By Anni Dahms
Owner of the retail chain
ANNI’s VITAL SHOP.
Nurse- & Health
specialist, Biopath and Nutritional Adviser.
”If you want a friend – get a dog”
These words came from Michael Douglas, when he performed in the movie Wall Street back in 1987.
Harsh words perhaps, but with good reason, considering that dogs are known as man’s best friend.
I have two dogs, whom I love very much and consider to be “friends for life”.
Just as the clock issues the first alarm call at 6:00, two happy dogs lay their heads at the edge of my bedside, tails whipping merrily, and they announce very specifically that it is time for their morning walk.
Still a little drowsy, I swing my legs out of the bed. Splash cold water on my face and put on my “morning uniform” for these daily walks.
Both my dogs come from the street. Bobby is one of them and he’s been with me for about 11 years. It came as a puppy, and looked like a black, curly teddy bear and with a heart of gold.
The other is called Pixie. She chose me around 3 months ago. She looks like a beautiful hyena, with an underbite, beautiful eyes and a good mind.
About 7 months have now passed since I lost my beloved and highly intelligent poodle Sylvia. To my great sorrow. She gave up quietly after a long illness. She had a good and dignified life despite her illness.
Bobby recovered quickly following her death, and enjoyed life as a sole ruler. Throughout the years, he had been oppressed by the little princess we called Sylvia. Now he was free to do whatever he pleased, without being snarled or snapped at.
One of my co-workers at the shop looks after homeless dogs in her free time. Sometimes she takes them into her own home. Here she mentally prepares them, so that they are ready for a new home. In this way, Pixies path became intertwined with mine. My co-worker had previously shown me a photo of Pixie and asked if I was interested. This idea was shot down. One dog was enough for me, and I thought that Pixie was ugly with her underbite and odd fur.
Fate had other plans
One evening the doorbell rang. My neighbour stood there holding a puppy in her arms, and asked if it was my dog they had found in the garden. I answered no, kindly but firmly, and was ready to close the door when the wife broke down sobbing. She could not grasp what she should do with it. I took the puppy and told her I’d take care of it. I called my co-worker in my distress. She came, bringing along her dogs and the foster dog Pixie. We agreed what we should do with the little puppy the next day. Then she went home again, but Pixie had already decided that it wanted to live in my house. As they left, my co-worker had to pull Pixie with her.
The story of the little puppy had a happy ending. A couple of hours later, that same evening, the doorbell rang. Two distraught “parents” stood there asking if we had seen their little puppy, who had found a way out under the fence. They were ecstatic when I handed them their little ball of fur.
This was my first meeting with Pixie. That following day, my co-worker came by my house again. She had Pixie with her, because the dog still wasn’t able to be alone. The story repeated itself. Pixie looked around the house and garden, and decidedly refused to leave. Fantasy or not – she had been shown the house in a dream. Could it be my old, dear and intelligent dog Sylvia who has sent her… I will never get an answer to that. Nor does it really matter. Pixie moved in that same day and became a part of the family.
Pixie is a female, around 3 years old and has already had a litter of puppies before coming to me. Unfortunately, Bobby was deeply disturbed and could in no way find his new role with Pixie in the house. Bobby over-saw her, turned his back on her, ignored her and didn’t know what to do with the matter.
Which role should he have in relation to her, when Pixie took his bed, bones, etc. I observed them and was certain that it would sort itself out. It did, but in a most unexpected and harsh way.
Bobby’s illness and cure
Out of the blue, Bobby fell very ill.
I had a habit that on Sundays I had a day off from our daily morning walk. Bobby would have to manage in the garden.
One Sunday, where lunch was being enjoyed on the terrace, while Bobby relaxed in the sun as usual. I wondered why Bobby didn’t follow me into the kitchen for a treat.
I walked back to discover a very sick Bobby. He was almost unconscious and apparently in a lot of pain.
We got a hold of a wonderful veterinarian who said that she would go straight to her clinic.
Bobby was examined, emptied for a litre of urine and given a drip. His condition continued.
The vet was worried, and announced that she would overnight in the clinic with him.
For a moment I pondered, wondering if the same could occur in the human world. It could perhaps be a revolution in the medical sector, if patients suddenly were placed at the top of the hierarchy.
Bobby was discharged two days of surveillance and after a lot of check-ups. There was inflammation in his lower vertebrae, and that there was no cartilage left between the lower vertebrae.
He was still very unwell, lethargic and was having trouble walking.
He was prescribed a load of medicine, and imposed that he only walk a little, no long trips and no stairs – but that was obvious. He was simply too weak and lethargic. Bobby had a hard time with all the medicine. Often, I was in contact with the veterinarian while we adjusted the dose, sometimes without any particular effect. Although I have no knowledge of dog medicine, I would see that I had to take a chance and combine allopathic medicine with complementary medication. He whined whenever he had to stand up, and he walked very slowly and painfully. It was hard to watch.
Slowly, and with consultation from the vet, I weaned him off his pee pills. Removed the anti-inflammatory medicine which gave him nausea, vomiting as well as absence of appetite. The only medicine I followed were his antibiotics. These I didn’t dare to meddle with.
The psychological aspect
I contacted my friend who speaks with animals, and asked what it all was about. She had a little chat with Bobby, who had not been able to find his new role since Pixies arrival. Whether he was beneath her as he had been with Sylvia. He was very upset.
I was relieved to hear this. I let him know straight away that he was the top dog now.
I removed Pixie from his sleeping places. She had some good sleeping places herself. Kindly, but firmly, she was told which sleeping places were hers. That she was still loved but was number two in the dog hierarchy. Pixie respects this now. Bobby is fed first, just as he comes first in line, etc. Slowly and surely Bobby progressed. Now after about 3 months, he is behaving like a young dog again. Enjoying his walks, racing up and down the stairs. Playing and chasing the ball on the lawn. Sitting beautifully and jumping up to me. Just like when he was young. The relationship between Bobby and Pixie has improved. They know each others roles, both Pixie and Bobby are fine with it.
This is a success story to which I am deeply grateful. No one knows how long he has left.
He is an elderly sir, so every good day is a gift.
Our pets bring forth both joy and sorrow. They are able to bring a smile to our lips, and to open our hearts and minds. Something I experience daily on my walks with Bobby and Pixie.
I believe that happiness is important. For every drop of joy you bring forth, an ocean of negativity is destroyed.