Comassion in Action

Heart-to-Heart Resuscitation

Pregnant Garnet

Garnet’s family

My schnauzer-mix, Garnet, is troubled. She had a neglected and painful past before coming to my home a year-and-a-half ago. She was knocked up, despondent, and didn’t know what to do. She wasn’t leash trained in any way, shape, or form, and got very car sick from anxiety. Not having the advice of http://fearfuldogs.wordpress.com/ I had to wing it.

Having spayed all my female dogs, the puppies were a novelty for us (and yes, Garnet was spayed after her litter). Matchmaking with all of our friends worked out well, and we found happy homes for all puppies. Now, we can concentrate on little Garnet. She seems stuck in her abusive past; she’s afraid to sleep on the bed with the other dogs, preferring a bed of her own on the floor beside our bed. She’s timid anytime she’s outside the safety of our home. A trip to Petsmart is “date night” for our boy poodle but terrifying for Garnet.

To help her understand her worth, and value to us, I initiated heart-to-heart resuscitation. It sounds so natural, doesn’t it? It’s far more instinctive than mouth-to-mouth. I hold my small dog with her hind legs on my lap, her front paws on my chest. And we stay that way, chest-to-chest, heart-to-heart. I stroke her fur, and she has the courage to look at me. Or she just settles her chin on my shoulder and sighs. She loves me, and I love her, and we just savor the moment as we pass that feeling back and forth. It grows stronger and more peaceful with each pass.

The day is better for both of us after that. And yes, it works on people, too.

15 replies »

  1. When I found Dusty, a German shepherd mix, he was tied by his throat and legs with heavy wire – part of his “training” to be a bait dog for Pit Bull fights. The vet estimated that he was about nine months old. It took almost two years before he truly trusted me – but when he realized how much I cared for him, he became the most faithful and devoted companion and lived to be a month short of seventeen years of age. Of the many dogs I have loved and lost, his was the most difficult passage as I always felt I had to try to compensate for the abuse to which he was subjected as a puppy.

    Keep up the good work. She will come around.

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    • Thanks. She’s doing much better than when she came here, but she still has a way to go. Her abused past has been hard to let go of. Any help you can give is appreciated.

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  2. The sad truth, is that my daggone intuition is telling me to wait a little while.

    We’ve got some wondrous vacations coming up. One – back to the desert (NM)

    The other one, back to the desert (Arizona)

    I belong in the desert. Not sure why I’m still here in green, humid Virginia.

    Someday….someday…

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  3. I’m looking for a puppy, but everyone tells me I should try rescuing a dog – instead.

    I look at it this way:

    Why not get a puppy – before it needs to be “rescued”?

    Plus, I have 2 older dogs that would better cooperate with a kid sister, than a grown one – I think.

    Who knows?

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    • We have both. We look for the animal that has the strongest connection. Could be a rescue, Craig’s list reject, or a purebred. They are all wonderful and deserve love. Enjoy the hunt for the perfect dog. I’d trust your intuition long before the prejudgment of pure/rescue/reject.

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  4. Whenever I don’t feel well, my dog lays on the bed with me and snuggles. It seems like she knows that I have an upset stomach, etc.

    I think dogs also heal our hearts. If we let them.

    Oh, these precious things that have been given to us…

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