What’s that’s I hear you ask. Canine hydrotherapy??? Well, it isn’t for me, nor for the kids, but my old and blind lab still has a huge passion for life and still wants and needs exercise, lots of cuddles and some fun to go with it. She deserves a little pampering in her old age.
Her favourite activity used to be splashing around in water and swimming whenever she got a chance. She is very wary of water now as she can’t see the shore and tends just to paddle close with the lead on to guide her back in. She no longer runs as she can’t see where she’s going, so I looked around for a way to get her a swim sometimes.
I was a bit wary of taking her to a hydrotherapy centre as I’d not heard any reviews, good or bad about them, and there seemed to be plenty videos on YouTube that looked as if it was a good thing for elderly or infirm animals. They swim in the warm water and so are not given such a shock at being in the pool. I really just wanted it to get her in the water, but they are doing a programme to strengthen her legs and she now looks better than she’s looked in a few years.
It was with a little trepidation that I took her to try it out. She was very nervous of the scales so we agreed to leave those until the end. When it’s time to go now, she tries to knock me down to get into the car to go there, and then her legs do the Elvis shake until she gets into the pool for that swim.
They are really good with her and for her first session, there were 4 of them around the pool calling encouragement, help and praise all the way around. Now she is used to it and knows where to find the ramp, she often chooses to just ignore it and keep going around and around. They sometimes put the jets on and she tries to find them. I think the noise reminds her of rivers with running water and she seems to like that.
The best bit for her is the spa at the end where her old bones get a well deserved massage, then an quick shampoo and blow dry.
I do find it a bit pricey so I think it’ll be limited to once a fortnight or less going forward, but her legs are moving in her sleep again as her dreams are obviously happier now and she’s happier in herself for getting a swim. Who said blind dogs shouldn’t go and do things.
Here is her in action on her first visit when there were plenty staff round the pool giving her encouragement.