Blog 29 Bowen Therapy

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Have you ever had an experience that you just can’t stop thinking about? Have you ever had something happen and you think this isn’t from a packet, or a vet or a book. Something magical has happened and it is out of my normal sphere of experience.

I have a dog called Cole who I adore. He is a big black Labrador and he’s kind and lovely. He got arthritis so bad this winter I thought it was going to be his last winter with us. He was crying with pain and I knew I wasn’t doing right by him if I couldn’t fix it. I had gone to the vet. I had tried cartrophen and we got a little relief but not enough. I tried 4Cyte, nothing. I tried antinol, that just made him throw up. We went on traumeel but I still had a hunched up, miserable, frail dog.

I wanted to try one more thing before I said goodbye. I went on to my dog group facebook page, (“Dog Owners United” if you’re interested). I explained the problem and I said does anyone know someone who could help. A lady suggested Robyn from Healing Body and Soul. I contacted Robyn and she was able to come to us three days later. Robyn does Bowen Therapy and Reiki.

When she arrived Cole was happy, Cole is always happy but he was hunched up and moving slow. Robyn waited for Cole to approach and while she waited she stood watching Cole. I was still dashing around cleaning up and waiting for the kettle to boil. Cole made a beeline for Robyn and she greeted him, said hello and then came and sat down, Cole sat with her. I finally stopped dashing around and just watched.

Robyn had started what looked like stroking Cole but it was kind of like stroking with a purpose. Cole stopped being all fidgety and just sat still while she stroked and talked. I started to realise that the strokes were a massage. Robyn said this part of his back is tight, this hip is stiff and she went through each area that she touched.

I went into this experience refusing to just buy into the hype. My job was to protect Cole. If Robyn was not the real deal I needed to be ready to whisk Cole away. So I listened to Robyn but I watched Cole. His face became less haggard. His back stopped being hunched and started to get an arch into it. He started moving into position so that Robyn could treat a certain area. At one point he got up to do something and he ran to the spot where he wanted to go. He didn’t hobble he ran. Then he ran somewhere else and then somewhere else. Robyn said why is he doing that? I said he’s doing it because he can. I cried. My son was out of pain.

I didn’t know how she had done it but a dog doesn’t ask how you have helped him he just says thanks. I followed a dog’s example and just gave thanks.

I started to realise that I was relaxing. For the past month everything had been about Cole. If he wanted to get on the bed I lifted him onto it. I then lifted him off when he wanted to get down. The other dogs weren’t allowed to bump him because it would hurt. If he slept, everyone had to be quiet because if he slept hopefully he wasn’t in pain. I hadn’t even realised how much tension I had been holding.

Cole is my son. To see him happy and out of pain was worth everything. I did still think this could all be illusion and suggestion. Let’s see how he is tomorrow and then the next day. I was warned that he could be bad the next day while his body adjusted but I didn’t see that. He was fine and he was happy. Robyn showed me how to do some of the massage and during the week Cole would come to me, sit down and put himself in a position so I could massage what he needed.

Thursday night I came home and Cole had his squeaky toy in his mouth and was asking the other dogs to play with him. So you tell me, what the hell has happened. How can touch, a weird torch device and reiki as well as Bowen Therapy do this? I don’t know and I don’t care, I have my son back.

Robyn was due to come back the following Friday and I could have cancelled but now I wanted to see what else she could do.

Friday rolled around, Robyn arrived and she was greeted by a hurtling dog called Cole. He gave her a quick hello, sat down and got ready for his massage. Robyn was happy to see Cole looking so well and I was happy to show her how successful she had been. Cole seemed robust now and full of life whereas before he had been a pain wracked husk. I know I sound dramatic but I am describing how he seemed.

So Cole is sitting there getting his massage and I’m thinking you faker I have a line of individuals who could do with this assistance. So I said Robyn if you have time may I show you another dog and maybe you can do some magic with him.

Certainly Robyn says. So Cole is still in the land of ecstasy and I go and get Jasper. Now what is weird, is Jasper came out and when Cole was done Cole left. It was like yeah I’m good, so Robyn turned to Jasper.

Jasper had had time to watch Robyn with Cole so that would have helped but Jasper has a lot of anxiety so I wasn’t sure he would be open to this.  I said to Robyn, Jasper is quite a nervous dog and I don’t know if he will go to you. Robyn pats her lap, Jasper jumps up on it.

