A Guide To Regular Health Checks for Your Dog

As we continue on our journey toward canine wellness our next path takes us to the learning about health checks for our dogs.  An overall body exam only takes a few minutes and makes sure that everything operates the way it should. If you find any unexpected lumps, bumps, cuts, sore spots, etc. then you can to make an appointment with your dog’s veterinarian.

My wish, is that every dog has a health check at least once a month. Even though my dogs are on flea and tick preventative I do a daily body exam to make sure that ticks didn’t catch a ride on them. It is important to remove a tick as soon as possible to reduce the risk of disease transmission. My dog Abby (RIP) had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and I never even knew she had been bitten by a tick.

Performing regular health checks help you know your dog’s overall wellness and helps your dog learn to enjoy the body exam – even from your veterinarian. Imagine that – a less stressful veterinary visit for your dog!

Linda Michaels, M.A. reminds us in the Hierachy of Dog NeedsTM that it is our responsibility to take care of more than our dog’s biological needs – we are responsible for their wellness too. Performing an overall body exam and health check can help ensure your dog’s wellness. So let’s go that extra step and look out for our dog’s overall well-being.

There are a couple of ground rules when you do a health check on your dog. First off, they are for non-emergency routine care. The information you gather in no way replaces a visit to your veterinarian and your dog should continue his regularly scheduled veterinary appointments.

Throughout the process observe your dog. If at any point your dog shows signs of discomfort – stop what you are doing. Make a note of what you did – were you leaning over him or was your touch too hard? Maybe there is an injury or maybe you startled your dog. Pay attention because an injury may require medical attention but a startle response does not. If you determine your dog is healthy yet is reluctant to be handled then please contact a trainer or behavior consultant in your area for assistance. Don’t force your dog to be touched in an area or in a way that makes him uncomfortable.

Approach – your dog from the side. If you approach directly from the front your dog may take that as an aggressive approach. When you approach from the side – or present your body sideways, you are considered less threatening. Extra tip – wait a moment for your dog to come to you. Giving your dog a moment to decide that he wants to participate make all the difference in the world.

Position – you should not restrict or block your dog’s movement. If you restrict his movement he may feel trapped and become reactive or aggressive. There is a difference between containment and restraint. You can contain your dog in a small area without restraint. When you do this your dog has some choice and is more likely to accept being touched even in sensitive places.

Distance – don’t crowd or lean over your dog. Most dogs have an interesting response when you lean over them, especially near their head, most of the time they will jump up and that can cause you to be bumped. The times when this doesn’t happen is if  the dog has been trained not to jump. Have you noticed that if you crowd your dog she may do things like spin, jump up, give you a kiss, and many other behaviors; pay attention to see what your dog does to increase space. Other dogs don’t do what we consider “friendly” warnings instead they go straight to growl and bite. Be kind and respect your dog’s need for space. Don’t wait for her to growl or bite before you listen to what she is telling you.

Duration – your movements should be efficient and fluid/smooth. If you hesitate and are jerky when you work with your dog then he will not be comfortable. If you are consistently hesitant or jerky then your dog may learn to be fearful of the health checks. If you are not confident about this exercise please practice on a stuffed dog first. Your dog will thank you.

Pressure how you touch matters. Too light of a touch tickles and too hard of a touch hurts. I call this the Goldilocks effect – you want your touch to be “just right.” Experiment to find the right amount of pressure your dog likes. Remember that what feels good on the shoulder may not feel good on the hindquarters. Another handy tip – what feels good after a nap may not be the same as what feels good before or after a workout.

Safety – ALWAYS practice safe handling and have an escape route for yourself.

Here are two pages of illustrations to guide you through the health check/overall body exam process.

My next posts will go into more detail about the different sections and the body language in each section. Please feel free to comment/ask question

For a downloadable file click here: HealthChecks-Dog-01

For a downloadable file click here: HealthChecks-Dog-02

References:
The Hierachy of Dog NeedsTM Linda Michaels, M.A

Hierarchy of Dog Needs

Forbidding Forecast For Lyme Disease In The Northeast, March 6, 2017 5:00 AM ET Heard on Morning Edition http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/03/06/518219485/forbidding-forecast-for-lyme-disease-in-the-northeast

How to safely remove a tick http://www.petmd.com/dog/parasites/how-to-remove-a-tick-from-dog-cat

Acknowledgements:
The Guide to Health Check  illustrations were made possible by a grant from the Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation Endowment Fund.

