Lola says “Oh Look: Squirrel,” and then…

Easter Sunday

Perfect Spring like weather. Sun shining in a pale blue cloudless sky. New green leaves of the forsythia dance in the breeze. Tiny white crocus flowers randomly dot the mulch. New orange buds on the tree branches are ready to burst. The morning temperature is cool, in the low 50’s. Small birds dart about the back yard. A white butterfly flits along the fence. Boxers, Lola and Camille stand watch over their domain. There must be squirrels.

Oh Look: Squirrel

There, on the wooden fence! With Camille trotting along behind, Lola races toward the intruder. Lola has the squirrel running the gauntlet on the narrow fence trail. The squirrel, flicks her tail excitedly, for balance and, I think, to encourage the dogs. All three sprint back and forth from one end of the fence to the other, Camille trots back and forth; but Lola is obsessed. She lunges at the squirrel. This is serious work. Five, six times, she hits the fence, her claws rasping at the wood just inches from the tiny paws scurrying by. She is focused on catching her. Lola, mighty predator and elusive squirrel, the prey. Five, six times, Lola leaps, grabs fence, and twisting her body in the air, lands hard back on the ground.

Lola is in the zone. The chase is all that exists. It is the pure truth of living in the moment. Eventually the squirrel clambers up onto the roof of our neighbor’s garage and lives to taunt the dogs again, another day.

Lola collapses

We opened the back door. The dogs climbed up the steps and came back inside. Lola strides over to me where I am sitting, and collapses on the carpet at my feet. She is immobile; her legs twisted under her. Her respiration is fast and frantic. Her body heaves violently as her ribcage rises and falls. I move to her to adjust her legs into a more natural position. I lift her body. It feels dense. It is stiff. It is heavy. I recall a time when I was a nurse; catching a patient who had fainted. His body came down heavy, like dead weight. All I could do was guide his fall into a controlled crash. Lola’s body is that heavy.

Vital Ch’i

Vital Ch’i has buoyancy. Lola’s Vital Ch’i was compromised.

Lola unresponsive

She breathes through her mouth. Little air bubbles erupt from the sides of her flew. Her body continues to heave; her breathing, fast and frantic. I assess her body energy. There on the carpet of our brightly sunlit living room, I soften my vision and see that she is wrapped in an energetic gray haze, like a rain cloud as you would fly through it. I held her body. It felt cool. Dense. Thick. Rigid. Struggling. She was still continent. Her sphincter muscles were still holding. That was a good thing.


I began with a sequence of slow, intentional touch vectoring patterns. I wanted to bring her attention back to her body. The next set, I wanted to assess how her body was responding to my hands. As I moved through the vectoring sequence, her breathing began to ease a bit.

Healing Touch

Anastasia stood over her with her hands smoothing away the fog. She was giving Lola Healing Touch, a hands-on-the-aura balancing technique. Healing Touch is a technique that I learned in Chicago when I was in nursing school from the Holistic Nurses Association, and Anastasia learned when she was studying massage therapy at the Chicago School of Massage (now Cortiva). My emergency care nursing instructor at the Truman College used Healing Touch often in ER trauma situations and even helped me with it one time when I was especially stressed. Healing Touch for Animals, HTA®, is taught by Carol Komitor.

Bach Flower

Anastasia located a bottle of Rescue Remedy®. I pried open Lola’s cheek and she squirted a few drops onto her gums. Lola began licking and swallowing. Licking and swallowing. Her ears were still pulled back against her skull. She was still in distress, and she was participating in her recovery.

TCM Acupressure

I watched the bubbles blowing out of Lola’s mouth and recalled that Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis had taught in their Tallgrass Animal Acupressure workshop that the Kidney-1 point is called the Bubbling Spring. Bubbles. The Kidney-1 point is in the hollow just behind the rear stopper pads. I located them on her hind paws, inserted my thumbs and applied pressure to stimulate them.

Stimulating the Kidney-1 point tonifies Kidney/Heart Yin. It is used for releasing insomnia, palpitations, anxiety, poor memory, mania, rage w/desire to kill, hot flashes, and night sweats. It alleviates loss of consciousness, yang collapse. It also addresses issues like headaches, tinnitus, hypertension, and epilepsy.

Shock Points

I held the points, closed my eyes and focused on my breathing. I needed to slow my heart rate. When I looked up, Anastasia was massaging the Shock points, on the tips of Lola’s ears. These are points that Linda Tellington-Jones teaches her students to stimulate in her TTouch course. Linda maintains that these points have saved the lives of many dogs who are in shock.

Lola was certainly in shock. Her body was hypoxic, working overtime to get oxygen saturation.


I soon felt movement in her little Bubbling Springs. The magnetic force that had been pulling on my thumbs, released. I moved my hands to her torso. Anastasia and I began scratching along her spine and ribs. Lola’s body began to warm. Her cardiovascular flow was engaged and enhanced. As her skin softened and relaxed, I added skin rolling. And, rocking. Lola loves rocking.


Soon, she began breathing through her nose again. Respiration quieted. Her ears relaxed into a more forward position; alert and receptive. Her eyes regained their focus, following my hand as I moved in front of her. She lifted her paw, adjusting her leg into a more comfortable position.

Lola’s aura

I softened my vision and was pleased to see her aura had returned to clear and radiant.

She rested for about 15 minutes until she heard Anastasia move a plate in the kitchen. She stood, wobbly and unsteady for a few moments. Then, as her strength and vitality rebounded, she staggered toward the cookie jar where she stood, looking up, bright eyed with expectancy.

We thought she’d rest for awhile; but as soon as she heard the chattering of a squirrel outside the window, she was back at the door pawing to get out. Lola was back and her juices were raging.

Dogs injure themselves

Just like people, dogs can overdo it. They injure themselves during exercise.

Dogs are resilient. Their Ch’i is strong. When dogs are given the support, the leadership, and the application of bodywork and integrative health care, they rechannel their naturally occurring wellness systems.

Skills used dealing with trauma

This was an emergency. It reminded me of just how much dogs need all of these wellness enhancing skills. When they need care, their need is often urgent. We were so grateful that we had the skills of

  • PetMassageTM EnergyWork, Vectoring, scratching, petrissage and rocking
  • PetMassageTM training in calm-assertive leadership
  • Focused, conscious intention of awareness
  • Bach Flower Rescue Remedy
  • Healing Touch
  • Acupressure stimulation of Kidney-1 points
  • TTouch shock points

Below are some links for you to learn more about the skills we used. (for dogs) (for dogs) (for people) (for pets) (for people) (for animals) (small animals) (dogs) (for people and animals)

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