“Am I the best advocate for Hobbes, our wheaten terrier?” Once again, I revisited the idea of Hobbes becoming a therapy dog. Hobbes loves people and especially children. He comforted a neighbor when she thought her dog was dying – it was a happy ending. As we were refreshing our training, I realized he loves people but doesn’t like the repetition. Are you your pet’s best advocate?
An animal communicator friend confirmed Hobbes likes to figure out what I was teaching him and then he wants to move on. I know he puts up with grooming. Once he told me he didn’t want to be a wheaten terrier and wanted to be a regular dog with no haircuts. I said, I was sorry but we couldn’t change his breed.
After a lot of thought, I decided Hobbes and I would not be a therapy dog team. Assisting at a Tellington TTouch® Training six-day class helped me reconfirm my decision. One of the TTouch® guiding principles is giving the animals a choice. Hobbes wants to be with John and I, and other people are the icing on the cake. So Hobbes and I will continue working on his skills and tricks. Both of us are happier now.
Recently I was Hobbes’ advocate when he had two cysts removed and his teeth cleaned. I asked Dr. Cathy Sinning at Lake Harriet Veterinary if I could use Healing Touch for Animals® on Hobbes as he recovered. The experience was amazing.
Since then, I’ve read “Speaking for Spot” by Dr. Nancy Kay. She talks about how to be an advocate for your dog with the vet. She gives lots of information on finding the right vet for you and your dog, new medical procedures, symptoms of diseases, questions to ask your vet, vaccinations, etc. I feel every dog parent needs this book! It is an easy read and a great reference.
Every day you can be an advocate for your pet no matter their species. If you dog doesn’t like being touched by strangers, then support him by telling people he is afraid of people. You may even need to body block the people from your dog.
Are you taking your dog to an event because you want to go or does she really enjoy the people? Is she nervous and giving signals to you by licking her lips, yawning, sniffing for no apparent reason, or tucking her tail? Maybe she would be happier at home.
Is your dog secure and safe in the car when you go on errands so he doesn’t get hurt? I know how easy it is to put Hobbes in the car for a ride without the crate or hookup! Do you have water with you? Does your dog have her space in your house to get away from the hustle and bustle of the family and guests?
Does your cat have a place to hide if people come to visit? If you cat hates traveling to the vet, do you know that there are several vets who do house calls? Ask yourself — whose your pet’s best advocate?
And like Hobbes, does your dog want to be a therapy dog or is it something you want to do? All these small acts make your pet live a happier life.
Let me know how I can help you make you and your pet’s lives better.