By Jessica Evans
It’s amazing how we expect our dogs to just know what to do…
Imagine coming into a new environment like the hydro, you have no idea who these people are and they can’t speak your language. They fit you with weird harnesses and jackets, shove you into a glass box that then fills up with water and, to top it off, holy moly the floor starts moving underneath you!!!!
I would freak out, how about you?
This it what our patients have to go through when they first start their therapy programs. And as guardians we expect them to just get on with it and to be able to “run” miles on the first time. Imagine if you were rushed while experiencing this for the first time? Would you ever want to do that again? I think not.
It’s vitally important that we allow our patients a chance to process what it going on. We need to allow them to try themselves without being “forced” to take part. The key to a successful therapy program is your dog’s buy-in. And as a guardian bringing your dog to his therapy session it would be more pleasurable if he couldn’t wait to be here!
As therapists and as guardians we can make or break our dog’s confidence, significantly colour his experiences and whether or not he is going to be fearful about life. Of course we want to see results and we want you as the guardians to see those results too. But at the end of the day the whole wellness (mental, physical and emotional) of your companion needs to be taken into consideration.
Before we rush our companion into unknown situations let’s take a step back and put ourselves in their paw prints. How would you like to be handled in that situation. And remember we aren’t going to run a marathon without taking small steps first!