Friday, June 15, 2012

One step forward, two steps back

Asha has been doing so great.  We started her on Chinese herbs about 6 weeks ago.  Between those and her food changes due to food therapy (read about that here), we have really noticed a difference in her behavior.  Two weeks ago, we ran out of Shen Calmer, one of Asha's herbs.  The vet was out of them and so we had to wait about a week for them to come in.  Over that week, Asha was the best she had ever been - she slept all night, multiple nights in a row. So when the email came that the herbs were in, I asked "does she really still need them?  She's doing so great without them now".  And so I didn't go pick up the herbs, I figured we would wait and see.

I know better.  I should know better. If someone comes into our store with joint pain and starts taking a supplement to help, when they start seeing a result, the last thing they should do is stop.  But we stopped.  Over the 2nd week without the herbs, Asha got worse and worse.  She started waking up once a night around 1 am, now she's up twice a night around 1 and then again at 3.  The other night, it occurred to me....we stopped giving her that herb.

Over the last week, we have also had some issues with Maggie. She had been doing so great for so long, then we changed her food, we changed some of our routine and just like in the past, that's just too much for her and she has been snapping.  We've started separating her from the others at certain times a day. I emailed our food therapist (who works with our accupuncture/Chinese Medicine vet) about the situation and she suggested I bring Maggie down to see the Dr.  I decided to take both Maggie and Asha for a visit to see what we could do to get back on track.

Yesterday, I took all three dogs to see Dr Hope Valentine at Balanced Pets NW in Portland. Trevor was working, so I had all three dogs with me. They are quite a handful and I always feel like the crazy dog lady when I have them all by myself!

We survived the drive downtown.  Actually, they are great in the car. I circled the block for about 15 minutes until I found a place to park and then I started the walk around the corner to the clinic. I am always so amazed at how people approach dogs they don't know. I am walking along (we'll call it walking, but I was really being pulled) Buster and Maggie are in front smelling everything and Asha is dragging behind smelling everything.  People walk buy and put their hands out to my dogs.  Now, they aren't going to get bitten by these three, but here's a tip for you - if you see someone walking three dogs and they look like they are trying to keep it together, don't confuse the situation.  Please.
This is not a good picture of me, but I love how Asha is looking over my shoulder.

We arrived safely at our destination and I let the dogs loose. Its a new space and as Dr Valentine was showing me around, the dogs were investigating too. Asha is so funny, they have these little trash cans that she loves. They are the automatic ones, where it has a sensor and opens. I found her several times, in different rooms, with her head in the garbage because it would open when it sensed her.

After everyone got settled and we had the tour, we went upstairs to the conference room, that was more like a living room with a couch and chair.  I sat on the couch, Maggie sat next to me while Buster and Asha investigated.  We went over all our concerns and of course decided to continue Asha on her herbs.  Dr Valentine said that she was actually glad we had stopped giving them to Asha because now we know that they were working.

We also decided that Maggie would start on some herbs.  Asha was going to get some accupuncture to help things along and Maggie would too if we thought she would allow it.  As we were talking, Maggie got up and went over to sit by Dr Valentine. That's so unlike Maggie and the Dr said that Maggie was giving her permission so she started putting in the needles.  Sweet Maggie, she seemed confused, but not really bothered by it.

Then Asha got some needles.  She always growls and barks and bites, all the while wagging her tail like its a game to her.  The effects of the needles hit her so hard. After she fights it, she eventually just collapses into a heap and sleeps.  Yesterday, she climbed up onto the couch and zonked out for about 30 minutes.

Maggie sat on the floor next to me. You can see the needles in her back.

 Buster was on high alert while the needles were being put in both of his sisters. While they were brewing, he took a nap. Buster is the anchor.

We finished up and headed for home.  The walk to the car was much different than the walk there.  Everyone was tired and pretty well behaved. We got in the car and all three slept the whole way home.  I really look forward to seeing continued progress in our babies from these treatments.  For anyone who doubts "alternative care", our pets are living proof that it works and we are so fortunate to have found such great practitioners who really do love our pets.

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