Diane Lewis of Diane Lewis Photography and Lili Chin of DoggieDrawings.net who illustrated them. The illustrations would not be here without these two amazing women! Both are dedicated to improving the lives of animals and the lives of dogs.

Let me count the ways… the things we love most about our dogs

Charlie, Ella and Jade - practicing a down stay
Charlie, Ella and Jade – practicing a down stay

I ask everyone who calls as a new client “please tell me three things that you love most about your dog” because if you can do this than you haven’t given up hope. If there is hope then change can happen.

I find that even in the most worrisome of cases, people want to tell me more than three things they love about their dogs. This is great news because when a person remembers why they love their dog they will be able to face even the most challenging of situations. Many times when I get a new client it is because “they’ve tried everything else.” My clients need to be prepared to work hard. They need to have a reason why they are working through the issue at hand or we won’t be able to resolve the problem. Remembering why you love your dog is a critical part of the program.

In honor of all my clients and my own dogs I would like to take this opportunity to let everyone know how thankful I am for my own dogs. I want to share why I love each of my dogs with you.

Charlie

Charlie - almost 12 years old
Charlie – almost 12 years old
  • Resilient and amazing – any dog that had both eyes removed by the time he was 4 months old and is able to bring love, laughter and joy wherever he goes – that is beyond amazing in my book!
  • Persistent – Can find anything with the super-power/bionic nose of his!
  • Trust and friendship – I’ve learned what it means to take a leap of faith from Charlie who will jump on or off a surface if I tell him it is all clear … he trusts me to tell him that take the jump without being hurt.

Jade

Jade - 5 years old and still my "Sweet Baby Jade"
Jade – 5 years old and still my “Sweet Baby Jade”
  • Loves to learn, play, and swim. These abilities make Jade a very fun dog to be around! Jade started hanging out on Duke University’s campus as a tiny pup – sometimes I wonder if she’s earned an advanced degree…
  • Makes sure everyone, human and canine alike, is safe and secure – no matter what we are doing Jade needs to be sure that everyone is safe.
  • Resilience, trust, and friendship – Jade has several autoimmune disorders but never lets them get her down for long. She is an amazing dog and friend that has taught me so much!

Ella

Ella - 3 years old
Ella – 3 years old
  • Courage and beauty combined – a brave little girl who reminds me every day that beauty is comes from the inside. We tend to focus on the outside, but when someone is truly beautiful that starts deep inside and pours out through depths of of every cell.
  • Her spirit – she sparkles … the only dog I know who is so proud that she can do a “down” that she adds a “twirl” to it! I’m not sure if this is because she loves to twirl or if it is because I laugh every time she does it. Either way it shows her desire to sparkle…
  • Trust and friendship and the fact that she is a love bucket!

A Photo to Make You Smile…

Ella twirling.... it's a superpower!
Ella twirling…. it’s her superpower!  Of course there had to be photo of a twirl in here somewhere!

Now it’s your turn – what are some of the things that you love most about your dogs? I’d love to hear from you, if you are inspired to share what you love most with me  here. ! If not, be sure to take a minute and write your list down for yourself. Remember to celebrate your dog. Go on a  long walk. Play with your dog. Do something special for him or her. That is my wish for you, and all dogs, I hope that you are enjoying and loving your dog today.

Warm woofs.

Snuffle Mat – a fun way for dog’s to eat dinner!

It is our responsibility to make meals fun for our furry friends. Do you want to eat the same thing every day? When we were kids the cafeteria lunches were like that and we quickly figured how to rebel. By the time high school rolled around … let’s just say that there were times when the cafeteria ladies were not happy, the lunch line was shut down, and detention was served. While it was never my fault (believe what you will!) I remember each detention and I’m sure the cafeteria ladies do too! We don’t want want to put our dogs in detention…

Ella moving the fleece so she can reach a hidden piece of kibble
Ella searching through the fleece so she can find a hidden piece of kibble

Snuffle mats are cool for several reasons. When Ella searches through the fleece she engages the SEEKING system in her brain. There are many games and methods for feeding – but they don’t all engage the SEEKING system. I learned about the snuffle mats from a friend over at the North Carolina State University Veterinary School. Let me tell you – my dogs LOVE these silly things!

