As every dog owner knows, we are fast approaching that period when some canines (certainly not all) but definitely a lot – reject the Gunpower Plot! What to do for the best? Well one of my hounds, Tracy, goes and lies down on the landing when the first ‘boom’ resonates through the neighbourhood. Paddy raises his head from his bed and looks alarmed. He then walks off into a bedroom and spend the evening there, not something he does any when else in the year!
There’s plenty of advice out there – “ Take them out early” good idea but the local youths don’t wait until after dark to start their noisy onslaught, oh no! A few sneaky, loud ‘cracks’ when my two are out quietly sniffing is enough to start them scampering and cowering (the dogs I mean, not the youths!) “Give them some medication from the vet” mmm … not sure that I want to go down that route. On the worst night last year, we drove 15 miles to a quiet spot so the dogs could have a relaxed walk (sounds extreme doesn’t it!) So if you are one of those poor owners who ‘muddles through’ Bonfire Night Season then please read on.
At the beginning of October I went to a talk given by the UK’s leading Instructor on TTouch – Sarah Fisher. TTouch is a technique that aims to work on the nervous system of many animals like cats, horses, sheep etc and promote a therapeutic effect. TTouch can help with many things including dogs that are reactive, anxious or in pain. There are a few strands to this technique but in simple terms, it aims to move the animal’s skin very gently in a small circle in areas of the body which are tense and also build confidence through simple exercise. I have been using this technique with one of my hounds for a month now and the bond he is building with me is unquestionable. Now you can see where the firework connection comes in and, in addition, TTouch also recommend using things like tee-shirts (there is a specially named shirt you can buy) to hug the dog and lessen anxiety. I’m definitely going to be giving this a try come Bonfire Night because I don’t like to see my pair of pooches nervous and upset.
And so, all good things come to an end and that’s it from myself, Paddy and Tracy – if you have adopted a hound from Greyhound Lifeline, treasure them, they are a true gift and if you haven’t yet – please, please consider letting one into your heart very soon.