Robyn starts doing her massage stroke thing and Jasper who I have not been willing to touch around his face because of a dog fight he got in starts to close his eyes as if to sleep. He’s totally relaxed. No shivering, no tremors, it was amazing. Well hell I thought lets go for a hat trick. Robyn I say, may I show you one more dog. Sure she says.

Regular readers of my blog know all about Buddy. He’s big, he’s strong and he has a few issues. I have always suspected that he holds a lot of tension. For new readers, Buddy is a reactive dog and has gone for five people but I also may have stopped counting by now so it’s probably more than five. I bought him out on a leash and the moment I did Jasper arced up. He growled at Buddy while still on Robyn’s lap then gave her this cherubic smile and a little lick. I thought you bugger.

Jasper was done so I put him and Cole behind the back gate so only Buddy was out now. I had him on a lead. Robyn says, you can let him go. I hesitate. I don’t know Robyn I say, maybe it’s better if I hang on to him. He’ll be fine she says not looking at Buddy. I release the leash, Buddy heads straight for Robyn who is still sitting down and jumps up. She pushes him down and says nothing. He does it again, she pushes him down and he stops. Buddy stops! Buddy then sits next to her and she starts to do her massage, stroke thing. Buddy takes a deep breath and then you can see him relax. Robyn starts to massage his forehead and Buddy is in Heaven. A car goes past and he tenses and she says leave it and Buddy goes back to the massage. Several other things happen that puts him back on alert and each time she says leave it, just quietly and he does.

Now you might think hang on, Cole was in pain that’s why Trish got Robyn in but why did she get Jasper and Buddy done? My reasoning is this. Jasper and Buddy are two nervous, high energy, always on alert dogs. This can’t be good for their bodies or their minds. It must be exhausting to always be on duty, always be tense. Some people say you can even create disease in the body by being tense all the time. I wanted to see if Robyn could give my boys some ease, some comfort, some relaxation. The feeling you get on a lazy summer afternoon, when your chores are all done and all you have to do is sit around and talk shit with your bestie. I wanted that feeling for them.

Jasper went all floppy on Robyn’s lap. Buddy sighed as the tension left him. Wouldn’t you want that for your kids? It makes me wonder how much tension we are all holding onto. It also makes me wonder how many dogs are put down for treatable problems. Buddy and Jasper were putty in Robyn’s hands.

I am a convert. I am sold. I’m getting Robyn back to look at Jasmine the dog and Pascal the donkey. I’ll leave Charity the horse for the visit after that. I’m also thinking that if my animals get a stressful experience like Winston when he had colic or Pascal when I got the wrong farrier for him I will now book a session with Robyn for them to try and get rid of the stress and tension that they must have after those experiences. Jasper recently spent the day at the vet because of chrystals. He was a shivering mess. I could have booked him in with Robyn to have got rid of all that stress or at least maybe reduce that stress.

Last but not least Robyn also shows you how you can use some of her techniques yourself so I’ve been giving my dogs massages when they have asked for them. My relationship with them has improved through giving these massages. Pretty cool hey?

Thanks for reading, catch you next time.

 

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Blog 17 Blown Out Of The Water

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A lot happened in today’s lesson and Buddy is devouring everything that he is taught. I am convinced that if this dog had been given some dog obedience lessons early on he would never have ended up in a shelter because he is smart, like lightening quick.

I’ve been taking another one of my dogs to class because she is extremely old and I don’t like leaving her at home unless I have to anymore. So to start with I had to put Jasmine in a crate while keeping a hold of Buddy’s leash and workmen were coming and going using the electricity. Ryan said to me afterwards, your dog just had all of these things going on and he barely reacted, he is a changed dog. Buddy sees the Ozcorp K-9 facility as the land of chicken, schmackos and praise. He leaps into the car when it’s lesson time. He is completely different to when we first arrived and so am I.

Now my plan had been to blow Ryan out of the water with the trick Buddy and I had been practising. Buddy gets up onto a raised surface and he waits until I release him and then he gets the food. Buddy had been completely prepped for this trick.

Before I could start this, Ryan keeps looking at Buddy and says I reckon I could walk him now. You can what now? Lets just say Trishy was blown out of the water. Ryan comes up to me and shakes my hand and he says Hello Trish will you pass me the leash and I will take Buddy for a walk. I passed the leash and Buddy went off with him. My jaw just dropped. The thing was, Buddy didn’t go hesitantly or reluctantly he bounced along beside Ryan and his tail was all puppy wag. You know that sort of wag? Not the slow scary wag but the happy bombdiggity sort of wag. Ryan did this in the first part of the lesson and I could have stopped right there. To see my boy go off with someone and be happy and relaxed with that person, to trust somebody else was just amazing. To see someone you love happy is worth more than anything in the world. I am never going to forget Buddy bouncing happily along with his tail all bombdiggity. Then I thought shit Ryan’s going to expect me to concentrate now for the rest of the hour and I just wanted to keep that picture in my head forever. I got my act together and came back to Planet Earth but you may consider me blown out of the water.

