Trevor and I have really left no stone unturned in our quest for a peaceful household. Asha has challenged all the "easy" fixes, so we have decided to reach out to alternative forms of healing. Our minds have opened to the idea that there may be an answer outside of all things rational.
As I've discussed before, Asha has a traditional vet, a behavioral vet and a trainer that all help us with her. Through them we have been referred to an animal communicator and an acupuncture/Chinese medicine veterinary practitioner. Everyone seems to believe that a combination of eastern and western medicine will be the answer for our special case. Asha defies all reason when it comes to her treatment. She is so sensitive to things. She has the rare side effects and does not react to treatment the way most animals do. I know that this is both frustrating and interesting to all the people who deal with her. I get a lot of "wow...that's interesting" when I report her response to things. For example, when she was prescribed a sedative that should have made her sleep for 10 hours and it didn't affect her at all, the vet said "wow...that's interesting".
Asha's case has been circulated to so many different people. Friends of friends, colleagues of colleagues. I figure if we get enough eyes, ears and minds on the case that eventually we'll hit on something that works. And things are working. Little things here and there add up to a dog that is much better than I ever expected she would be. But we all believe that she still have room to improve and this is not as good as it will get.
The appointment with the animal communicator was fascinating. I'll admit, I was and still am skeptical about it, but I am glad we did it and we'll surely do it again. The communicator lives in Puerto Rico, we sent a picture of Asha and some questions we wanted her to be asked. Jessica, the communicator, was going to meditate and spend the day with Asha's spirit. Then she would send us a report. The day came and went and we joked about how Asha's spirit had an appointment. I anxiously waited for the report.
The report came while I was teaching a cycling class, Trevor read it first. When he told me the report was there, he said "you'll cry". And he was right. We had given Jessica very little information about Asha, I was careful to not give away too much, I really wanted to see if she was talking to our Asha. I believe that in some way she was. She said that when she called Asha's spirit and Asha came to her she would not look her in the face, Asha turned her head away in every direction. That is exactly what Asha does when we get home every day and she runs to us. Once she gets to us, she sits down and if we crouch down to her level, she will not look us in the face.
One of the first things that Jessica reported was a special message from Asha. She said that Asha had given it much thought and she did not want to live if she couldn't live with us. So if a time came where we couldn't keep her, she wanted us to release her from her vessel. She said that Asha was not sad about this, she just wanted us to know.
She then went on to talk about how Asha feels out of control, how she can't sleep because her skin feels like its crawling - which is interesting because when she tries to sleep at night, she'll jump up like she has been poked, like her skin is crawling. She said she likes to jump off the deck because she gets a rush when she hits the ground. If you watch her, you can tell this is true.
She also said that Asha is happiest when she is asleep, she is healthy in her dreams. Every day when I come home, I know this is true because I see this...
The really crazy thing is that Asha had been sleeping pretty good leading up to her appointment with Jessica, that night, she was all out of sorts. Her energy had been messed with and she did not like it.
Our next adventure was a meeting with an accupuncturist. We've been wanting to try this for a while, but our behavioral vet wanted us to wait until we stabilized her medication. After our last appointment we agreed we were at a point where it made sense to explore some Chinese medicine.
We made our appointment. Everyone who knows Asha and knows anything about accupuncture was sure that she would never allow anyone to place needles in her. We all expected that she would get started on some herbs and in a couple weeks we'd go back and try to do the accupuncture.
The practitioner we met is a friend of our regular vet and she already knew all about Asha. That was nice because she had already been formulating a plan. She felt confident that she could start treating Asha right away. And she did. The first appointment, she placed 25 needles. Asha walked around the room and while the Dr would follow her, putting needles in. Asha would growl and bark and cry and fight. Once the needle was placed, she would settle down. When most of the needles were placed, Asha laid down and slept for about 20 minutes. She seemed relaxed and content.
We also started Asha on some herbs - twice a day - that should help cool her "fire" and calm her. We have been giving those to her twice a day. We have been back for two more sessions and have another planned for this week. After the sessions, for a day or two, Asha gets some relief and sleeps much better during the night. Then on days 3 and 4 she is a little worse. This treatment is cumulative and so are the herbs. So the real results will be seen over time.
All I know is that we love Asha and she loves us. Her world is so chaotic and random, the only things she knows for sure are me, Trevor and the other animals in our home. She knows that she is safe with us and I do believe that she knows we are working hard to help her. She's changed my life in so many ways, some good, some bad. But like every important creature in our lives, she is teaching me things about myself that I would have been able to ignore otherwise. She is teaching me some things about myself that I honestly don't like. I've had to come to grips with my obsessive need for control and order. I am learning that most things are actually out of our control and that doesn't have to mean that they are bad or wrong. I am also learning that the life you have isn't always the life you think you want....and that's okay.
I have struggled since we got Asha, wondering if she was happy with us. I can now say that I know she is. I see joy in her every day and she smiles a lot...just like Maggie and Buster and that makes my heart want to overflow. Its hard work, but most things worthwhile are hard and there in lies the reward.