Nicki contacted me in mid-April about talking to her dog, Bobby (also known as Coyote Bob) — a beautiful Sheltie. I’d talked to Bobby and Nicki’s other animals (including the domestic rabbits she rescues) several times in the past. This time, however, the purposed of the conversation was much different.
Bobby had been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer in early April. The vet felt Bobby would only have a few months to live. Nicki wanted Bobby to be as comfortable as possible for whatever time he had left, but she was concerned that Bobby was in pain.
When we talked to Bobby, he felt like a very, very sick dog to me. Bobby did not show me that he was in pain, but he did feel significant pressure in the area of his liver that was very uncomfortable. Bobby was also experiencing vomiting, poor appetite and panting at night and during the day. Bobby showed me that his energy level was low as well and his body felt extremely thin to me. Nicki confirmed that the physical symptoms Bobby had showed me were what she had observed.
Bobby showed me that the day time panting was often due to feeling overheated — even in an air conditioned house. It felt to me that this was related to his disease process.
But it was the panting at night that Nicki was most concerned about, since she felt Bobby was in pain. When I asked Bobby to show me how he felt at night when he was panting, it felt like the panting was anxiety related because Bobby couldn’t get comfortable due to the pressure in the liver area. There didn’t seem to be any position that Bobby could lay in — or anything he could lie on — that was comfortable for long. It seemed that while the pressure bothered him during the day, it wasn’t so bad because there were things to distract him and take his mind off the discomfort. But at night, it was a different story . . . there was nothing to distract him and he focused more on the discomfort.
I suggested that Nicki try giving Bobby Rescue Remedy at night to help his anxiety and to help him relax and sleep better — she could give him additional doses during the night if needed. Nicki said she would do that. She said she also had prescription pain medicine and Prozac that she could give Bobby. I suggested she start with the Rescue Remedy and she could always add the pain medication if needed. We asked Bobby if he felt the Prozac helped him be calmer (she’d given it to Bobby per the vet for several months) but Bobby said it didn’t help with the anxiety at all, so Nicki stopped giving it to him. Bobby knew he was very sick, but he said he wasn’t ready to cross to Spirit. However, Bobby didn’t know how long he could hang on unless he started to feel better. Nicki assured Bobby that when he was ready, she would help him cross to Spirit.
I also suggested that Bobby might benefit from distance energy work — Reiki and Integrated Energy Therapy. I was very clear with Nicki that she shouldn’t expect that this would “cure” Bobby’s cancer, but I told her that animals who are ill often find their symptoms eased by energy work. Nicki said that she would definitely like to try energy work for Bobby — ” Even if it just helps him be more comfortable, that would be great! ”
We did Bobby’s first distance energy work session that day. I found that there were a lot of emotional issues that needed to be released (fear, stress, threat, heartache, distrust) mostly connected to the out of control illness that was taking over his body. I spent extra time working with the energy of Bobby’s liver — releasing the discomfort and pressure that was making Bobby so uncomfortable at night. When I talked to Bobby at the end of the session, his energy was much improved — he felt positively perky! Nicki asked when we should do the next session of energy work. I told her that it might need to be the following week or the week after, but I told her that Bobby would tell her when he needed another session.
Nicki contacted me by email a few days later with an update. She said that Bobby was less restless at night and that he was more active and seemed happy for the first time in weeks! Nicki was amazed by how much better Bobby was feeling following the energy work and said she definitely wanted to continue the sessions as often as needed. I told her that she should pay attention to Bobby — I was sure he would let her know when he needed more energy work, but my guess was that approximately every 2 weeks would probably be OK for now and that we could always schedule a session sooner, if needed.
Bobby received energy work every two weeks from mid-April until the beginning of August. I would talk to Bobby at the start of each session, do his energy work and check in with him at the end of the session. I emailed Nicki everything Bobby told me and what I found when I did his energy work. Bobby’s restlessness/panting at night improved and he had more energy to play and interact with Nicki — even asking for treats and gaining a little weight, which he hadn’t been doing before receiving energy work. We checked with Bobby each time to see how he was feeling and if he needed Nicki to do anything more for him. I adjusted the energy work session as needed, based on what Bobby told me and what Bobby’s body showed me. Bobby was always extra happy on days when he received energy work. Nicki continued to give Bobby Rescue Remedy at night. Bobby slept better and didn’t need the prescription pain medicine at night.
At the beginning of August, Nicki noticed that Bobby was getting thinner again and was panting more. He seemed weaker to me and had less energy. Bobby showed me that the pressure in the area of his liver had increased. Bobby said he wanted to talk to Nicki, so we scheduled an appointment just for communication. Bobby told Nicki that he was tired of fighting and was ready to cross to Spirit. Nicki knew that the last few months with Bobby had been a gift — she did not want him to suffer and she told him that she would help him cross to Spirit surrounded by love. Bobby knew that Nicki would help him — they both knew that it was nearly time. Bobby said he wanted to have a few more days to enjoy life. I told/showed Bobby what the euthanasia process would be like — he said he was not afraid and that he would tell/show Nicki when he was ready and that it would be soon.
A few days later, Nicki asked me to talk to Bobby again — ” I think it’s time, but I want to be sure. ” Bobby said he was ready to cross to Spirit. He showed me that he didn’t want to wait until he was too weak to walk on his own. Bobby told me that one of Nicki’s dogs in Spirit, a beautiful black Sheltie named Jett, had been visiting him and telling him that it was time to cross to Spirit — but Bobby said he kept saying ” no. ” However, the night before, Bobby had finally had told Jett ” yes ” — he was ready to cross to Spirit. Bobby said that he knew that once he crossed to Spirit he would be strong and beautiful again, free of pain — and he was looking forward to that.
Nicki sent Bobby to Spirit surrounded by love, a few days after our last session. Although her heart was breaking to loose her beloved Bobby, Nicki knew that she had done the right thing.
I was grateful to have been able to help make Bobby’s last few months more comfortable and to have gotten to know Bobby so much better. Nicki was grateful to have had more time with Bobby, knowing that he wasn’t suffering.
” When my dog’s yearly blood work revealed liver cancer, I worried that he might be frightened or in pain. I immediately contacted Sky.
Sky offered insight into Bobby’s feelings and perception of his disease. Sky’s energy work gave Bobby more energy and helped him be as comfortable as possible. Instead of sitting helplessly, worrying and second guessing what I should do, Bobby was able to tell me how he felt, what he needed and wanted when Sky communicated with him. This eliminated the doubt, fear and guilt I’d experience with my previous dogs aged and became ill.
I promised Bobby I would honor his decision when Bobby was ready to cross to Spirit. I am so grateful that Bobby could have a voice in that decision. I will treasure our last months together.” — Nicki K., CO
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