of driving since the pacemaker addition. It went well....there were no issues and I was comfortable with the day.
April 8 - Saturday...I recalled some issues past with heat and weakness. I had been limiting my weed whacking of the tall weeds around Thorson Pond's shoreline. It was not easy.
Last August training journal excerpt.....I had worked for some on the goose blind and it was warm.
I decided to move on to the third morning job which was to "whack" one tank of gas with my weed eater. This is a routine that I have followed for years (too many). The pond bank is about belt buckle high with weeds and wide since the pond is lower than normal. It was not long before I began sweating and my bad shoulders (that is plural) began complaining. I quit looking at the blind because it was soon obvious that I had bitten off more than I could "whack". About half-way there, I began to wonder (but I was closer). Soon it was obvious that I might run out of gas before the weed whacker did. As things got worse, I was persistently prodding myself about how close I was. So like an old man, I needed to prove that I wasn't (too old).
As the last swing of the whacker lurched forward, we were back at the blind. I literally dropped the heavy "weed killer", climbed up the bank to my van and collapsed on the shady side. There was a good breeze blowing under the van and I stayed down (in the shade) for quite awhile. When one is older, the light of good sense is often dim. Since I am entering this in my journal, it is probably obvious that I survived. Tomorrow I will do some easy "stuff" on the blind and probably NOT do any weeds. (I should have gone to the doctor for a checkup).
That was a "shot shot over the bow" that I ignored. A few months ago, I overheated in the waiting room at the county animal shelter and went into shock. It was very similar to a few other instances in the heat of the summer of over "doing it". This was even more serious when paramedics took over and I ended up in the hospital with a pacemaker implant.
Today, there was a short drive to Thorson Pond to begin taking down the goose blind. The first thing to "extract" was the large tarp that covered the blind. However. the winter winds had blown it off the blind and into the water in front of the blind. It was heavy and coated with mud. I manged to pull it up on the shore and folded it up. The assumption was the mud and water would drain making it lighter to deal with.
April 9...Sunday...high of 65°F - After a quick trip to view the muddy blind. it revealed the plan had worked. It was simple to lift it into the back of the van on to a small, dry tarp and take it home. This marks the beginning of keeping everything at a steady, well spaced out program to not over do the daily chores. Both frozen shoulders have responded well to the cortisone injections. Each day, the frozen shoulders exercise routine becomes a bit easier. One brief "job/effort" twice a day is the plan.
April 10...Monday...sunny with a high of 66°F (a steady, good string of weather is in the forecast}
note: The plan for Gigi and Pounce is to train every other day within a short drive.
April 11...Tuesday...more nice weather...It was around 70°F when I drove to the Riverside Park DTA. The the plan was to run Pounce and Gigi to a 100 yard file three times. All I needed to do was toss down six bumpers and drive back to the line (very little walking). Both ran fast and Pounce needed no handling. Gigi was more on fire and needed some handling on the first go. I was in the shade. It was a simple setup that did not require much walking/set up time. The drive home was about twenty minutes. The total time was about an hour and I was "heated up" rather noticeably. It was important to get back into the air-conditioned house as soon as possible. The session was just right for Pounce and Gigi. However, the next several training sessions will be as short as possible (and on alternating days) with yard work in between land setups (for awhile). There is no rush. I did inform the Thorson Pond owners that I will not be able to do any "weed whacking" along the shore line.
April 12...Wednesday...a bit warmer...took today off...Pounce and Gigi had few toe nails trimmed (a few every other day is easier).
April 13...Thursday...in the upper 70's Pounce and Gigi ran a two pile setup again and mixed in the seven bumper lining drill. Both slept well the rest of the day.
April 14...Friday...into the upper 80's today...day off an trim a few more nails...The heat was unpleasant and hinted to keep in mind the importance of shade....and probably training earlier in the morning
April 15...Saturday...warmer in the low 80's around...rain in the way and two bags of lime were broadcast across the dogs' airing yard. It was too warm and sitting in front of a fan for awhile afterwards was very necessary. I need to be more willing to avoid working in the heat. Pounce and Gigi got an extra day off.
Late this evening a thunder storm was perfectly timed with the morning lime application. Soon, cooler, wet days will be ideal for adding some grass seed.
April 16...Sunday...60°F with 90% chance of rain...cold for the next two weeks. Not really going anywhere so days off are OK. As of right now, the idea of running any hunt tests this year is remote. Gigi, Pounce and I will be exercising every other day. I had a chance to talk with the owner of Thorsen Pond yesterday and let him know that my health issues (with the pacemaker installation} would require me not regularly whacking the shoreline weeds (as I usually did every summer and fall).
April 17...Monday...cold with rain/snow...snow melted fast. Pounce, Gigi will take another day off. Recent training seasons are patterned after Hillmann's program and there are many sessions posted regularly on his blog. They are free for the viewing and very useful.
right click following link
April 18-19...Tuesday/Wednesday...cloudy with some rain...high in the 70's
April 20...Thursday...rain in the morning...clear afternoon with a nice breeze. Pounce and Gigi ran the same setup we did two days ago (a combination of the seven bumper lining drill with two piles at about 125 yards). Quite a bit of time was spent working on getting Gigi's two-sided heeling skills connected. She still needs a short/tab lead to work on the right side. Pounce is smooth two sided with no lead. I need the exercise and walking is not easy. With a pacemaker and being almost 83 years old, I need to be aware of not pushing my exercise limits. It is becoming more obvious that that Pounce or Gigi are unlikely to run any hunt tests this year. Extended days of warm weather in the field would be foolish.
April 21...Friday...high of 57°F....day off for Pounce and an easy day for Gigi (and me). Gigi worked in the pool room on on her right side heeling skills (using a short tab and bumper in mouth).
April 22...Saturday...high in the forties...Pounce and Gigi worked on loose lead OB with most of Gigi's focus on making her two-sided heeling more automatic/relaxed. Trimming nails is easy. Pounce and Gigi will stand and allow me to Dremel their nails. The key has been to not do all of them the same day.
April 23...Sunday...cold in the low 40's (windy)...Ease of sleeping and shoulder issues are not improving.
April 24...Monday...in the low 50's...easy day...indoor OB (bumper in mouth with Gigi) and five more dog nails for Pounce and Gigi.
April 25/26...Tuesday/Wednesday...more cool weather for the next nine days
April 27....Thursday...With the UTV and trailer now sold, the next few years of training will be done to keep in shape and have fun. With the pacemaker, it will be necessary to avoid hot weather. We may train with a group once in awhile (depending on the weather). In the afternoon, Pounce and Gigi will train again at the Roscoe Riverside Park DTA
April 28...Friday...With a cool breeze off the river in the afternoon, Pounce and Gigi trained again at the Roscoe Riverside Park DTA running the combination seven bumper lining drill with a pile. The focus is on line manners. Pounce is smooth and Gigi is continuing to work on control while she "works". The two present quite a contrast at the line.
"I'm beginning to learn that 95% OB
is not enough...and 85% is much
worse.....but 75% is pretty good."
KwickLabs Sept., 2006
April 29...Saturday....cold, windy in the 50's...day off outdoors...indoor OB session on the warm pool deck
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note: The drill photo from yesterday utilizes segments of Hillmann's YouTube link from the
April 28th journal entry (Gigi is working on two-sided heeling).