A suspicious ‘woof’ greeted me as I hopped out of the van, and a long, low, droopy-eared form came carefully out of the door. “That’s a good sign,” I thought to myself, as I could see that she was moving so, so much more happily than the last time I’d been to visit her. The old girl has had neck troubles, but no ordinary neck troubles, several times now. A bulging disc, this time so horribly painful that she had to be carried in and out of the house on her bed to go to the toilet. I thought back to when I last saw her – she had been ever so carefully lifted onto the couch for me to work on her. She had been lame in one front leg for a couple of days, and now couldn’t even get up, let alone walk.
As always, I had to take it very gently and easily with her (she has severe post-traumatic stress disorder, as her first owner mistreated her most awfully). She was tense, her face tight as a drum, worried eyes wide and staring, cranked around as far as they could in her eye sockets to see what I was going to do to her. She could hardly turn her head at all. I rested my hand on her sacrum, to begin, holding space, listening quietly to her body. At first she tensed up a little more (which surprised me, I though she was already wound as tight as was possible to be) – but after a few minutes I could see subtle signs that she was relaxing, just a little. Her breath eased ever so slightly, and she stopped trying to look at me.
I then very gently palpated along her spine. When I got to low in her neck, the very slightest touch set off a severe reactive twitching in the muscles, and she tensed all over, giving me a look of fear and agony out of the corner of her eye. I stayed connected, gently, and again she slowly relaxed. She was so painful I could only work with a feather touch, easing the pain and tension away mostly with healing energy rather than working physically. Incrementally, she relaxed more and more – eventually she allowed her head to rest on the couch, and took a deep sighing breath.
I moved back to her sacrum- gently mobilising, opening up the flow between sacrum and cranium, helping her body rebalance. I noticed a hard, crusty spot off to one side. It turned out she had a nasty little spot! And this was the cause of all her problems – it was painful, in a hard to reach spot, she’d been trying to lick and chew at it, and as a result re-injured her neck.
I went inside, and watched her come in over the steps, face relaxed and happy, tail gently flagging. Her face was relaxed, and she looked so much happier.
“Today’s the first time we’ve let her come up the steps by herself since she hurt her neck again,” her mum told me.
“Yes, she’s hardly got a limp, has she?” I replied. “It’s wonderful to see her looking so much better.”
“Oh yes, we were terribly worried about her!”
The old dog was helped onto the couch, and I worked on her back and neck again. Still stiff and restricted, but a vast improvement. She very quickly relaxed into a deep, deep trance. The hot spot was all healed up, hair growing back in nicely.
While I worked we discussed her other problems – she has a large lump on her back leg that needs to be removed. In fact, this was scheduled to happen about 3 days after she hurt her neck, so it had been delayed a couple of weeks. Now, she was fine to go ahead and have this done. I dispensed some ear drops, chatted about life for a few quiet minutes, then had to make my way home. Of course, as soon as I picked up my bag, I was growled at. She has a thing about bags, that dog!