Support for special needs animals
‘Special needs’ could mean aggressive, fearful, mistrustful, shutdown, or autistic-type symptoms. These animals find connecting with you harder for various reasons. They need extra support and consideration.
I have lived for the last nine years with a special needs dog – he is unpredictably people-aggressive, highly anxious and highly intelligent. He came to me at ten months old already having had a rough start. He has taught me so much and brought me to investigate and to qualify in some complimentary therapies, and research so much about how I can help him and help myself. I have used self-selection essential oils (zoopharmacognosy), flower essences and homeopathy. I have approached various experts and positive/reward trainers. I have looked into his physical, mental and emotional issues, his past and his present. His rough start caused him to be as he is but we must never forget to look at the present and see how that helps or hinders our animals – it does hugely, as I found out. I had to look not just at him, but at myself too. He mirrored a lot of things in me.
So, here are a few things which have helped us to get us where we are – a much more trusting and less anxious dog and more confidence for me.
- Being in the present moment
- Being mindful of my own energy
- Being grounded
- Listened to him
- Looking for the good behaviour and reactions and voicing them to him
- Appreciating all his good points
- Gratitude for all he is
- Reaching out for support
- Working on the connection we have and building on it
- Focusing on how well I was doing
- Flower essences, essential oils and homeopathy
- Loving him unconditionally
There were several times I nearly gave up on us – because I thought I couldn’t cope, not because I thought he wasn’t worth it or because I didn’t love him – but each time I found the support and help to continue and in the process learnt so much about myself and grew as a soul and a person in leaps and bounds. I have gained in confidence generally. He is now so much happier and more relaxed, more trusting of people. Life for us both is now so much easier. It has all been, and is, so very worth it.