11/9/2020 0 Comments
Life with my new puppy is not going according to plan.
We have never had a puppy before. My husband has never even had a dog before. I am living with TBI/PTSD symptoms, and ever since my husbands car accident a little over a month ago he is also living with anxiety from PTSD as well. The puppy has turned out to be much more work than either of us anticipated and we are not quite sure what to do now.
I’ve been seeking answers the same way I did in the beginning of my injury, doing everything I can to get information that could help create a solution. However, just like a new parent who isn’t sure what to do with a new baby, I have become overwhelmed with information and feel like I’m drowning. The trainer I had set up to work with us the day after we brought the puppy home canceled on us last minute. He rescheduled, so I didn’t worry. It was only a week until I would see him and could receive help. He confirmed the day before, then canceled two hours before he was supposed to show up. This devastated me and triggered symptoms. He played into parts of my trauma that I have have been struggling with for years; Just when I am at my most vulnerable and needing help the most, I am abandoned. So now we are in search of help yet again.
My husband is doing his best to help, but with everything I am learning, it means that the rules seem to change every other day as I attempt to figure out what will work. Which certainly isn’t helping him, the dog or me. Plus it only creates more chaos in the house. And to add to the situation, I twisted my knee which put me in a brace. So I am even more immobile now! UGH!
Things went from bad to worse…
In the midst of all the chaos, my symptoms of sensory over-stimulation, overwhelm, difficulty with verbal communication, migraines and vertigo/dizziness have gone back to where they were 7 months ago (SIGH).
Part of what is most difficult through all of this is that due to the sensory overload symptoms and PTSD, I can’t just take the dog out for a walk to burn off energy or let him play in the yard, not only because of my knee injury, but because our home location is a source of my anxiety and triggers my symptoms, So even though we just moved in less than a year ago, we are in the process of buying a new home in a location that is much more conducive to healing and inner peace. So that is adding to the equation of chaos.
Finally though I have two trainers lined up for evaluations and consultations.
One can actually certify the dog internationally as a psychiatric service dog. So I am really hoping that one works out. The other is a behaviorists that says they can help as well with the end result I am looking for. So at this point whoever can help me put the dog (and us) in the path to calm, cool and controlled I am ready to work with them now.
So what insights/solutions have I uncovered through all this chaos?
One of the biggest insights I’ve uncovered is that the puppy craves a leader. Whatever emotion or energy I am experiencing- I put out there. He then picks up on that energy and carries it out into action. All he wants to do is please me and get direction as to how to behave to get my attention. So I am learning to put my mindfulness practice into action by bringing my awareness to my mental state. Practicing audible exhales (which activates the vagus nerve for better calming) and allow myself to ground and soften a bit before being with the dog. Then I make sure I am centered while I am with the dog, being clear on what it is I want from him. He only understand yes or no, good or bad. So the clearer I am, the better he behaves. And isn’t that true with most people? This is helping me to clear the clutter and chaos of my thinking. It is actually helping me communicate better as well because I need to slow down and be calm before I speak.
The dog needs structure. As someone who is actually more of a cat person, more go with the flow, and who’s life is inconsistent and unpredictable ever since the accident, I find that figuring out a routine amidst this chaos has been helpful. I didn’t realize the cats and I actually had some kind of routine in the mornings. I only realized it since the fog disrupted it and the cats became anxious that we weren’t going into my yoga room for yoga and meditation in the mornings. Suddenly the mornings were high energy chaos with a puppy instead of grounding, centering and calming. But I am in the process of changing that. I found a great book in the meantime Called “Respect Training for Puppy’s”. It has been an eye opener into the mindset of a dog and what they need to succeed in my home.
The next time I share from my life with Phineas the Oracle Dog, I am hoping to share that we have a trainer, that life is getting easier and we are moving forwards. I feel like we are heading in the right direction, and just need a little patience while trusting the Universe with whatever this lesson is I am being taught. All I can imagine, is that I am learning that I am more capable than I am giving myself credit for and more resilient than I imagined.
Have you ever been in a situation like this? I’d love to hear about it and learn what you did to help yourself or how you found a solution.
Information contained within this site does not take the place of professional medical care. It is for educational purposes only and created with the intention of offering support and empowerment to women struggling to find wholistic and natural answers to their challenges. Every individual is responsible for their own actions, choices and behavior.