A Case Study: TTouch for Senior Dogs

I want to share this case study with you because it may bring hope to many of you for your aging dogs. Corinne is a Tellington TTouch Practitioner-in-Training and send me this lovely case study as one of her required reports. Of course you must understand that in addition to TTouch we always advise working with a veterinarian who can help your senior dog with acupuncture and herbs, and remember the importance of finding the right diet for your canine friends.

Dog: Sandy
TTouch done every day over a 4 day period, Dec 28-31, 2010

Magnificent 11 yr old yellow Labrador Retriever neutered male with arthritis due to age.
Very large in size (over 100 lbs), in great physical shape, lean and toned but with benign fatty tumors.
George and Maria are our friends. They live in the woods at the foot of a mountain in northern Nevada at 6000 feet of altitude. Sandy goes for a walk twice a day, every day with Maria. In the winter, Sandy enjoys his walks in the snow. All this activity keeps him very fit. However, he has developed arthritis.
When I met Sandy last week, he got up with difficulty, was walking slowly and did not play with our very active young Standard Poodle Bijou. Sandy is extremely sweet but gave a little warning growl to Bijou when annoyed by him. Sandy and Bijou got along fabulously. They understood each other, it was beautiful to watch.

After only one TTouch session Sandy must have already been feeling better because he went for a long walk in the snow with us and remained active for the rest of the day. He could stand up with more ease and was responsive to Bijou’s teasing him.
After the second TTouch session, someone was coming home and he sprang on his feet right before my astonished eyes to go greet the person.
After the third session, Sandy ran in the snow and played with Bijou in the house chasing him around the carpeted living room. We took photos to mark the event since Maria had not seen Sandy so active, so playful and running around the house for a long time!
The fourth TTouch session was held after midnight as Sandy simply did not let me go to bed without my working on him. He settled himself on Bijou’s blanket at the foot of my bed and the message was very clear. This was so endearing, I asked my husband to grab the camera to capture this moment.
I only wish I could work on Sandy regularly, he deserves it so much. The good news is we are friends and I’ll get more chances to help Sandy.

My intent was to awaken in Sandy his potential for perfect health. Every touch was going to help him remember what it felt like to run in the snow when he was a puppy. I held the image of Sandy running pain free and full of joy in the snow right outside the house.
Session 1: Sandy was apprehensive to be touched by a stranger (me). I could tell because he was breathing hard. Maria sat on the floor with him to reassure him. I used calming signals like turning my body sideways and head sideways.
I started with the back of my hand (Llama touch) and touched the majority of his body to find that he was uncomfortable with my touching the lower back (no surprise there because the vet said he has arthritis in the hips). I respected and decided to work at the head where he seemed more comfortable. I did mouth work along the sides of his face with the back of my hand (light touch) and little Raccoon circles on top of his large muscular head and worked the ears with the TTouch circle followed by slides to the tip of the ears. Sandy stopped panting and put his head down. I also did Raccoon touches all around both ears and at the junction of the scalp and the neck. The head work lasted a good 20 to 30 min.
Once Sandy was very comfortable with my touch, I thought to work all over the body to bring all the new sensations he was feeling at the head down to his entire body. I used the Lying Leopard and the Abalone touches from the front of his body to the back along the spine but also the sides of his body. I stayed at the minimal pressure (1 to 2) but just enough that I could still move the skin. I just stroked gently down the legs but without circles, did a Noah’s March down the 4 legs.
I did Raccoon circles down the tail on all 4 sides. Sandy was very comfortable with my working his tail so I took advantage of it to get to his lower back/sacrum/pelvis area/hips via the tail. I circled the base of the tail in both directions and closed with Noah’s March from the top of his head all the way down to his tail and a big hug to a big endearing bear.
The whole session may have lasted around one hour.

Session 2:
Sandy welcomed me as I kneeled toward him with a wagging tail and lifted his sleepy head off the ground to show me a heartwarming smile. I knew right then Sandy was ready for TTouch.
I repeated all the above but spent less time at the head and progressed to the lower back at a faster pace. Sandy did acknowledge he was not so sure about the lower back by attempting to sit but paused and lied back down and with a big sigh told me: ok then, but gentle! He lay on his side in his favorite spot right against the couch and went into a deep sleep as I was working. He even dreamt and his legs were running (slightly) as I was projecting the image of all his cells communicating and his neurological pathways renewed as he was romping in the snow.
I used mostly Clouded Leopard circles and Lying Leopard circles all over his lower back, sacrum, pelvis, hip joints and rear leg of his left side and was projecting communication of the cells I was touching to the cells on the other side (right side he was sleeping so soundly on).
Then I did connected Clouded Leopard circles all the way up to his head and worked his shoulder with Clouded Leopard circles and Lying Leopard circles down his leg. I worked his shoulders at every session because there may be inflammation due to Sandy straining to get up using the front end since his back end is weaker.
I finished with ear slides and Noah’s March from head to tail.

Session 3:
A repeat of session 2 with the difference being that I could work both sides on Sandy as he was not sound asleep this time.
Part of the time Sandy was up and I took advantage to do Belly lifts as well as Turtles with my hands on both sides of this chest (from chest to right before the hips) and also with one hand at the belly and the other on the back at the level right below the ribs.
I worked the tail quite a bit as well as mentioned above.
I worked both rear legs on the inner thigh and outer thigh with Clouded Leopards and Raccoon circles around the knees.
I also showed Maria how she could wrap him 10 to 20 min. a day if she wished. I put a half body wrap on Sandy and he enjoyed a play session with Bijou.
I also did the body Octopus, just because I love it! It connects the front to the back so beautifully and grounds the dog. I love this move!
Intermittently during our stay, not to overload Maria with too much information at once, I explained to her the basic principles of TTouch so she could do it herself on Sandy. I clarified how to hold the intention to remind the cells of their perfection as well as showed her the TTouch circle on the clock and how light the touches needed to be, having her touch just below her eye and move the skin. I also talked about the importance of the slow breathing to bring calm and connection between the dog and self. I shared that she could do no wrong and she could touch everywhere her hands went, not to worry about not knowing. I covered Ear work, Abalone circles, Clouded Leopard and Raccoon circles as well as Belly lifts. Finally, I also gave both George and Maria TTouch sessions so they could feel in their body what I was doing with Sandy.

Session 4:
I just did circles all over Sandy, face, ears, head, body, belly, lower back, and tail, down the legs and closed with the feet (little Raccoon circles on all the pads). After about a half hour Sandy had enough and got up.

The next day we left but have stayed in touch and so far so good. Sandy is better than before our visit and the TTouch sessions. I look forward to working with Sandy again. He was my Christmas gift as I was losing confidence in myself. Sandy’s feeling so much better is healing my heart. Thank you Sandy.

© 2011, Linda Tellington-Jones. All rights reserved.

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