Tag Archives: covid-19

Izzy’s Words of the Day

Izzy is my greyhound and Poster Dog for The Balanced Dog, my practice in Christchurch, NZ.

During our lockdown (quarantine) for Covid-19, Izzy hosted Word of the Day on my Facebook page. Each word was selected for their relevance to canine health, fitness and welfare. I hope you enjoy this compilation.

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Doggy quote of the month for June

sometimes you don't need words

I felt this quotation was particularly appropriate, given how many people are benefiting from the comfort of pets as they shelter in place, or return to work, in a world with Covid-19.

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

The best isolation companion ever

I have been a lover of dogs since, well, forever.  And now that we’re in lock down thanks to Covid-19, who better to have as your isolation companion than a dog?

IMG_5118[1]

Companions are those that we choose to spend a lot of time with and, in isolation, mental and physical health can be hard to maintain.  But dogs get us out for walks every day (and sometimes more than once a day – I think twice is better) and research has proven that for mental health – a loyal dog is one of the best supports you can have.

Through the simple act of running you hands through their fur, watching them play, or grooming them, your blood pressure lowers and oxytocin (the hugging hormone) is released. Dogs are experts at unconditional love – even when you’re a bit stressed or depressed at being isolated from your normal life.

Dogs are just plain good for the mental health of their human companions.

Consider that we’ve been locked down for 2 weeks….

  • Izzy and I haven’t fought once
  • We don’t compete for internet access or the television
  • I have more time to cook for Izzy and she’s quite happy about that
  • Our walks are longer, with no time pressures
  • Cuddling in bed is taking on a whole new importance for both of us, particularly as we are back on standard time and having cooler nights
  • Every day – or at least part of it when I’m not working – is a weekend

I hope that one of the lessons we learn from Covid-19 is the importance of pets and that all dog parents will continue to set aside quality time with their dogs.  And for those non-dog people, some of whom are probably going to be divorced this time next year, I highly recommend a dog.

In isolation or not – they are the best companion you will ever have!

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

The Online Dog Trivia Quiz

Dog Trivia Challenge for Facebook

We’re supporting our customers with dog-themed entertainment during the country’s Covid-19 shutdown.

Join us at 4 pm on Sunday, 5th April (NZ time) for our dog trivia challenge – think of it as a pub quiz without the pub! (you supply the drinks and snacks at your place)

Upon registration, we’ll send you a link to join the quiz using Zoom.  You don’t need a Zoom account to participate.  Simply follow the Zoom link that is emailed to you and you will be prompted to download and install Zoom when you click the join link in the email.  It’s always wise to try this before the quiz starts.

The purpose of this quiz is to have fun.  Write down your answers to each question and we’ll email the answers out after the quiz has finished so you can check and share your score.

We’ll draw one name at random from everyone who registers and that person will receive a prize pack of our dog treats worth $30 – we’ll ensure delivery after the lockdown is over!

***Only New Zealand residents qualify to win the prize pack but we would welcome participation from our overseas followers***

Book your place on the quiz here

 

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

What I learned from the Canterbury earthquake that is relevant to Covid-19

I consider myself to be resilient and adaptable.  In 1994 I moved to New Zealand on a great adventure.  Within weeks of my arrival, we were in the midst of the Auckland Water Crisis.  In 1998, there was the 5-week Auckland Power Crisis which I remember because I worked in a multi-story building and had to walk up internal access stairs, in the hot summer months with no air, as an asthmatic.

These crises were nothing compared to the February 2011 earthquake in Canterbury, a shallow earthquake of 6.2 magnitude that hit us at lunchtime on a working day with multiple deaths and two collapsed buildings.  Most of the central city was evacuated and closed down and my office was included (eventually to be demolished like many others).  We were home for many weeks, although we could socialise.  But we had water restrictions, the constant interruptions of aftershocks on our frayed nerves, and the uncertainty about our work and future.

Tonight, at midnight, New Zealand goes into mandatory isolation for a minimum of four weeks.  I am again at home.  My canine companion is Izzy, whereas back in 2011 it was my dear Daisy.

Daisy birthday portrait

Daisy

For those of us self-isolating with dogs, here’s what I learned from 2011 that is equally important now.

  1. Your dog loves having you at home.  However, most dogs sleep for the better portion of the day.  So don’t keep going over and cuddling them at every opportunity because this wakes them from deep sleep and the lack of sleep can affect their health.  Leave them be!
  2. Your stress is their stress.  Dogs are intuitive and sentient creatures.  They know something’s up.  Develop a new routine that gives both of you structure to your day and certainty.  Dogs thrive on routine.
  3. Exercise is useful for managing stress in both dogs and people.  That said, please remember that most dogs cannot cope with a sudden increase in their daily exercise.  Increase activity slowly. Many older dogs won’t cope at all.  Be watchful for signs of discomfort or pain (see my post from the aging dogs series about recognising pain and discomfort)
  4. Live in the moment, as our dogs do.  Accept the lockdown because you cannot change it.
  5. Shit happens
  6. We will survive (and thrive) – this is just a temporary glitch

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand