I’ve been having trouble with my left shoulder and the pain got pretty bad. I’ve recently switched from tennis to pickle ball and in tennis I had a two handed back hand so naturally I continued to use that technique in pickle ball. The problem is the motion of a two handed back hand in pickle ball is much “tighter” than it is in tennis and it resulted in injury. I knew that is where the problem originated and I quickly learned a mean single-handed back hand but my shoulder still hurt and it has been hurting for a long time.
Finally, I went to a lovely Korean muscular therapist who explained that shoulders are very complex and injuries take a long time to heal. Her work was helping and she told me I should also consider doing acupuncture in addition to the work we were doing. So, I found a lovely Chinese woman with a PhD in Chinese medicine and acupuncture and saw her for the first time last week. It seemed to help a little so I went back today. Today seemed to help a LOT which is nice.
After my treatment as we were sitting at Julie’s desk scheduling my next appointment, I noticed a picture of her with a gorgeous golden retriever.
“Oh my god, your dog is beautiful!” I said.
“She was beautiful,” Julie replied, “and I adored her. I never had children so she was like my child.”
“What happened?” I asked.
“She got cancer, we tried everything, but we finally had to put her down,” she said as her eyes got red and watery.
“That is horrible,” I said, “I never had kids either and as an adult I have had to live through the death of three beloved dogs. Two of them golden’s.”
“Oh, that’s awful,” Julie said.
She went on to describe the day she knew it was time to put Scarlett down. She talked about the vet coming to her house so Scarlett didn’t think they were going in the car to go to the park. She described how she got Scarlett up on her lap in a big bear hug and then allowed the vet to give her the shot. She described what it felt like to have Scarlett die in her arms. She said it was very peaceful but she and I were both sobbing. She grabbed a box of Kleenex….
“I’m so sorry to make you cry,” she said softly.
“It’s okay,” I said, “crying is okay.”
They say one of the most gut wrenching things in life is when a parent has to bury a child. The problem with being a dog parent is that you have to bury most of them.