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Encore’s Rehab . . . A Week at Home!

Posted on 12/26/12 96 Comments

It is hard to believe Encore has been home a full week today. She is getting stronger and stronger but sometimes is frustrated by what she can’t yet do. Personally I am thrilled with all she has been able to over come.  I put together this little video of show you some of her successes and struggles. It is hard to know if her frustration is stemming from the fact she wants to do something but can’t or possibly that she believes she is doing what I ask but doesn’t actually recognize she isn’t doing it! I guess there is no really want of knowing but for I am trying to keep her frustration down just in case she believes she her body is doing one thing when it is really doing something else!

We have had a few set backs with her suffering minor “focal seizures” on three consecutive days leading up to a full seizure at 3:30 am on Christmas Eve. Luckily I am a very light sleeper. I got up and our friend Louise and I drove her the 45 minutes to the Emergency clinic. They were nice enough to give us a private room where Encore and I snuggled in on the floor until the neurologist showed up around 8:30. More blood work and a change of meds and she has been much better ever since. We still don’t have a “cause” for all of these health struggles but are still searching for answers.

Long road ahead but I got the best Christmas present ever just having her back home with us.

Today I am grateful for amazing progress Encore has been able to make is such a short time and all of the people and prayers that got us to this place!


  1. katrin says:
    Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 1:17pm

    I know you have an awesome team of vets on your side, but I would also recommend Dr. Sisson in Boston. When my 7 year old aussie, Blaze, suddenly lost reflexes and vision on his left side and was diagnosed with GME and given 6 months or less by our vet I enlisted 5 vets in 3 countries to help him. Dr. Sisson was the one to catch the misdiagnosis and get him off the drugs that would have killed him. He has a lot of experience with GME and similarly presenting neurological conditions. See the “new gme dogs” Yahoo group for his many, many fans. Blaze is now 10, and doing great, never got back to 100%, but only remaining symptom is some residual weakness in his hind end.


  2. Barbara says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 9:22am

    Perfect song to go with the journey you are on – who is the artist? Can’t seem to place it. Also have a dog who has had seizures in the last six months so watch the rehabilitation and progress with Encore with much interest.


    • Melissa says:
      Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 12:05pm

      Hi Barbara! It’s Jason Mraz: I won’t give up! 🙂


  3. Dana Toomey says:
    Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 4:08pm

    Thank you for this beautiful video and thank you for Encore and for you, Susan Garrett. I love your loving spirit – that’s both of you plus all your supporters.


  4. Norma Nelson and Brogan says:
    Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:25am

    Hi Susan

    Happy New Year!

    It is January 10th and I am wondering how Encore is doing?

    When you have the time could you update your blog.

    Thanks, and take care… Norma


  5. Evie says:
    Monday, January 7, 2013 at 8:38am

    how absolutely wonderful ….


  6. dvdance says:
    Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 11:40am

    Susan, your love and dedication is truly inspiring! Thank you for sharing


  7. Judy Martin says:
    Tuesday, January 1, 2013 at 3:09pm

    Atta girl, Missy Encore! You are one remarkable pooch! Your mom ain’t too bad either.:)


  8. Jane Gray says:
    Monday, December 31, 2012 at 1:01am

    Wonderful see the progress you guys are making. I must admit on welling up a little bit myself. The obvious devotion the two of you have to each other is very inspiring. Thank you so much for keeping us up-to-date on Missie’s progress. Wishing you a very happy new year Susan and I look forward to what 2013 will bring us all.


  9. Carol Shepler says:
    Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 10:42pm

    Balled my eyes out, but it was so amazing to see what wonderful progress she has made in such a short time! She obviously has tremendous heart…just love seeing her wag her tail! But she also has a wonderful mommy, who is doing everything in the world to bring her back to her ole’ self! What an inspiration to watch susan with encore…special bond! It shows! SO glad she is doing so well and hope the new year bring lots of romps and swims!


  10. Mary Lou Hanlon says:
    Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 7:38am

    She is doing great. Inspiring!


  11. Carol W. says:
    Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 3:46am

    You are truely an amazing person. Even through your hardships and struggles with Encore you enrich us with lessons of perservance and courage. Thank you for teaching us the lesson of unconditional love. Encore’s remarkable recovery is evidences of your gift as a talented teacher and trainer. Say Yes Dog Training is a perfect name for your training facility. Thank you and God Bless you and your family.


