The wind tugged at the house, then snuck in through the windows and knocked over a painting with a crash. Pearl was all of a tizzle, panting, anxious, pacing and walking, pupils dilated, ears up and stretched to hear the horrible evil crashes of thunder. I’d been lost in my book until the crash, but now I could see she needed some help.
I coaxed her up onto the couch beside me. It took a little while, as she’d really rather be wandering about than still when there’s a storm, but after a few minutes she hopped up, and I gently helped her sit down beside me. I started to give her some Whole Energy Body Balance (WEBB) work – I had to gently restrain her while I did, because at every distant roll of thunder, she wanted to leap off the couch. Her heart beat was racing, shaking her whole body. I placed one hand on her sacrum, he other at the base of her skull, and went silent withing, listening to her body with my hands, and naturally, her tension started to unwind in response.
Slowly, over half an hour or so, her heart rate and respiration slowed down. The tension melted from her body, until she rested her head down on the couch with a deep sigh (even though the thunder was still rattling around the hills). She was a different dog (though she still very elegantly deposited her dinner on our lovely rug for me to clean up about ten minutes later). Relaxed, at peace, even with the stress still present.
WEBB sessions are great for any sort of anxiety problems in your pets – they help your pet start to self-regulate into a calm state (and I teach you an easy 5 minute technique to practice every day with your pet that reinforces this).