Remembering the Snow Leopards: San Francisco SPCA Fundraiser

I sprung out of bed a little before dawn to watch the daylight touch the water of San Francisco Bay while reading a beautiful message of light in her heart and it brought back the feeling I had last night as I shared Tellington TTouch® with about 50 people attending my seminar at the  San Francisco SPCA.

Here I am TTouching a Snow Leopard through the fence.

TTouching a snow leopard through the fence at the Zurich Zoo. Amazing that she seemed to remember me from two years before when I TTouched her the one time when she had a raging fever.

Dr. Jeannine Burger, veterinary behaviorist and director of Behavior Services for the San Francisco SPCA,  introduced me and recalled that she  first met me  when she attended a lecture I gave at the  University of Zürich veterinary school in the late 1980s. She remembered Dr. Isenbügel, the head veterinarian for the Zürich Zoo, telling the students about the remarkable change from the work I had done earlier that day at the zoo on a nine-month old snow leopard.  The young Snow Leopard had an unidentifiable respiratory infection with a dangerously high temperature and drugs were having no observable effect.

Dr. Ewald Isenbügel asked me to work on the Snow Leopard because they gave her little hope of surviving.  The zoo keeper picked up the leopard and placed her in my outstretched arms.  Dr. Isenbügel said I could have 5 minutes with her, thinking it would be too stressful for her if she was held any longer.  I sat down in a chair with the leopard across my lap – my arms containing her around the chest and the hindquarters.  Her  body must have been about two feet long and her very long tail hung to the ground.

When I began, she had an elevated respiration with bloody mucus bubbling out of her nostrils with every breath.  I did the tiniest, light, 2-pressure Raccoon TTouches from the tip of her nose – along the both sides of the spine to the tip of her tail.  By the time I had worked slowly along her back to the hindquarters her respiration had slowed to normal and there was no more bloody mucus bubbling from her nostrils.

I remember working very slowly inch by inch down the long tail and it must have taken me about 20 minutes.  The whole time the other young leopard was watching me closely from about 10 feet away behind the wire of her enclosure.  I was visualizing the other Leopard feeling every TTouch I was doing on her sister.  When I put the young leopard back into the enclosure with her sister both were very quiet.

That night Dr. Isenbügel reported to the students attending my seminar that  the temperature of both leopards was normal and the fever had broken.

To me this was another one of those remarkable miracles we see with TTouch – an opportunity to communicate with the cells by holding their potential for ideal function. We simply support the body and it’s miraculous ability to heal itself.  After that one time of TTouch, Dr. Isenbugel was able to give injections to both leopards through the fence.

The young Snow  Leopard leaning against the fence so he can give her an injection through the hole in the wire! He has told me he realized he could do this after watching me connect with the leopard the day she lay in my lap.

Dr. Isenbugel, head vet at the Zurich Zoo for several decades, was able to give injections to the snow leopard through the wire. He said he realized this could be possible after watching me TTouch her just one time. .I’ve had the pleasure of observing Ewald Isenbugel with many of the animals at the Zurich Zoo for more than 30 years. His non-verbal connection to many species is a treasure to experience. The fact that this snow leopard would choose to push up against the fence for an injection gives much food for thought. .

In my demonstration at the SPCA I first worked with Buttercup, a cream-colored Chihuahua with the a very sweet face. She was in very bad shape when she first came quite a few months ago and was extremely reactive. Dr. Berger was not sure if they could save her because of her aggressive attitude. This San Francisco shelter is just amazing. It re-homed 5000 dogs last year and euthanized only eight! That is an amazing statistic.  25 years ago I remember TTouch teacher, Marnie Reeder, recalling that 45,000 dogs were euthanized each year at shelters just in the city of Austin, Texas. I believe the remarkable record at the San Francisco SPCA is due to all of the training and attention that is given to each dog under the skillful and caring direction of Dr. Jeannine Burger.

Michele Arnold and daughter, Gillian with newly adopted Buttercup at the San Francisco SPCA April 8, 2014

Michele Arnold and daughter, Gillian with newly adopted Buttercup at the San Francisco SPCA April 8, 2014


© 2014, Linda Tellington-Jones. All rights reserved.

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