Walk the Walk, Part Dog

We tend to think of walking as just something we do to get from one place to another. Mostly, we don’t even think about it until something reminds us there is a problem, like a pain in the knee or our back, or hip, etc. We, as humans aren’t the only one’s who suffer the woes of life’s events like falls, twists, jumps and just plain old aging.

But, here’s the thing, if you watch this video through a different lens, one that allows you to see a little more detail in their walk, tail twisted to one side more than the other, limp, or tucked back end, you will see that these beautiful four-legged creatures suffer many of the same woes we do.

I spoke with each owner after watching them walk and got their back stories such as age and injuries to joints or low back, and then filmed them again. Then showed them some things they could do for themselves and their beloved dog. Mostly, I gave them huge kudos for taking their dogs to the dog beach to let them run in the water and play in the sand. At the beach, people are so happy and so are their dogs. I have yet to see angry dogs at the beach like I have at dog parks. It’s something about the water and negative ions that just make us all so happy.

There were dogs who are old and stiff and yet, still playing on the beach with wagging tails. There were young dogs I filmed in slow motion where you can see the back right leg just give way a teeny tiny bit. But just enough that it could cause a knee issue in the long run if gone untouched. One dog was only two years old and her back legs have a tendency to completely give out from under her. Yet, still it doesn’t stop her from being very happy and playing with other dogs and her owner. With these owners I just showed them a few TTOUCH’s and Feldenkrais moves for their own edification and benefit to their dogs. I have found that so many pet owners only want the best and are so happy to learn what they can do once they see it for themselves.

The last dog in the video actually had a total knee replacement. I filmed the owners telling his whole story and all their diligence to daily therapy they did for him after it. (The whole story isn’t in this film, just her last sentence.) Look how they all came to the beach with him, though. It was his day and they knew it. They are clear how much to do with him and when he should rest. I will say, with all their four-legged exuberance, it is with such benefit when we know it is time for them to rest and its importance for healing and recovery.

My question to you is, even when we are hurting do we wag our proverbial tail like they do? Do we keep on keeping on? What if we wagged with such happiness like dogs do, could our lives improve even more? If we get outside and walk, jump and play, rather than staying put in our homes and cars, would our lives be happier and more fulfilling?

My hope for you is to go learn from your four-legged beloved and go outside to walk your walk, say hello to people passing by, smile, wag your proverbial tail and even jump leap and bound your way through your New Year.

Bless you,

Elinor Silverstein





    • Thank you Emily, I realize it is not easy to see some of the subtle movement mishaps, and therein lies our movement patterns in the long run. It is why in TTOUCH and Feldenkrais we teach movement through self awareness. Then we can begin to notice our movements ourselves. And that is cooler than anything!

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