Truman is a foster-failure, which means I brought him here expecting to move him on to a forever home, but then it turned out that WE were IT.
He was horribly abused from the age of two months till about a year and a half, when he was finally released to the animal shelter. He has been completely deaf since birth, and has limited vision as well, partially due to inbreeding and partially due to repeated blows to the head. On his arrival at the shelter where I volunteer, he was in such extreme fear that everything he ate went straight through him, and was rapidly losing weight to the point that the shelter staff feared for his life. I took him in as a foster, believing that a little love would set him right. I had never met an animal my magic touch couldn’t transform, and I knew this dog wouldn’t be any different.
Boy, was I wrong.
Truman has been my teacher in many ways. He has shown me that some scars are slow to heal, and some never will. But he displays such courage in the face of extreme adversity. He has taught me so much. I have learned a lot from him about telepathic communication–because he is deaf and has other delays and disabilities, he excels at telepathy. I have also learned from him how the bodymind complex heals from trauma, as well as the ways in which delayed healing can be a blessing. I’ve given him many energy-healing sessions with amazing results. But sometimes healing is a slow process–and in that process, we often learn more than we would have if we’d been granted an overnight miracle.
Truman’s first two weeks with us, he continued to suffer from such extreme anxiety that everything he ate went straight through him. He was too fearful to be anywhere but a closed crate in a quiet corner of the house. I had to take him out on a leash every two or three hours (day and night) because of his chronic diarrhea.
He walked like a crab, with his back legs splayed out to the sides as if his hips were out of alignment. They were–he’d been beaten so often, he’d learned to walk in a crouched position in an effort to escape notice.
I’ve been certified as a Body Talk Practitioner, and have learned many other healing modalities as well. But I knew I needed help, so I enlisted the services of a fellow Body Talker, Aprylisa Snyder. Using me as a surrogate, she did an incredible remote session for Truman. At the time, Aprylisa and I were attending a Body Talk seminar and Truman was at the beach with my family. The session was so powerful, as Truman’s surrogate, I experienced uncontrollable shaking which would have been frightening if Aprylisa hadn’t been so calm and nurturing.
For several hours after the session, every time I touched a light switch, it caused a spark of static electricity! We were really channeling something big! Back at the beach the next day, my husband said that Truman woke the next morning, “a completely different dog”. Not only was he behaving with more confidence and less fear, his hips had come into alignment and he was walking normally.
Truman had been living with us for about three months before he wagged his tail. After six months, he felt confident enough to be loose in the house outside his crate. After eight months, I could trust him not to bolt away if I let him outside without a leash. We had him about a year before he would voluntarily allow me to touch his body above the hips. He retained such extreme sensitivity in the neck area, that I finally asked him why (duh, why didn’t I ask sooner?) and he showed me a picture of someone holding him by the collar while they sprayed him in the face with a water hose. He’d been so afraid of drowning at the time that years later, any touch on the collar reignited that fear.
So many seemingly unrelated things fell into place when he showed me that picture! In that moment, I realized why he wouldn’t come near the house whenever I ran the garden sprinklers. I realized why he shit himself with fear every time we tried to give him a bath. The minute he showed me that part of his past, I unbuckled his collar and tossed it in the trash. He watched me do it, then sat with a look of disbelief on his face. Then he came up to me and leaned against my leg, and for the first time since he’d come to us, he willingly allowed me to run my hands from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail.
Now, that whole-body caress is something he craves and comes up to ask for on a regular basis. Needless to say, Truman is now a permanent member of the family, not because we chose him, but because he chose to stay with us. And though he may not be the easiest dog to live with, we know what an honor it is that he chose us to share his journey from fear into love.
Animal communication really does work miracles, even if sometimes the miracles take time. And healing may not come like a lightning bolt, but even if it wears the suffering away like water carves rock, eventually the suffering is released all the same.
Me: Hey, Truman. You have peed and pooped in the kitchen for the past two nights. Why?
Truman: (ducking his head): I had to go. I was afraid to wake you up. You don’t like to be woken up.
Me: You’re right about that. But I also don’t like waking up to a lake of pee and a mountain of poo that I have to clean up.
Truman: (still refusing to look at me): Don’t clean it up.
Me: I have to. It’s unsanitary.
Truman: (surprised into looking up): Huh?
Me, explaining: When you pee and poo outside, the ground soaks it up and the ran cleans it. The tile floors in the house don’t soak up your pee.
Truman: (looking away again): Oh.
Me: So, it’s not okay for you to pee and poo in the house. You have to hold it in, or let me know that you need to go out by barking or making some other noise to get my attention. Or you can ring the bell by the door.
Note: Truman is stone-deaf, but he does know how to bark and make noise. Though he can’t hear, he feels sound vibrations better than anyone I know. The dogs all know there’s a bell hanging on the doorknob that they can ring with their noses if they need to go out.
Truman: You won’t be mad and yell or hurt me?
Me: If you ask to go out when I’m sleeping, I may grumble, but I won’t be mad. I will understand, and I will be happy that you didn’t make a mess in the house. And I won’t ever hurt you, no matter how mad I am.
Truman: Well, you did hurt me, once. (Truman showed a picture of the event he was referring to.)
Me: That time when you thought I hurt you, it wasn’t me. You weren’t looking where you were going and you ran into a post. It wasn’t me. I will never hurt you, I promise. So do you promise not to pee and poo in the house any more?
Truman: I will try to do better, but I have to pee more than I used to, and that makes me want to poo.
Me: Does it sting when you pee?
Truman: I don’t know what sting is. But it feels different.
Me: Okay. We’ll get you some medicine tomorrow morning. And I’ll make sure to take you outside right before bedtime every night.
Truman: How will I know when that is?
Me: I will say, “Last call to potty.” Then you will have to do your business so you won’t have to wake up in the night. Okay?
Truman: Okay. But you know, I’m afraid of the dark. I can’t see well unless it’s light outside.
Me: I know. I’ll turn on the outside lights, and I’ll wait for you to finish before I go in. I won’t leave you out there. You can take the time you need and I’ll wait on the porch till you come back.
Truman: You promise?
Me: Yes, I promise. I will never leave you stuck outside after dark.
Truman: Okay. I will go all the way down the stairs and into the yard, even in the dark, and I will potty before I come back inside. If you promise you won’t turn off the lights when I’m out there. I’m afraid of the dark. I can’t see when it’s dark.
Me: I know, Sweetie. I promise, I won’t leave you. I will wait for you. And you’ll sleep much better when you can relax about when you might have to potty next.
Truman: I will, won’t I? I didn’t think about that!
Me: It will be great. \And remember, you can always wake me up if you need to go outside, and I won’t hurt you. It isn’t healthy to hold it when you need to go.
Outcome: I gave Truman a round of antibiotics for a possible UTI starting the next morning, and we initiated the late-night last-call for business that night. We haven’t had a problem since–although he does sometimes wake me up at the butt-crack of dawn.