Friday, April 27, 2012

Finally-TTouch for Lamar

When you have a steady stream of young, difficult, energetic, high-maintenance foster dogs or foster failures, it's easy to pour a bunch of money and time and training and heartache into them and forget the needs of your old stalwarts, the dogs whose foibles you've long since accepted and learned to love. 

I'm determined not to let that happen with Lamar. When I come home in the afternoon, I make it a point to walk right on past the wildly launching Fozzie (much as my heart longs to smooch him) and go right back to Lamar to scratch his ears as he moans and sighs, and stretch out next to him as I bury my face in his neck. 

It eats me up inside that the link to posts about Fozzie on the right of your screen is so much larger than the one to posts about Lamar, and I'm determined to fix that too.

If it means you have to read a bunch of posts about piles of dog hair, so be it.

Today, I have a Lamar post that may actually be somewhat useful, and I mean useful for something other than assuaging my guilt.

Last week I took Lamar to see Pam for a TTouch session. I've learned so much from Pam about working with wild dogs like Fozzie and Sandy; I wanted to see what we could do for an anxious, reactive dog like Lamar. More than anything I was hoping to figure out some solutions to what I imagine, in my most tortured guilt-racked moments, is Lamar's own private hell of living with an impulsive muscular young upstart when he just wants to be enjoying a relaxing retirement. 

With some gentle pressure on Lamar's sacrum, the tension and stiffness in his hips began to release. He started to yawn, sigh, and pass gas--all signs he was releasing and relaxing!

The main solutions to our household tension--the ongoing growling snapping and snarling every time Fozzie approaches Lamar's "turf" of our bed--were management solutions. 

What if we moved the bed somehow so that Fozzie doesn't have to pass by so close to Lamar every time he goes through to the dog door? What if we just institute a rule that Fozzie has to stay in the living room for as long as Lamar wants to be on the bed with us at night?

And a few ideas to help the both of them relax. Try putting an anxiety wrap around both of them at night, along with a calming elastic around their noses and heads, and see if that brings a shift in the level of tension. 

The elastic around their faces releases endorphins from that whole rich area around the muzzle. Maybe they'll feel so good they'll forget to be upset at each other! 

Work for 5 minutes a day on their mouths, lots of circles around the muzzle and cheeks and mouth to release endorphins and help those tight facial muscles loosen. 

And finally, I realized I need to be more consistent about getting Lamar on some relief for his hips. How much of his grumpiness is exacerbated because he is in pain? He is 12 years old, and though at times he prances about like a much younger dog, at other times the stiffness and weakness in his hips is starting to be really noticeable. 

I have some glucosamine that I give him, but I know there are scads of products out there and that some of them get really good reviews. What doggie hip and arthritis supplements have you used, with good results? 

I think Lamar loved his TTouch session, but he eagerly awaits your advice on his hips.


  1. That's fantastic! I've just gotten a book about TTouch and am trying to practice it on Kobi, I would especially like to do some mouth TTouches to help with his barking but he is still such a restless puppy I really have to wait for him to be a little sleepy before trying or else he just gets excited and flails. I also need to try it on my older dog Scout, simply just a matter of doing it!


  2. Great post. Mom massages us and it works. We are going to check out the wraps too. Looks like a good day Lamar
    Benny & Lily

  3. Hi Kristine, my mom and dad haven't tried TT on me but they've done pretty much everything else. We think that if you can continue with TT on a regular basis, that Lamar would experience less pain and discomfort. Would acupuncture help? My peeps give me a capful of a product called Bio-Iso-G that has Glucosamine, Msm and Chondroitin in it. You'll need to get it from your vet and the really large size is about $180 CDN.

  4. is it possible to get a video of the ttouch for lamar or fozzie? its just so interesting!!

    we are giving our foster gal fish oil, msm, glucosamine and chondroitin for her damaged hip joints... hoping to offer some relief. it comes in a bottle as liquid and its not very expensive :

  5. Brilliant to read that Lamar loved his TTouch. Massage and a holistic approach to health does work well.
    Have a happy weekend
    Big Nose Pokes
    The Thugletsx

  6. Oooo a face rub! Mom's got to learn how to do this! I'll talk with her about it right away! :)

    Mom says that she had a doggy before I came along that had hip displacia and arthritis. Our holistic vet recommended Liquid Health Level 5000 Glucosamine and Chrondroitin Equine and Canine Concentrate. The difference in results between this and other glucosamine supplements was amazing. Gave Lucy a whole new spring in her step! Really worked wonders! :)

    Waggin at ya,

  7. Green lipped muscle is what I give Calhoun when he gets a bit stiff! I hate giving him regular meds just as I hate to take regular meds. You just never know what side effects will develop in the long run BUT the GLM has worked wonders for him. The trainer that recommended it to me also takes it for her arthritis! By the way, I totally have put Calhoun in the same position you feel you've put Lamar in. His ability to let me do what I do and roll his eyes when I bring in a rescue or puppy sit for the service dog group I volunteer with makes me love him more. Just a special car ride or a quiet nuzzle is all he needs every now and then. He's a good boy to put up with me!

    Mamma Heartbeat


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.