You may be wondering:

  • What is the SEEKING System and why do I need to engage it?
  • A Snuffle Mat? Really? What is it and where can I find one?

The SEEKING System helps us

  • be curious,
  • keeps us interested in exploring the world
  • find things we want most.

Without the SEEKING System how would we ever find what we need to in order to sustain life?

There is a balance between what feels good and over indulgence. When we engage the SEEKING System for problem solving and searching for food it is a good thing for our dogs.

By using controlled activities we can encourage the right amount of SEEKING behavior without having our dogs to tip over into obsessive compulsive behaviors.

In case your were wondering – can multiple dogs find food on the same mat? Absolutely! Charlie and Ella finding food in their Snuffle Mat.

Charlie and Ella with the Snuffle Mat
Charlie and Ella with the Snuffle Mat

Look at how fluffy the snuffle mat is! Are you trying to figure out what it is made of and why is it a round fluff ball? The original design calls for a drain mat with pieces of fleece tied through the holes of the drain mat. I had trouble finding a drain mat and when I did I couldn’t cut it … so I improvised. I found a pizza pan with big holes. Yup – metal 13″ pizza pan. Trust me it worked better than the dish drainer which just curled into something that looked like a log when I tied all the pieces of fleece on it… Charlie thought it was his new toy and takes it outside to go potty with – not something I’m going to put food on 😉

Finished Snuffle Mat
Finished Snuffle Mat

What you need to make this particular snuffle mat – a bunch of fleece cut up into 10″ x 2″ strips.

making of a snuffle mat
making of a snuffle mat

Next step – pull the strips through the holes. I alternated colors but you don’t have to do that.I think it looks better and honestly, it is easier to know which pieces to knot together if they are different colors.

NOTE: I’ve been trying to come up with easy ways to clean and also make sure that the mat dries after my slobbery dogs sniff their way through it. For us it seems to work out best if we have every other row with fleece strips instead of every row.

fleece knots
fleece knots

Final step – tie the pieces. It’s a simple half knot. The knot is the same thing you use when you are getting ready to tie your laces on your shoes before you tie the bow.  You are done!

These are so easy to make and the dogs have great fun finding their meals inside the mats. The dogs already knew how to search for food so maybe that was part of it, but I think most dogs would have fun with this game!

I haven’t had any trouble with my dogs eating the fleece. They know that these are for food, not fleece!

Look who is under Jade – is it a bird, a plane, no it’s Charlie Bear!

The other cool thing about Snuffle Mats – at least in our house – there is no resource guarding. Perhaps it is because not only do we have three snuffle mats but there is food hidden in all kinds of fun places from low to high.  In bookcases under rugs, inside of blankets, boxes, oh my! My dogs know that there is plenty of food to go around for everyone.  Jade is pretty sneaky toward the end though…  she knows that a certain beagle has a bionic nose – you know – it is his super power because he has been blind his entire life! He might be slow at times but he always knows the obscure places I’ve hidden even just a single kibble. Or maybe a kibble got misplaced and I have to relocate the washing machine or refrigerator because all three dogs refuse to move until that kibble is rescued from it’s hiding place!

Jade searching through the snuffle matt
Jade searching through the snuffle matt

 

Ella searching the snuffle mat
Ella searching the snuffle mat

 

One size fits all - at least for us it does!
One size fits all – at least for us it does!

The snuffle mat is made with a 13″ Pizza Pan that has big holes – not the teeny tiny holes. Be careful – don’t get the little holes. You can also get a drain mat (the thick rubber mats) and cut them to whatever size you want for the mat.  I put three mats down at breakfast and dinner and the dogs are ever so happy. I could even hide the mats – but I don’t. I bury the kibble deep down inside the fleece I think that is enough work for them!

 

References:

The Brain’s SEEKING System

Panksepp, Jaak Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions.  New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

The Science of Emotions: Jaak Panksepp:

Ella: Learning how to play

Ella - love you girl!
Ella – love you girl!

Ella joined our clan in July and fit in right away. Ella accepted Charlie and his blindness without hesitation. It was apparent that Ella trusted Charlie even when he was socially awkward. Ella grew up in a home that was filled with other Cavaliers so when she met Jade she saw a giant beastie of a dog. It didn’t take long for Jade to ease Ella’s fears about her. Ella soon decided that Jade wasn’t scary at all and that Jade hung the moon!

