So we have been fortunate enough to have another tool in our box other than regular dog training or behaviour knowledge/experience. Several of the staff members including myself have become Reiki I practicioners. If you don't know what it is, my best crude explanation is first having an intention for being of assistance which comprises of being a conduit for healing energy and projecting that energy to wherever the individual's body calls for it. Whether that be animals or people. Many at our Shelter think it is a bunch of metaphysical mumbo jumbo and I definitely know if I was back in Chicago and I brought this idea they would first tell me I was out of my mind and then probably say of course! it comes from the land of fruits and nuts! Fortunately here in S. Cali it is much more acceptable which I find refreshing.
I've done some Reiki on a few of the animals and for now I don't see any immediate reaction but hope that it at least has some bit of calming for them...other than the contentment of just having the company itself. I will continue to practice it and hopefully will gain greater ability with it, especially since they have scientific proof that it actually works. After we practice more we will continue our schooling to become Reiki II and III Masters. I'll let ya know how and if it works on our kids here.
One of our front desk ladies has been practicing Reiki on Shaq Attack & staff has tried to stay conscious in keeping on the protocal for our stressed little fella. He is kept away from the other dogs as much as possible and spends most days up at our front desk. It's gotten to the point that he knows exactly where he likes to be and will pull you all the way to the front office door if you let him as he was some dowsing rod pulling you directly to water. He is even sharing the space with a SUHWHEET young little Shihtsu named Anna, who had to have both her eyes removed because of a blunt trauma to her head. Shaq doesn't mind her up there at all but maybe it's fromthem both getting Reiki :) Who knows? Regardless, it's good to see he can share his space with another of his kind. So far so good. All he needs now is to attract that forever home that will keep him happy and healthy.
We ended up getting this deathly afraid, adorable little Chihuahua Choochoo. She is the kind of dog who hides in the back of her crate and acts like she wants to be ok with you, as she will come up and take treats from your hand (though funnily enough food can get many dogs right out of a fearful moment)and off your legs etc but if you move she will run away again. Patience is a true virtue with this kind of animal and I'm sad to say that not a lot of people really have that kind of patience especially if they feel they are in a hurry. I am in charge of what we call "special needs" animals and that would be any animal that needs extra attention whether it be more exercise, quiet time, more socialization etc. so even though she had special instructions I only put her in my own mental special needs. The first few sitting it would taker her about 20 min. before she would climb onto my lap after a thousand treat of bribery and sloth like stealthiness. Even after the few good intros we had she still would come to the gate door but not come out until I opened it abit and she would allow you to pet her neck and then come forward for more and the she would let me pick her up. As I said before this much time was not taken with her by everyone and one day while trying to get her to come forward from her play yard she darted and ended jumping over another staffer who caught her but it freaked Choochoo enough that she bit the staffer. Now my Choochoo is on Bite Quarantine where she is secluded from the general population for 10days. I was told the other day that she is now on the green mile. I'm frustrated because she had shown some improvement and I believe (and still willing to admit I MAY be wrong about this) that if everyone had worked with her the way that was best for her then she probably would have made more strides.
My frustration also stems from experiencing other dogs who have come in here traitwith very similar behaviour traits (minus the fear bite) and got more put into them to see if they could adjust and the last one I can remember of those fearful ones has been adopted. I will openly admit I am stubborn in my views and that on occassion they may be idealistic yet I prefer to think of it more as being hopeful. It's been a battle for three years with me and another individual who have completely opposite ideas about the animals in the shelter as to whether they are "suffering", whether anyone would want them or not or if they will be some kind of danger in the home. I find the person to be focused on created stories of negativity and my created stories side on the positive side. All I can do is keep working with my kids the best I can and fight for those I feel are misrepresented or if rulings are unsubstantial.
As for my Choochoo, I'm not sure what to do about her. I adore her of course but she does spend the majority of her time tucked away in the back of her kennel and often shaking. What I do accept for right now is that here, we do not have the proper tools to work with her without continually causing her even more stress and anxiety. I wish we had a foster that would take her home and see if she is adaptable...would that just prolong a life of fear? I don't know. What I do know is that if I can get these kids to be able to just hang in there long enough without going off the deep end then an openhearted, kind patient person will take each of these "special needs dogs home. Like I said before..It's just a matter of time.
Last note of the day..Big Bogenaut and my Copper are still here yet doing pretty well. Bogers is seeming a little sad but I have spent some extra time with him getting him to get excited and play. we also got 10 newbies who will be available Sat. All small all cute and all champions when it came to their shots and blood draws. What BRAVE little monkies!
Wish I had more time for all of them.
Thanks for reading!