Tuesday, 26 February 2019

One size does not fit all

Every dog we visit is different and unique. And we plan all treatment sessions in the same way. Each in different and tailored to that dog at that time. The plan might be different still on subsequent visits. There is no template, no prescription, no model. We adapt our therapy to match the needs of the dog. 

Gentleman Jack was seen by me at the end of last year. At that time, he was an up and down dog – 5 minutes with me, then would walk away, before coming back for another 5 minutes or so. Since then, his Mum has been working hard with him, getting him far more used to touch and physical therapy. But it is still on his terms – as and when. That’s perfectly fine. As and when is better than nothing at all. And Jack is learning to give himself to Mum when he is most in need. 

The recent visit was as though a lightbulb had gone off – still the occasional up and down but far more hands-on time especially when he was lying on the sofa. Then he just closed his eyes and snoozed. His therapy session was quite different from the first. 

He is 14 in a few days – hopefully with Mum and me helping him, Jack will keep offering me a different treatment plan and stay comfortable and moving for a long while yet.

Monday, 25 February 2019

Accessible & Affordable therapy for all dogs and their Mums and Dads

We aim to make canine physical therapy accessible and affordable to every dog and their Mum or Dad. When we read Charley’s story on the Hanover Dog page where his Mum was saying how he slipped in the mud and went down on his side I offered to help and try to see Charley as soon as we could. This entailed Chris making a couple of visits to their vets to deliver and then pick up the signed vet agreement form. But all was completed and Charley was booked in with us shortly afterwards. 

Charley is a 10 year old Chocolate Labrador with arthritis in most of his joints but particularly in his hips. After his fall, Charley cried out in pain and then couldn’t put any weight on his front paws. He had to be carried home by car and hobbled after that clearly in discomfort. 

Charley also likes to make it known that all conversation has to be about him. If not, he vocalises. That made the consultation and treatment session much fun. Every time I would ask him Mum something or show her a massage move that would help,  Charley wanted to join in the chat. 

But he needed help and he knew it. Charley is smart really. It took a while but gradually the vocalising slowed, then stopped and Charley ‘got it’. This was good. This is helping. This is oh so relieving. 

As if by magic, after an hour, he got up on the sofa allowing his Mum to sit next to him while he placed his head in her lap. We went through all the things that would help and could be added to a daily therapy routine. Meanwhile not a sound from Charley – just lots of “I love you Mum” eyes. 

He already has mats around the house but the food and water bowl needed raising. His Mum didn’t have anything of the right height so ended up holding his bowl up for him. Now that is a Star Mum. 

We went through some stretching techniques and exercises – Charley needed space opening up in his back and neck connection, increasing his movement & ease. This should help create a more fluid rotational movement in his spine making it more comfortable for him to stand. Charley LOVES our special Back Space technique and now demands it from his Mum, stretching forward like a giraffe. Sometimes this one move can help address so many other issues. 

Charley’s Mum wrote us a lovely review “Les was absolutely fantastic with Charley. He showed such love and patience. He has given us both hope that we can help his arthritis….I finally feel like I am doing something to help Charley through this.” 

I warned that Charley might become a Massage Diva – this typically takes a few days. Not our Charley. 2 hours later his Mum wrote “It is amazing! He is on my bed and I’m doing it now. If I stop, he lifts up his paw to touch me to carry on! …..He is so calm now. And he keeps rolling from side to side when he wants a change!” and then the following morning Charley himself wrote “Hi Uncle Les. It’s not even 10 o clock and I have had a warm up, a walk and a cool down. I did my tricks- you left your treats here (I don’t mind)I have had a long massage- my eyes actually rolled back my mum said! I am now going to sleep. Thank you for teaching my mum this- I love it!! ” 

His Mum said that her “worry face has been replaced by a big grin xx” and that through touch and knowing that she can help him rather than just watching him look uncomfortable “it’s like we have found each other all over again” 

This will be the start of Charley’s new life. An empowered Mum full of positivity and armed with the tools to help him. Can’t wish for a better outcome than that. 

Thanks Charley x