A very good friend of mine was kind enough to send us her dog's "rehab kit" to help when Bentley was ready to start working towards agility again. As a quick update, he is doing really well! We are taking him on walks (we started slowly and have increased the duration) and he's doing great! He has shown zero indication of any kind of fatigue or pain, so I think we're doing the right thing by taking it slow and being careful.
Anyways, the kit included everything one might need to start working on Debbie Gross Saunders' "Get on the Ball" system. To quote from her website, " Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner who has focused her career on on the recognition and treatment of injuries in dogs. Her experience led to the creation of the original "Get On The Ball" DVD providing instruction to owners for building strength, balance, flexibility, tone, and endurance in their dogs with an easy to use exercise program." (http://wizofpaws.net/)
The kit included:
--Get on the Ball I and II DVDs
--Egg shaped ball
--2 balance discs (one small one medium)
Bentley was not ready to start working his core when we received the package, so Lexi got to test the equipment out first. I'm very proud of her as she showed no fear or hesitation about working on the ball. For her, we'll work her core a bit, but also use a regular sized exercise ball to build her rear end awareness (see my previous post where we decided she needs to build her rear end strength).
Here's a video of the first time Lexi got on the ball. I was still trying to figure out how to best hold her/support her, so it's a bit shaky! But, she did fine. We've been doing this maybe twice a week, and she is jumping on with confidence (anything for a cookie!)
Bentley, on the other hand, is not so sure. I just started him slowly by putting him on and bouncing him for a few seconds, etc... Though he has been on a handful of times, he still seems worried and uncomfortable. In the stretching exercises he has trouble relaxing and allowing me to stretch him out. But, this is NOT a result of his surgery. He has always been this way--not flexible. It just goes to show how much it helps to get your dog on a variety of surfaces (especially moving ones like the boggle board) at a young age. Lexi definitely benefited from that whereas Bentley is worried and cautious.