Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Circle of Healing

Casey is my parent's dog and he lives downstairs in our house. My boy is a six-and-a-half year old Australian Shepherd Border Collie cross who was born at a local shelter. Kyanite was named after the stone that brings balance into one's life. He's very good at keeping my energy up when it's low, and calming me when it's too high.  I've known him since he was a week old. One of nine pups, he was born with a twisted spine. At first we all thought crooked running was an optical illusion because of his markings.
Other issues presented themselves so he went to see Dr. Langdon, and has been going for the last five years.  She helps keep him straight.

It was because of Ky's experiences that we thought we could  help Casey heal.  He started with Dr. Langdon then moved onto Pawsability, then Canine Wellness.

A few weeks ago, during one of his usual chiropractic sessions, Dr. Langdon noticed a problem with Ky's knees.  She recommended swimming.  It was still cold down in the lake at that point so we dragged him up to Canine Wellness when Casey went for his weekly swim.  Casey thought it was a lot of fun to race around the center and show Ky all the cool things in there. When it came time to swimming though, he was distracted as they went their separate ways - Casey to the pool and Ky to the rehab part of the center.

Tania assessed Ky's knees and thighs.  I had forgotten about an old injury he suffered when he was about a year old.  A clothesline had cut right into the muscles on his inner thigh when he got tangled with another dog. It was a deep cut and caused him a lot of pain for some time. As it healed, I forgot about it.  A lot has happened over the intervening years.  One thing that lingered was Ky's inability to lie his leg flat when he lay down.

While his chiropractic issues are the realm of Dr. Langdon, Tania gave us some good exercises to help relax the muscles.  She also showed me how to massage that area to loosen it up.  Then we tried the wobble board.  None of us had great balance but it didn't faze Ky. He went back up.  The more we worked with him,  the more apparent it became that chiropractic and massage go hand in hand. Both trained professionals told me the same thing about his issues, from slightly different perspectives. I know from my own body that a chiropractic adjustment lasts longer if I schedule a massage for the next day.  That way the muscles are more relaxed and not trying to pull the spine back out of alignment.

Ky came home with a sheet of instructions as well as a second suggestion to swim him.  Because of the lake's temperature, he needs to be warmed up then cooled off after a swim. A fifteen to twenty minute walk before and after would do the trick. How convenient that's about the time it takes us to walk down to the lake.

Yesterday, was our first real attempt at swimming. Ky has never particularly enjoyed the sensation of the ground going out from under him. He likes all four paws firmly planted on the earth. It can be wet, squishy earth but swim?

It was a rousing success. I took his favourite green ball, which floats, and off we went. He sniffed the painted turtle along the side of the road, barked at the swan and dove right in after his ball. Repeatedly. Most of the time, he'd bring it back for me to throw out there again. 
A few times he came out of the lake at a distance from me then spit the ball in my direction. I had him on a 40 foot lead so that he couldn't get spooked and run out onto the road.  There's a fair amount of traffic along that lake.  He did raise his head as the man fishing on the other side of the road came back to this car.

But more than anything, he kept going back into the lake. Over and over, he swam.
Walking back home, then massaging his thigh, I couldn't help but think how the dogs' healing had come full circle. Ky went to a chiropractor which helped Casey. The chiropractor recommended Pawsability for Casey which in turn led to Canine Wellness. Casey's appointments led to Ky's swimming and now I have two dogs in therapy helping each other heal.


  1. I love those shots of Ky in the water. He is so beautiful. I hope that the therapy goes well. He's welcome to visit G-Pup any time. You can come, too. :-D

  2. He is my beautiful boy. And I can't stress enough how much of his mobility he owes to Dr. Langdon. She takes good care of him.

    And I know he'd love to come play with your G-pup, Elen. We'll have to book a visit soon.

  3. Ky is such a beautiful boy. Right now, I'd love nothing better than a few of his expected, sneak kisses and to just sit and rub his belly and ears all afternoon. Milo could sit beside me too, and I'd give him as many ear scratches as he'd like.

    I'm so glad that there are things near you that help heal and keep your puppies well!