I miss my Dad, my Mum, having a proper visit with my Nan, taking my dog out for a decent walk, and just being able to go out and be in nature a bit. Then I began worrying about my clients, and was I doing enough for them. The more I sat and thought about stuff, the shittier I felt. Covid-19 is shit and I haven't even caught it yet that I am aware of.
God knows how hard it must be for those that are being worse affected.
The day I had today could not have been further from that point though.
Firstly I had the most lovely food, from a local Indian restaurant named Monza's Place, that is an absolute gem.
Then I was reminded how lovely my neighbours are, when the whole street came out to sing happy birthday to a young girl who for obvious reasons can't have a real party.
But the biggest thing by far happened just a few moments ago.
Putting this here as I know you guys will understand how BIG this is to me and I can't fit it all on a Facebook post, and I just need to get it out before I pop.
A few years ago I had a very poorly little dog, who was on the point of being put down. Allergies, food intolerances and digestion issues, plus colitis and a rejection at birth by his mother meant my little Moo had became underweight, sick and terrified little mess by the time he was about 8 months old.
Daily vomiting, passing blood, food not passing through his stomach, ducking if anyone tried to stroke him, gunky sore ears and eyes, anorexia, anxiety and chewed bald patches on his legs... My poor, poor pup - i was at my wits end and he was in agony, aggressive and afraid of everything. I used to cry just looking at him sometimes.
Here i studied my backside off and gained degree level qualifications, which is no mean feat when I had left school in 1996 with average GCSE's and not much else, and I began to understand a bit of what was going on with my boy.
Being in the ISCP, I learned his fears and anxiety were likely rooted in his pain. His aggression was likely to be fear based. I began to understand my pup. A new world opened up for us. I heard of all sorts of things behavioural and otherwise, including being introduced to a nutriscan test. They offer a food intolerance test that is not yet offered in the UK, but can be ordered from the USA. Here started the path to his recovery, once we found some food intolerances.
From there we were able to cut out things from his diet which meant his tummy issues began to clear up. I taught him how to enjoy food again as he was deeply suspicious of it, using toys as a reward for eating.
I began helping out a lady at the local Dog College puppy & obedience classes too. As a family we had always trained our own dogs and so on, but training other's dogs was just so much fun..
At this point I was able to start training him, with all the new things I was learning at ISCP and I then went into absolute DOGS to learn even more training techniques using games and fun stuff.
But - even though his tummy cleared up, he still kept getting chronic ear infections, lasting months at a time. Each time, the pain was setting back the progress we had made with his behaviour and so we would have to keep dealing with new phobias as they cropped up.
I also did other courses, all of which helped me to shape my positive, reward based methods and "Fun Not Fear" philosophy, which I use with clients now.
Further investigations at the vet eventually led to him being diagnosed with Dust/Storage mite allergies, so yet more things were cut out from around him, and a routine of daily antihistames began. This was a good year ago.
After years of tears, vet trip after vet trip, continous care and rounds of antibiotics, steroids, washes, flushes, pain killers and a home made diet, thousands of pounds and hundreds of hours spent on education, on diet, on tests, on medical bills, on pills and potions, and a whole new career path... tonight I realised at just gone midnight I had forgotten to do his ear flush.. so I wearily went to do his ears and made a marvellous discovery.
They were already clean.
Actually fucking clean.
Like really clean!!!
No pain. No redness. No wax. No smell. No wincing as I came at him with the cotton bud. Just clean ears.
No tummy ache. A good appetite. Well trained (to the point of now being my demo dog). No skin issues. No bald patches. And now no ear infection.
I have spent years working my butt off to get to this moment. Joy doesn't cover how I feel right now. I know it won't last forever, and he will likely have another flare up soon, but for now, for the first time in his life...
...I have a completely healthy, happy dog.