Hector is almost 13 now and a big Staffie. He was rescued a few years ago and his new Mum found he had intermittent lameness due to arthritis, calling me in to help from the start of his new life.
Over the time I have worked with him, his personality has changed to being quite shy to a bundle of Big Bouncy Staffiness. He smiles, he plays, he rolls around showing me his ample tummy, he has a wander round the room and then settles.
Hector is a classic example of the way we work with dogs - namely respecting their terms. The dog shouldn’t be forced to stay in one place because that is comfortable to the therapist. Hector may start on the massage mat and then move to his Mum’s feet or, more recently, up on his favourite chair. In fact, the latter is quite a good place to work with him as he fits exactly between the arms of the chair when he has a stretch – great for back work.
On the last session, he was 100% a chair dog. 30 minutes one side then, without prompting, he turned around so I could work on the other side. He has a large magnificent Staffie head which suits cheek massage perfectly. And he LOVES that technique as the picture shows.
During the session, his eyes went from wide, to dozy to sleepy. His smile grew bigger and his snores got louder (listen to the videos on the next post).