We walk anywhere from 6-10 miles a day. Just thinking about it makes my paws hurt and I know for a fact it makes Gretchen’s feet hurt since she’s always hobbling around the house like she just got off a horse. This is why Gretchen tries to get a massage every few weeks and why every 6 weeks or so, I’m carted off to the vet for my acupuncture and osteopathy. We both get adjusted so that we are able to perform our jobs well and to the fullest, but also because it feels so good when our bodies are realigned.
I’m also really lucky because Gretchen is a small animal massage therapist and when she’s not too tired from her work at the pool, she gives me a massage and a stretch and every once in awhile I get to go to the pool and swim. She’s also studying to be certified in animal acupressure and while those treatments make me slightly nervous (they aren’t like a massage at all), I do like how they make me feel.
But lately my body knots have been particularly difficult to unwind. It’s taken us awhile to figure out why, but finally we put all the pieces together. You see, I’m a complicated dog or as Gretchen likes to tease, I’m a “knotty” dog — and my kinked up joints and muscles (among other parts) has a link to my behavior.
I can be slightly reactive, but through Chinese herbs, flower essences, and a nutraceutical called L-Theanine I’ve been making progress. Well, all of that progress went backwards when about 6 weeks ago I came down with a 10 day bout of giardia. Though we’ve had a pleasant week weather-wise this week, we’ve had weeks and weeks of rain and apparently all those miles in the rain exposed me to the cruddy organism.
I won’t go into the yucky details, but I was pretty miserable and not very interested in food, which I not only need to keep my strength up but I also need it before I take all my calming medications. Because my tummy was so upset, Gretchen stopped giving me all those pills and for awhile, it didn’t seem to matter. Probably because I felt so crummy from my upset stomach, everyone thought that perhaps I didn’t need the medications, but as the weeks progressed it became clearer and clearer that all those pills were really helping me.
Last week I had an adjustment with my wonderful vet and at the end of it she was sweating because it required a lot of physical effort to realign me. That night, when I got home, Gretchen re-ordered my medications and when they arrived 2 days later, I started taking them again — 14 pills stuff into a glob of cream cheese.
Everyone was surprised at how quickly I leveled off — much calmer, less reactive, and much better control of my impulses. I was surprised too, but even more than the surprised, I was relieved. It doesn’t feel very good to be out of balance.
All of this is to say that I’ve had a much better week than the 6 weeks before. My tummy is all better, my behavior feels more relaxed, and to top it all off the sun came out and the air smelled like summer. Whew.
“You were kind of uptight,” Monty told me the other day, “I was very worried about you.”
Which is saying a lot because Monty is not a worrier in the least. Monty is the most laid-back dude I know…unless it’s raining and the cars are splashing in the puddles…or there are waves by the lake. Then Monty can be a wild man — completely out of his head — obsessed with the splashing sound of tires and waves.
“I was going to give you some of my Prozac,” Tyson said. We’ve been taking care of Tyson while his parents are in France and I have to say, I’ve learned a lot from him. He has adapted to the new schedule really well and while we’ve had a few tussles — trying to figure out how to be with each other — we’ve finally settled down into a very comfortable relationship.
You see, Tyson suffers from separation issues but a while back they put him on Prozac. I wasn’t sure how I felt about all of that, but I can tell you that Tyson is a much happier dog. Sure he still worries some, but his worry has limits and he can now spend hours by himself at his house without flipping out. He doesn’t spend a lot of time alone while we’re taking care of him, but when he has to be alone, he doesn’t seem to mind.
One thing I’ve learned from Tyson is that lying in the morning sun is just about the best medicine in the world. Tyson loves hanging out at our house because the sun cascades through the back door window and creates a very warm spot for him to lie in the kitchen. He also likes to lie out on the back porch in the sun only coming back in when he gets too hot and needs a cool drink of water.
And when we hang out together, we get along really well. Especially now that we’ve figured out how to play together!
And then I taught Tyson how to eat ice cream. He struggled a bit — square nose/round cup — but he figured it out and LOVED every lick!
But what Tyson loves more than ice cream, playing with me, lying in the sun, and ever more than the raw chicken necks he gets for a snack is getting some loving from Ann. Tyson’s a big smoocher and while he doesn’t dole out kisses randomly, he thinks kissing Ann and cuddling her is about the best thing going at this house.
I have to agree!
And one last thing…Tyson loves to play hide and seek especially when his secret location means he can munch on chives.
“I was worried about you,” Woobie told me this week. We got to see her twice this week and Woobie, for all her excitability when first seeing us, is actually a pretty mellow gal. “It’s great to see you feeling more yourself.”
As for Roux, I’m not sure she noticed any differences in me. Roux is all about the adventure and while she’s very happy to see us when we arrive, she pays more attention to where we are going versus who she is going with.
I can’t blame her. Those 6 weeks with my upset tummy and my knotty disposition were no fun for me either. I hated being so cranky and I hated that I couldn’t fully enjoy my friends or our outings. I’m thankful that all of that changed this week and I’m really looking forward to more sunshine, more friends, more adventures, and more relaxed energy this weekend.
I do not like being a knotty dog!
Have a great weekend,