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 TESTIMONIALS > Archy's Amazing Recovery
Testimonial By: Annette Carson        Publish Date: 2001-09-01

In June 2001 my friend Piet went to Europe for several weeks and left his two dogs, Archy and Nina with me and my dog Lucy.  Within a week of Piet’s departure I was alarmed to see that Archy, who is a 12-year-old terrier cross, went into a noticeable decline and showed signs of both mental and physical distress.
Archy has been a survivor all his life, having been rescued by the SPCA after a serious road accident as a puppy, and later losing his first owner and no fewer than three successive doggy companions.  Nevertheless Archy remained alert and remarkably sound for his age apart from incipient cataracts and a touch of arthritis.

The most likely cause of Archy’s decline was diagnosed as a mild stroke, and he started on a course of meds.  However he was not at all the same sturdy little dog when Piet returned and, saddest of all for a dog who loved long walks, he was no longer able to go more than a few metres before needing to rest.

As if this were not enough, within a week Archy had a much more formidable trauma to cope with.  Their house was broken into and during an exchange of gunshots Piet sustained a serious injury.  He was rushed to intensive care and Nina came back to stay with me, but Archy, who has always been terrified of loud noises, went missing.  The relief of finding him 24 hours later was counteracted by the sad discovery that he had suffered yet more serious nervous damage.

This was evidenced by the fact that Archy no longer placed his feet normally when he walked, but instead "knuckled under", with the top of his foot on the ground instead of the pad.  According to the vet the absence of an automatic corrective reflex demonstrated a severe decline in the nervous system, which there was little hope of reversing.  He was also unable to maintain his balance while going to the toilet, which was particularly distressing.  It began to seem that Archy’s days were numbered, although I wasn’t about to give up without a fight.

It so happened that Eugénie Chopin had a T-Touch course starting just then, which I decided to attend with Archy while Piet spent the following weeks recuperating.  I remember Eugénie asking, at our first class, why Archy had no collar and lead, to which I replied, "I’m afraid Archy doesn’t walk much".  So we were all quite amazed when, ten minutes later, he asked to be helped up and, once on his feet, strode purposefully into the garden and watered one of her tubs of flowers!  Obviously Archy’s instincts had been stimulated by this new circle of friends, and he wasn’t about to be found wanting.

I think we were all encouraged by this display of sheer determination, and for the entire five weeks everyone in our group sustained Archy with positive thoughts, which strongly reinforced the T-Touch work we were practising.  I diligently gave him two T-Touch sessions a day, and every week in class it seemed there were more wonders to report.

After the first week he was undoubtedly walking more confidently, and from then onwards I took him for three short walks a day (although I often had to carry him on the homeward journey!).  After two weeks he no longer needed to be supported when going to the toilet, and was making determined efforts to haul himself from a sitting to a standing position.  After three weeks he was succeeding nine times out of ten, and walking for ever longer distances before asking to be carried.

It was in our third class that we learned the Python Lifts, and I am convinced it was this work on his legs that brought about the greatest miracle. By week four I noticed that Archy was not only breaking into an occasional trot, but no longer "knuckling under", which meant that I didn’t have to run and support his body when he did this (the worry was that he could injure himself by walking with his weight on the wrong side of his feet).

Piet meanwhile was making a good recovery, and was amazed and moved by Archy’s enormous progress from week to week.  By week five, when they returned home together, Archy was using his feet normally, walking for half a kilometre at a time, lifting his leg confidently against lamp-posts, and even chasing cats and birds (though they were not in great danger of being caught).  I could scarcely believe it myself, and I am sure that now he is home again, and with Piet continuing his T-Touches and wraps, Archy will soon be almost the dog he was all those weeks ago when he came to me in June.
By the way, Piet says that Archy is gaining in confidence all the time, and has even mastered going up and down the stairs in his house.  He says he thinks the wraps are also helping with his fear of thunder.  We are even resuming our walks with the dogs in Innisfree Park later this week!

All best wishes
Annette and Lucy (woof)

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