Bark for Peace!
musings & ramblings, mostly about dogs, from a three being, three species family

Bark for Peace!

Elsa arrives at “The Spa at the Ranch!”

March 26th, 2011 . by lisa knaggs

The three resident quadrupeds are fast asleep.  I am enjoying the pop and crackle of a cottonwood and pine fire, which has finally heated the house to almost 70º, and is warming a blanket for Elsa. The quiet of the middle of the night is fitting as I wind down by sipping a soothing cup of lemon ginger tea. Dr. Justin Green and Samantha left around midnight- they had been here since before dark- having tenderly transferred our new guest from Monte Vista to the ranch, and then cleverly building a PVC and painter’s canvas screen to create a “private room” for “our” Elsa.

"Elsa arrives at The Spa at the Ranch"

She arrived standing in the back of the Jeep Cherokee, which appeared encouraging, until I opened the door and saw a significant increase in the swelling of her lower limbs.  I was quite taken aback, but Dr. Green said she’d been standing for hours; apparently she didn’t want to sit or lie down, so her legs filled with fluids.  Elsa seemed interested in her surroundings, walking around to check things out- tilting her head and  gesticulating her ears. She is emaciated, but with undeniable sweetness and lightness in her eyes that I can’t help but believe is hope.

"Elsa: skin, bones, swelling and HEART!"

Elsa entered her custom spa setting to the tune of “Through a Dog’s Ear” , Vol. 2 (thanks Lisa Specter!).  ”The Spa at the Ranch” serves free-range bison tripe (thank you Kevin Off!) and Elsa scarfed-up her first meal.  We also indulged her in a can of duck meat (thank you Curtis from Farmington!) in which we hid her antibiotics and pain meds.

"Sam holds up Elsa's swollen leg so Dr. Green can begin cleaning her wounds"

After building the screen (thank you Justin & Sam!), we gently rinsed her wounds.  I had never seen, nor touched, indurated wounds- flesh that is abnormally firm from infection or inflammation (think about how tough a healing scar feels, times 10)  Although I could not recognize that her wounds were significantly improved, the tone of Dr. Green’s voice convinced me that he was impressed and encouraged, even before he said so in so many words.  Elsa was patient as we surely increased her pain temporarily in effort to speed her healing.  We then re-packed the wounds under her arms and legs with small, soft towels (thank you, Pauline!) and gentle, very gentle, massage resumed. (along with the whispering of sweet nothings~ “Elsa, you’re amazing, you’re so strong and so beautiful! Do you know you have an international care team? What a good girl! What a good girl!”)

"Elsa, resting with a heating pad on her legs to reduce the swelling"

Now it’s way past bedtime, Elsa and I are the only ones awake.  My sleeping bag is on the floor next to her.  Once I tuck myself in, I shall remind her how much she is loved and how strong and vibrant we all want her to be.  It will be a long, hard road for her, but she is not alone and that will make all the difference.  Thank you for caring. Sweet Dreams…

4 Responses to “Elsa arrives at “The Spa at the Ranch!””

  1. comment number 1 by: Sue Rostvold

    Wow Lisa. I’m so glad you guys are there for sweet Elsa. I bet she felt so safe with her heating pad and you talking to her and staying by her side. Keep us posted on her recovery and thanks for all you do.

  2. comment number 2 by: Pauline Washburn

    Wow! Elsa is such a brave girl!

    Thank you, lisa, Justin and Sam for all of your loving care.

  3. comment number 3 by: Cara Bussa

    Lisa, your strong steady spirit is surely bolstering Elsa’s. I am so inspired by what you do, and I am sending you all positive healing energy and keeping you all in my prayers. xoxo

  4. comment number 4 by: blogadmin

    Thank you Cara! If my heart is half as big as yours, I would be delighted! You are SUCH an example of wholehearted living!! xo

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