Yesterday, Asha had her three month follow up with the behavioral vet. Dr Pachel is located at Rose City Veterinarians down in Portland. We've only been there once to see him. Asha wanted to drive, I told her maybe on the way home.
All our contact with Dr Pachel since the first visit has been via email. Dr Pachel has certainly earned his keep on this case. I bet I emailed with him just about every day for a while. We have made many different changes to Asha's medicine over the last three months. We've tried at least three anti anxiety drugs and more than 5 sedatives to help her sleep at night. Asha is a mystery...to everyone. She does not respond to anything the way we expect and so we are constantly looking for answers.
Our regular vet is always reaching out to other practitioners, our trainer does the same and our behavioral vet is always asking for our permission to share Asha's file with his colleagues. We've taken Asha to a friend who does Rieke (she hated it) and she even had an appointment with an animal communicator (that was fascinating). Many people tell us what great dog parents we are....the truth is that Asha is so distruptive that we'll do just about anything to find peace and quiet! Actually, we love Asha will all our hearts and we want her to have a good life. When she isn't sleeping at night and she runs and barks all day long, none of us can have a good life. And so we search.
Asha is SO much better that I ever could have imagined she would be. I believe we have really hit on an anxiety drug that can work for her. Yesterday when I asked Dr Pachel about getting Asha to sleep he told me that there may not be anything we can do to make her sleep. We've tried 5 different drugs that all work on different parts of her brain and nervous system and nothing has worked. We are making a dosage change to her anxiety drug and perhaps that will have an effect.
Our regular vet has been telling us for a while that we should try taking Asha to an accupuncturist. Our behavioral vet wanted to wait until we got her meds stabilized. Yesterday, he felt like we were at a point where it made sense to start looking at non traditional medicine. Asha has an appoint on Saturday with an accupuncturist and I am actually really excited to see how she'll respond.
Everyone LOVES Asha. Everywhere we go, people just want to touch her and know about her. We have only been to the behavioral vet once and yet they all remembered Asha. When we arrived, the front desk girls called to the back "remember that blind, deaf Aussie who sees Dr Pachel? She's here, come say hi!". They asked if they could take her picture and post her story on their facebook page. Here it is:
I worry so much about Asha. Is she happy with us? Would she be happier some other place with some other family? She has so many issues that its hard sometimes to not think that maybe its us. Yesterday Dr Pachel told me that the thing he loves most about Asha is her face, she is always smiling. I told him about my worries and he said "She can have all these issues and still be happy." He said he sees a lot of dogs and one thing he knows for sure is that Asha is happy with us. I was looking through my pictures of Asha and noticed that she is always smiling....
Last weekend, we took all the dogs on a hike by a creek. They LOVED it. Asha had never been there and seemed to take it all in. She walked along beside me enjoying the day. The breeze blowing made the tufts of fur behind her ears move. She would hold her nose up to catch the smells in the wind, then put her nose down to smell the earth. She walked into the creek and moved against the current. Her little paws spread in the mud. She liked the way it felt between her toes. It hit me that she was experiencing something new. I love when we can give that to her. It made me so incredibly happy.
We were talking about it and Trevor said that its like Asha is writing her story. She has a big box of crayons, but she doesn't know that all of the colors exist. She has a blank page and every day she colors it in. When she has a new experience, she gets to use a new crayon and sometimes that new crayon will become her favorite. I loved the thought of that. Sweet Asha, coloring away. I can't wait to see how her story progresses.