This was definitely my biggest challenge yet as far as practicing on my own dogs. I would love to actually have photographic evidence but, since it's just the dogs and me, I don't have enough hands!
As I mentioned, Belly Lifts have a number of uses, including digestive issues, sore backs, nervousness and gait problems. It's best to use a towel with animals like dogs and cats. The idea is to gently and slowly lift the abdomen from underneath, hold for 3-5 seconds, then release very slowly (taking twice as long as the lift is recommended). Starting behind the front legs, the towel is moved along the body towards the hindquarters.
Carson was my best participant this week. She stood quietly as I worked with her, then wiggled and shook it off when we were done. She seemed to like the gentle pressure. Marley sat down after the first lift and had to be persuaded to stand again. I felt like he was tolerating me practicing on him each time I tried it, but he wasn't thrilled. Not surprisingly, Blue was definitely uncomfortable. First of all, I put something unexpected (the towel) around him. Then I lifted his abdomen - not once, but THREE times! He backed into a corner whenever possible, although her was more comfortable with having the front part of his body worked. As we moved closer to his hindquarters, he got more antsy. But that area continues to be a challenge with him, so not surprising.
This is one I need to work into the rotation fairly often so the dogs get more used to it. That way, when and if it is really needed, they may accept it more easily.
Week 4 will focus on Lying Leopard, which is a variation of the Clouded Leopard. The main difference is the curve of the hand is more flat, so there is a larger area of contact. This touch is good for animals that may be too sensitive to Clouded Leopard, as it feels less invasive.