October 28, 2010

Session 5 - Portland, Oregon

Things have been a bit quiet on the blog lately.  Lots has been going on but I'm a bit more comfortable writing about my volunteer work than my paying clients  :-)

Reader's Diegest version: 

I've worked with a Great Pyreneese mix that had back issues.  Her muscle spasems were so severe they could not do her Acupuncture. We did 3 sessions for her in one week.  When she went back for her Acupuncture the Vet said it wasn't needed and there was no sign of a back problem!  Yeah!!

Then there was the Doxie Duo, Phoebe and Beau.  Phoebe has a tendency to bark a lot and Beau is hesitant to let his Momma share her attention and affections with Phoebe.  Both had a quick change of heart (and behavior) after getting their own Thundershirts, some calming TTouch and simple behavior modification tools.

Now it is time for me to focus my attention on Session 5 of my training in Portland, Oregon with Edie-Jane Eaton!  Portland is where I had my first training and a whole new world was opened up to me.  I'm excited to go back.  This will be my 5th session and one of my friends final session!  Big Congrats to Dennis Fehling of Friends for Life Dog Training.

There are bound to be updates from Portland!  Stay tuned.

And if you have ever considered giving TTouch a try you may want to consider attending a 6-day session in San Diego!  It is unheard of to have trainings offered in San Diego but it is going to happen!  Kathy Cascade will be teaching my 6th and final session right here in San Diego, February 19-25, 2011.  (Check out the work Kathy did with Alf, one of the Michael Vick dogs.)  If this is your first 6-day session you can attend for the discounted price of $600 for the entire training!  You will walk away with plenty of new skills to help your own pets, friends animals or our shelter friends that need you so badly.  Or, like me.......you could find your life will never be the same again.  Contact me for more information.  I'd love to see you there at my graduation and watch you discover something spectacular.

October 10, 2010

Aurora's Time Line - Not Mine

Animals are my teachers and Aurora is quite the Professor!  She has been doing so well and exceeding our hopes for her that I decided I'd try to raise the bar for her.  As I thought about her next steps along her journey I planned to fit her in a Step-In Harness and using the Super Balance Leash I'd lay out some poles for her to walk through.  I expected to lay them out rather wide and start trying some ground work with her.

Today it was 92 degrees by 9:30 am and Miss Aurora really wasn't too interested in working.  She was interested in lovin' (TTouches) and kisses.

I fit Aurora into a pretty green harness and hooked up the Super Balance Leash.  As soon as I had her all set up she began to spin wildly. 

We regrouped and tried again.  The funny thing is that she would spin if we held the lead properly.  Guiding her with the wand and holding the lead like shown here she did reasonably well.

Mostly Aurora wanted to be loved on.  There could have been a few reasons for this.  It could be that she was more interested in having having fun since she IS a Lab Puppy!  It could have been that it was hotter than the blazes today.  Or it could have been because Aurora is very sensitive in the body and that the new harness and new leash configuration were a bit too much for her. Whatever the reason we switched gears.

When working with dogs sometimes you have to "chunk it down" into smaller steps.  If the entire set up is too much (which is my best guess) then we break it down and get her used to the new harness first.

If the Lab Puppy wants to play then play we will.

Using a beloved squeaky toy I would get her to chase me in a pattern around the cones.  Aurora was able to play this game and follow me in a pretty straight line.

She has the most adorable way of walking.  She prances like a Lipizzaner Stallion.  Aurora can really lift those feet.  I'm thinking that will come in handy when we are able to progress to some ground work.

One thing the shelter would like Aurora to learn is how to be happy in a crate.  So far she hasn't gotten to the part in the "How to be a Dog" manual that talks about a crate being their safe place and their den. 

Given what you have heard about Aurora - her desire to be with her people and her love of PLAY I would appreciate ideas from all you readers!  What fun, game-like ways can you come up with to teach Aurora to love her crate? 

