Ear Work

March 1, 2014 at 8:07 pm 11 comments

Every time I bring out the ear medication bottle (even before I touch or look at the bottle), Boogie KNOWS what is going to happen. He can read me like a book. He makes himself very small, like a turtle, and creeps very low to the ground, slinking away under a chair or into his crate.


I have tried counter conditioning with treats. Things went well (the bottle ceased to be ‘scary’) up until the moment that he realized that liquid dripped inside his ear… and then he stopped wanting food and would back off as soon as he knew what would eventually happen. So I always ended up administering ear drops “by force”, while Boogie endured the ordeal. And then off he would go, escaping to shake off, before returning for the consolation treat.

I have started watching Lori Stevens’s Tellington TTouch For Dogs DVD,  and yesterday I decided to try something new.

Of course,as always, Boogie predicted the worst  so he pulled his ears back really tight as soon as I touched them. I didn’t pick up the ear meds. First I did some touches on his head and around the outside ear area with the back of my hand (Chimp TTouch). Then I used my whole hand on top of his head to move the base of his ears around, before doing direct  ear strokes… and soon I could feel his ears and his whole body relaxing.

(By the way, I had already done these same TTouches the night before, and I knew Boogie enjoyed them, so it wasn’t like a completely foreign experience).

When he seemed sufficiently relaxed, I added the ear drops into his infected ear, massaged this in, and waited for him to escape.

Miraculously, Boogie did not move. He just stayed where he was and looked at me,  so I continued doing slides on both his ears and massaging the base of his ears. When I removed my hands to see if he had had enough,  he turned around to look at me again: “Why are you stopping?”  

It was pretty cool.

TTOUCH notes-Earwork

I was ready to gloat but then things did not go so well this morning. I went through the same steps as yesterday. I did Noah’s March along his back and some Chimp TTouches around his face and ears… I stroked his ears until his head was resting on the couch and to me, he looked perfectly calm and relaxed. I stopped from time to time to make sure he was still fine… he was.

Then as soon as I unscrewed the ear drops bottle cap, Boogie jumped off the couch and ran away into the bedroom.

I went to get him and slowly he returned to the couch, with not his usual sad-faced ears-pinned-back look that was usually associated with ear medications. Boogie’s ears were up and his eyes were bright. He looked at me, looked at the ear drops bottle on the table, looked at me…

“Really, mom?


Entry filed under: Books & DVDs, Supplements.

Crossing Over… Plugging my work (sometimes still Boogie-related!)

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. nicolelobrydebruyn  |  March 2, 2014 at 12:25 am

    love your writing and your drawings….

    • 2. lili  |  March 2, 2014 at 7:56 pm

      thank you!

  • 3. weliveinaflat  |  March 2, 2014 at 6:13 am

    I have the same problem with medicating ears!

  • 4. somethingwagging  |  March 2, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Very good thinking. And you’ve inspired me. I think I’ll look into TTouch for nail trimming. I suspect it might be more successful than treats which are losing their magic.

    BTW, nice illustrations of the touches. I found them more helpful then some of the videos I’ve watched.

    • 5. lili  |  March 2, 2014 at 8:03 pm

      Thanks! My illustrations were inspired by Lori Stevens’ DVD series – which explains everything really simply and clearly. Personally I have a hard time following the TTouch graphics & instructions from the official books, leaflets etc.

  • 6. legrandcalin  |  March 2, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Reblogged this on Le Grand Câlin and commented:
    Encore une fois, une superbe illustration de Lily Chin démontrant cette fois les touchers au niveau des oreilles. Dans son article, elle fait mention que cela a été bénéfique pour Boogie. Ça vaut la peine d’essayer 🙂

    • 7. lili  |  March 2, 2014 at 8:03 pm

      Merci! 🙂

  • 8. pugmantis  |  March 3, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    This is great – thank you for posting it!

  • 9. pugmantis  |  March 4, 2014 at 12:00 am

    …I should add that my pug is obsessed with her ear wax, so although she is loving the TT ear work right now, she keeps turning her head to smell my fingers. Heh. Funny little girl.

    • 10. lili  |  March 11, 2014 at 2:28 am

      Ew! 🙂

      • 11. ChugMama  |  October 19, 2017 at 3:31 am

        Lol. Gotta love a Pug ❤️

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