The other day I was recounting to my family about yet another extraordinary experience I had when treating a dog, to which they replied “why on earth do you not write them down, not that anyone would believe you!”.
It was true, some of the things that have happened have been so remarkable (not extraordinary as anyone knows who works with animals that these things happen all the time) that they should not go without mention and the only reason I know they are true, is that they were witnessed by someone else including me!
Mabel the Obedience Dog
The story that really inspired me was that of Mabel who is an obedience dog. She is the most delightful border collie who, like all these mentioned, confirms the fact that “verbalisation is only 10% of communication!”.
This lovely dog is incredibly sensitive and very in tune with her physical condition; she came along for her regular check up and re-alignment (she had a toe amputation a while ago). When I asked how she was Susan told me that she was on really good form but did not want to do her distance control which could have been because she had got upset about something and not necessarily because of how she felt.
Indeed during the treatment I did not feel that there was too much array as was observed but there was some tension in her back. At the end of the treatment both Susan and I got up to discuss strategy and exercise programmes when Mabel stared at us so hard that we were compelled to look in her direction; when she had both of our attention she proceeded to;
- Went into a down
- Stood up
- Went back
She then repeated that whole routine again. What she had in fact done was repeat command by command exactly what she had been asked to do 10 days previously (I apologise if the order is incorrect!) not just the once but three times, to prove to us that she was now absolutely fine thank you!
For all of you that go to the White Orchid Hydrotherapy Centre you will know Archie. Mandy took this picture because she could not get over how small I looked compared to Archie!
Flicka, the sweetest 12 year old Border Collie came in to see me in a rather sorry state. She was in such bad pain and looked like her ‘lights had been turned off’. Her neck was so painful that the treatment, I believe, hurt her as much as the condition, but like all dogs she accepted as she felt it was going to help her.
She left looking brighter than when she arrive so both Lynne and I were optimistic that she may feel a little better. She did improve very quickly, so much so that she was practically better when she came for her third and final treatment. When she arrived for this treatment, I, like always, said “so how has she been and has she shaken from head to tail yet*?”.
Lynne then was about to say “no not…”, and as she said that Flicka gave the fullest most complete shake! We both looked and said, “oh good she shakes then!”. Then Lynne said “the only thing she has not done yet is…”, and on that she grabbed her lead and shook it, “…is to grab her lead and shake it!”.
(*With neck issues, if a dog can shake fluidly from their head to their tail then they must be feeling not only better but confident that nothing is going to hurt).
Tiggi The Talking Dog
This did not happen in the consulting room this happened in the training room and to this day I am so pleased I had three other witnesses or I would not have the confidence to repeat it!
During a diploma session, Tiggi was present and I was trying to take the class through a particular area of learning that required quite a lot of concentration. Tiggi got bored, he decided to make his life more interesting he would engage the company of two Labradors Casey and Emma to play.
Two play bows later, they were not showing any interest and I was slightly struggling to keep me and the students concentration! Tiggi then got bored with Casey and Emma so decided to insist on their inclusion he would just have had to bark..and bark.. until they responded.
I said “Tiggi would you mind being a little quiet I am trying to speak” (I promise you I did ask him very nicely) to this he immediately responded “NO”, then stropped back to Kerry! He really did say “no”! See Tiggi’s Crufts success!
Sophie is a lovely cocker spaniel who lives in a house of men, all cocker spaniels and all apart from her all working gun dogs. She was the Matriarch in the pack but for one she was a devoted ‘wife’ and partner.
She cared for and loved Copper like no other and every night they lay together, their relationship was exceptional. Copper had become very sore and was recovering from a very serious spinal operation and was doing really well. However along with very arthritic feet he also had shoulder issues but quite honestly at times it was difficult to know which ‘fire to fight first’.
Sophie only had laser treatment as this was her preferred option but she always came when Copper came for his treatment and during the treatment she always was overseeing what I was doing and assisting with a well placed lick when she felt Copper required it.
This particular day Copper was not very happy and I was trying to work out which issue was causing him the most discomfort which was difficult so I turned to Sophie and said “where does it hurt him the most Sophie?” She was sat beside me and instantly she lifted her paw and placed it on top of his shoulder!