  12. Tawny says:
    Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 5:10pm

    I have watched this before but just watched again as it makes my heart sing. Encore has come back so far in such a small amount of time and it’s amazing to watch. Love it. Go Missy Encore…


  13. Andrea says:
    Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 2:45pm

    Very good news, and so inspiring! Have a friend here who is going through a similar experience with an older dog. Such love and care involved – it is true that so many people in the world could learn volumes from dogs and their people. Am still thinking of you and praying for Encore’s health.


  14. sharon empson says:
    Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 2:16pm

    I loved watching her keeping her eyes on you during the water exercises. She so needs you! What a heart our dogs have for us! love sharon and her pups bindi cody and terra.


  15. Deb says:
    Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 12:33pm

    I’m crying tears of joy that she has come so far in so short of time–her journey was possible because of the love that you and those close to you have shown for her. So easy to give up and accept . . . so amazing to see what happens when one doesn’t give up. May your journey of love together continue to open our eyes to what’s possible if we don’t give up.


  16. Penny Mead says:
    Friday, December 28, 2012 at 9:57pm

    I cannot put into words how much the relationship, understanding and communication you and Encore share are helping you both as you travel this part of your journey together. I did smile about the luring, Encore must have thought to themselves, these people have never been to one of my mom’s workshops!! But what an incredible and true demonstration of how the things we teach our dogs and then understanding we share can be more than just trimmings, they can be life changing and life enhancing. Whatever the final outcome this is a meaningful and special time and it warms my heart that you can share it with us. God bless you both.


  17. denise says:
    Friday, December 28, 2012 at 6:03pm

    wonderful stuff


  18. Diane says:
    Friday, December 28, 2012 at 2:54pm

    Wow – I am so happy for Encore’s rapid recovery – she looks great! Hope she maintains the rate of improvement till she’s back to 100%. Sending continued good thoughts and prayers for her.


  19. Barb Stanek says:
    Friday, December 28, 2012 at 2:52pm

    Thanks for sending. I have three dogs with chronic physical ailments. I so could relate to the progress. And there is progress. Wishing you all the best in 2013. Barb


  20. Bob & Cyd Griffin says:
    Friday, December 28, 2012 at 1:56pm

    So good to see the progress that Encore is making albeit with the love and help of those around her. We hope this continues and that she makes a full recovery.


  21. Chris McQ says:
    Friday, December 28, 2012 at 11:01am

    Corey, you’ve come a long way baby in just one week!! Keep it up! A big “well done” to to SG, LOH, and Louise for all the effort you’ve put in. P.S. Corey, if you want ANYTHING, just give them the “but I need it for my rehab” look.


  22. Laura W. says:
    Friday, December 28, 2012 at 9:05am

    Best Christmast present ever, indeed! Wishing her continued success on the road to recovery.


  23. esther73 says:
    Friday, December 28, 2012 at 3:21am

    Tears in my eyes of joy! Wonderful to see how she advances and how she is surrounded by a loving family. She shows she’s got tons of confidence in her familymembers.
    I guess there are many (human)beings around the world that would do anything to find the loving care you are giving.
    Best regards,


  24. Rev. Dr. Kathy Haley says:
    Friday, December 28, 2012 at 1:52am

    So inspiring – such a loving patient mom.


  25. Veronica says:
    Friday, December 28, 2012 at 1:25am

    Please if you haven’t thought of this it may be worth thinking about.

    I was reading an article in a regular Dog journal we have here in Australia.
    Dr Darren Fry BVSC Internal Medicine Specialist at Brisbane Veterinary Clinic uses “Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy” It is one of a first in Australia with positive results.
    Dog cases treated are much like human. Eg.head( brain ) injury and stroke.Also many other injuries. The treatments expediate the healing process leading to a quicker recovery.
    The dog or patient sits comfortably in the chamber and inhales high pressure oxygen which significantly improves the oxygenation of body tissues, reaching damaged tissue three to four times more effectively than oxygen normally tranfered by red blood cells.( Quoted from article)
    This treatment has reversed cases of paralysis following a stroke….amazing stuff.


  26. Debbie says:
    Friday, December 28, 2012 at 1:02am

    Susan and John,You both truly walk your talk of your love for you dogs. Prayers and meditations your way.


  27. anji mckelvie says:
    Friday, December 28, 2012 at 12:30am

    Susan – YOUR patience and determination is just as inspiring as Encores!!


  28. Gary says:
    Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 10:53pm

    Susan, I have been SO inspired by you and your dogs throughout the current contacts course–a truly transformational experience! Watching the video of Encore’s rehab, however, is much more than inspiring; it is moving beyond words. Thank you for courageously sharing with all of us these most personal moments. My thoughts are with you and the amazing Encore.


