Monday, February 22, 2010

Dog Therapy

OK, sometimes I admit I go for forgiveness rather than permission.

Last week the CEO of The Coleman Institute saw a large boxy head with dangling tongue sticking out from the door of one of our beautiful treatment rooms. He’s a smart guy and recognized instantly it was not a human, but a very large dog’s head.

A charming patient (I’ll refer to her as Melissa from Minnesota) was here to detox from oxycodone. She wasn’t taking as high a dose as we have seen many patients take. Nonetheless, she was unable to get free from the 40-60mg a day she’d escalated to after a fairly routine knee surgery two years prior to her contacting us.

Melissa-like all of the clients we serve at TCI-had several reasons for wanting to be opiate free. Most everyone who comes through is just sick of the lifestyle of being a slave to the addiction. Work, money, relationships, and general vitality all take a toll when a person is physically dependent on narcotics. But the other thing driving Melissa was a deadline looming two weeks from her detox: she had a book signing with Barnes and Noble as her first novel is being published.

She had traveled across the country with her husband and Butch, her well behaved canine to do a detox with us and get a naltrexone implant.

It is so fun to come into a room all day long and see a sweet dog! And even though our detox process makes things very tolerable, I think it really helps to have your beloved dog with you. In the two years I’ve been at TCI, I’ve seen a toy poodle, 2 mastiffs, a beagle, a bull terrier and a couple others I can’t identify. I wish someone would come in with a Bernese Mountain Dog.
I suspect Butch will be accompanying Melissa on her book signing tour; he’s that kind of dog.

Joan Shepherd - FNP

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