Saturday, July 21, 2012

Actually, LOVE is the best medicine

Last Friday, while we were hanging out in the Community Garden, Tinky-Winky started walking funny. I didn't see what happened. In fact, at first I thought I was imagining it, until somebody else noticed it too. Then I thought maybe the heat was getting to her.

But then, it was getting worse, so she couldn't even walk around the school for her bathroom breaks. And she was holding her head funny. So I thought maybe she had a pinched nerve. Then I thought, what if she had a stroke? But I dismissed this theory on the grounds that I'm paranoid because she's my littly-wittly-kins and I'm always worried that she's going to die.

Monday morning, however, as I carried her into the elevator, a neighbour asked me why I had been carrying her for days. So I says "I think she has a pinched nerve" and he says "what if she had a stroke?"


An impartial observer thinks she had a stroke! Oh no! She had a stroke! She's going to die! The horror! The horror!

Well. We'll see about that.

Of course the V-E-T is not here and won't be here until the 27th, but I have a trick up my sleeve. I made Tinky-Winky lie down with me, and held her close for a couple of hours, until I had to work. Then in the evening I did the same, and the next day. Immediately, there was a marked improvement, whereas previously she had been declining. By Thursday, she was able to trot and to jump up to lick my nose when I come home.

Now you might think it's a coincidence, or a superstition, but it's not. I tried it before when she had hemorrhagic gastritis, and since then I have read the real medical reason why it works. I'm Tinky-Winky's major attachment figure, and dogs are much more attached to their people than people are ever attached to anyone. Engaging in any attachment behaviour releases oxytocin, which is a strong pain-killer. And the best attachment behaviour is physical contact. So, by holding her close to me for several hours, I know that I'm giving her a very effective way to deal with the pain of whatever it was. And as the pain lessened, she was able to move more, which helped restore function that was impaired, whether the impairment was due to a stroke or a pinched nerve or a pulled muscle or any of the other theories that were proposed.

This morning, for the first time since last Friday, when we got to the Community Garden she went off running. I watched how she ran and there is still something funny about it, but she's running, she's smiling, she seems free of pain, and she's NOT DEAD. Praise be to God, the Compassionate, the Merciful! And also, thanks to Dr. Gabor Mate, who wrote the book in which I read about this oxytocin deal.


Megan said...

Yikes. I hope things continue to improve.

Mongoose said...

So far, so good. Her attitude is certainly back to normal...