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 lived for nine years with a special needs dog – he was unpredictably people-aggressive, highly anxious and highly intelligent. He came to me at ten months old already having had a rough start. He taught me so much and brought me to investigate and to qualify in some complementary therapies, and research so much about how I could help him and help myself. I used self-selection essential oils (zoopharmacognosy), flower essences and homeopathy. I approached various experts and positive/reward trainers. I looked into his physical, mental and emotional issues, his past and his present. His rough start caused him to be as he was 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 helped us – him becoming a much more trusting and less anxious dog and more confidence for me.
Being in the present moment
Being mindful of my own energy
Listening to him
Looking for the good behaviour and reactions and voicing them to him
Appreciating all his good points
Gratitude for all he was
Reaching out for support
Working on the connection we had 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 gained in confidence generally. He sadly died in April 2018 of an illness. Our connection was deep and loving, our bond strong and I remember him with love and gratitude.