This is my 15 year old dog, Ginger. My wife lured her into the house with steak 13 years ago. She has been a great dog and I have learned much from her. One day, we found a small yellow lump on her right front paw and she was diagnosed with mast cell cancer. We had the mast cell tumor removed and the vet oncologist told us that mast cell cancer was very aggressive in Shar Peis and that if we didn’t do chemo and radiation that she would be dead in 30 to 90 days. In addition to that, Shar Peis are only supposed to live to age 10.
We did not do the chemo or radiation because of her age. We treated with alternative healing methods. We focused on diet, exercise, energy work, herbal therapies, Tongren, positive thinking, and a lot of love. That was three years ago last May.
So what is keeping Ginger alive and well? I’m sure the therapies and the love help, but the amazing thing, and the one main thing that has kept her alive is her extremely strong spirit. This dog’s spirit is palpable. She is headstrong and willful and powerful. Despite receiving a death sentence over three years ago, she endures. She not only endures, she thrives. She still loves her walks. She is still extremely motivated by food (we have that in common). She loves her life. Although my wife and I were full of fear from Ginger’s diagnosis, it didn’t faze her in the least. Dogs aren’t wired that way. She just keeps going with a strong will and an energy that takes her through whatever is in front of her. She didn’t believe what the vet oncologist said. She didn’t buy into our fear. She just kept going.
She is the dog version of Lance Armstrong, coming back strong when everyone counted her out.
I recently watched The Big Lebowski, one of my favorite movies. In the final scene, the cowboy tells the Dude to, “Take it easy”. And the Dude replies, “The Dude abides.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TE_oIIIwWl0
The next time someone hands you a bad health report or an unfair criticism or a personal attack, don’t believe it. Dig down deeply into your own strength and spirit and just abide. More on what my dog taught me in the next blog.