The second Health & Harmony Dog Symposium organised by Jenny Golsby and her team from The Complete Pet Company & Complete Canine Communication was held in Brisbane on 22nd & 23rd June 2019.
Jenny opened the symposium by welcoming all participants and speakers followed by a presentation on the importance of businesses and dog guardians to have a code of Ethics to follow.
Jenny delved into the subject of developmental stages of the dog from puppyhood to the young dog, adolescence and adulthood explaining the ethics in refraining from taking puppies too early from their mother and litter mates, the importance of fear periods, puppy licences and understanding that young dogs are constantly under construction. Jenny pointed out how important it is for guardians and businesses to understand these stages to be able to keep our upbringing, socialising and relationship forming on a profoundly ethical level.
The International speaker this year was Julia Robertson, Canine Myotherapist from the Galen Centre UK. Julia spoke throughout the 2 days on the dogs’ musculature system, the principles of Myotherapy, how to recognise and treat muscle pain, the subtle behaviours to observe that may indicate muscular pain and the incredible function the muscular system has on the entire body from digestion, circulation, immunity, urinary, skeletal, adrenal, skin, coat, endocrine through to the respiratory system. Julia underlined how compromised conformation will have a negative effect on the functional anatomy and how limb stability is more important than core stability to develop stabilised muscles. What impressed the organisers most is that Galen’s treatment is choice based; meaning treatment is ceased if the dog chooses to remove themselves from the practitioner and only restarts when they choose to return.
Our very own Australian based Dr Rowan Kilmartin presented “Structure Governs Function” and explained the similarity between human and dog skeletalphysiques and how imbalance will have a negative effect on the muscular-skeletal system.
Dr Kilmartin gave examples of how vertebral disfunction, resulting in compensated fascial patterning may lead to increased vertebral restriction. The symptoms may include; a drop in the dogs performance and behavioural changes. Dr Kilmartin explained how complimentary modalities such as Acupuncture,Auriculotherapy and Laser treatments work; followed by an in-depth look at structure, disfunction and neck pain including the Occipito-Atlantal Joint and how it influences problems and behaviours such as car sickness, aggression, anti-social behaviour, unpredictable behaviour, phobias, destructiveness, light and sound phobias, urination and defecation problems.
Dr Kilmartin left us with a powerful message about Healing. “All life forms on earth have the ability to heal themselves, you become the catalyst to help kick start that process……that’s all”.
Bono Beeler from Speaking Dog in New Zealand presented to us “Emotions & Hounds” from the theories of emotion, their differences and how perception influences our feelings, emotions, moods and decision making.
Bono pointed out that humans see much of what we want to see and perceive what we want to perceive through our own eyes while sadly missing the dog’s perspective. Bono gave great examples of how we should take the perception of the dogs’ world into account when co-existing or working with dogs, from raising a puppy to bringing home a rescue dog through to training vs learning to think about natural behaviours.
Bono’s message was loud and clear that sadly still today, we label dogs behaviour as problem behaviours and continue to try and train them away instead of learning more about the dog’s emotions. We should all be more aware of the dog’s emotions.
The Symposium ended with an extra day on Monday. Julia Robertson assessed 6 dogs over the course of the day. Each dog was brought in at its given time and then taken home once its session had finished, this ensured all dogs were not put under any stress by having to stay for the entire day. Each dog had the pleasure of a scent trail that led them into the hall to begin their assessment. The scent trail ensured they were calm and relaxed before they began, what a beautiful way to start their treatment.
The Health & Harmony Dog Symposium was an incredible success with great vegan/gluten free food throughout the weekend prepared by Nikki and Michelle appropriately nicknamed ‘The Yummy Ladies’.
A great weekend had by all and we look forward to the 2020 Health & Harmony Dog Symposium.
Written by: Bono Beeler & Jenny Golsby