Columbia Dog Talk: Tips for caring for aging pets

Even if/when Riley recovers from his illness, he won't come out of it any younger! Here’s a little video from Shari Sternberger, a local holistic practitioner, with some tips on caring for aging pets.

Last week at this time, I was in tears, after learning about Riley’s diagnosis and his blood work that kept going in the wrong direction—up—instead of down, as I had hoped. As I mentioned earlier, we decided to not risk the suggested surgery, and vowed to make Riley’s life as happy and comfortable as we could.

On the way back from the vet in Gaithesburg, I passed through Highland, and was reminded of a demonstration I had seen some years ago at Shari Sternberger’s Elements of Energy. Shari is a holistic practitioner for people and pets, and incorporates healing touch, Reiki, sound and light therapies, and other techniques. I thought a little visit for Riley—and me—might be just the thing to help focus our energy on our goal.

Shari was able to see him the next day. I can’t say which of us—Riley or me—benefited more. Riley certainly relaxed into the repertoire of treatments that Shari provided. And I benefited from chatting with someone who had such a wealth of experience with older and ailing dogs. I realize that her support is not a substitute for traditional veterinary care—which we are still continuing, but I found it a valuable adjunct.

Here’s a little video Shari made with tips on caring for aging pets. (Warning: This one’s about cleaning up poop!) Even if/when Riley recovers from his illness, he won't come out of it any younger! So being prepared for the road ahead is a good idea.

Riley, by the way, is feeling fine right now and has his healthy appetite back. He even darted after a squirrel the other day. We're not sure if he's "out of the woods" yet, but the jaundice seems to be subsiding, and all other signs are normal--no pain, diarrhea, vomiting, etc. I don’t know if it’s the antibiotics, the low-fat small-meals diet, the energy healing, time itself, or a combination of the above. But I’ll take it!

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