Maddi’s got her legs back

Maddi, as some of my blog readers will know, is our arthritic Pyrenean Mountain Dog with attitude. She knows what she wants and what she does not want. And one of the things that she often does not want to do is to walk, possibly because of her gammy legs and hips, or possibly because of a heart defect which affects her breathing.

The Dales Way and Brantfell

This farm gate gives access from Blenheim Lodge, our guest house at the top of Brantfell Road, onto Brantfell. The footpath you see is The Dales Way.

However, with the warming sun shining benevolently from above, Hubby decided recently to try taking Maddi out for a longer walk than usual. He went up Brantfell – the fell behind our guest house – and on through meandering paths to the more level fields. Zack, our other Pyrenean Mountain Dog, went along for company.

brantfell, bowness on windermere, lake district

Brantfell, one of the viewpoints behind our guesthouse, Blenheim Lodge. (Photo courtesy of

Normally, when Maddi goes out on her walkies, she turns back within 30 minutes or less. With the warmth of strong sunshine radiating heat into her limbs and hips, Hubby said that she really seemed to enjoy her walks, sniffing busily amongst the bushes and grasses in order to take in all those interesting scents. Hubby and I are ever so pleased that she has now again taken an interest in her surroundings whilst out and about, instead of always wanting to scuttle back to the comfort of a heated home.

Our vet prescribed some medication that we have been giving Maddi everyday or every couple of days to help reduce the inflammation in her hip joints. We could see an almost immediate positive effect on our old girl. At one point, she was finding it difficult simply to fold herself into a lying position. Now, she can bend her legs a little more easily. Unfortunately, the medicine only allays the symptoms but cannot cure her of their underlying causes.

Trees and fields behind Blenheim Lodge

Here is a picture of the woodlands and fells directly behind our guest house, where Maddi likes to go walking. She can spend just ages sniffing at a single tree trunk – I cannot imagine what she finds so interesting! The shrubs in the foreground are ours and form the boundary between Blenheim Lodge and National Trust fields and woodlands. Guests staying in The Dalesway room can see this same view just yards from their bedroom.

Maddi’s arthritis is a real concern because we have seen how she sometimes struggles to actually stand up. I wonder sometimes whether her legs might give way before her heart does. Indeed, we never knew about her arrhythmia until 12-18 months ago, and only found out quite by accident during one of her regular check-ups at the vet’s.

However, good news is to be enjoyed whilst one may. Maddi’s legs seem to be working fine right now, and we are so pleased about it. Long may they carry her weight!

pyrenean mountain dog, lake district

Maddi, our Pyrenean Mountain Dog.

Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’

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