Peanut Gallery: Now who needs therapy … the dog or his owner? | SierraSun.com
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Peanut Gallery: Now who needs therapy … the dog or his owner?

Sherry Mays

It was a traumatic day at the Mays house Saturday – It was my “little man’s” birthday.

I can’t call him my “little boy” anymore, because he’s now 8 years old. Yes, my dog Kito is growing up and sometimes, I have to think, not too gracefully.

I began thinking about his life and what I have put him through when I drove out to Russel Valley to interview pet therapist Leslie Moran. (See story in next week’s paper)

Moran is a wonderful animal person gifted with the “sixth sense” to heal animals who are ill, in pain or otherwise mental. This is where I think Kito fits in – in the mental category.

He’s not evil, doesn’t chew on things he shouldn’t, doesn’t run away or bark all night. It is the look he gives me when I catch him peeking out from his bed in the morning or the complete melting effect a small doggie massage has on him. He always makes me feel guilty, like I should be spending 20 hours a day with him and four hours, aah, sleeping.

It was spending more than an hour and a half with Moran and her menagerie that made me feel like I owe Kito more than just the good life – he’s my buddy and I should give him the great life.

Moran can communicate with animals from afar and when I introduced her to Kito I felt like they were communicating and Kito was letting out family secrets or, worse yet, the idea that I was neglecting him.

After Moran and Kito stared at each other for a few minutes, I felt betrayed and closed the car door in Kito’s face, breaking off the bond. Does he love her more for understanding him? Am I a good mother?

The moment made me break a sweat. I blurted out a farewell to Moran and sped from her driveway. It was nothing against her, it was my guilt for not spending every waking moment with Kito.

He stared at the back of my head all the way along Hobart Mills Road. I could feel the holes he was burning through my skull. “Why can’t you be like her?” he kept thinking. I felt like dirt.

Then the worst happened. I stopped the car near the old mill and asked Kito if he wanted to go for a snowy hike. He took off like a bat out of hell. See ya…

He ran … and ran … and ran, never looking back to see if I had been run over by a snowmobile, mauled by a bear or knocked unconscious by a block of falling ice from a towering pine. He didn’t care. This was his time to show me just how much he wanted to run away. I ran after him a short time and finally yelled for him to stop when I heard a snowmobile in the vicinity.

He stopped, looked and then kept running to Prosser Reservoir. I felt puny. I wondered if Moran told him to just run away. You never know.

He worked his way back and we ended the hikeback to the truck together.

Then I realized he was mental. He wouldn’t leave my heels. He hopped in the truck and we went shopping.

When we got home, we celebrated his birthday with rawhides, Bonz and special crunchies. Actually he enjoyed the Bonz, rawhides and crunchies, and I celebrated with a glass of chardonnay.

I told my husband I was going to send Kito to therapy and he told me I was the one who needed therapy.

Between the move from the East Coast to Squaw Valley, to Tahoe City, to Squaw Valley, to Truckee, to Verdi, to Truckee and then to Olympic Heights, and the changes in schedules, my college schedule, the horses, and the eight years of transition, I don’t think therapy would be all that bad. Maybe we both need therapy, come to think of it. Now if I could only find a therapist who could communicate with my mind by only looking at a photo, because I can’t spend any more time away from my “little guy” or “my big guy.” I couldn’t bear the guilt.

Sherry Mays is a Sierra Sun reporter.

Sierra Sun E-mail: sun@tahoe.com

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