Why Is My 1 Year Old Dog Sleeping So Much 7 Steps to Face Down Your Challenges

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7 Steps to Face Down Your Challenges

I call Missy my miracle dog.

 

The invitation came out of nowhere. On October 10th at 9:00 a.m., Missy, a rescue blonde cocker spaniel, lost the use of her back legs. Overnight, he went from Michael Jordan’s sport to paralyzed. We had 24 hours to decide if surgery was a viable option.

 

Missy is the kind of soul who takes three steps at a time. He ran where others walked. He jumped where others jumped. He lived in a car where he sat on top of the front console with a shotgun. His will and determination could rouse a sleeping adult to go downstairs in the middle of the night when he thought a treat was necessary.

 

Now we had 24 hours to perform a medical miracle with our girl Missy. We hoped the MRI would show a slipped disc that was easier to fix with a better chance of him walking again. The results showed damage for a while, he just had compensated in silence.

 

The medical team said the surgery may or may not restore his ability to walk. He is a fighter and we had to give him a chance to fight. On October 11, he was prepared for surgery. He survived the surgery well, but normal was still not allowed. Just a promise that there will be a new reality of normalcy.

 

From Missy and this recovery period, we have learned so much about facing our challenges. Maybe you too can learn to face your challenges:

 

Four months later, we’ve all learned. We have learned to be grateful for a canine neurosurgeon, physical therapist, oncologist, laser acupuncture, and water treadmill. I am most grateful for this dog with a heart, will and attitude made of steel.

 

1. Faces problems quickly

We had to decide quickly if surgery was a viable option. We gathered an expert opinion as quickly as possible and moved on. In some ways, we were fortunate that medical reality dictated a quick decision. The take-away lesson is that regardless of the challenge or situation, moving forward is always positive.

 

2. Let’s assume the best

If I could speak for Missy, I think she always thought the best. The day after surgery, he tried to walk. Even though he couldn’t walk without help, he just thought he could. The surgery has been followed by physical therapy, including laser acupuncture and hydrotherapy. Every two extra minutes he spends on the water treadmill I embrace like the first moon landing. While people roll their eyes at this story, I roll my eyes at their lack of faith. From the beginning, I assumed that if I gave him every advantage, the best would happen.

 

3. Listen to your inner voice

My voice and his inner voice did not always speak in harmony. My voice said, you can’t use your back legs, wait until I get a towel under your stomach. His voice said, I’m crawling where I need to go. My voice said, you need to be locked up until you get your legs back. His voice said, I can drag my hind legs to get where I want. Finally, I listened to OUR inner voice: a combination of my caution and his optimism.

 

4. Live your life according to your standards. . . mostly

We made three ramps for him because he couldn’t use the stairs in the early stages of his recovery. After he gets better at “jumping”, he chooses the stairs over the ramp. He claims he can do the stairs himself and if left unattended he will jump into the car. My job in life is to constantly change his expectations.

 

5. Adapt with aversion

As he progressed, he was allowed to negotiate the steps himself, on a leash, doing them one at a time. A big upgrade from not having to carry it up and down the stairs every day. After a few weeks, he seems to have accepted the terms. Even in his world, not all mountains are worth dying for.

 

6. Keep fighting

My daughter is a survivor. Since the first day after surgery, he has fought for every success. The neurosurgeon first told us that he might not walk again; he may not be able to control his bodily functions. He fought to not be limited, he fought to walk, he fought to take steps by himself, and he fights with me every day to have as normal a life as possible.

 

7.Accept the realities

This is a challenge for both of us. We see different realities. He sees where he was most of his life and asks why not? I think about where he was on October 10th and I think never again. So my reality gives him a little more freedom each day and his reality gives him less freedom than before 10/10 and more freedom that I ever dreamed he would have.

 

After his surgery, I was amazed at people’s wonder that I gave a 12-year-old dog this surgery, this therapy, the best medicine mind and hand. I knew I had to give him every opportunity to recognize that I could afford. And she has given me back my old Missy, almost, and a new belief that anything is possible.

 

Special thanks to Moshe, Metropolitan Vet Hospital, Dr. Axlund, and Dancing Paws Animal Wellness.

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