Friday, October 16, 2009

It's a (TTouch) Wrap!

At the recent TTouch training in Dayton, NJ, Debby Potts ( taught us quite a lot about TTouch wraps. These wraps are done using ACE bandages (or similar materials) and are gently wrapped around the animal in a variety of ways. When an animal is stressed or uncomfortable in some physical or emotional way, it can be very disconnected from its body. The wraps can help bring the animal back into its body, and can feel as though it is being gently held and cuddled, which can be very comforting.

In the two pictures below you see Debby demonstrating a couple of ways to do head wraps on Naomi, a lovely German shepherd owned by Gerlinde (you see her in the second picture on the left). A head wrap, in addition to being calming, can also be great preparation for getting a dog ready to have a head collar put on. A head collar was a good idea for Naomi because of her proportions and because she tends to be very forward with her head, so Debby showed Gerlinde a leash configuration with three points of contact which included one point connected to the head collar and then two points connected to a harness and leash, or to two different points on the harness (the "superbalance leash" which is connected to the back center clip of a step-in harness, looped through the front of the harness and then connected to the side clip of the harness. See one of the TTouch for dogs books for a full description before trying this!).

Next, below you see Marsha W ( and her dachshund Gracie, great to get to know both of them! Marsha also brought a lovely black Cocker Spaniel with her named Bella, unfortunately I did not get a good pic of her. Anyway, Gracie has a lot of difficulty walking, as her back legs are not working too well, and so we thought a wrap was a great idea for her, especially a "full wrap", which goes around the back end of the dog.
Pictured below is Gracie in the full wrap. This will give her a lot more awareness of her back end. Later, Marsha and I cut an Ace bandage in half so it was a thin strip, cut this into two shorter strips, and wrapped these around Gracie's back legs. This seemed to help her to be even more aware of her back legs and although she seemed a bit confused by the leg wrap at first, I think this could be really helpful for her. She is a sweet dog! and was very cooperative while we were wrapping all these contraptions around her.

I was also very pleased that my friend and Feldenkrais practitioner Kathy Yates was at this training with her dog Mia. Mia is a great dog! She was also extremely cooperative with having a wrap put on her and so below you see her in another kind of wrap, I believe this is what we called the racing stripe wrap. Mia is an older dog and has arthritis so it is helpful for her to have increased body awareness going to the back part of her body as well.

Mia is a terrific dog but she is extremely attached to her mom and can get very jealous when Mom pays attention to someone else. Kathy (below right) was sitting with Gracie on one side and Mia on the other side, and Mia decided that was just too much for her and she wanted attention, so she moved away from Kathy and right into the middle of the circle, where everyone would see her. This is pictured below, and gave us all quite a chuckle!
If you are trying a wrap on your dog, be sure not to wrap it too tight and just leave it on for a few minutes at first, so it is not too overwhelming experience. I have found so far that cats really do not like to be wrapped but a few people have found otherwise. We had an expression in the training "DOD" which means "depends on the dog" and in the case of cats, it is "DOC" as to whether a cat will enjoy a wrap, that's for sure.

1 comment:

  1. Juel here. Sarah, I've been meaning to say Hello and Good Work now for awhile and your last few posts have really caught my attention and made me a slight bit jealous! First off-every time you show a ginger cat I go all soft--I suspect that one day I'll be the crazy lady with too many dogs and too many--all ginger-cats.(after all-who would really be able to tell how many cats there are if they all look alike). Second-I also have a soft spot for guinea pigs-they are so sweet and make such endearing sounds and almost never turn into the killer bunny ala Monty Python as bunnies sometimes do.
    Now you have Debbie Potts-who I have not had as an instructor but want to(I have friends in Portland so hope to make it to training at her place.) It's good to see so many familiar faces on these last two installments. Marsha, Gracie and a cocker were at my last training in Chapel Hill though I don't remember if it was the same cocker. I have also a really soft spot for Doxies--is Marsha still carrying Gracie around by her chest, with her rear dangling? If so, no amount of Ttouch and wraps is ever going to keep her in touch with her back-end. I tried to show and tell her how to properly carry a dachshund with any sort of back issue, as did one other Pit, but she got that "I'm a doctor" attitude and ignored us both to the point that Betsey and I were plotting to kidnap Gracie. But I'm glad to see that Marsha is in the program. Looks like Gracie has lost a little weight, too, which will help her. I love Grace Ann, too.
    You'll be graduating soon, I think? Are you coming to the CELLebration? I thought of you when I ordered small Tshirts. (Hopefully, I'll learn to keep my mouth shut about some of my business experience--LTJ is very frustrating to work with but we got through it.) There is probably going to be an advanced training in Chapel Hill next year--hope to see you there!
    Oh, and I also admire your ability to keep on top of your journal posts.
    Heart Hugs