One morning last week Leia came out of her crate limping on her right foreleg. I figured it was either a soft tissue strain or perhaps a touch of panosteitis. Often abbreviated as PANO, panosteitis is a painful inflammation of the outer surface or shaft of one or more long bones of the legs. It is sometimes called growing pains. It is a condition that sometimes occurs in young, rapidly growing dogs. Heidi experienced it when she was a puppy.
Because I was uncertain of the nature of the lameness, I was taking Leia out for fresh air and to toilet on leash to keep her from excessive running and jumping. One afternoon while we were ambling about the yard Leia pooped. I pulled out a bag from my pocket and picked it up. Because I have a landscape service and Heidi sometimes is tempted to eat stools, I am in the habit of picking up immediately. I also like knowing that I can freely walk about my yard and not worry about stepping on a turd.
Since I had my fence installed, I’ve gotten into the habit of tossing the “bag” over the fence to the special poop disposal can. I have very good hand eye coordination, and my bags usually land right beside the can or within 6 inches.
Leia was busy investigating under a shrub and going in all directions, entangling me in the leash. I was off balance but took a swing and heaved the fully loaded bag. It arced gracefully and sailed skyward, making a perfect landing on the porch roof.
I just stood there, momentarily dumbfounded. Was that bag destined to disintegrate on the roof?
Then I started to laugh at myself.
I went upstairs and poked my head out the window nearest to where the bag had landed. I quickly did some rough calculations and decided that my 15 foot leash would reach. I grabbed a fence flag, bent it into the shape of a hook and snapped the end of the leash to it.
Meanwhile I’d texted my neighbor Fran because I knew she’d get a huge kick out of my ineptitude. She enthusiastically said she wanted to be a spectator when I tried to retrieve the bag and would gleefully watch my failed attempts from her dining room window.
I proceeded upstairs with my line and hook and stuck my head and torso out the window. I looped the end of the leash around my wrist so I wouldn’t lose it and need to retrieve that in addition to the bag! I gathered the leash and hook and threw it towards the bag; it took about 10 tries before the hook finally snagged my target. I pulled it very slowly until the hook slipped off. The bag was now about 6 feet from the window, and it took another 10-12 tries to hook it again and pull it within grabbing distance. Success!
I then threw the bag down to the lawn below. I went downstairs, out to the yard, grabbed the bag, and took my bow while Fran applauded me in person and via text message.
This time the bag hit its target and landed right beside the disposal can.
All those years of casting a fly rod finally paid off. . .