Sniffing is good medicine!
When dogs come to my office for a visit, communication begins as soon as the dogs arrive in my driveway. Every moment of this transition is an opportunity for us to learn about each other.
I love being outside to greet them.
Leaving the safety of the car is a huge transition for dogs, especially if they are going someplace new. It’s an exciting adventure! They have arrived at a new location on the planet! It’s an unexplained miracle! If a dog is terrified of riding in the car, getting out can be even scarier than traveling. If the dog guards the car, getting out of it is a bag of mixed messages.
Once they leave the car, first things first! A sniff about the yard and a pee.
Sometimes the dogs are so over stimulated they have a hard time focusing on their mission. I will take their leashes to where I know the smells are irresistible. The edge of the woods is always a great sniff/ stress buster. There is always a spot where I know they will get a good sniff — a telephone pole.
I also learn so much about the dog’s family, as they jump from the car. Are they allowed to pull, do the look back for instruction from their people? Are their people nervous, are they being dragged by their dogs? I allows know for sure that these families have come to the right place. I get to love them up, communicate, and then lay my hands on them.
If the dogs have been to my office before it’s so much fun to see how happy they are to visit with me again. Some of them scream with excitement. They want to push past the sniff and pee exercise, but structure is important.
Entering my house is another transition. The nose is actively looking for telltale signs of what is to come: Is it a happy place? Does it smell like wet dogs? Does it smell like antiseptics? Are they leaving me here? Should I go up the stairs or down the stairs?
I live in a raised ranch, once I point them in the right direction the fun begins.
When dogs come into my cozy dog friendly office, the leashes come off and for the first ten minutes or so, I allow them to freely sniff my entire office. They all have their own style of sniffing out my space. Some do a perimeter check, checking every corner every wall. Others sniff side to side. Some will cover as much ground as possible combining both techniques, sniffing greedily everywhere.
The more fearful dogs will first follow their people in. As they feel comfortable, they will sniff the area we are sitting in. With these dogs, once they feel more secure with me and my office, I’ll help them to feel safe to move to the other side of the room. I do this by practicing basic obedience with them. It’s so much fun to see them gain their confidence. As soon as they start to sniff, I let them explore.
The dogs are all taking notes as they learn from the other dogs who have come before them. “Cindy’s office is a happy place."
When the dogs are finished making their rounds "reading the CinergE Registry of Guests” they will come in and settle down.
Giving the dogs the chance to sniff inside and outside relaxes them. Whatever original concerns they may have had are relieved. It’s a stress buster. I love watching them!
The walkabout, as I call it, also gives me a chance to see how they move their head, neck, bodies and swing their legs. I can see by the way they move if they’re sore. I love helping to teach people how to help their dogs with energy work. Reiki is easy to learn and even easier to share.
As the dogs move throughout my office I can evaluate if they are self-secure or frightened by looking at their body posture and how fast they explore my office. If the dog sniffs, but has his tail tucked, there is a reason. If the dog avoids looking at me, there is a story.
They will sniff every happy dog’s scent. Some dogs will get lost in the smells and they don’t care about where their family is sitting. Others will sniff and look for their people, making sure they aren’t being left behind.
When the dogs are ready, most often, without being called, they join us. They’re relaxed and ready to communicate their needs. They know that my office is a place of healing, they can smell it. A dog who comes in “smelling” nervous and leaves “smelling” braver, feeling like they’ve been heard, leaves a wonderful "smell story" behind them.
They know I love them. If they’re fearful they know they are safe, they will let me into their hearts. My office is a place for healing, emotionally and physically, for dogs and their people.