Buddy obviously decided it was up to him to promote all of our hard work this week at home and he took himself off to sit on a platform so he could show everyone that he was willing to wait until I said YES and then come off the platform. Honestly nothing compared to Ryan walking him. I thought yeah cute trick Buddy I’ve just seen a miracle. I did of course reward the poor devil for performing the trick, over and over again because he kept leaping up and doing it again.

Ryan decided that one miracle was not enough so he wanted to touch Buddy while he was on the platform, so simulating a vet visit. I had to tell Buddy he was a good dog unless he stopped looking at me and turned to Ryan. I was crap at this. I was supposed to ah ah him when he turned to Ryan but I was rubbish at the timing. Now this is where I have to learn to come out of my comfort zone as poor old Buddy has to come out of his. To do this exercise I wanted Buddy to wear a muzzle. No no Ryan says it’ll be ok. Ok I say, how about you wear that sleeve thing? No no Ryan says I’ll be ok. Just keep Buddy on a short leash and pull him up if he goes for me. I’m pretty sure red klaxon bells were going off in my head. Now what I have learned from Ryan is that what I am thinking or feeling travels down the leash. So I am doing my best to stay calm. Stop my heart from beating at 200 beats per minute and think I am so far out of my comfort zone I could be in another country.

Buddy did pretty good. Apparently he went for Ryan once but I missed it. Apparently his fur goes up or his back spasms, I missed all of that. I was rigidly staring at Buddy’s face (while trying not to stare in case that freaked him out) so I would be ready the moment his face turned. God that dog is quick.

We went out and we did some leash work and that is all kinds of cool. Buddy has knocked me over twice and he’s hurt my knees and my hips and my arms while walking so I’m really enjoying the leash work. It’s so clever how you can get them to walk right beside you without any tugging or choking or reprimands. All types of cool.

I said to Ryan he had saved my dog’s life. Before Ozcorp K-9 I was keeping Buddy at home and I was terrified that he was going to get out and hurt someone. I was scared for the someone and I was scared for Buddy. I’m so much more relaxed around Buddy now and our relationship is a hundred times better.

Saturday we are going to group. My son has graduated to group. We’re still going to do a few more one on one sessions but we’re off to group. My God people who would have believed it?

Thank you for reading, catch you next time.

 

Blog 16 Buddy the Wonder Dog

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I’ve just had session five of Buddy’s training and it’s been life changing. Buddy is a different dog and I’m a different person. He’s so much more relaxed and so am I. To the point that I now need to guard against complacency because he will still have a tricky reaction to some things and I need to be aware of what he is doing in case I need to do something. Not something big or panicky just maybe an ah ah and he’s fine. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s life changing.

I no longer keep my mad son locked up at home and only going out when no-one else is around. I now get Buddy to come out with me and see different things and experience different sights and smells to boost his resilience. I politely say don’t pat the dog when people offer but it’s awesome how we can do things now in the big wide world. Our lives are totally different and I’m now thinking about what the future has to offer.

Will I keep going with one on one sessions or will I go onto group? Yes people we have been invited to GROUP! I wanted to buy Buddy flowers and say congratulations you have made it. You clever clever hound! Nobody has let us join their class before and this is a class for dogs like Buddy so if he goes mental they will have strategies, so I’m not even nervous I’m just looking forward to it.

In group class Buddy will learn how to behave when other dogs are around and I won’t get pulled off my feet. Maybe just maybe I can take him to a dog park with other dogs, God God people can you imagine that?

Buddy is now just a dog to me he’s not a loaded weapon he’s not a missile that I don’t know what sets him off. Can you see how that would make me so much more relaxed about him?

We were learning tricks this last lesson. Buddy learned how to drop, it’s pretty clever how they teach that. Buddy was doing this crazy stuff where he would go and stand on an elevated platform and then wait for me to release him before he came off. That was amaziballs. He wore his muzzle and Ryan touched his back like a vet would start to examine him and Buddy barely registered it. Amaziballs!!!!

I now shake Ryan’s hand with Buddy sitting next to me and it’s a real handshake not some scared little half a handshake because oh my god what if my dog goes bonkers, it’s so cool people. I can now ask my friends to help me because I know what to do with Buddy. So I can take him out, ask them to say gidday and I can watch him and it’s fine. Yay yay and more yay. What if I could bring Buddy back to gym? How cool would that be?