Elizabeth and I would love your input and I encourage you to post a comment with a suggestion for this little girl.

October 9, 2010

Boston Tea Party, 2010!

TouchNpaws was invited to participate in Boston Buddies - Southern California Boston Terrier Rescue's largest fundraiser of the year!   I have found that I absolutely love doing events and talking to people about the power of Tellington TTouch and was very excited to be a sponsor.  Events are fun in and of themselves but when one benefits rescue that is all the better.

This is a young puppy that has the typical excited terrier personality and really isn't connected with his back feet.  I showed his owners how adding scrunchies to his legs would remind him they were there.  He tends to lunge forward with purpose and excitement to get where he wants to go.  I demonstrated the "Balance Leash Plus" using his own leash.  The family walked away with new skills they could put into practice right then and there.

I also had the pleasure of working with a service dog.  This little guy helps his human with balance concerns.  The problem is sometimes the dog will jump up or get overly excited.  I fitted him with a Thundershirt and the calming effect was immediate.    Using my demo dog "Jake" I showed how the "Super Balance Leash" would help bring the dog into balance and help with his jumping up.

Being that terriers are by nature high energy dogs and some suffer from stress and anxiety the Thundershirts were a big hit.  Here is one little dog that is trying on a Thundershirt for the first time.  You can see the concern on his face but he quickly adapted to the shirt and became quite relaxed.

The attendees were very interested in hearing how Tellington TTouch could help their specific dog's situation.  Many times there was actually a line of folks waiting their turn to ask questions.  Many, many dogs walked away with Thundershirts, a new harness, a lead or all of the above!  

What TTouch demo would be complete without....well, TTouches!  Here is an adorable French Bulldog that stopped by for some relaxing TTouches.

We had a great day teaching people how they can help their dogs physical and emotional balance and well being.  Thank you to each and everyone that shared their day and their dog with me. 

Boston Buddies will receive a percentage of today's sales! 

October 3, 2010

Amazing Aurora and Elizabeth

Aurora sporting a Thundershirt and Scrunchies

This morning I had a session with Aurora and her foster mom, Elizabeth.  Aurora went into foster care last week and is making incredible advancements!!  I was thrilled to see Aurora come walking across the tile and up one step to the landing to greet me with kisses.

Elizabeth was told that Aurora had no short term memory, didn't know she was supposed to eat and would never be potty trained.  I saw today that Aurora has proven each of these statements incorrect!  Way to go Aurora and Elizabeth.

The way Aurora greeted me made it very clear she knew exactly who I was and why I was there.  She is walking with far more control, the spinning is less and she never did fall down.  Elizabeth has noticed that Aurora has more balance when her head is raised and is feeding her out of raised bowls.  Aurora knows what food and water is all about for sure.  As for potty training?  Can you believe that in almost one week of foster care she has had only one accident in the house?  She has even gone and tapped Elizabeth on the hand to let her know she needed to go outside and potty!  Oh, and one more thing.  She is NOT deaf as we originally suspected.  Aurora's hearing is just fine.

Today Aurora allowed me to put a Thundershirt on her without her going into a wild spin.  Scrunchies on her feet were not a big deal since Elizabeth remembered me talking about that and has been putting them on her this week. This alone is a huge improvement.

Part of Aurora's therapy has been to swim in the pool with her life jacket on.  Now she isn't totally sold on the idea of the pool yet but she loves human contact and toys.  So if she needs to get in the pool to play with Elizabeth and her son then so be it.  She's game.

Elizabeth has been making Aurora's rehab so much fun that she has no idea she is working on balance and coordination.  Elizabeth will run around a cone and have Aurora chase her. Since Aurora spins counter clockwise Elizabeth will run clockwise.  Aurora follows right along.

Toys are another part of her rehab.  She can now lower her back end into a sit without falling and then stretch out her front legs to lay down.  This is huge for her!  Aurora loves to play fetch and toss around and empty bucket.  All of these fun play things are exercises in walking straighter and gaining strength and coordination.

