Handsome 14 year old silver faced Oscar became very wobbly recently. His Mum asked Sonny and Jasper’s Mum Ella from Bourne to Walk (who also came up with that wonderful quote) if she knew of any help and she suggested us.
Any canine therapists looking at the photo of his whole body will notice he has curly coarse fur at the front and soft at the back. In fact, while out walking one day, someone came up to him and his Mum and said “Do you put gel on his fur to make it stick up like that?” (!!). Coarse fur in irregular patches often indicates some issue with the underlying muscles needing myofascial and other massage techniques. And it did. Oscar’s hips are not very good and he is getting along by pulling from his shoulders, chest and upper back muscles. These were now tight through over-compensation. He is also walking quite flat footed on the front, almost walking on his carpal joints, to ease the pressure.
His Mum is a nurse and knows WHAT to do…..she just didn’t know HOW to do it on her Oscar. During the 90 minute session there was a lot of explaining, showing, demonstrating and enlightening with many “Oh yes…I see now” comments from Mum.
Both the vet and Mum said that Oscar can be a bit awkward sometimes and doesn’t like new people. Well…maybe that is so but he certainly had no problem with new people who he realised that are there to help him – namely me. He wandered onto his bed and stayed there for the full session. Occasionally lifting his head to turn it over so I could work on the other side “You’ve done that bit Dr Les….now do the same with that bit”.
His Mum has always started her massage routine “from his nose backwards” and noticed that when she got to his hips, he would pull a face and didn’t look comfortable. Rather than interrupt that perfectly logical route, I did the same…but slower, more intentionally and taking care. By the time I reached his hips (maybe 45 minutes later) he was perfectly fine and gave no reactions at all. In fact, he was fast asleep.
His Mum wrote later in the day “Les I can't thank you enough for all that you brought to Oscar and I today. The amazing empathy, tenderness and altogether wonderful knowledge you gave Oscar and I is invaluable. I will be diligently massaging every day and do the very best I can. At the moment he is sleeping and snoring in the hall. He didn’t think much of you leaving, the face!... Thank you so much for the papers. Regards and love from Oscar 🐾 and I 🌝.”
Armed with her personalised workbook on ways to help Oscar, his Mum is now enlightened and knowledgeable in physical therapy. All she needed was the necessary empowerment.