Case Study With Dexter
Here’s a brief case study written by Annette to illustrate the effectiveness, the session lasted 55 minutes.
Dexter (a bull mix) had been in Rescue Centre for a couple of months. They describe him as “friendly + exuberant boy, lots of energy with high exercise requirements”. He doesn’t cope well with kennels and pants continuously.
Sherree and I used him as demo dog for a group of Rescue staff.
Initial Visual Observations
Dexter came into room fast and checked in with each staff member but avoided Sherree and I at other end of the room. His breathing was rapid. Back legs splayed out. Movements rapid, walked continually round room, whale eye when looking sideways at me or Sherree.
Start Of Session
Eventually, he would pick up treats thrown by Sherree, and then lean forward to take from her hand. While he was doing this, I used a wand to move along back about 2” above the skin. Then on skin, on back, flank and under chin. Only on right hand side which I could reach without moving.
He took breaks to check in with staff, sometimes to lay down for a few moments (panting), but then started to return to our end of the room.
His back legs splay out when sitting or lying down. Panting hardly slowed. Lots of whale eye. Ears high on head.
Continue With The Session
He started to take treats from my hand, and I was able to touch under chin and neck (llama), slowly moved onto chest, shoulders, head and neck (various, llama, circular).
With permission, removed collar which was tight, skin over neck softened as we continued.
Breathing slowed considerably. Ears dropped and ears softened.
Once I’d been able to work on back end, he was quieter and asking for touch. Over time did tail work, inch worm, tarantula, lifts on back legs, turtle.
On a couple of occasions, he reverted to habitual stance and panting, but these became shorter, less frantic and he always returned to me. He then lay quietly.
There was warmth in both back legs.
Changes Observed At The End Of The Session?
The stance had changed, with back legs under body instead of braced behind. Head lower. He was still and breathing was much calmer with no panting. He lay down with legs neatly folded. A couple of times he popped up and checked in with me or staff but then would return to lying down.
They had never seen him not panting or lying in a relaxed state. They noted the difference in body shape and eyes.