Thursday, 19 April 2012

Cats, Dogs and Shows

After a few days off over Easter it was back to a busy week. I ran a Tellington TTouch workshop for cats at the Diana Brimblecombe Animal Rescue Centre (DBARC). I had a fantastic group of people who really embraced the work and did a fantastic job working with the rescue cats. In the morning several pens had bumps under blankets. These nervous cats don’t show well and it can take a while to re-home them. Imagine our delight when in the afternoon beautiful cats emerged from under the blankets. So many cats and dogs need forever homes right now. It seems madness to me that people breed un-necessarily or buy pedigree animals. If you have the time and patience, a rescue animal can be so rewarding.
The weekend took me to Newbury Showground for the All About Dogs Show. Many thanks to Alex and Matt from Xtra Dog who are such great supporters of TTouch. Xtra Dog has worked closely with Marie Miller a fellow TTouch Practitioner, and have designed a harness which incorporates the TTouch principles. The fleece harnesses have a ring at the front on the chest as well as over the shoulder. Having two points of contact can really balance a dog effectively and quickly, turning habitual pullers into mild mannered, easy to lead pooches. We had a TTouch ring beside the stand where Marie and I worked with many dogs whose owners asked for help. Lots of the dogs where anxious or scared of something and it was great to be able to give advise and see how simple techniques could quickly start to have an effect. For as many dogs we could help I personally noticed just as many whose owners shouted at or pulled them around as the dogs bucked against tight grips and inappropriate equipment. Some dogs were obviously over faced with the whole experience and in my opinion would have preferred a quiet day at home. On Sunday I had to take my rescue lab Bea with me. She would have found being out and about around the show too much but coped well in the car behind the stand with my Mum sitting with her. She came out once, very briefly for a quick toilet break and then back in the car with a tasty treat. I know her limits and there is no reason to make her ‘cope’ with this, what she thinks, is a scary situation. It would undermine our relationship and destroy her trust I me.

I was over at the Newbury Dogs Trust on Wednesday doing some staff training. I’m invited a few times a year and I’m able to pass on tips to help the staff work with the dogs in their care. They have so much work and so little time to work with the dogs. That makes TTouch perfect as just a few minutes a day can have a profound effect and can really help turn these sticky dogs around. Dogs Trust use TTouch in lots of their centres and at their STAR unit which rehabs the most challenging dogs in their care. I love watching the staff work and come up with ideas on how this ttouch or that body wrap etc. would work with a certain dog.

After a busy couple of weeks I’m looking forward to a quiet weekend at home, (Only one dog to see on Saturday). I know the garden needs tidying but I might just have to chill out with my lovely dog and take her on some long walks in the countryside. Bliss.

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