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Dealing with Dread

May 4, 2015 7 Comments

On the Office Floor

On the Office Floor

Fear has many aspects. Reasonable fear keeps us safe and alert to danger around us. We must learn to strike a balance between risking too much and avoiding life to stay safe. Frightening situations call on the adrenal glands to kick in the fuel needed to either fight or flight. If we tax those little glands too much with our lifestyle choices they can become depleted and add to an over all loss of well being. Some people face danger in their professions, but the rest of us can generally avoid it. Strong healthy bodies with well nourished nervous systems can endure some stress and fear without harm. In reasonable doses we can handle scary aspects of existence.

Dread is quite another matter. I am under a dark cloud of dread now because my darling dog is having end of life issues. She is 12 years old, so this is not a big surprise. Her kidneys are failing in slow motion. She has been to her vet for antibiotics frequently in the last 6 months because she has a recurring infection in her urinary tract.  She has been able to recover from these bouts, but not come back to the same level of health.  She has less ability to find comfort and move with ease.  She no longer jumps up on our bed, and has difficulty jumping into my car.  The thrill of riding has been replaced by a fear of getting into the back seat.  Since she can’t tell us in words about her level of pain I am wondering.

We cared for my mother at the end of her life.  That was a tough time in terms of patience and  understanding.  It was similar in that we knew she was at the end of her life, but had no idea how long the end might take.  Now that Artemisia the magical huntress will soon go to join her grandma I remember how difficult it was to wait and wonder when death would come.  Dread is not depression, and it is not regular fear.  It is a test.  For an unknown time it is necessary to walk the tightrope between sorrow and acceptance.  The inability to control or stop events in progress is a hard pill to swallow.  It is bittersweet.  This lovely dog has brought much joy to the world which will remain with us after she leaves.

Canine Massage

April 12, 2013 2 Comments


My dog Artemisia had her first canine massage yesterday. I met Beth Jacobson, CVT ( certified veterinary technician and CCMT (certified canine massage therapist) at the U of A hospital wellness clinic. I really enjoyed the work she did on my body, so when I noticed she had this special skill I booked an appointment for my dog. If you live in Tucson you can arrange for a session with Beth for your dog, bjacobson10@cox.net. Artemisia highly recommends her services.

Meesie elected to take her treatment on the big parents’ bed, jumping right up. I left them alone for almost an hour before I checked in and took these pictures. This red bone coon hound was in heaven. She held on to a very snappy happy mood, although she did take an epic nap right after her massage. Her movement seems a little easier today. She is a loyal client, even if she does not get a big spa allowance. I am sure she will have a chance to do this again. It is healthy for her body, and she obviously loves the experience. Compared to a vet visit, which she does not enjoy at all, this is a very reasonable expense.

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