La Paw Spa
La Paw Spa

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Drifter's Experience
This is Cindy Horsfall's interpretation of a dog named Drifter. This interpretation is of Drifter's first Experience with a canine water therapy program that specializes in physical therapy but has little regard for the emotional safety or spirit of the dog and their guardian... followed by his experience with a therapist who comes from a more heart centered program.

My Person is taking me somewhere... We go to a place that specializes in swim therapy for dogs who need to work on their mobility.... So here we are - inside the pool room....

My person is worried and starts to pace...

They're both standing over me and shaking their heads and talking...

Expectations of me... it's always about expectations these days... and I'm having such a hard time fulfilling any of them anymore...

I've always pleased my person and now he always seems so anxious and mad... I don't know what to do... I can't seem to please him anymore...

He wrings his hands and stands over me and talks about my depression but I'm not depressed... I'm only sad and worried that I'll never please him again...

Why is he so fearful... what did I do?

A strange contraption is wrapped around my body and suddenly I am pulled into the air and plunged into the water... What is this?

The water starts to move and my instincts tell me to swim as hard as I can...

I try to swim for my life...

I'm scared... but everyone is happy and my person is talking about wanting me to jog again... he misses me playing with my ball....

He doesn't understand that I'd rather just snuggle and read magazines and watch old movies then go jogging with him...

I don't miss it... but I miss him being happy with me... I miss that most of all... what is he so afraid of?

He's worried about my quality of life I think but it's not my life he's talking about...

I'm scared and my body is moving because I don't want to drown... and this is making my person happy and so I move... I move and I move and I move....

I'm so happy that I am finally making him happy...

.... When that machine pulls me out and puts me on the floor, I can't move anymore... I am so heavy... my person is talking and talking and I can't understand what they're talking about...

I am so heavy... burdened with my body's weight and my Guardian's expectations of me... I don't know how to please him... he seems so afraid of my aging process...

But I will try... I will try to move and move and move for him until I can't... if that's what he wants from me...

We go to leave and yet I can't move...

And there it all comes back - that face... that disappointment...

This is an interpretation of Drifter's Second Experience with a canine water therapy program that strives to embrace and nurture the whole picture...

My Guardian is trying something new... where are we going this time?

We enter a room of warmth... moisture.... Soft light and music... there is a feeling of happiness and safety here and yet haven't they noticed that I am old?

Whatever it is here that I am expected to do; don't they know that I don't do much anymore?

I am scared to disappoint my guardian again... he seems so scared as he watches me sometimes....

Everything I do it seems is watched with judgment... everything matters...

Things aren't as easy for me anymore, I admit... but life is good...and my home is safe....So why are we here?

Who is this lady who is offering me cookies?

She seems friendly enough and calm...

I don't know what everyone is going to expect of me here... I am afraid... I don't want to disappoint anyone...

This lady picks me up and before I can even think of what she's doing, we're here in the water... I'm on her lap and she's petting me and talking to my person...

This seems weird... but strangely I feel safe... I guess I'm ok... don't know what everyone is going to expect of me now... but I begin to relax...

There are no expectations...

We are all just floating here in this room... we are all just being with each other in love and the water is washing my thoughts away...

What was I worried about... I can't remember... it doesn't seem to matter anymore...

I feel painless and light......

As I am safely held in the water, I feel nurtured and beautiful....

I feel no disability...

My guardian is smiling at poolside and looks happy....

We are all relaxed and at peace...

This is a sensation I haven't felt since the family BBQ last summer when I was stronger...

It's all different now...

My body is wearing down... my guardian is sad...

But this water is taking it away... and the more it takes, the more I release to it...

My therapist is holding me and yet I am free... I just float here...

This sensation is familiar but not since before I was born...

I think there was a time before all injury where I was safe in water... floating...

Before my first people put me in the shelter, before all of that confusion when I didn't know my home... before my now loving family came into my life... I remember a time before all of this when I was alive and yet floating...

Where everything was safe... as it is again right now...

I fear not death or life and everything is simple in this moment....

I have a sensation of massage as I lay here - allowing the water to do its magic...

I begin to move...

The sensation of water is like silk against my fur and skin... moving and gliding...

Safe...

Why do I feel so safe? ...

This person holds me and moves me out from the edge and gently offers me to swim...

Doesn't she know that I can't do anything athletic like this anymore?

Hasn't she noticed now crippled I am?

I move my limbs... the warm water embraces my muscles and there is no weight...

It's like flying...

I feel open and free... light and beautiful...

My person is laughing... he's so light and there is so much joy in this room...

Everything is ok and everything is safe...

I feel graceful... moving... stretching... dancing with the water which holds me ....

I feel so much love and I am young again as I allow myself to be free from the confines of gravity and my old body that weighs like steel sometimes...

Breathing comes easy... everything is easy...

Why are we making things so hard?

My person is so relaxed...

This lady carries me out from the warm water and sets me on a towel and everyone starts to dry me... I love this... I have always loved being fluffed with towels...

I feel so relaxed... and warm...

I get up and I notice my body... it weighs me down a little bit but somehow it doesn't matter as much anymore...

I look up at my person; this is where I usually see him get scared and that look crosses is face but not this time...

He seems to have let go of something in this last hour too...

Expectations... Fears... it's hard to say... but it doesn't matter....

We are all at peace with this moment and we all ok with life...

We leave.....

Everything seems different on the drive home...

It's the same but it's all different... hard to explain...

I guess it really doesn't matter...