A Different Kind of Pressure

A Different Kind of Pressure

So, I can’t remember if I have shared any other photos of the kids getting into the crates with the dogs??? but here is a neat one.

First, the disclaimer…..because my dog friends are probably cringing right now, hoping I will elaborate on why this is generally a very, very, very bad idea!! The dog’s crate should be a sacred place; a place where the dog can go to find peace and escape from the hub bub. Most children should never do this with most dogs. There! So, pretty much, unless you are really, really sure about the dog and the child, DON’T DO THIS!!!

Now, my dogs are quite used to this and seem to enjoy it quite a bit- Kannon in particular. This is a shot of Kannon with a boy who does this every so often and they have a great relationship built on a lot of mutual trust, respect, and love. This student likes to have the dogs close to him and loves to have the dogs all over him. Some of us will seek pressure, such as a hug, in times of anxiety, stress, or distress. Pressure, for most of us, should be used much more often as it is a very calming thing. At Prince Street School, we have been very lucky to have access to an Occupational Therapist over the last few years and she has taught us some pressure relaxation techniques. Many of our students would call them “movement breaks”.

A couple that I really like involve sitting in a chair and either pushing or pulling against your own weight. Next time you are feeling stressed out, overtired, spastic, anxious, or any other thing that would be categorized as not running at optimal levels, try this: Sit in your chair. Put your hands down beside you, palms down on the chair, and push up. You may or may not raise your body just slightly off the chair. Now reach your hands so you are holding the bottom of the chair and pull up. You will be forcing all your weight down into the chair. Lather, rinse, repeat! and you should feel relaxed or re-energized very soon!!

Okay, back to the dogs. Many of you know I play flyball and, in my sport, we use a lot of crates and expens for the dogs to rest in while they are not racing. Now, I have never seen a crate that someone thought was big enough for them to get in that they haven’t tried it. I have seen more than a few flyball kids, and adults!!, walk by a crate, think “I can fit in there”, and in they go! When someone has puppies at a tournament, you will often see the flyball kids climb into the expens to play with the puppies. Getting in crates and pens with dogs for flyball kids is as natural as can be- they know how to seek and receive the pressure. I am thrilled that my dogs are able to bring that same experience to our kids at Prince Street School!


About ehhigginbotham

I am a special education/resource teacher in PEI's English Language School Board. I play flyball with Fast n FURious Flyball. I am a member of the PEI Ground Search and Rescue Team. I have a wide range of interests and like to keep busy- can you tell????
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