Sweet Indiana

Silly Indy. Rolled up his favorite blankie to lie down, but he kept stumbling and falling down. Never fear, he’s a clever boy, he eventually braced himself against a chair and just slid down. He’s managing very well.

Indy is my boxer buddy. He turned five years old this past July and is in the prime of his doggy life. But he’s hit a few bumps this past year.

Indiana, just watching the world go round.
Indiana, just watching the world go round.

Indy had a stroke last spring. Things looked pretty grim for the first several days, in fact, we were all spending as much time with him as possible as it looked as though he would surely die. On the day that I thought would be his last, he started to recover. From there on he made steady progress to an almost full recovery.

Fast forward to this week. All was well until one night Indy was restless around 2:30 am. Completely out of character as this boy likes his solid 12 bedtime hours of sleep. I got up with him and he stumbled down the stairs, falling for the past few. This happened a few times in the wee early hours and I knew what had happened again. I had to leave very early that day so I told Indy when I would be back and explained to my husband all of the particulars and how to help Indiana the most.

By the time I got back in the afternoon, I didn’t know just what to expect. Not what I found, that’s for sure. I returned to find my now ’tilted’ boy, playing and trying to engage everyone else in play. Clearly, he was in no pain and I got the feeling that he wanted us all to know just that.

We lay down on the floor and Indy allowed me to give him Reiki for well over an hour. We then took a nice long nap and both felt much better.

That first night Indy went upstairs to sleep just like normal, but the journey up the stairs was clearly difficult for him. By the middle of the night, we were both back down on the first floor. He curled on his favorite blanket and went to sleep. Since then, he hasn’t tried to go upstairs at all. Our youngest son Mike has been staying with us and he has been sleeping on the couch so that Indy won’t be alone and has someone nearby if he needs them.

I’m once again being reminded of so many things. The life coach in me admires the common sense and good nature that Indy is exhibiting. He can’t go up and down the stairs, so he’s simply not, excellent self-care! Duke, the boxer that we once fostered has been here for the past few days and Indy really likes him, so when Duke goes outside so does Indy. They stroll around the yard and Indy even tries to coax Duke into playing with him. Imagine this normally very graceful dog trying to run around, stumbling and tipping a bit, but showing Duke that he’s willing! It could be heart-breaking I suppose, but I see it as quite wonderful. Indy knows what he can and cannot do and is quite determined to enjoy everything that he can.

We went to Grandma and Grandpa’s for both Thanksgiving and a birthday party. Guess who was lined up first at the door? Yep, Indy was determined not to be left out of these gatherings. He got to the truck and turned around and just looked at me as if to say ‘Okay, I got this far, now you lift me up please.‘ Naturally I did. While at the gatherings, he got plenty of ear rubs and did his best to be sure that little baby faces were kept clean. Another job well done.

I really don’t know what’s ahead for my pal. He’s middle-aged, really at the time most boxers are at their peak of strength and endurance. I’m grateful for that, as I’m sure it’s serving Indy well. I’ll continue to offer Reiki to him every day, he clearly knows how and when it helps him and I love having the opportunity to offer it to him, more cuddle time for both of us.

We won’t eliminate playtime or walks. We will, of course, let Indy set the pace and the time frame. This smart boy clearly knows what he wants and what he can do, so I’ll just let him tell me.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to learn from Indiana. He’s happy! He wants to participate in family activities and he will. When he’s had enough he simply lies down and we are doing our best to be sure that his favorite spots are a bit extra fluffy and warm. Excellent life lessons for me. Enjoy everything I can and take a rest when I’m tired. Find a way to do what you want to do and don’t worry if it looks silly to anyone else. And oh yeah, don’t forget to be affectionate at every opportunity.

This week I hope you take the opportunity to enjoy every moment, make the most of what you have and expect the very best outcome. Most of all, be happy whenever possible.

Namste,

Sandy

Reiki and My Dog

Indiana is my steadfast companion. Not quite 5 years old, Indy is an excellent representative of the boxer breed. He’s beautiful fawn color, with a black ‘mask’. Big black eyes that are amazingly expressive. Sometimes I forget that Indy doesn’t actually talk to me. You see he always has something to say. He grunts, groans, snorts, whines and generally makes his feelings clear on just about any subject. Always up for a good wrestling game or long walk, Indy is just as happy to follow me from room to room and simply lay on the floor close to whatever I am doing. He’s loving, gentle, playful, sassy, chatty, obedient and smart and just a swell guy to have as my buddy.

Here’s the thing. I think there is something seriously wrong with my friend. A week ago I noticed him stumbling now and then coming down the stairs or even walking through the hallway. Now this is not completely unusual for a young boxer. They get excited or their attention wanders and sometimes it’s as though their feet almost get tangled. This is not what was happening. The next day I realized that his head was tilted, just as he does when I’m talking to him and he’s paying serious attention. Except now it’s that way all the time. With his lip drooping on one side the drooling is now constant; it was definitely time for a visit to the vet.

Our vet is amazing. Indy loves to go to the office and has to be reminded all of the time about his manners when he’s there. Everyone there gets lots of sloppy boxer kisses and hugs, in turn they seem to have an endless supply of doggy treats and always time for a good ear scratch. Dr. Stefanie was not able to diagnose what was going on with my buddy except for a mild case of doggy acne, easily treated with an antibiotic. She asked what his behavior was like and was very interested when I told her that Indy had been asking for more Reiki the last day or two. Dr. Stefanie had never heard of Reiki and was very curious. She was fascinated by the fact that Indy lets me now when he wants to receive it as well as when he is done. She also found it very curious that since this ailment had started just a few days prior, Indy has been asking for more Reiki and accepting for a longer period of time. While she didn’t totally understand it, she encouraged the continued practice.

Since then, Indy has also been to a vet internist and again no official diagnosis although again the veterinarian took the time to patiently and kindly remind me that boxers are very prone to cancer. The good news is that we don’t know that’s what is progressing.

As of today, only a short week after all of this has begun, I really don’t know what to expect. Indy is still asking for Reiki frequently, accepting it for longer periods of time than he had in the past. I hope that the energy is helping to heal whatever is afflicting him, it’s my belief that it is helping. He’s still ’tilted’ and continues to be show weakness on the right side, but he’s started to play again. I really missed that in the past week. We’re all up at the lake and yesterday Shadow, the neighbor dog came over. They started playing and running up and down the yard. Each went to the lake for a drink of water and when Indy shook his head he actually tipped right over into the muck, making him a candidate for a full bath before 10am. It was very funny! But the good news is that he got up and continued playing.

As a holistic life coach, one of the things I talk to my clients about all of the time is the fact that every aspect of our lives affects all others. This week has been a very real reminder of that for me. Not knowing what is happening with Indy has affected every person in my family, including my grown sons who no longer live with us. In many ways, Indy is continuing to teach me and to remind me of lessons already learned.

I will continue to offer Reiki to Indiana, he enjoys it and I believe it is helping him to heal on whatever level he is meant to be healed. It also offers me peace as I know that Reiki works on all levels, mind, body and spirit. Indy deserves all of that and more.

This has been a great reminder to me, to offer Reiki to all of those I care about, friends and family, two legged or four. I will also be making it clear to coaching and Reiki clients that there are very real benefits to our animal companions when they receive Reiki. And why not? They deserve the best we can offer them; they already offer us all of their love and devotion.

Wishing you a fabulous week, filled with love gratitude and a deep appreciation for the animals in our lives.

Namaste,
Sandy