Teaching Ella the basics
Ella arrived knowing how to walk extremely well on a leash and how to stay, but sit and down were new concepts. If there were thought bubbles over Ella’s head at times I swear they would read “isn’t it enough to be beautiful?” or “you want me to do what?” Ella is one of the sweetest and most loving dogs you will ever meet, but learning new skills takes time and creativity on my part. It has been fun to go back to the basics with Ella.

Ella learning how to "down" by modeling Jade's behavior
Ella learning how to “down” by modeling Jade’s behavior

Do you see how hard Ella concentrates? I haven’t had a dog that thought this hard to get something right in a long time!

It has been fun has been watching Jade teach Ella. Jade is very patient  with Ella especially during training moments. If you’ve ever met Jade you know that patience doesn’t come naturally to her!  Words like “overly enthusiastic” or “extremely joyful” or even  “baby Godzilla” have been used to describe Jade. Patient … nope… not a word that typically fits her profile.  So, why do you think she is being patient with Ella?

Jade is teaching Ella and is self-handicapping. Jade can be very sweet and loving when she knows that a person, or a dog, is in need. Jade is patient with Ella because somehow she knows that Ella needs help learning basic cues like sit, down, and leave it. It is cool to watch her teach Ella.

Play is an important part of learning
One of the many wonderful things about dogs is they use play to teach and learn. When Ella met  Jade and Charlie she was shy around both of them.  She became friends with Charlie first and loves to snuggle with him.  It took a little longer before she was completely comfortable around Jade and even longer until she was willing to play with Jade.  These are appropriate activities with each dog because Jade loves to play and Charlie loves to snuggle.

Ella and Charlie - sweet pups
Ella snuggling with Charlie – sweet pups

It took about about three months of Ella living with us for the next story to happen.  Every dog, every home will be different – the key is to be patient and let your new dog find their own comfort zone so that they can find their joy.

Jade selected the smallest fleece rope toy that she had and took it to the overstuffed chair in our living room so she could let the rope dangle from her mouth over the edge of the chair. Jade looked at Ella to make sure that Ella was watching her.  Jade got up and very slowly paced around the living room – back and forth – right by Ella… each time Jade passed Ella she got closer. Sometimes Jade would let the rope gently touch Ella but she didn’t let Ella take the rope. Every now and then Jade returned to the chair and waited a few seconds before resuming her walk around the room.

Each time resumed her walk she increased her speed. Eventually Jade started tossing the rope up in the air and catching it… Ella got interested in chasing Jade when the rope was being tossed! Ella didn’t try to take the rope, she just chased Jade. The game continued for a while like this… Jade pacing, swinging the rope and/or tossing it up and catching it with Ella chasing Jade.  Don’t blink… Jade let Ella catch the rope! Within a few minutes Jade had Ella tugging on the rope and even had Ella grabbing the rope right up by Jade’s mouth to tug.  And I mean tug hard!  Ella was tugging!!

Ella and Jade tugging
Ella and Jade tugging

I was so happy to see this – why? Because this was the same girl that thought Jade was scary. Jade was patient and knew what was needed to let Ella be her friend. Jade taught Ella how to play with her. Jade self-handicapped so that Ella could learn that she was safe, that she was a friend who could be trusted. We all need friends like Jade in the world.

Ella, Charlie and Jade playing
Ella, and Jade playing. Charlie comes to see what they are doing and maybe join in the fun!

Jade and Ella continue to play and have increased their games to include other toys. To let you know how comfortable Ella is in our home, Ella has even stalked Jade! Jade seems to like being stalked by Ella because she takes her paw and just puts it on Ella like “you’ve got to be kidding.” That is when Ella takes the toy and runs! Ella has a few places she can hide out, but Jade knows where to find her. It has become their game. It is good. It means Ella feels safe.

Since this post is about play I want to share one more thing. Ella has been “retrieving” with Jade when Jade practices for her competitions or just for fun. Ella has only been willing to tag the ball or dummy. She does run with Jade to get the ball or dummy and to bring it back – she has not brought the item back. The other day she picked up the ball! I was so excited!

Ella retrieving and holding a ball for the first time. This is a stress ball - she doesn't look stressed here!
Ella retrieving and holding a ball for the first time. This is a stress ball – she doesn’t look stressed here!

It is important to share the joy in play because if nothing else, play should be fun!

So… How do your dogs play together? How do you play with your dogs?

