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As Long as We Remember...

May 14, 2010

Pushkin Acupuncture Part 2

Roy Meachum

One night, some four weeks back, the English pointer and I adjourned up the stairs and instead of waiting in the middle of the bed; he sprawled on a stuffed quilt given by my second best friend. Knowing the cushioned comfort he napped on in the library, she didn’t want to take a chance of his sleeping on the bedroom floor that is covered with an Oriental rug and pad, and that’s it.


Two nights later, I was reading with my pajamas on and he decided to claim his side; I watched Pushkin try to climb up. He thrust two paws on the top mattress and failed! When I tried to help, he winced. I called Jane Saylor, his personal vet all his life, and made an appointment.


Dr. Saylor put Pushkin through his annual physical and we made an appointment to return for X-rays. Somewhere behind her office, they disappeared and she returned with those ghostly black-and-gray pictures we all have seen. I thought going in there was something wrong with his front shoulders.


“Dogs jump with their back legs,” Jane informed me. Knowing what she’s about, she shot his back. And there it was. A form of arthritis crept into his spine. She sent us home with medicine and a supplement that still rests in the kitchen window. I started off taking both pills and covering them with milk and throwing Costco feed on top. Each morning now I still follow that routine with only the supplement, the anti-biotic lasted two weeks and ran out.


One routine has not changed. Pushki climbs the stairs and enters the bedroom first. One night I was trailing and heard this scurrying noise and scraping of nails; he slid down to where I was standing, I kept him in check until I understood that I could not set him on his feet. I stepped aside. It was painful to watch him bounce down to the entrance hallway. He started back up while I held my breath; he made it.


My second best friend appeared with The Gazette, which I don’t really get since the bus stops on our corner and passengers take the copy thrown on my stoop. On the front page was an article and picture of Fred Wolfson wielding acupuncture needles on another dog, in Thurmont. He also practices in Frederick, at the Humane Society.


On our way to West Patrick Street, Pushkin could not jump in the back seat of my old car; this problem he never had before. I shoved up his rear-end and closed the door. We found a close parking place. Fed the meter and went in.


Fred turned out to have a non-threatening personality, which certainly benefits him in treating patients, both critters and humans; he’s in the acupuncture business with his wife. He placed a rug in the middle of the Society’s biggest room. He asked me to sit in a chair, close to Pushkin’s head. Then he started stabbing my best friend with an astonishing number of needles; first in his head then along his body.


For my hearing loss, I had been steered to a Chinese fellow who tried and tried but produced no gain. I knew about the many needles, in any event. I held my best friend’s head as Fred acupunctured away and then we both waited. In perhaps half an hour he started to pull out the needles.


How did Pushkin react? Well, he hopped up in the backseat with no help from anyone. My second best friend noted that he was friskier and the bounce returned to his step. We now visit Fred Wolfson once a week; our next appointment is Tuesday.


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