Canine Crisis, Chapter 2

Chapter 2’s “Gavin look” morphs from Chapter 1. The second edition is wide, expressionless eyes with pursed smile. It says, “I’m placating you. Now stop talking and leave.”

Google shows three canine acupuncturists serving Manhattan. That such specialists exist surprised me, but then, that there were only three in NYC also surprised me.

One of them kindly arrived 24 hours after I called.

“Oh, you have kids?” were her first words as Ellison and Colton screamed, running by the door. She was not delighted.

Gavin look. “Hm-hmm,” I responded.

Off to a great start.

She was a driven, direct type who puts non-New Yorkers ill at ease. My partner fled her demeanor by volunteering to play with the kids.

Immediately she quizzed me.“Do you have a PT routine for Maddie?”

Gavin look. “Hm-hmm,” I nodded.

“How many times a day?”

“Um…” I tried to sugar coat. “I help her stand and take her outside to pee.”

She inserted needles into Maddie’s rump, legs and toes. Maddie didn’t react. After all, her nerves weren’t working.

“Hm.” She was appalled. “Madison could get better. But it takes time and dedication.”

On cue, Ellison and Colton came running down the hallway. Colton tripped, fell and #tearlesscried. Ellison asked, “Daddy, why is Colton crying?”

The acupuncturist pursed her lips as she attached electrodes to each needle and illuminated her “stim” machine.

Maddie’s legs twitched…and she fell asleep.

“So as I was saying, she needs hourly stimulation. You need to pinch her toes and tail. Literally pinch them. You’re getting her neurons to re-connect. Do it at least once an hour.”

Gavin look. “Hm-hmmm.”

Cue Ellison screaming in his bedroom, “I DON’T WANT TO CHANGE MY POOPY DIAPER!” Colton #tearlesscried as my partner wrestled Ellison. I smiled, ignoring the chaos.

“This is good. See the twitching?” (I certainly saw the acupuncturist eye twitching with disdain for my kids.) “This shows promise. But it takes work, and…”

I smiled at her. “Yes. The dog’s my number one priority.”

She did not smile back.

She her dyed red hair and removed needles. “The most important thing is constant attention. She should get better. But the kids…”

“Yeah. We can try.”

She smiled, patronizingly.

As she packed up, she added, “And of course weekly acupuncture. Perhaps twice a week?”

Insert Gavin look. “Hm-hmm. We’ll be in touch.”

I didn’t program her number into my phone.

Don’t misunderstand. I love my dog and want her better. The recommendations were constructive, but she had zero consideration for our reality. She was no zen, compassionate, calming acupuncturist. She was a corporate titan masquerading as a healer.

Post- acupuncture, Maddie seemed the same. I pinched her toes and tail as frequently as possible. Like four times a day.

Two days later, my partner’s parents called to say, “The 5:00 Hartford news reported “Wizard of Paws” is a canine rehab clinic in rural Eastern Connecticut. The owner used to work with the New York Ballet and the San Diego Chargers and then chucked it for dog rehab!”

I emailed the owner and said, “Here’s the deal: my partner’s traveling for two weeks, I’m saddled with two toddlers. Madison most needs therapy immediately. Could we leave our dog with you for the next week?”

She responded, “I usually don’t board dogs, but why not? She can hang in the office, get a couple of laser treatments and hydrotherapy, and then I’ll take her to my house at night to hang with my kids.”

A doggy saint.

But insert original “Gavin look.”

How much is THAT going to cost?

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