If you’re going to come back after a long break with a brand new workshop and want to respect people’s space, then why not go for a huge gazebo with airy open sides in the middle of the countryside? And not just any gazebo….go for one that has not one, not two but three chandeliers. AchyPaw goes classy!
Val Chandler organised the session at the Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary. This was the first time for our “Helping you to help your own dog” workshop. The focus was not just on massage but everything appropriate to help the mobility and comfort of your own dog.
Physical therapy is not a one size fits all. Every dog is different. Each condition is different. Each therapy plan should be tailored to fit that individual.
The session covered the where, the why and the how. 13 lovely lucky dogs brought along their Mums and Dads to make sure they learn how to help them now and throughout their life. There were big dogs, senior dogs, muscular dogs, rescue dogs, puppies and small dogs. Each wanted their carers to help them in different ways.
Bella and Max represented the senior larger dogs and were both Golden Retrievers. Naturally, they soaked up every touch on offer.
Representing the smaller dogs were 7 year old French Bulldog Milly (who adored all the back work) and Peanut, another 7 year old Jack Russell who had no issues but whose Mum wanted to keep her that way.
Representing the anxious were 2 year old Bali who has high anxiety and 12 year old JRT Pogo who is having some emotional problems at the moment with a house move as well as a cruciate issue. Pogo was an ex PAT dog and this time brought along her sister Aidey for support.
Then there were the young fit and muscular. Young Saluki Wilbur “runs like the clappers” according to his Dad, while Belgian Shepherd Savannah has 3 siblings to play with. Also in the Super Duper Fit category were Doodle the Poodle who brought along his black Lurcher chum. They had a corner of the vast gazebo to themselves….lots of black fur in that corner.
In the “we’re a little stiff Dr Les but otherwise Ok” category were 11 year old JRT Toby, 12 year old Patch the Staffie (who worked as my demo dog) and 11 year old Tibetan Terrier cross Pups.
What a variety! A dream band for an educational session to teach about individuality.
With a little help from me, the dogs taught their Mums and Dads over a dozen massage moves with each having a favourite technique on a favourite targeted muscle area. Some dogs liked one move, others another. Fortunately, there was plenty of alternatives. And that’s the idea behind a ‘helping you to help your own dog’ session. Giving variety for choice.
As well as massage, the dogs were shown how to get their carers to warm them up properly before any exercise using our special Locomotion technique and then to cool them down afterwards.
Finally, the exercises. AchyPaw exercises are simple yet effective. No poles, no balance balls no tools needed other than your own legs and some yummy treats and maybe a cushion from your sofa.
The day ended with all the dogs happy and content that their Mums and Dads are equipped with the knowledge to help them now and throughout their life.