Lockdown has had big effect on many of my canine clients.
For some it has been a stressful time and for others it has been a blessing.
Billy (on the right in the pic) is a rescue who is lucky enough to have ended up with a kind owner who is working hard to get everything right for him. He was previously kept in a cage for 10 years thus he is terrified of, and overwhelmed by, everything. His owner and I have previously discussed the possibility of just letting Billy have some decompression time to see what happens but the time has not been right for the owner to start that due to his physical condition.
His owner has been working hard to help him with his issues and has been keen for him to have Bowen treatments to both aid his relaxation and help his physical condition. Before lockdown he spent several months watching his companion Mumfie enjoying regular Bowen sessions, during this time he was just at the point of being happy to approach me and say a very cautious hello. As Billy has a vulnerable owner the three of them have been confined to the house and garden for the past few months. His owner was very worried about not getting her dogs out for regular walks during lockdown, we discussed a couple of low arousal ways to entertain the dogs instead of walks.
I saw Billy and Mumfie again recently. What a fantastic difference in Billy, he was a much happier little chap who was even keen to get some of the attention that Mumfie was enjoying. As Canine Bowen Technique therapists we often talk about the benefits of some dogs having a break from the stresses and strains of daily life and not overwhelming them too much when they are dealing with issues physical or mental. Convincing owners that perhaps the dog does not need as much exercise as they think, is not always easy. Billy has been a prime example. He has benefited massively from quiet time even though his owner was worried about him not getting the exercise she worried he “needed”. His owner has already decided to help him have a quieter life going forward, they are only going out for little walks now. What a lucky dog Billy is to have such a devoted owner.
Some thoughts on Balance and Dogs
For a dog, as for us, “Balance” is the key.
Whilst we are not going to look at the work life balance for us humans, lets take a moment to examine our dogs life.
Do we provide a fully nourishing life for our dog?
Taking into account all their needs from rest to physical activity, from boredom to mental stimulation? Do we remember they have emotional and spiritual needs just as we do? Are we equipping them with the tools to cope with modern life?
When was the last time we looked at our dogs life and considered how balanced it was?
For me personally I had allowed my dog to become a little too ball obsessed. It suited me, it allowed me to keep him close to me on walks, he had excellent recall. However how balanced is this? We both used his ball obsession to avoid coping with life. Now we are working on finding different ways to help both of us cope with life better together, in balance… He is learning about relaxation and about interacting with his surroundings in a new way. I have had to let go of the need to control him.
We are entering a new era of balance. I use Canine Bowen amongst other things to help him to become more balanced.
What areas of your dogs life are less than balanced and what 2 things can you do to start to introduce better balance?