August 22, 2010

Building Confidence and Concentration

Yesterday was "Shelter Day" and Steve & I set up the Confidence Course, or Playground of Higher Learning as it is sometimes called.

Angus is an adorable year old Pit Bull.  When I met Angus he stood up on his hind legs with his front paws reaching for my shoulders and started giving kisses.  Obviously a dog that is comfortable around people.  Turns out he is not comfortable walking on a lead and will quickly "Pancake" - flattening himself to the ground.

I always work at a dog's own comfort level and Angus just wasn't going to walk with me to go out to the field where we had the ground work set up.  It is very rare I ever carry a dog at the shelter and now I've done it twice in a month.  Angus was quite comfortable being carried and resting his head on my shoulder.

Because Angus was so reluctant to walk I started off with some gentle calming touches.  If you'll notice the way Angus was turning his head away, even this was too much for him.

We did some ground work.  It was difficult for Angus to walk with me at all.  Here he is stepping over the poles but at least was moving.  We worked the course 3 times and it took about a 1/2 hour to do one pass through.

I would say that the time was well spent.  After the ground work we did some more touches.  Although his head is still turned he has a soft and relaxed look to him and his eyes are open.

I did not have to carry Angus back to the corral at the shelter because he jogged with me.  :-)

Next we worked with DJ.  DJ is a 5 year old Pit Bull and is a complete sweet heart. You would have sworn that DJ and done this course a thousand times.

Not only was he great working the Confidence Course but he was quite happy with his touches too!

My biggest challenge is working with what we call a "fool around dog".  What exactly is a "fool around dog"?  Well stress is dealt with a number of ways.  The dog "Freezes", tries to "Flee", with "Fight" or "Fool Around".  Lance is a Fool Around Dog.

When I started with Lance he was jumping and bouncing.  Twisting and spinning.  It was difficult to even get Lance to keep his feet on the ground.  While Lance was going through all his motions I made sure I was breathing and focused on keeping myself calm and light.  I tend to want to throw up my hands and give up.  Not today!

Lance was "out of his body" and what he needed was a Thundershirt or a Wrap.  At first I put him in a Thundershirt and it was okay but I thought it was just too much sensation for him.  What gave me that idea?  He got more wound up and rolled around in the dirt and stickers!

The Thundershirt came off and a 1/2 body wrap went on.  Now I had quite a bit more of Lance's attention.

Usually I walk dogs counter clockwise around the star.  Lance couldn't pay attention when we walked that way so I switched and we went the other way.  He did fantastic.

A totally different Lance
How long did it take for Lance to calm down and focus?  Well after his 30 minute session he walked back to the corral with me without jumping up at all.  He was a totally different Lance.

August 21, 2010

San Diego Humane Society - TTouch Happy Hour Lecture

San Diego Humane Society offers "Happy Hour Lectures" on various pet topics once a month.  This month my Mentor - Cynde, another Practitioner in Training - Mary, and myself were asked to do a presentation on Tellington TTouch.

We had a wonderful turnout of 43 participants and raised $516 for the shelter.

As Cynde talks about Ear TTouches I deomonstrate how to do them on my demo dog, Jake.

After seeing the demo it was time for everyone to practice on their own ear.  The Ear Work is so very important because it influences the vital statistics and can bring respiration under control and can actually prevent an animal (or a human) from going into shock.

We use several different leash configurations in Tellington TTouch.  Mary is demonstrating the Balance Leash.

Cynde wrapped things up by doing a demo on a dog and a cat. 

I have always enjoyed teaching friends how to do TTouch on their animal.  In my week long sessions I have valued the opportunity to work with newer students and help them learn the work.  So far I have presented to the Whippet group and co-taught at the Humane Society.  It's official!  I love sharing the gift of Tellington TTouch with others.

August 18, 2010

Busy week!

Oh my gosh what a busy week this has been.

You have to see the darlings I worked with at the shelter on Saturday.

Silly Trooper boy!

Trooper is no longer showing any signs of being stressed.  Quite the opposite!  Look at this sweet clown.

Frankie is "Stinkin' Cute", says I

Frankie is getting more and more handsome every day.  I love how he roars like a lion.  Really brings a smile to my face.

Baby Huey
Baby Huey is one big boy and so very smart.  He knows how to sit, lay down, shake with BOTH paws and Saturday I started to teach him "Touch".  I found out he is also tender hearted and very in tune to the person he is with.

As I worked with Baby Huey a young girl drove by and it was clear she was upset.  She circled back to me and told me she had accidentally hit a dog that was running loose and she was bringing it to the shelter to see if they could help.  I directed her where to go and then I sat there and said a little prayer in my head for the dog, the vet that would try to help and for the girl.  Huey was sitting in front of me facing the other way and couldn't have known that a tear had slid down my cheek.  But he did know.  Huey turned round and licked the tear away and buried that big head on my shoulder.  He is going to be a wonderful pet for someone.

Pretty Willow
Then I got to work with Willow!  What a beauty she is.  She came to the shelter and lost a puppy that was still born.  This is really hard on the Momma dogs.  She has been feeling down and we thought TTouch just might cheer her up.  Do you think it worked?

Have I ever mentioned that working with the shelter dogs feeds my soul?  Come to think of it, I'm sure I have.

August 12, 2010

Greater San Diego Whippet Club TTouch Demo

Whippets everywhere!  The Greater San Diego Whippet Club invited me to come share about Tellington TTouch at their annual meeting.

The dogs had some off leash fun at Fiesta Island and then settled in while their people enjoyed a wonderful potluck and tried their hand at TTouch.

I had the help of some really great models.

Dazzle and I showed how to do Lying Leopards and Ear Work.

This is a Thundershirt.

I'm sure Cedric enjoyed the warmth as much as the comforting pressure of the shirt's design.

Temperatures dropped and the wind picked up.

Both people and doggies were bundled up.

My friend Jo made the observation that possibly one of the reason Whippets are so calm is because they are often swaddled in Jackets and Coats very similar to a Thundershirt.

Cedric wears the 1/2 wrap

Red wears his Tellington TTouch Step-In Harness.

Here we are getting ready to teach everyone how to use the Balance Lead.

See the beautiful boy in the tent?  That is Tommy, he is being trained by Freedom Dogs to be a hero for our heroes that have returned from war.  Freedom Dogs are trained to help with post traumatic syndrome and other challenges our worriers face as they enter back into their former lives.

I have been invited to do a demo for this incredible group. 

Tellington TTouch has brought so many wonderful people and opportunities into my life.  Now I have been given the chance to play a small part in this gift to our military.  I look forward to meeting with those that are training these very special dogs and showing them ways that TTouch can be integrated into their training.  Finally a way for me to thank these brave men and women for their own personal sacrifice for my freedom!

August 10, 2010

I apologize for those that have already signed and forwarded this important petition……..but

Somehow our Petition to keep Complimentary Veterinary Therapies Legal just went "poof" in cyber space and all signatures were lost.
Click to Sign this URGENT Petition

Right now it is California that stands to lose their rights but any other state could be next.  Please sign regardless where you live.  Your voice needs to be heard.
Bubba wants his TTouch!

California Senators vote on a bill Thursday that will determine if you have the right to seek complimentary care for your pets. Complimentary care included TTouch, Reiki, Massage, Chiropractics and many other modalities.

If you haven’t already contacted your Senator and asked them to remove this offending language to AB 1980 I encourage you to do so.

Find YOUR Senator and let them know that YOU want the right to decide what is best for your pet and that using complimentary veterinary therapies does not replace your veterinary needs.

I apologize for those that have already signed and forwarded this important petition…… know what they say about the squeaky wheel.  Let's squeak!  :-)

I look forward to returning you to your TTouch filled, Pet Lovin' blog posts just as soon as we win this war.

August 8, 2010

Protect Your Rights as an Animal Owner - They are at RISK

Immediate action is required NOW before AB 1980 makes it through the next hurdle to becoming law.

What is AB 1980 and what does it mean to you?

If AB 1980 passes into law, YOU as a pet owner, will not have the right to seek alternative care for your pet.  You no longer will be able to seek out massage, Tellington TTouch, Reiki, aromatherapy, flower essence therapy, laser light therapy, assistance with mobility issues or any other type of health enhancing care that is not specifically administered by a licensed veterinarian.

On the surface you may think that it is a good idea that only a Veterinarian has the right to help pets.  Problem is it takes many different modalities to offer our pets the health benefits they deserve.  The veterinary community cannot do everything on their own any more than the above mentioned modalities can.  It takes a group effort to give our animals the quality of life they deserve.

Take action NOW!

The issue will be voted on this 
Thursday, August 12.  
Time is running out.
  1. Contact your Senator and express your opposition to proposed change (c) in Section 10 of AB 1980.

    "(c) Administers a drug, medicine, appliance, application, or treatment of whatever nature for the prevention, cure, or relief of a wound, fracture, bodily injury, or disease of animals, except where the medicine, appliance, application, or treatment is administered by a registered veterinary technician or an unregistered assistant at the direction of and under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian ...."

    Please provide an example how an alternative modality has assisted your pet, that it is an enhancement to and not a replacement for veterinary care.
  2. Pass on this Blog Post to all your contacts.
Here is an example of how it takes many different specialties to help an animal:

Marley ruptured a disk in his back in December resulting in intense pain and full back end paralysis.  He had the best Neuro Surgeon for his surgery and he had the best Rehabilitation Veterinarian.  Marley did fantastic and regained mobility and muscle tone.  At the end of his rehab his hind legs were still not set square under his body and his feet badly crossed each other.  Tellington TTouch body wraps, touches and ground work changed that.  It took a Neuro Surgeon, a Rehabilitation Veterinarian and a Tellington TTouch Practitioner to complete Marley's recovery.  No one player on this team could have gotten the same result alone.

Complimentary Veterinary Therapies are just that COMPLIMENTARY and not a replacement for veterinary services.

As a pet owner you should have the ultimate decision regarding your pet's well-being, not the politicians and not the California Veterinary Medical Board, the California Veterinary Medical Association, or the California Registered Veterinary Technician Association.

Veterinarians are not trained and certified in the very modalities that they alone will be able to provide.  If these Veterinarians do not make a commitment to this education and actually offer these modalities to their patients then the animals are the ultimate losers.

Medical Doctors do not force such ridiculous restrictions on humans.  The person that gives you a massage to release tension and pain is not a Medical Doctor.   As humans we have the right to take control of our own bodies and seek out treatments that are right for us.  Why should it be any different for our animals?

If this isn't enough to garner your support think about the high rate of unemployment in California?  This bill would take contributing, self-sustaining business owners and strip them of their business.  Strip them of the right to practice their modality that they have worked so hard to learn and earn certifications and licensing to practice.

What gives the California Veterinary Medical Board, the California Veterinary Medical Association, and the California Registered Veterinary Technician Association the right to do this?  Well if you don't stand up and fight against this insanity then YOU give them the right.

Please don't give them the right to take away the rights of pet owners and licensed Practitioners!

I had a serious "Jack Attack"!

Could he be any sweeter?  Nope!

Saturday I had my first official session with Jack.  Yes, we met at the shelter last week and I worked with him but I still consider this one our first.

Jack is settling in his new foster home quite nicely.  Gone is the timid boy I met last week.  He is 100% puppy, full of kisses and all "wiggly butt".

The big plan for the day was to get Jack fitted into a TTouch Step-In Harness and a double ended leash.  We decided to let Jack select the color of his harness and I spread them all out on the floor.  Although at first he thought he wanted Navy Blue he quickly returned it for the Bright Blue.  Not only is Jack ultra precious he has a fantastic sense of color and fashion.

After fitting him in his harness his foster parents and I took him outside and practice using the Super Balance Leash.  We practiced "let's go!" & "and wait".   Jack caught on quickly.  Since he has had such serious trauma to his head and face it is safe to assume that his neck has had trauma as well.  I don't want Jack doing any pulling that will irritate his neck.  The harness is perfect for him.

I was so happy to see that Jack's eye is getting better.  The swelling is going down a bit and you can actually see his eye now.  The abscess is draining and getting smaller.  Jack will be having a full medical evaluation on Thursday, August 12.  As bad as his eye and the abscess are what really concerns me is his leg.

The angle of Jack's left leg is NOT because of how he is sitting.

My concern is that Jack is going to be a really big dog.  I'm not a Vet but I have to wonder how this badly healed leg is going to handle all the growth to come.  How will the bone grow?  How will it support his weight?  What about all the calcium build up on the inside of that leg?  These things concern me.  Right now we don't know if the Shelter will recommend and provide surgery to fix his leg.  We will know more Thursday if the Vet recommends surgery to fix it and if the shelter has the funds to do it.

With all that this little boy has been through, and the incredible attitude of love he has, it is my hope he will receive everything he needs to make up for what has happened to him.

Please keep Jack in your thoughts and prayers as very important medical decisions are made that will impact the rest of his life.

August 7, 2010

Confidence Work at the Shelter

What a day of fun we had at the Shelter!  Steve came with me and provided the help I need to set up the Playground of Higher Learning.

Morty was too nervous to walk

I hadn't planned to work with Morty today but a shelter volunteer asked if I would help him.  Morty is a very, very sweet and loving puppy but he really lacks confidence.  Although Morty was too nervous to walk he was quite comfortable being carried over to the Playground of Higher Learning - also called the Confidence Course.

Morty gets some ear work
As soon as we started I knew Morty would be different from any dog I've worked with in the labyrinth.  He was just too nervous to go.  We started with ear work.

Eventually Morty would take a few steps and quickly sit.  I used lots of treats to get Morty to take a few more steps.  We graduated to tossing treats on the ground up ahead to get him to go a little further.  Thankfully Morty LOVES turkey liver  :-)

After about 20 minutes we called it done for the day.  At first I had to carry Morty back toward the shelter but then I sat him down and encouraged him to walk.  He walked about 50 yards on his own!  I was very proud of how much braver he was in such a short time.

Next up was Frankie!  I've seen this adorable Chow x Shar Pei mix before.  Poor Frankie has had a goodly amount of eye surgery and a nasty bout of demodex mange.  The first time I saw Frankie I though he growled at me.  I never worry about a growl and just take it to mean that the dog is not comfortable with me and I need to change something. Well, turns out he was not growling at me!  Poor guy just sounds like that when he breathes!  He is a complete angel. 

Frankie loved his Tellington TTouches and snorted and smiled the entire time.  What fun it was taking this little monkey through the course.  He caught on so quickly and really paid attention to me.

You know, Frankie didn't hesitate one little bit when it was time to do the ladder.  You would have sworn this wasn't his first rodeo!

Darling Trooper has been at the shelter too long and he really isn't happy about that.  In fact word has it he is getting a bit depressed.  I thought some fun in the Playground of Higher Learning and some loving TTouches would be perfect for him.

At first Trooper was not focusing on me and really had no idea what I was asking of him.  I admit from a dogs point of view it is a bit odd. 

Well on about the 3rd pass through the course Trooper really started to get it. 

He focused on me and waited for directions.


By the end of our session Trooper was even doing the ladder with a stranger near by watching him.

One of the things I really love about this work is the dogs are so different for me.  I never saw any sign of depression in Trooper.  He was fantastic! 

I believe the dogs appreciate that I speak their language and understand them.  It makes them comfortable that I mimic proper dog body language to them, never force them to do anything but make it fun so they want to engage with me.  They get TTouches as rewards or encouragement and they know they have my undivided attention.  By the time the session is over, I have theirs too!

August 6, 2010

Tellington TTouch a criminal activity???

Animals like Camelot benefit from many different modalities

Normally this is not the place for political agendas.  Today is not a normal day.  The California Assembly passed a bill that will prohibit Tellington TTouch, Massage, Flower Essence Therapy, Reiki, Laser Therapy and many other modalities unless they are performed by a licensed veterinarian.  This bill is now going before the Senate.

Who would think of passing such a one sided bill?  Well, AB 1980 is jointly sponsored by the California Veterinary Medical Board, the California Veterinary Medical Association, and the California Registered Veterinary Technician Association.

Helping Jack relieve pain with gentle touches can't be wrong.

Tellington TTouch is not a substitution for veterinary treatment and it never has been.  Tellington TTouch is complimentary and supportive of health services.  

Practitioners of these specialized modalities take years to complete their certifications and perfect their skills.  Dreams have been followed and realized, small businesses built and countless animals and their people helped along the way.  All of this may be ripped away.

Please take the time to help the animals and Practitioners of these modalities continue doing what they do best...helping the animals.

Included are some links where you can take real action and help fight the fight.

Lily walked again with Acupuncture and TTouch

The bill passed through the Assembly with absolutely no opposition.  It is my belief that the reason it made it through the Assembly so easily is very few people knew about it.  Well we know now!  Practitioners of various modalities and their clients are not happy about this change and they are making their Senators aware.

Will you help us?  You don't have to live in California to help.  You can spread the word.  You can make sure this blog post is emailed to all your friends and ask them to do likewise.  Post it to your social networking sites and ask friends in California to make that call or send an email.

Time is critical.  They could vote on this as early as Thursday, August 12.

If the bill passes as-is the animals are the ones that stand to lose the most.  If the bill does pass as-is it is my hope and prayer that Veterinarians from all over California begin enrolling in certification programs for Tellington TTouch, Acupressure, Flower Essence Therapy, Laser Treatment, Reiki, Aroma Therapy, Massage and all the rest. 

It took Veterinary Care, TTouch and a special diet to help Gertie

August 1, 2010

Lookie what I got!!!

Nicole is awesome!  She just sent me these pics of Jack and Darla.  No point posting tomorrow what can be posted tonight!

I'm not sure if it is my imagination or if it is all of the "distance" work that has been offered up to Jack but I swear his face looks quite a bit better than it did yesterday.  We have people from all over the world that are doing distance TTouch, CranioSacral Therapy, Theta Healing, Thought Field Therapy and Emotion Code Therapy on Jack.  Not to mention all the prayers that are being said for him.

When I first heard about how sweet Darla is being with him my first thoughts were "Jack has a girlfriend"...but I think what Jack has is a Momma!

Such a good girl isn't even competing for his bone.

All babies need a bit of a nap after playing and having a snack.  Jack is no different.  He and Darla snuggle in for sweet dreams of happy days!

Thank you to Nicole and Dale for opening their hearts and home to this very special boy.

Update on little Jack!

Nicole is the Kennel Manager at the shelter and also the short-term foster mom for Jack.  Yesterday she promised to keep me updated on how he is doing.  Bless her heart she has kept her word  :-)

Turns out Jack is a totally different dog now that he is at her house.  He loves her Boxer x Pit girl, Darla and Darla is pretty fond of Jack too.  She is letting him jump on her and even pull on her lips like puppies will do!

All signs of Jacks shyness are gone.  He is eating and drinking, running and playing, even going potty outside like a big boy.  Dogs usually do much better after leaving a shelter environment but this little guy is just exceptional in every way.

Nicole will be sending me pictures tomorrow and I'll ask if I can share them here.  Jack has a fan club that reaches 'round the world thanks to all of you that read my blog and my entire TTouch family.

More good news!  I heard from my friend Steph.  She will be doing the longer term foster for Jack once he has his surgery and has given me the green light to continue working with him then too.   As soon as Nicole and Jack are ready I'll bring over all my harnesses and we will pick one out that is just his color!

We are all pulling for Jack to make a complete recovery, mentally and physically.  I'd say we are well on our way!