One of my most rewarding acupuncture patients is Dobby, a middle-aged Doberman mix. She has long-term neck pain, possibly lifelong. Her discomfort can manifest in different ways, with a curved back, limping on a front leg, or licking at a spot on a front leg. When she comes into Riverbend, she will stand still, waiting for me to position myself on the floor so that she can lie down with her head on my legs and keep her spine straight.
Dobby doesn’t easily get down but suddenly crumples, bending as little as possible. Then she presses herself into me. She doesn’t flinch as I gently place the needles, finding the knots and tense areas, “circling the dragon” of the inflamed areas. As she relaxes, her lips curve up into a smile.
Although acupuncture often takes a few treatments, she walked out of the first one straighter than when she walked in. Her owners and I are figuring out a good maintenance schedule for her now. Each time I see Dobby, I feel both heartbroken for this sweet, fragile girl and healed by her warm, loving nature, so open despite her pain. It is such a privilege to participate in her care.