Our day begins in October of 2005. It was a lovely fall morning of running and playing at the local Junior High school football field. By the end of that walk, a new journey would begin. This journey would take time, love, patience, and a true belief in another human being with an incredible ability to heal.
Biz is my 5-year-old Schipperke. He is a playful Zen dog with a lighthearted approach to the world so when he wanted to just sit all day and not engage in his favorite games with my husband Jeff we knew there was something wrong. Since he did not seem to be getting better I decided to take Biz to the vet. It was three days after his fateful play day at the football field. He preferred not to walk and when he did it was very slow. He kept jerking his head around to look at his back and was licking his front paws constantly. I really didn’t know what to make of it since, normally; he was such a healthy pup.
Our veterinarian had him walk back and forth in front of her and tested his reflexes. The reflex reaction was a bit slow so he had x-rays taken and luckily nothing was broken. We were told that soft tissue injuries to the back don’t show up on film so to give him a week of rest and see where we stood. That week only ended up being four days. I couldn’t stand to see him getting worse and in so much pain. We went back to our vet and she gave Biz Rimadyl and sent us on our way. We returned home and I hit the internet looking for answers and to find out what the heck Rimadyl was. I went this route with him for about two weeks. We seemed to be making some progress so off the drugs he went. Two days later he was in pain again and not walking around. I called the vet and in we went to get yet another drug that might help manage his pain better. I felt odd giving him drugs that didn’t seem to be helping and just masked the pain. I started to look at this like you would a human injury and inquired about sending him to water or physical therapy. The vet seemed thrilled I brought it up. I was given Cindy’s name and her number. Again, I went home wondering if Biz would ever be the dog he once was. I went back to the internet to check out Cindy at La Paw Spa. Luckily she had a great website and lots of information. Great inspirational stories and a world of hope right there for me to read. “This could be it,” I thought to myself.
I picked up the phone and a very sweet voice came over the voice mail and asked me to leave a message, so I did. Giving a brief description of Biz’s situation and leaving my number, with I’m sure a bit of distress in my voice, I waited for a return call. It came shortly after I had called but I was away so Cindy left me a message expressing just how excited she was to be able to help Biz and she was looking forward to talking with me. When we connected a little later that day she explained how everything worked, found out about Biz and his “football” injury and scheduled his first appointment. I explained to her that Biz was a bit shy and did not know how to swim. That didn’t deter Cindy one bit. I remember her saying something like, “I will teach him how to swim later but he has to know that he can trust me so he won’t be on his own to swim until he is comfortable and ready.” That put my mind and heart at ease. We were ready to start this healing process.
Biz and I showed up about fifteen minutes early and checked out the outside premises. Cindy finished up with her client and it was our turn. As we entered I became more comfortable. Cindy was talking, smiling and greeting us with the warmth that she does to this day and before I knew it Biz was in her arms and in the water. He didn’t struggle or make a scene he just went in; this was no vet visit. I guess he sized Cindy up faster than I did and was perfectly fine with what was going on – smart guy.
The first session went well and I was so happy someone truly wanted to make a difference and had the ability to see our pain (emotional and physical) and was there for both Biz and me. Cindy set up a session schedule with us. We were there a couple of times a week for the first month. It was incredibly therapeutic for me as well as Biz. We were making progress and nothing seemed better than that. The strides he was making were amazing. He was sleeping and walking comfortably after about 4 sessions. Since Biz was making good progress after the first month, Cindy cut his appointments back to once a week for a month and then once every other week after that.
In February of 2006 Cindy mentioned that acupuncture might help in combination with the water therapy. She gave me the name of a wonderful holistic veterinarian at The Animal Healing Center in Redmond; Dr Siegler. Biz went to him five times. He was put on Chinese herbs and kept going to water therapy on the weeks he was not going to acupuncture. This process enabled him to relax and heal between sessions. Once his acupuncture was completed and he finished off his herbs he went to water therapy only. This occurred every other week. During this time I decided to learn more about Biz’s food; this lead me back to the internet.
Once you decide to take a holistic approach to heal you need to educate yourself on every front. Food seemed like the next best thing to tackle. I learned very quickly that all food is not created equal; there were a lot of options. What did that mean? More fact finding; this is just what I did. I changed Biz’s food which has made a substantial difference in his body. His muscles stopped holding toxins and his energy was getting better and better.
It came to be July of 2006 and Biz was doing great! Jeff and I had an opportunity to get another Schipperke and this seemed the perfect time to introduce Olive into our family. Needless to say, Biz was thrilled to have a twelve-week-old sister to run around with. He has no trouble keeping up with Olive. She can be a handful and he just rolls (literally) with the punches. He and his sister see Cindy together now, Biz to get massage and swim and Olive to be our jumping off the side of the pool entertainment. For the last year and seven months we have visited Cindy for therapy once a month. Biz (and Olive) will be taking the spring and summer months off this year and then we will be back in the fall and winter to keep his muscles moving freely during the coldest time of the year.
I feel our journey has come full circle. As strange as this sounds, without Biz’s injury our family would not have the knowledge we have and would not have expanded our world so greatly. Cindy was and is instrumental in our journey and we are forever grateful to her for her vast knowledge and healing spirit.