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Archive for October, 2008

I spent the morning using my fingers on my GSD. Kinaesthetics work; coaching, pleading, encouraging her body to balance itself again. She’d had a physical trauma on Aug 25th when several Leonbergers tried to mount her at once forcing her to collapse under the weight. She didn’t show any dramatic signs of concern until a few days later on Sept 1. She was standing still somewhat between Mark & me. She turned to look at Mark and SCREAMED in pain. She stopped weight-bearing on her left rear.
We thought she may have ruptured her ACL. Standard protocol is rest for 2 weeks. We did. Her knee exam showed slight inflammation/pain, but no tear. The two weeks rest didn’t really make a difference. My gut was telling me it wasn’t her knee, but her hip.
We did x-rays. They revealed her sacrum rotated in 3 different planes. Reviews of her PennHip x-rays from her youth showed she had some of the rotation in 2 planes then. Clearly, the lateral-to-lateral rotation was new from the injury.
I started Mara’s Body Coaching Project.
Using the pulsing work of Kinaesthetics, I worked on clearing up her side-to-side tilt. She responded very nicely and her gait improved. I still have more to do, but it’s amazing what trained fingers can accomplish.
After the session, I went to the Field House (my training center) to do some work. I built some shelving in the maintenance room. I made sure to get the base structure straight, square, aligned and balanced. Then the shelves themselves will have a better chance of being the same.
They turned out great…balanced, square and aligned.

Like my dog!

Sometimes the answers are right at your fingertips.

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The Ripple Effect

Let me tell you about a 2½-year old Sheltie. She was adopted from an elderly woman who was “liquidating” her kennel. She spent pretty much the first 18 months of her life living with other dogs outside. A thirty-something childless couple took her into their home. They are active, outdoorsy people who love to white-water canoe so they renamed her Ripple. The name change wasn’t really an issue because she’d been housed with other dogs and little human interaction. She had no idea what a name was not to mention she’d actually had one!
Ripple’s owners had owned a shy sheltie before and thought they were prepared. They quickly discovered the difference between a slightly shy dog and an un-socialized, extremely shy dog!
Ripple paced, urinated, defecated, circled, exhibited unbalanced energy, never made decisions for herself, bolted…pretty much any bad avoidance behavior she displayed at some point in time.
Her owners have made leaps and bounds in their training skills and Ripple shows it. They show it, too, as a matter of fact. Ripple’s female owner has become a darn good dog trainer. I’ve heard her give professional level training advice to people.
I think this is a fine illustration of The Ripple Effect. Talk about naming a dog well!
Ripple did well with training, but not well enough to live a normal day to day life. So the vet was consulted and medication was added. The combination of medication and training seems to have been the answer.
Ripple still can’t tolerate too much attention from her female owner. For whatever reason, it makes her revert to an unbalanced state. Her owners realize this and for now work with it. It may change, it may not.
It’s been just over a year since Ripple entered her new home. To celebrate, she accompanied her owners on a Boundary Waters Canoe trip.
The next step is now to start weaning her off the medication.
Not bad for a dog who couldn’t stop spinning in circles, huh?

Ripple carries her own pack

Ripple carries her own pack

Ripple awaits her paddlers

Ripple awaits her paddlers

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