One thing to come out of the recent situation was the need to work 1:1 with dogs that still needed their hands on treatment, to manage pain and mobility. 1:1 isn't needed now in every situation but some of my clients (I don't like that word as most become friends) have chosen to continue to send their dogs in to the clinic without them. They have noted that their dog settles better without them there and they benefit more from the session.
Henry certainly doesn't mind his time in my room, just me and him. He wanders in, has a little sniff, maybe a sneaky treat, and settles down on the mat. His session today was just beautiful and relaxed for both of us. I openly admit its therapy for me too!
This isn't the case for every dog though. Some can become anxious if mum or dad aren't around but settle well if they are just in the room so they can see them. Every dog is different so each session is carried out to each dog's needs, mentally and physically.
Even those that just don't settle can benefit. I find with these dogs that they often fall asleep at home, allowing their body to continue to adapt to the changes instigated in the session. Some over time realise what the session is about and start to settle more during the session. I am looking to do sessions purely on reducing hyperactivity and relaxation (let me know if this is what you are looking for so we can focus the session on that goal). Stress is known to be a factor in overall health, so finding ways to unwind is crucial to optimum health and longevity (for both us and our dogs!).
Because each dog is different, this is one of the reasons why I can't predict how well or how quickly a dog will respond. Recently I had a little dog in, who was a little anxious yet after one session was reported to be "100% better". Others due to their condition, we can only managing the situation, and we need to continue with regular maintenance sessions. Although it is my ambition to "fix" everyone I know this is not possible but what I do know from experience is over time, be it one session or continuous sessions, it naturally reduces pain, improves mobility and improves quality of life.
I'm not sure it really was an adventure, but when I say their names together it sounds like the title of a movie or a book! Okay, maybe it's just me, or maybe it was an adventure!
Verne has been a few times before so is a bit of a pro. He has degeneration in his spine yet he has developed a much better top line, which helps support his spine, since he started coming to see me. It is so rewarding to help any dog but seeing older dogs improve is fantastic. He's a beautiful gentleman, still enjoying his walks, occasionally opting to jump in his wheels and enjoy a ride instead. Having Staffordshire Bull Terriers myself I do have a soft spot for the breed, but anyone who knows them would understand why.
Although Bridget has visited before when her brother Verne has had a session, she had not had a session herself, until recently. Her mum felt she wasn't quite right, and due to the current precautions opted for Bridget to have a one to one with me. Whilst mum, dad and Verne waited in the car, listening out for the screams and tantrums, Bridget astounded us all. She did watch the door for a few minutes but then settled down next to me. it was a beautiful relaxing session. We even posed for a little selfie (you wont see me doing that too often!!). She was a little superstar (or maybe she's a movie star? :) )
I have been around dogs all my life. My life changed when I decided to turn a passion for dogs into a career. I have never looked back except to see what the past has taught me.