August 4, 2009

How to improve your dog

Last night was the Big Doggie Massage night (my sister-in-law tells me I might be turning into a dog whisperer!) My neighbor recommended Inner Puppy Canine Massage to me for Sweet Pickle the other night at the wine party. She and her sister took their dogs to a class given by Mary Brickner, a Certified Canine Massage Practitioner, where they learned how to massage their dogs using massage and acupressure techniques. I started thinking that might help his hip dysplasia. When I called Mary the other day to come to my home for a consultation, she arranged her plans to fit with my tight schedule for heading back down to Baja.

I was so tired yesterday, after monitoring my Mother the previous night after her fall and now soused on pain medication that I barely got any sleep. Yesterday morning I called the orthpod suggested by the hospital emergency room for followup. When they couldn't see her until two days later, I was able to get an appointment with my great shoulder guy, Dr. Raj Bazaz. Fortunately the bone break was straightforward and all she needs is casting (although he did realign her wrist a bit manually which was incredibly painful and accomplished in about 15 seconds). They will have to finally cast her in Taos as she needs to wait a week for the swelling to go down. Dr. Bazaz put a beautiful padded splint applied with his great banter and charm. She stopped complaining about pain almost immediately. I brought Mother home then went off to do my mammagram revisited; turns out everything thing was fine with my breasts. While we were doing the doctor, Hermana drove up from Taos so she would be ready to gather up Mom and all her new clothes for a road trip. Yesterday the two of us split helping her walk (her cane hand is casted now), take pills, change clothes and get around--and of course arguing with her the whole time as the pain medicine makes her forgetful and incredibly loopy. It was so nice that there were two of us, it was so much easier. But by the time evening rolled around I didn’t see how I keep awake until my 7:30 appointment with Mary which was to last for 60-90 minutes.

When Mary arrived she brought me a passle of literature on dog food, a diagram of dog acupunture points, and other cool stuff which we went over for about 20 minutes. She had a fairly detailed questionnaire to ask about Sweet Pickle as well. Then she brought out the treats which Dash liked; and the little bag of massage oils, all of which Sweet Pickle pointedly rejected in about 2 seconds flat per fragrance. He reacted to them just as he had to Mike’s toy train one Christmas (we had to put it up and haven’t used it since.) So we didn’t do massage oil, but she spent about 40 minutes massaging him, showed Hermana and me the pressure points on the dog, how to massage using two fingers and what kind of hand movements to use. Every time she would hit a release point he would lick his lips. He seemed an unwillingly victim trying to escape at times, although at other times his eyes would express contentment with the procedure. The time really sped by and I forgot how tired I was. She was of the opinion that Sweet Pickle’s bad hips can be controlled with a better diet, massage and exercise. I hope this is true as it would be a good thing. As she left, she asked me to let her know if I noticed any different behavior from him the following day.

Sure enough the change in Sweet Pickle was almost immediate, when I went upstairs for my nightly bath he fell asleep beside the bathtub instead of guarding me like he normally does. (I think he thinks I’m going to drown in there). When I got out of the tub instead of racing down the hall in his usual style he sat up and looked at me, then rolled back over on the floor and went back to sleep. He slept much better during the night and was quite a bit calmer this morning than he usually is; Hermana thought so too.

Now I am washing clothing and floors. Tonight I drop off the modem and TV box, pick up Esperando at the airport, make a pit stop at Home Depot on the way home, then we take off for Baja in the morning just like the Beverly Hillbillies. Sweet Pickle will be playing the role of Jed Clampett played by Buddie Ebsen. (I think the resemblance is striking!)

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