  29. Pensieve says:
    Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 7:11pm

    This is really good to watch, and it’s about more than dogs. It serves as a reminder not to give up on the people in our lives as well even when reality throws, sometimes permanently, sometimes not, a wrench in our dreams of how we thought things were going to be.


  30. Debbi says:
    Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 4:50pm

    Wow…I so agree with Wendy..she is so lucky to have you Susan. All that you are patiently working thru with her is so crucial to her recovery. And I think by sharing this with us you give us the strength and hope needed to over come such monumental obstacles when we are faced with frightening circumstances. Thank you Susan and thank you Encore for giving us a very valuable lesson.

    Prayers and good withes.


  31. MaryAnn E says:
    Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 3:16pm

    More tears here. What wonderful progress and love.


  32. Do Land says:
    Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 2:56pm

    Boy you sure know how to touch one’s heart. So many times I wonder Susan if you or any of us know just who and how many souls you touch through the incredible love you demonstrate for your dogs. I personally know that over the past 2.5 years since I found you on the net you have touched by life in ways that are indescribable.

    Thank you – Bless You – !!


  33. Jane Jackson says:
    Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 11:28am

    Well done- such a lucky crew. You have a whole new series of lessons for all of us. JOY and thanks to you and yours.


  34. Carmen Mayer says:
    Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 10:45am

    Awesome progress!
    I don’t know in how far Encore’s vision is blocked, but you could use a mirror in front of her in order to make her brain think she is actually using her right paw and then regains that ability… Its sth. They do in human physiotherapy… All the best, carmen
    P.s. See you in Germany!


  35. Shelley says:
    Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 10:26am

    I’m crying seeing the love between you all, you and Encore, LOH and Encore. Sending love over to you all. x


  36. Kate says:
    Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 9:48am

    The best thing about the rehab is how much time you are spending with her. It’s a great reminder not to do less with our dogs just because they can no longer do what they could before. There’s always a relationship to grow, and that is the most important thing. Loved watching Encore run in the field!


  37. Louise S says:
    Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 9:14am

    I keep posting the same pathetic message of tears and hope and heartbreak and love and encouragement and prayers and just WILLING Encore to keep getting better and better. I know it might seem as though it’s a broken record but it’s so true. Please God bless you all and restore Encore to her former glory. We are all with you each and every day in spirit and love xo


  38. Veronica says:
    Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 7:15am

    Dear Susan
    I only just turned on my computer and was so very apprehensive to go to your web page.Just didn’t want to hear any bad news about Encore.I thought of her every day and reminised of how inspiring she was on the video’s of crate games and your 2×2 weave poles.Such a beautiful personality and so devoted to you.
    Then was pleasently suprised to see she pulled through her ordeal.WOW!! Just could not stop the tears. I wish you every success with her and hope she can make a full recovery.
    I now am saying a lttle prayer for you to have lots of courage for whatever the future holds.
    Bless you and all of your family.


  39. Iamlollipop says:
    Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 4:52am

    I love encore ‘s look when she is in the swimming pool …. She seems so grateful for all you’ve done for her …


  40. Sam-WOW!'s Momma says:
    Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 4:36am

    “Life is not about what happens to you, it’s about what you choose to do with what happens.” This quote reminds me of you and Encore right now. Encore will be okay because she lives in the moment and she has the best of care & love in you and John (& Lynda). Thank you for posting the video – very emotional for me to watch because of my similar experience but I wanted you to know that I am thinking of you. You are all truly inspiring.


  41. Rose Barham says:
    Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 4:25am

    Your doing an amazing job Encore and your Mum and her army of helpers:-))))


  42. Gudrun says:
    Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 3:44am

    watching your video brought tears to my eyes. Amazing to see her progress and the hard work both you and she are putting into her rehab.


  43. Jeanne says:
    Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 3:20am

    Joining everyone else in tears of joy as I watch the small successes and dedication of everyone, including Encore. If only EVERY dog could have such support. Way to go Susan, John, Lynda and of course Encore.


  44. Wendy Signorella says:
    Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 1:50am

    What a lucky girl to have someone who has all the tools to help her recover fully. So great, thanks for sharing her progress, she looks amazing. I love that she is improving in her swimming and stabilization skills. All your hard work is paying off.


  45. Shirley Kostric says:
    Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 1:21am

    I had tears of joy watching her progress. You were so patience with her and she was trying so hard. Very heartwarming watching her tail wagging so much. Go Ms. Encore GO!!!


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