For more information on the importance of play:
Jaak Panksepp: “Affective Continuity? From SEEKING to PLAY — Science, Therapeutics and Beyond” p.1

The science of emotions: Jaak Panksepp at TEDxRainier

Fun Times: Dogs at the Beach

What do you do for fun with your dogs? My dogs enjoy many of the same things, but each one has their own favorite thing to do. Jade loves to swim and run. Jade is the dog swimming in the header photo of this blog. In that photo she is swimming in the rain. Nothing will stop Jade from swimming if there is water nearby.  Charlie loves to follow his nose and he loves to share his joy with people. Ella, well, I am not sure I want to admit this, but she likes to tickle me! Other than that she likes to look beautiful (who knew that was a thing), whatever Jade is doing, and snuggling! Oh, and Ella does not like to swim – not one teeny, tiny bit!

I was  at a conference in Coronado, California . The hotel was right on the beach which was nice. It didn’t take me long to discover that one end of the beach was used by Navy Seals and the other end was a dog park. You can guess which end of the beach I spent most of my time.

There is something about the beach that makes you just want to have fun. The same is true for dogs.  Some loved getting into the water and running in the waves, others only wanted to run on the beach and avoided getting wet.

walking along the water's edge
walking along the water’s edge

People liked taking their dogs for a walk along the edge of the water. All dogs were off leash and they followed certain off leash etiquette:

  • dogs stayed within their sight;
  • dogs must be under voice control: this means dogs come when called so their person can either put a leash on their dog or the dog stayed with their person if there is a potentially dangerous situation;
  • dogs may not disturb other dogs, people, or wildlife;
  • all waste must be picked up and removed from beach.

Since everyone followed these rules people didn’t worry what other dogs were doing. They knew that the other dogs on the beach were okay and would not bother their dog. If dogs said “hello” to each other it was friendly and didn’t last long.  Mostly, the dogs stayed close to their person.

Dogs loved running free on the sand. People were attentive to their dogs. I loved it that people let the dogs decide what was fun. Some dogs only wanted to run and play on the beach. You can tell that these dogs clearly loved being on the beach. I wouldn’t take this joy from them – not in a million years!

Run free on the beach!
Sheer Joy! Running free!
Let's play!
Let’s play!
I might go close to the water, but I'm not getting my paws wet!! No how, now way!!
I might go close to the water, but I’m not getting my paws wet!! No how, now way!!

Some dogs wanted to be in the water.  Common theme: all of these dogs loved to play! The dogs were having fun whether they ran on the beach or they played in the water.

This next group of dogs wanted to chase balls, frisbees, whatever they could – not just on the sand, but they wanted to retrieve these items from the ocean!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It is great that this dog had some self-control while he waited for the frisbee to be thrown… If I put a thought bubble over the dog’s head it might read “throw it already!”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

While he had self control he knew the trajectory and could anticipate where it would fly so he could catch it mid-air! I bet the thought bubble here would be “really, that’s all you got!” I loved watching this dog. After he caught the frisbee he ran into the waves with it. Was that a victory dance? Or was it his way of pretending that was where the frisbee was headed… we will never know. It was just fun to see this dog’s joy as he played the game.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After he ran into the ocean with the frisbee he brought it back…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When he was done with the victory dance he came back toward his people, dropped the frisbee and laid down beside it.  It is a good idea to embrace the different play style of  each dog.  How does your dog play the game of retrieve? How does your dog play other games?

There was a little Jack Russell Mix that was a bundle of energy. He tried to be very patient while waiting for the ball to be thrown. Once it was tossed he would bolt for the ball like a horse that was let out of the starting gate during a race! He was a ton of fun to watch too.

Will you throw my ball?
Will you throw my ball?

This picture is fun because it gives you an idea of where the dog park was in relation to the hotel. The conference hotel was the building with the big red roof in the background – about a mile away.  The lady did throw the ball for her dog.

Skipping after the ball
Skipping after the ball

And he bounded after it! Oh the joy. He was such a delight – he had no fear of the waves!

searching for ball in deep water (well, for this dog!)
searching for ball in deep water (well, for this dog!)

Look for the tail in the middle of the photo and you’ll find the dog. His back is almost level with the depth of the water as he searches for his ball. He doesn’t give up though and is rewarded …

bringing ball back - let's do it again!
bringing ball back – let’s do it again!