So I said earlier I’m thinking now about the future. Ryan said he never went to the vets without food for his dog. It never occurred to me that I could train my dogs to be better at the vet. I have a giant dog that won’t let his ears be touched and he gets ear problems. So Shazzam to Ozcorp, now when I feed Cole I touch his ears, I massage them gently and I’m going to see if I can find something that simulates the dog torch thing vets use for their ears. Something as silly as I used to walk in the back yard with my hands up because I didn’t like the dogs licking my hands all the time, Ryan has shown me how to stop them doing that and I can now walk around the yard without being hassled. It’s pretty awesome. You can still call them over for a love and a hug but it’s on your terms. This place has changed how my home runs, I am incredibly grateful.

Can Ozcorp fix my dogs going nuts when my donkeys razz them up? Can they fix Jasper being so scared at the vet. Could they fix the debacle when I try to get all the leads on all the dogs, God I hate that kerfuffle, to the extent that it puts me off walking them.

To finish off the lesson Ryan gave me a collar that would make walking Buddy easier because walking Buddy is a flipping night mare. So getting Buddy to walk nicely would be a flipping miracle. The session was absolutely jam packed and we got homework but it’s really clever how Ozcorp build the homework into your everyday activities so you’re not doing extra you’re just doing different.

Ozcorp have done all of these things by getting the dog to want to do them, They don’t scare the dog or yell at them, it’s just clever. Buddy throws his face into the muzzle because he knows he’s getting chicken. Amaziballs! Life changing people it’s all been life changing.

Thank you for reading, catch you next time.

Blog 14 Buddy Dazzles.

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I have had many dog heroes, Greyfriars Bobby, Lassie, Rin Tin Tin and Black Bob. Buddy is rapidly becoming one of my heroes and so is Ozcorp K-9. In three lessons he is a different dog and I am a different handler. It is little short of miraculous.

I went into today’s lesson wanting to dazzle Ryan the trainer but we were half way through the lesson and I looked at all that Buddy was doing and I thought I’m dazzled. You clever, clever dog you! Despite my inability to time the praise and the reward or the correction right he is flying through his lessons like nothing else.

So let me tell you about today. I had definitely set this dog up for success. We did our muzzle homework and we did the homework in a number of different settings so he wasn’t used to just having the muzzle on when we were in the kitchen for example. I went to our oval and put the muzzle on there. I went to the vets and put the muzzle on there. So when we got to Ozcorp K-9. I had a fair chance of success but you never know until it’s ShowTime. Put the muzzle on I said to Buddy. He paused, he thought about it, I gave him a moment. Put the muzzle on I said a little more strictly maybe in my tone, I don’t know something was different but blow me down with a feather he put that beautiful face of his in the muzzle. I buckled the muzzle up, not too loosely and we walked around and then I took it off and it was a lovely, lovely feeling. I don’t know if Ryan said he was happy or if he said well done. He said something nice but I couldn’t concentrate because in my head was – BUDDDEEEE you did it!!!! All the while staying calm of course.

There were more miracles. I had two tall blokes walking past us, doing star jumps, yelling hello, jogging past us and while Buddy didn’t like it he looked to me for reassurance and that was it. They have trained him to look to me for reassurance, how clever is that? But wait there’s more.

Now I need a drum roll for this and you better be sitting down. Without Buddy wearing a muzzle both men came up and shook my hand and Buddy stayed in a sit position. They even did it a couple of times. My God people, it was a flipping miracle.

My heart was racing while they did that so I need to work on getting my nerves better. My nerves are a hundred percent better than when we started and because I have been shown what to do if Buddy reacts then I’m cool about it. I feel prepared. It’s a wonderful training system, I just got nervy not knowing whether to watch them or watch Buddy.

We have started to work on Buddy standing on a table for when he goes to the vet. Dog training at this place is just clever. There are tricks and tips to doing everything. Sometimes I slap myself on the forehead and think why didn’t I think of that?

The only thing I have to watch now is not getting complacent. Buddy still has the capacity to do what he used to do but as long as I am vigilant I know what to do. Pretty cool hey?

I want to share one last thing that has made my day and possibly week and possibly year. Ryan said today that he could see Buddy and I coming to group class. So how about that folks? No longer are we pariahs, somebody is willing for us to join them. I am incredibly grateful to Ozcorp K-9.

Thank you for reading, catch you next time.