Sunday, 20 December 2015

"Well....Dr Les said...." : Maddie's story

"Well...Dr Les said......." is a phrase I ought to copyright. 

Maddie is a 12 year girl who is one of my exactly-30-minute clients. She knows when half an hour is up and simply leaves me mid-massage stroke and walks away. She is also one of my once a week clients. 

Her owners had originally been to see me over a year ago for a lesson in massage but realised that they needed help. So a couple of months ago came back to me and asked me to visit weekly so they would feel guilty if they didn't do the homework I had left them. 

As well as the importance of the benefits of canine physical therapy, I feel educating the owners is equally important as they are, after all, the principal carer. Sometimes it could just be showing them moves and techniques they can do in between scheduled therapy sessions, sometimes simple and fun active exercises they can do with their dog to keep them supple and mobile and sometimes it is about giving advice on ways they could help with their dog's ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) - things like raising the food or water bowl so the dog doesn't have to stoop. In Maddie's case one of these tips was about encouraging her owners to get some cushions or foam cuts in places where she tries to jump or land. 

Maddie loved to get up on her Mum's bed and sit beside her on the sofa but the jump up was becoming too steep. More important was the crash down again when she got off - placing enormous pressure on already senior joints and muscles. The bed in particular was very high. 

After the first session I went back to visit her and found cushions scattered all the house in the appropriate places. "She loves these" they said. "We had to tell her that Dr Les said you need to land on something soft now so she wouldn't think they were just there as obstacles" which apparently seemed to work. Maddie now can get back to her favourite places. The bed still posed a challenge though as it was really high off the ground. They could lift her up and she could then land on the scatter cushions but she wasn't able to get up of her own accord. 

Today I went for the weekly visit and her Mum said "Come into my bedroom and see what I've got".....hmm....couldn't resist that offer. As soon as I walked in I saw they had a new bed...a nice low bed. "Well...Dr Les said the bed was a bit high so we bought a new one". And Maddie loves it. I asked whether the bed was comfy. "Not really" was the response "but Maddie can now sleep with us whenever she likes so that is all we care about". 

The things we do for our dogs!!!!!