Sunday, February 13, 2011

Gavin the ATF Explosive Canine Traumatized

On one episode of the Dog Whisperer, there was a story about a dog named Gavin. For 5 years, Gavin had been an ATF Explosive Canine or otherwise known as a bomb searching dog.

These dogs go in and detect the bombs, than sit down in such a way that the handler knows they have found something. The dogs are trained to not disturb what they find so that if it is a bomb, it will not go off.

Gavin and his handler went to Iraq always doing what was asked of him. When bombs were going off around them, he would freeze and quiver and shake just as his handler would do as well.

After Gavin returned from Iraq, the area he was living in experienced two major hurricanes, Katrina and Wilma. At the time, his handler was away on an assignment but Gavin was in the house. The windows were shaking and rattling which caused Gavin to go from room to room hiding. It was hard for them to get Gavin to eat and he was suffering from a canine form of PTSD.

After the hurricane, they could not get Gavin to come back inside the house and they literally had to drag him inside. During a 4th of July part, Gavin got so scared of the fireworks and found his way into a neighbor's bathroom shower stall to hide. They found him quivering and to frozen in fear and panic to come outside. After the incident with the fireworks, almost any type of sound would cause Gavin to hide and quiver and shake.

Ceaser Milan, the Dog Whisperer from that National Geographic channel was called in to help Gavin. The entire saga and episode was very interesting to watch because much of what Ceaser did with Gavin centers around the same concepts that Dr. Canali is teaching and working with others about trauma. Trauma, PTSD, panic attacks, and many other things usually find a home in the body through some form of traumatic experience or an ongoing buildup of stress.

Our bodies are designed to handle great deals of stress but when the nervous system is overloaded so dramatically in a moment or for a long period of time, the body and the mind changes. The switch gets flipped and soon a normal human being is acting in ways that are not related to the current circumstances. It is like the person becomes something they are not and which does not make sense.

Many have been traumatized in some way throughout our life. Some of us have experienced more than others but the net effect is still the same on the body. It impacts the body in very physical ways. If we allow this to continue in our life, it alters who we really are and are meant to be. If we use these things to transform ourselves, than we have the ability to do great things and to evolve ourselves in awareness and consciousness.

At one time, I thought trauma and child abuse were life sentences. However, I learned through the paralysis and conversion disorder I suffered from, that with time, healing and courageous work, I could move beyond these things. Yes, these horrible moments from my past do still affect me from time to time but I have learned that as I use the after affects to my benefit, that much greater things can arise.

No longer do I need to be on medications for anxiety, depression, migraines, nervous stomach, allergies and many other things. No longer do I need to live in constant fear of the fears that surrounded my life. No longer do I need to allow these things to pull me under and hold me back from living the life I was meant to live. Yet, at one time, the trauma I experienced did seem like a life sentence that I would never live beyond.

Much like Gavin, there was a switch flipped in my mind and much like this ATF dog, I was able to go in and heal myself physically. The healing does not just happen in the mind. It has to happen from inside the body, outward. The brain and mind is only a part of the equation. The rest of the equation happens in the body because the cells remember what happened even when the mind struggles to piece things together. In other words, there are issues in the tissues. Until the body is engaged in the healing process, the fears will still be a haunting force and true peace will only be a hopeful dream.

To Learn More About Gavin on The Dog Whisperer, click here

Learn About Dr. Paul Canali at Evolutionary Healing, click here

Read My Story, Hope And Possibility Through Trauma, click here

Blog Post & Images (c) 2/6/11 Don Shetterly - use by permission only

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