It’s been weeks since I have posted any new material… Although I had several articles “in the works”, I just couldn’t focus long enough to complete anything. Part of the problem was the nervousness that distracted me around our predictions for 2011, the feeling that something big was in the wind… and it was… and still is… Hurricane Irene was a pretty big wind! And Irene is only one of many events to give us a good shake this summer. With so many big stories in the news, it has been hard to stay grounded.
But I was even distracted from the distractions! Gracie, my 11 year-old shih-tsu, and one of the loves of my life awoke one morning quite sick with a bladder infection. When they operated to remove the stones and the bad teeth that caused the infection, things went from bad to worse… Her bladder ruptured a day later and she needed a second surgery to repair it… for three weeks, we were at the vet’s office almost every day… and more than once I went to bed worrying that she might not be with us when I got up in the morning… but she hung in… and thanks to a lot of loving support and many prayers, her appetite returned – my sweet girl is almost back to her old self….
Gracie comunicated so clearly during this time… On her second day home after the last surgery, I noticed something odd… when I looked at her, I saw that she was “all there”… and I recognized that the day before she hadn’t been, even though she showed that she was happy to be home.. when I noticed this change, she showed me an image of her energy, with one long wisp still with the vet at the clinic, and then she showed me that she had pulled it all back in…she was “all here” now.
Lisa responded with this note which helped to explain what Gracie was trying to tell me with those images:
from what I am hearing from Gracie Danielle, it was like her spirit was “nervous” – was wanting to “wait” things out at the vet so to speak to see if she needed to return there. It was like she was nervous that things weren’t over with just yet – so “just in case” felt the need to linger on there in order to make sure all was in fact well. It is also seems to be that she was likewise looking for that support as well – from the vet – as she knew it was there. That vet is a wonderful vet who truly cares and loves all the patients that come and go.
In feeling that the “rest” of Gracie is now home – I am wanting to say that she is well on her way to recovery at this point – because her spirit obviously felt safe enough to let go of the vet. I would have been more concerned if that part of her was still there with the vet – but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
What is interesting about Lisa’s comments is that Gracie really wasn’t finished with the vet yet… in fact we had to take her back every day for the next week because she wouldn’t eat…. which lead to another series of communications with her. She was clearly unhappy about having a shunt in her leg and having fluids poured into her for 12 hours every day…. and I was worried sick. When she came home at night, it became my job to force feed her, keep liquids pouring through her and give her meds – for days it seemed that nothing was working, I was losing heart…Through all this time, I had been sending her messages, images of the shunt being removed and then of her eating. At the end of the week, I was very discouraged and asked the vet if there was really any hope of a full recovery… when she assured me that we were close to the end of this painful journey, and asked for just a few more days to work with her, I got very clear with the messages I had been sending… for some 12 solid hours, over and over again, I sent one clear picture of her cleaning her plate, loving her dinner, eating with enthusiasm… When I brought her home that night, she headed for the kitchen, indicating that she wanted to eat… and to my great delight, she ate with enthusiasm, cleaned her plate… , then sat up and asked for more.. she was playing out the very images I had been sending all day. When she was done, she sent me one of those “you dummy” messages… What I heard from her was “finally you sent me a picture I could understand.” Of course, sending her pictures of the shunt, then eating, just didn’t make sense to her, in fact she told me that she thought I meant that she shouldn’t eat because she was too sick. The next day she also made it clear to the vet that she was done with all that… I was called to pick her up several hours earlier than they had planned… apparently she refused to keep the shunt in, and wouldn’t stay in the kennel any longer…. this time, she didn’t have to go back.
I am awed by this 17lb fur ball… she made herself so clear during this time… The vet was amused at how specific Gracie was about what she would and wouldn’t eat… and we were all shocked – and relieved – at how willingly she co-operated with us, even when we were force-feeding her. She wanted to be helped, to get back to normal… One evening early in this odyssey, I was getting readyto take Chance for an evening walk when Gracie determined that she was coming too… and to be sure I wouldn’t leave her behind, pushed her way out the door ahead of us. One of the first signs that she was coming back to life.
I learned a lot from this experience… I learned about resilience from this little girl, and determination…. But I think the most important lesson was about keeping it simple…. the energy of the summer is incredibly distracting still, it was hard to focus, and the added anxiety around Gracie had me in a state of panic, to the point that I wasn’t communicating clearly with her.. the pictures I was sending confused her – especially when she could see and feel my anxiety… as soon as I cleared the fog and decided to move past my anxiety, to trust the vet’s word that we were almost there with her, she “got” what I had been trying to tell her and began to take control of her own healing… amazing…