I was thrilled to see her progress today.  Aurora scored big time when Elizabeth fell in love with her and decided to foster her.  I can't imagine her in a better place to become all that she can be.

Thank you Elizabeth for all you are doing for this very special puppy.

TTouch Demo at Escondido Humane Society

Rollin wears a 1/2 wrap and gets some TTouches

Escondido Humane Society has many volunteer run programs for the dogs.  One of these programs is Canine Good Citizen (CGC) training run by my friend Marsha.  Marsha leads a group of dedicated volunteers in working with the dogs to help them become more adoptable and a Canine Good Citizen at the same time.  I was asked to do a Tellington TTouch demonstration for the CGC class and was honored to participate. 

We have had some serious weather here this past week with heavy rains and significant thunder.  The day where we had the heaviest thunder the shelter took in about 20 dogs in one day! 

The reason I bring this up is there is a young boy named Briggs that is very energetic but was totally out of character yesterday.  He was jumping and spinning all over the place.  He had no focus at all.  Marsha and I teamed up to see if we could help him "come back into his body".  I tried the Balance Leash Plus with him but still that wasn't enough.  After doing touches and getting Briggs into a Thundershirt, and the Balance Leash Plus he was able to focus on my wand and walk nicely.  Later he waked fine with another volunteer without all his "gear" on.  It was enough to bring his focus back.

It is typical for a dog to still have emotional and hormonal concerns 3 days after a major event such as Thunder or a scrap with another dog.  If anything happens to upset them during the 3 day period the clock starts all over again.

We had a wonderful turn out for the demo and everyone learned about touches, wraps and ground work.

The group learned the important role that TTouchs plays in releasing tensions and fears.

Patriot is happy to let me show how to put on a body wrap. The wraps help a dog know where their body parts are and also help to send new sensations and information to the brain.  Body awareness goes a long way to building a confident and emotionally stable dog.

Bean came to us from a very bad situation and has has some trust concerns.  She is in a loving foster home learning how to relax and trust.  Bean was very comfortable allowing me to do touches along her mouth and face. 

She is also quite happy in a Thundershirt!
Callie is is unsure of new things but got to try her paw at the Confidence Course.  With encouragement she was able to go through one and a half times.  Then she was done.  For Callie that was enough.  It was a taste and we don't force or push the dogs beyond their ability.  Next time I'm willing to bet it will be easier for her.

The Confidence course seems to know just what each dog needs.

Callie can build her conficence

Rollin can learn focus, calmness and self control
I believe everyone there learned a few things that will help them with their fosters and with all the dogs at the shelter.

If one or two people can give a shelter dog a mindful TTouch when they greet them or pass by their kennel it can make a world of difference.

October 1, 2010

Thank you!

When I started this blog it was simply a place for me to write my thoughts about this amazing journey through the world of Tellington TTouch.  I wanted a single place I could write about my feelings, what I was learning and the wonderful Animal Teachers that would cross my path.

Little by little I shared a blog post here an there and I wondered if anyone but me was really reading the blog.  In February 2010 I added a "Hit Tracker".  Adding the hit tracker quickly showed me that a great many people are reading my blog!  There are people all over the world that are interested in what I'm doing with the dogs.  I was amazed when I hit 3,000 unique readers at the end of September, just 7 months after installing the tracker.

It is so much fun to see where the readers are coming from.  Not only are most of the States represented but a good many countries as well!  There have been readers from Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Italy, The Netherlands, Argentina, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and many, many others.

It turns out that someone reading the blog in the UK mentioned me to PetsDirect UK.  This week PetsDirect sent me a notification that my blog had received one of the most prestigious pet blogger awards!  

TTouch has changed my life in many ways and it is my pleasure to share these experiences with all of you.

Thank you to all of you that read my thoughts and experiences and share the information with others.