I gave an interview for a magazine last week and the writer asked me what my success rate is, I told her it depended on the care givers commitment. This story illustrates what can happen when you give your heart and soul to a troubled dog. Jesse’s story would have had a very sad ending had it not been for Tammy and Amanda. This story shows that love can conquer all!
Jesse was a 3 year old Sheltie when he went into rescue. He had lived outside for most of his short life in good weather and very bad. He was a barker and from what he told me he was a fence runner, when he wasn’t chasing his tail. He had very little contact with people, except for barking at them and chasing them down the fence line. All he had known of people was being yelled at by the neighbors and shaken by his owner and told to shut up. He was almost feral. He didn’t trust people and was aggressive in all departments of his life. It was how he survived.
I received a call from Tammy, who is one of the most wonderful animal lovers I have ever met, about a new Sheltie she was fostering. Tammy‘s family at the time had a family of two Shelties, a Border Collie and two cats. She said it was urgent, a matter of life and death. I told her I would be at her house the following day. I had no idea of what I would find or what I could do to help.
It was early in the evening when I arrived at Tammy’s house. Tammy and her daughter Amanda greeted me at the door. The first thing I noticed was that they were covered in scratches. I thought that they had been out picking berries or hiking thru briers. They saw me looking at their arms and legs and looked towards the basement. In the back ground I heard hysterical barking coming from the basement with huge thuds against the door. That entire racket was the new rescue throwing his body against the door while barking his head off. Jesse had to be separated from the rest of the family. He had tried to attack the other animals. He couldn’t be trusted. He honestly wanted to kill the cats.
Amanda got the leash and slid through the basement doorway. I heard her yell, “Okay?” Tammy looked me in the eye and said, “Are you ready?” I nodded my head. Amanda had Jesse and he was jumping all over her. He was totally out of control grabbing at the leash with his mouth. I could see that the leash was making his anxiety worse. I told Amanda to set him free. “Are you sure?” she said, surveying the scratches on her legs.
As soon as Jesse was released, he started running in circles jumping all over Amanda and Tammy, adding new scratches on their legs and arms. They yelled at him “NO” and “DOWN” but Jesse continued his rampage without interruption. He didn’t even notice me.
The first thing I felt from Jesse was that he couldn’t focus. He was in a serious transition that he didn’t understand. He had no socialization skills and didn’t know about manners. He was wild and when they said “NO” it made him wilder.
They shared with me that two animal behaviorists thought he was too damaged and that he was potentially dangerous. They suggested that Jesse should be euthanized. Jesse had lucked out. Tammy and her family were willing to help him however they could. He would then go to a forever home where he would live the rest of his life as a good boy. If it was possible they were willing to give him the chance.
We moved down the basement stairs. It was clear he was a Tasmanian devil, he had been miss labeled as a sheltie. I quietly sat in a chair and asked them to bring Jesse to me. I wanted to lay my hands on him and offer him Reiki to see if I could calm him. As they brought him over to me he first hiked his leg on a table and marked the spot. Once at my feet he looked up at me and gave me a snarl. I looked away from him and told him I was there to help him. I could clearly see it was a matter of life and death.
I asked Tammy and Amanda to hold him while I scanned his I scanned his body for imbalances. I tried giving him Reiki and he wanted no part of peace and calm. I knew I would have to be firm and deliberate. I had to find where his body was hurting and fix him fast.
His entire skull was out of balance, his eyes spun in his head as I used my gentle touch to relieve the tension. His neck was very tight his shoulders were grisly. I could feel the poor boy was suffering from a massive headache. As I worked Jesse struggled to get free. He was unsure of what was happening and his defense had always been to snarl run away from people. As I worked on him I felt his energy start to shift.
As I was worked my way down his body I found his spine and ribs were equally out of balance and very tender. This poor creature was in so much pain he was uncomfortable in every area of his body. How could he be a good boy? He was suffering from a life of abuse and misunderstanding.
As I was carefully releasing the tension in his tender body, I started to talk to him. The first think I asked is “Why does NO get you all wound up?” He showed me a picture of a man holding him by the scruff of the neck yelling, “NO!” in his face while shaking him. I told him that some of the people who had been asked to help him had suggested that it may be better for him to be euthanized, because they thought he couldn’t be trusted. I asked him if that was what he what he wanted. He got very quiet. His busy body with all the thrashing went still. I heard his voice say, “I want to live.”
I told him that he would have to make some very big changes. He said he would try. I then asked Amanda who had been holding him to let him go. She looked me in the eyes once again and released him. Jesse didn’t move. He laid there at my feet. He was quiet and calm, I reached down and touched him on the top of his head and he leaned against my hand.
Now was the time to create a solid plan if we were going to save Jesse’s life. The first thing we had to do was never use the word no. I suggested a simple ANH. I had Amanda call him. He leapt off the floor and ran at her, leaping up and running his nails down her legs. I had her yell, ANH! He stopped immediately and walked away. He then ran at Tammy, she told him ANH and once again he stopped and walked away. He was already becoming a different dog, right before our eyes. He was willing to work with us. It was a very exciting moment, one I will never forget.
Tammy’s Home Work
I showed Tammy and Amanda where they could lightly massage Jesse to ease his tight nervous tension. All his physical pain was fueling his terrible anxiety. He would need to be massaged every other day.
Jesse needed to have his skull, neck, shoulders and hips lightly massaged using slow circling patterns. I taught them the CinergE energetic massage progression. I knew all of their animals would benefit from the work. They would also be in transition while Jesse learned to be a pet.
They were to never use the word NO. Jesse was to be rewarded for every single act of goodness no matter how small. Jesse would work with a dog trainer to develop good dog manners.
I left the house cautiously optimistic. Jesse had really calmed down while I was there. I knew it was up to Tammy and her family. If anyone could help them I knew they could.
ONE WEEK LATER
When I returned to Tammy and Amanda’s home the following week, I could feel the shift of energy as soon as they greeted me at the door. Their scratches were healing and it was quiet behind the basement door. They had been doing all their homework and were excited for me to see Jesse. As we went down the stairs I could see a marked improvement in Jesse. His focus had greatly improved. He was calmer and you could see that he was a very happy dog. He was no longer a wild dog.
I went and sat in the same chair as the last time I visited. I called Jesse and he ran over and lay down at my feet. I was able to give him a treatment without any help. He was very thankful and kept saying “I’m trying.” I told him it was plain to see and told him that he was a very good boy and how proud of him we all were. Jesse sat up straight with a big smile on his face; he was very a proud dog.
This story started 12 years ago. Jesse failed as a foster dog and became a member of Tammy’s family. He is a happy loved old dog who has had an amazing life. He is now retired from doing agility. He is a valued member of the family.
Tammy and Amanda saved his life by loving him and doing their homework. They trusted their intuition that Jesse was really a good boy under all that pain and anxiety. I love a happy ending.