09 Oct

So I learned recently that the SSP auditory intervention that I use in my practice can also be used with dogs. Someone in the SSP group posted before and after photos of her rescue dog that she used it with - *extremely* dramatic transformation. Her dog had become so anxious and aggressive with other dogs that her husband had said they needed to get rid of him.

They tried SSP as a last resort and what a transformation! The dog is now able to socialize with other dogs (social engagement systems stimulated by SSP) and is no longer fearful or aggressive (SSP helps to settle the vagus nerve which corresponds with anxiety).

So I have started SSP with Maggie - my almost 15 year old schnoodle.  Maggie is almost completely blind, has dementia, severe arthritis, and is almost completely deaf (we used maximum volume, on speaker for SSP). I didn't notice any difference in her after the first hour of listening. But on Tuesday we did the second hour. For the rest of the day and today she has been extra clingy (Maggie is always a little clingy with me). This makes sense as SSP stimulates the social engagement systems - seeking out affection and eye contact is a common shift with SSP.

I was noticing she was following me all over the house, everywhere I went, which she hadn't done in a long time. Then I realized WAIT!!! She is *following* me! The last couple of years she usually just whines and cries for me and barks for me to come to her. But today she is following me....which I can only think must mean she has way less pain than usual.

The tonight, while I was eating, she kept climbing over me, trying to get to my food. Over and over again I had to gently push her off of me, and she'd climb up on me again.

And i realized WAIT! She hasn't done that in at least a couple of years.

She has now jumped off the couch FOUR times in the past week or two - not a great idea since she is still almost 15 and quite frail though she seemed to do fine with it.  It has been a least 3-4 years since she had ever *tried* jumping off of furniture.  And, she is suddenly willful again.

She has to be in much less pain. Reduction of chronic pain is one of the frequently reported changes that happen with SSP. It hasn't happened for me yet but I do think it must be happening for Maggie.

We also notice she is far more alert than usual, and is barking much less - often not at all now, when people arrive to the house.  With her dementia, for the past few years she has been triggered by people standing and reaching out to her - fingers crossed, but one week post SSP that issue seems to suddenly be almost completely resolved.  :)

Once she has finished and is past the first few weeks in which she is likely to be feeling more vulnerable and sensitive (typical with SSP as the nervous system recalibrates) I am going to try running Jasper. He is a rescue dog and is terrified of a great many things.

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