Updated: Apr 6, 2018
I love the tradition of giving thanks at this time of year. There is one being in my life that I would like to give a special thank you to this November. She has been a very special teacher to me in the one year I have known her. She is our dog, Mabel, whom we adopted last year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Mabel was found on an on-ramp to a freeway and was very sick. She settled into our family very quickly and soon put on weight. She has demonstrated unconditional love in a deeper way than anybody else in our family and she definitely forgives way more quickly and completely. Although she does get a little stubborn on her walks when she realizes we have turned around and are heading back home!
I have noticed that she will come outside and greet my clients, but only the ones that are comfortable with dogs. Sometimes she has come into my office when my clients needed a little extra comfort and reassurance. It always amazes me how in tune she is to what is happening in my office. I will often see her walk past the door to my office when the energy is cooking or sometimes she will sit down outside my office door and provide a little extra grounding.
Recently she started limping, something that she has done on and off over the year we've had her, and it has always cleared up after a few days. This time it did not, and we asked the vet to check her out. We got some very sad news that she has a cancerous tumor in her shoulder bone. The vet offered some heroic treatment options as well as the "keep her comfortable and out of pain" option.
We had some hard conversations and sharing of our emotions as a family as we discussed the choices in front of us. We all knew that she had had a hard life before she came to us and felt that we did not want to put her through painful treatments with no guaranteed outcome. She loves her life right now and we have found a medication that is taking care of her pain. We are feeling good about our choice and it has helped us to live more in the present moment with her and to really enjoy the time we have left.
One interesting challenge has been how people react to Mabel when we take her out for her walk. It reminds me of when my children were toddlers and random people would make judgments and hand out unsolicited advice to me! The same is happening now when we are out and about with a limping dog! I am seeing it as a great opportunity for me to practice equanimity.
Mabel is also challenging my ego by refusing to be treated by me! She is very clear that she does not want me to treat her shoulder or for any of my very skilled friends to treat her. Honoring the person's or animal's inner wisdom is one of foundations of CranioSacral Therapy. So as hard as it is for me, I am listening to what she is letting me know. It seems like she is letting me know that this is her exit path and she does not want me to interfere.
I am so grateful for Mabel's love and the many ways that she has helped me and my family grow.
Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving.