September 26, 2010

Aurora progresses

Aurora walks best when concentrating on something in front of her.

Last week I discovered that Aurora moves easier and in a more organized fashion when there is something in front of her to follow.  The volunteers that worked with her this past week all used this to her advantage.  Some held a towel in front her her and others used cream cheese.

Today a couple volunteers met me bright and early at 8am to learn what they could do to help Aurora along her journey.

The first thing I did with Aurora today was use her existing harness and my double ended lead to create the Super Balance Leash.  This is a leash configuration that hooks on to her harness on the opposite shoulder of the dog from where I would be standing.  It is threaded through a loop on the front of the harness and the other end is fastened to the two rings on the back of the harness.  This configuration helps keep a dog in balance and is something Aurora needs.

The walk from the OK Corral to the Interaction area went quite nicely.  Aurora adjusted well to the Super Balance Leash and followed my wand.  There was some spinning but no falling down.  The volunteers commented on how nicely she walked with me.

After some TTouches to her face, head and all along her body to release some tension we got to work.

I tried using either end of my wand.  Aurora didn't have a preference
I had set up cones and encouraged her to walk along the outside of the circle, in the direction of her spinning.  Using the theory that I'd have her do something that comes naturally to her (counter-clockwise circles) but in a more controlled and organized manner.

When it was clear Aurora needed a break we would stop for some touches.  Tarantulas Pulling The Plow is her favorite.

Although she was overwhelmed when I tried a body wrap on her I decided to try again today.  I gently draped the wrap over her shoulders and she was fine.  After that I brought it in front of her chest and just held it in a mock 1/4 wrap.  Later I was able to tie it.  She wore the wrap about 1 minute before she got the wiggles and I took it off.  This was a huge step over last week.

As we sat there and I showed how to do the touches Aurora began to get mouthy.  She nibbled in my fingers, hands and knees.  She was gentle but this is not a habit we want her to develop.  I decided to put a calming band on her and bring some awareness to her mouth.  She took to it rather quickly and stopped mouthing.  Not only that but she was able to walk very straight with the calming band.  I'm really not sure why this is worked the way it did.

I made a calming band out of one of the thin wraps I had in my case that has Velcro on the end.  This wrap can be left at the shelter or with the volunteers that are working with her.

With all the love and attention Aurora is getting from people that really care about her and want to help she is seeing remarkable results in just a very short time.  You couldn't ask for a more loving and precious dog.

 A special Thank You to the folks at the shelter that are giving Aurora this chance and to all that are willing to work with her and help her be all she can be.....and more.

Responsible Dog Ownership Event

For months I have been looking forward to the Responsible Dog Ownership event being held at Bates Nut Farm on opening day of the famous Pumpkin Patch!

Responsible Dog Ownership was combined with Farming Education and there was everything from Bee Keepers, Heirloom Tomato Growers to Vintage Tractor parades!  Two Paw Up happy dog camp was the organizer for the "Dog People".

TouchNpaws had a booth too!

The day was wonderful but over 100 degrees!  Because of the Boy & Girl Scouts that were there for opening day we had a steady flow of people to talk to. 

It was wonderful to see so many people with all sorts of pets interested in what Tellington TTouch can do for their companions. 

I met people with dogs that jump, bark and lunge.  Those that are being treated for illness or injury.  Some had dogs with no problems at all but were interested in the bond that TTouch forms.  I even spoke with a Veterinarian who was interested in how TTouch could be used with her patients.

Of course I gave as many of the dogs as I could a little taste of what TTouch is all about.  Some had demos on the Balance Leash and others enjoyed some touches!

I talked so much and for so long that I hardly had a voice by the end of the day!  That's a great thing.

I'm looking forward to our next event on October 9.....the Boston Tea Party!

September 22, 2010


Well all my case studies are done for my week of training in Portland, Oregon.  My final five are ready to go.  I've worked with so many dogs it is rather difficult to pick the ones I want to turn in for credit.

One that was an easy selection was my case study on another type of animal than I typically work with.  One of my BFF's just got 2 adorable kittens and was gracious enough to allow me to practice working on cats using her kitties Willie and Nillie.

This case study was different for me in lots of ways.  First, and most obvious, is that they are cats and not dogs.  Also they are babies with no behavior or physical issues that needed influenced.

 Celeste and I practiced touches of all sorts.  I taught her to work on ears so she would be prepared in times of stress or injury.  I worked on feet and toes to help with nail trimming.  I would do some lying leopards as the kitties ran past me in play.  I did touches with the kitties in towels and also in baskets covered with a towel. 

One thing I wanted to try was a body wrap.  Having never wrapped a cat before but knowing the difference it makes with dogs I gave it a try.  Nillie was quite tolerant of the wrap but would leap high in the air once it was on.  After a few touches she was fine with it.   Typically Nillie is the independent one that is always on the go.  This was the first time she laid relaxed in my lap. 

The wrap didn't phase Willie in the least.  He was fine with it off and fine with it on.

My heartfelt thanks to Celeste, Willie and Nillie for being such willing participants in my studies!  

September 18, 2010


A friend of mine asked me to take a look at Aurora.  Jan mentioned that Aurora has some neurological issues and it is believed she was hit by a car.

I have worked with many neurological issues and I enjoy the challenge and also the changes I see in a dog after a TTouch session.  Typically I use wraps, ground work and scrunchies on their ankles.

When I arrived at the shelter I set up my ground work and went to get Aurora.  Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw.

Aurora had serious troubles walking from her kennel to where I planned to work with her.  She spun in counter clockwise circles and fell down a lot.  It was almost as if she were Bambi trying to walk on the frozen pond.

Aurora is missing her right eye and is deaf.  I'm sad to say my first thoughts were wondering if we were doing the kindest thing for her.

Once we got outside Aurora was able to walk without falling down so much but she still spun.  It was clear that ground work was going to be way too hard but we tried some anyway.

I tried to put a body wrap on her and she got worse.  She spun so violently that it was impossible to get scrunchies on her feet.  Aurora and I went to the sheet I had laid out and I sat with her and she leaned into me very calmly as I did touches all over her body.  TTouch can awaken unused neuro pathways and if ever a dog needed new neuro pathways to light up it is Aurora.  I did Abalone touches all over her head.  Python lifts and Raccoons on her body.

It became very clear to me why Aurora is being given this opportunity to find a special family that will love her the way she is.  She is a complete Sweetheart, very happy and shows no signs of pain.

We got up and tried again and she still made her circles.  Head low to the ground and body spinning as she tripped over her feet.  Nothing I've used with other neurologically impaired dogs worked.  Not sure what to do I used my TTouch wand and led her with the wand about 6 inches in front of her and she followed it!  Aurora was able to walk relatively straight and didn't trip.  Something about having an object close to focus on was making a huge difference for her.

Aurora needs to be in a loving foster home that can help her improve as much as she is capable of.  The right home for Aurora will come along.  Somewhere there is someone that will recognize her for the sweet girl and loving dog that she is.  Helping her with her physical challenges will be a small price to pay for such a girl.

September 7, 2010

Carlee and Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

Carlee getting TTouch to help her tight belly

Intervertebral Disc Disease or "IVDD" is a progressive disease which causes hardening of the disc material that is supposed to cushion the vertebrae.  When this material hardens it can bulge and rupture. 

Our Sammi has IVDD and his episode resulted in weakness and inability to use his back end.  Through steroids, crate rest and Tellington TTouch Sammi healed up without surgery.

Marley is a great example of what happens when there is a severe and violent rupture.  Marley had intense pain and full paralysis of his back end.  Surgery was required.  Tellington TTouch played a significant role in his recover.

Carlee is a Doxie that has IVDD and has had some pain and weakness in her back end. She is on conservative treatment with steroids, crate rest, acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Tellington TTouch.  Dr. Weingardt of Animal Healing Center in San Diego is her Holistic Vet and I'm doing her Tellington TTouch.

When a dog is in pain they tense up and this tension can show up in a number of places.  For Carlee she tenses her abdomen and I work on her tummy to help release that tension.

In addition to working on her tummy I also do specific touches along the sides of her spine that both reduce inflammation and release pain.  To help Carlee maintain her awareness of her body and to help her feel connected with all her parts I do "The Tarantulas Pulling the Plow".  This is a wonderful touch that works on dogs like Carlee and Sammi that still have feeling.  For dogs like Marley who had lost use and feeling it helps to reignite the neurotransmitters and help regain sensation.

Cooper loves TTouch and will take every opportunity presented to make sure he gets his fair share. 

And he is always appreciative of the focused attention that TTouch provides and isn't shy about saying "Thank You".


I'm certain with all the loving care that is being lavished on Carlee she will be better than ever in no time at all.

September 4, 2010

My "Other Animal" case study

As part of our training we are supposed to do a case study on a different type of animal that we usually work with.   At first I was a bit concerned about this part of my study as everyone I know has DOGS!  We don't really have "other animals" - I wondered who would come along to fill this need.

Turns out one of my BFF's got two baby kittens!  Nillie and Willie!  Aren't they adorable?  Aren't they wiggly?  Yes, they are adorable AND they ARE wiggly.

Nillie and Willie

Celeste is trying to do all she can to have well behaved, happy, balanced cats when they grow up so she was more than willing to try some TTouch with them.

So far I've learned that working with kittens is very different from working with puppies.  With a wiggly puppy I can give them a bully stick to chew on while I work for a couple minutes and let them go.  Not so lucky with kittens.  I felt like we were working with live, half filled, water balloons!

 We would catch a kitten and try to work with them secured in a small towel but they would "squirt" right out the top....or we tried to work with them in a basket with the top covered with a towel..well they found a way out of there too.

We actually had our best luck holding them close with all 4 feet on the ground and doing about 30 seconds of touches and then letting them go.

Having 2 kitties to work with was ideal.  We could work with one a bit and then the other.

I don't think the kittens were adverse to the idea of Tellington TTouch.  It was more that they had other and better things to do.  Not much for resting at this point in their 3 month old lives.

Nillie, the little girl and the most independent of the two, actually allowed me to do touches all along the outside of her mouth. 

We worked ears, mouths, and toes.  Were able to do a few Lying Leopards here and there.

Next time we may try tiny body wraps and see how that goes.  I'm thinking the kitties will thing the wraps are really fun toys.

What do you think?