Success!  He found his ball and brought it back. This little guy didn’t dally. He was in a hurry to retrieve his ball, bring it back, and play again!

A parting thought. Wherever we are, whatever we do – have fun. Dance, laugh, play. Share your joy. Live life without fear – as much as you can. I happened to get a picture that I love that reminds me of how we all have joy to share wherever we go!

Dance, laugh, love...
Dance, laugh, love…

Share the joy
Enjoy each moment
Live fear free as much as possible

 







 

In honor of Sophia Yin: Practice Fear Free

There are no words to express the loss that dog training community feels as we try to understand the world without Dr. Sophia Yin. For some of us it is important to understand how or why Dr. Yin died and as we learn those details we may feel even more confused about what happened. How could someone who had so much to offer, the respect and admiration of so many, take their own life?

The thing is no matter how hard we try we can’t ever really walk in another person’s shoes. We can guess, but we don’t really know what that person is feeling. All we can do now is to be the best friend, sister, mother, daughter, brother, etc.. that we can be. The message that Dr. Yin sent over and over again keeps running through my head: let’s help dogs live in a fear free world. My hope is that each one of us will take a few extra minutes each day to help each other live in a fear free world too. It really doesn’t take much to help someone, but doing nothing isn’t an option. Help your friends and loved ones.  Help a stranger. Let’s practice being fear free and help make the world a safer place for everyone.

Often how we see ourselves is very different from how others sees us. It can be hard to imagine how someone that we think is amazing, talented, etc may not see themselves the same way we do.

If we were to meet today and I described to you how you look it is a safe bet that my description would not match the way you describe yourself.  Why? Because all too often we don’t see the beauty within ourselves. Quite simply we are too critical of ourselves. We give breaks and understanding to others, but are not so kind to ourselves.

The  Huffington Post did a wonderful story about “The Beauty Within” that clearly shows us that we don’t see ourselves the way that others see us. Listen to the descriptions that the strangers give of the people they meet. People said things like “nice eyes that light up” but when the person described herself she said “I have a big forehead.”  Watch the video and you will see how important it is that we need to be kinder to ourselves. The message is clear  – we need to be kind to ourselves and find the beauty within. The beauty is there and others see it – we need to see it too.

There is an interesting Ted Talk “The power of vulnerability” by Brené Brown. This was challenging talk for me to watch and yet very enlightening. It is important for us to remember that we are worthy and that it is okay to be vulnerable.  Here is what I took away from the talk:

  • People who feel worthy know that are loved and that they belong – this is a truth for them – there is no doubt.
  • They have a sense of courage
  • They are compassionate to themselves
  • They are authentic
  • They embrace vulnerability (versus fear it)

In this talk Brené Brown takes us through her research to explain the importance of loving with our whole heart even though there are no guarantees.  At the end she encourages us to “practice gratitude and joy.”

As I write this I am surrounded by my dogs. Literally. Ella is perched (but asleep) on the back of the sofa, Charlie is sleeping on one side of me and Jade is on the other – I’m surrounding by a doggie cocoon of warmth and love.  As I look around I am reminded how freely dogs give us their hearts.  When I come home I am always greeted by a mad mess of dogs – they are so excited to see me. You would think I’d left them forever – not just gone to check the mail! Of course I get the same greeting when I’m gone for hours. Dogs practice gratitude and joy every moment of every day.  It is a lesson that many of us need to be reminded of from time to time.

Back to Sophia Yin, on a personal note, I will always be grateful to her and her work. In particular I am thankful for the illustrations that she created with Lili Chin. I loved it that she distributed the illustrations for free so that many people could learn about so many different things with their dogs. Dr Yin’s illustrations sparked my interest in collaborating with Lili. The truth of it is that we may never know how we touch another person’s life.

The result of the influence that she had on my life  is that last year I received a grant to develop educational materials and illustrations for animal assisted interventions. I have been working with Lili Chin to create the illustrations which I hope to publish in the near future. I might have chosen Lili to my illustrator without seeing the work she did for Dr. Yin, but maybe not. I am sorry that I never got the opportunity to tell Dr. Yin how her work helped me and in turn will help others.

Many of us owe a host of gratitude to Dr. Yin for so many reasons. I would like to thank her for working so hard to make the world a place where dogs didn’t have to live in fear.

Doggie_Fear

 

My wish for everyone today is that you do something that helps another being live their life fear free …it only takes a moment to make a difference.

Resources: