My schnauzer-mix, Garnet, is troubled. She had a neglected and painful past before coming to my home a year-and-a-half ago. She was knocked up, despondent, and didn’t know what to do. She wasn’t leash trained in any way, shape, or form, and got very car sick from anxiety. Not having the advice of http://fearfuldogs.wordpress.com/ I had to wing it.
Having spayed all my female dogs, the puppies were a novelty for us (and yes, Garnet was spayed after her litter). Matchmaking with all of our friends worked out well, and we found happy homes for all puppies. Now, we can concentrate on little Garnet. She seems stuck in her abusive past; she’s afraid to sleep on the bed with the other dogs, preferring a bed of her own on the floor beside our bed. She’s timid anytime she’s outside the safety of our home. A trip to Petsmart is “date night” for our boy poodle but terrifying for Garnet.
To help her understand her worth, and value to us, I initiated heart-to-heart resuscitation. It sounds so natural, doesn’t it? It’s far more instinctive than mouth-to-mouth. I hold my small dog with her hind legs on my lap, her front paws on my chest. And we stay that way, chest-to-chest, heart-to-heart. I stroke her fur, and she has the courage to look at me. Or she just settles her chin on my shoulder and sighs. She loves me, and I love her, and we just savor the moment as we pass that feeling back and forth. It grows stronger and more peaceful with each pass.
The day is better for both of us after that. And yes, it works on people, too.