Because some people have asked, I’m sending this update on Hedy.
The Stinky Dog Problem
When I received Hedy on Dog Day, November 22, 2008, she was one stinky dog. There’s a doggy smell that is typical of most canines, but Hedy was gag-worthy. The culprit turned out to be dog food made with corn and wheat. She is allergic to both. It took quite a few months of experimenting before I found the one she’s on now. It’s Spot’s Stew, wild salmon. Hedy now smells like a normal dog.
The Itchy Dog Problem
Also on Dog Day, Hedy’s first act after I received her was to abruptly sit down and scratch furiously. She scratched all the time. If we stopped at a street corner to wait for a light, she’d scratch. She even wakes up at night to scratch. Dog lovers have tried to help. One person suggested nettles. That didn’t work. One thought it was parasites. It wasn’t. I started her on fish oil, thinking it might be dry skin. That hasn’t changed the itching but she sure has a shiny coat!
My chiropractor, Dr. Robert Jolin, has been very concerned about her. He had given her homeopathic sulfur and other remedies to no avail, but the Standard Process liver cleanse powder seems to be making the most difference. Hedy is definitely scratching less. Dr. Jolin reasoned that it was a histamine reaction. Hedy is just in her second week of the treatment, so I’m hoping she will be cured after her liver is sufficiently cleansed.
Update on the update of Itchy Dog
So, the day I wrote that update, Hedy was practically itch-free. The next day, she was scratching furiously, much more than in months. Go figure. Could be that whatever she’s grazing upon in the front yard when she’s supposed to be finding the perfect spot for a squat doesn’t agree with her. Or she might be allergic to all the pollen (she’s been sneezing a bit and there’s yellow dust on the cars). I forgot to mention that she’s allergic to polyester, so I had to change all her bedding including the cute fleece rug that came home with her from guide dog school. At this point, I still don’t know what the issue really is, but I’m continuing with the liver cleanse and we shall see what we shall see.
The Distractible Dog Problem
Of all the issues I’ve had with Hedy, her distractibility has been the most worrisome and long-lasting. She was that way when I got her and, two years later, she remaineth that way. I have seriously doubted my ability as a handler and wondered what I’m doing wrong. Then, yesterday, I had a call from my Guide Dogs for the Blind Field Rep, Teal Knapp. It was time for our annual checkup. “How are you two doing?” she asked. After listening patiently to my outpouring of concerns, Teal replied, “You have a high-end dog. For your lifestyle, you need one. Unfortunately, that means you will always have at least a couple of issues to work on with her.” A high-end dog? What’s that?
According to Teal, that’s a very confident dog. I travel a lot. Hedy has to adapt to being many unfamiliar places. She has to be confident enough that she can guide me through whatever comes.
I thought of the time we were in the train museum in Old Sacramento. I had walked around their prize engine displayed in the dark with small ceiling lights aimed to make it stunningly dramatic. As I circled the engine to see it from all sides, I found myself in a confusing place. The lights were reflecting off the engine and a wall of mirrors, and I had no idea what was what. But Hedy knew. She could tell what was the real engine and what was glass. With no hesitation she trucked on through, guiding me safely into a less dramatic part of the museum.
Teal said other dogs may give up trying to be boss after a while, but not Hedy. She will always think she’s right and she will always want to be boss. It’s just her.
So I relaxed. Hedy is Hedy. She is, when I need her to be, a fabulous guide. The rest of the time? Well, I have to keep on her. We do Obedience every day (Doggy push-ups). We walk. We do treadmill. I keep up her skills and training as much as possible considering I live on a volcano with almost no traffic. At Teal’s recommendation, Hedy and I will be making a trip back to GDB in San Rafael where there are lots of dogs for distraction and real traffic, plus some of my favorite Graduate Support staff members to help us brush up on our skills.
Update on My Eyes
One more update, though it’s not about Hedy; it’s about my eyes. Back in 2000 when my mom was in her third frightening year of neurological degeneration, we went to a clinic that used the protocols of Sir Arnold Takemoto, who was knighted for his work in cancer. Three weeks there taking his treatments knocked the ALS out of Mom’s system. By the end of the second week, she was able to write her name for the first time in a year, and walk fairly steadily with a little help. Arnold and his wife Coleen would come by to see how we were doing. That’s when we became friends.
I’m telling you this because I’ve known Arnold a very long time and I’ve personally witnessed the effects his formulas have had on cancer and other patients. I’ve seen x-rays and heard testimonials. He has always told me the truth. So when I was having dinner with Coleen and him last October, I was skeptical but intrigued when he mentioned a formula that an MD friend of his had developed especially for RP (Retinitis Pigmentosa). He was telling me that this friend had had spectacular results with it. One patient’s vision had been restored by 50%. “I have RP!” I said.
So it was that I was able to obtain a bottle of the sublingual drop that is, at this time, assembled by a licensed pharmacist one bottle at a time. That’s why it’s $150 a bottle. I started taking it on my birthday and thought I noticed a difference right away, but discounted it as impossible. Placebo. Wishful thinking. That’s what I thought. But the differences in my vision did not go away. There was a definite increase in brightness, color perception, detail, and a bit of peripheral vision. When I told Arnold, he was ecstatic. “Do you know what this could mean for people?” he said with enthusiasm. “RP is a terrible disease. If these drops could even just stop the progression, that would be fantastic!” So he called his friend and asked if he could get some more bottles. He was able to obtain four. I got one and three remain, waiting for three more RP people to give it a try. If it truly helps all of us, then Arnold is thinking of ways to make it available to more people.
I have to add that is doesn’t taste good. But it isn’t horrible either. It’s like a lot of garlic. There are many worse flavors in the world. I know. I grew up on Chinese herbs. And it’s expensive. But a bottle lasts a month. And, really, it’s the price of a ticket to some sports or theater events, so in that perspective, it isn’t that bad.
If you’re interested in knowing more, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with someone who can answer your questions. I don’t know anything other than what I’ve told you. I just know that my eyes feel better and I’m seeing better too. Considering that RP is considered incurable, any improvement is huge—an immense blessing in what looks like an impossible situation, and I wouldn’t have known about it had I not known Arnold, and I wouldn’t have known Arnold had my mom not been so terribly ill. The MD has been making this formula for eight years, but it takes so long to get a batch made that it’s very hard to get. Maybe through Arnold it could be easy to get, and many RP people with the sentence of inevitable blindness darkening every day of their lives wouldn’t have to lose their sight. And maybe they could get some back. I wonder if this is one of those blessings the Lord told me would far outweigh the suffering and sorrow. That would give my mother great joy.