Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Gus - A Dog in Therapy

A calm Gus in session.
On Friday of last week, I went to therapy with my dog, Gus.  I do not mean that I took him to my therapy session, I mean that I went to his.

Now, some of you may remember that my dog is a complicated person...  I've written about Gus's anxiety before.  He's a unique snowflake and like the rest of us has personal battles within himself.

You'll be glad to know that he is still doing well on his anti-anxiety medication prescribed by the behavioral specialist.  He is also currently working through therapy. (You know what they say: Often a mix of drugs and therapy can be the most effective treatment regimen!)  

I had never actually been to a therapy session with him until Friday.  He always just went with my mom and dad.  But last week I went along too, to see what it all was about.  
What would I discover about the depths of the Gus?

What I learned is that effective dog therapy for anxiety is a lot like effective cognitive behavioral therapy for OCD. They're teaching him behavior modification and hoping to decrease his anxiety, which is one of the same goals that my therapist has for me.  Yes, my therapist and I get more into the "cognitive" aspect, but a lot of it is the same: Change your behavior to change your story.

The therapist also talked about Gus's worries, which squeezed my heart because I totally understand being consumed by worry.  She said that she used to see the tension in his face.  I could totally relate to that "worry face"... my mom can always tell when I'm having OCD concerns just from looking at me. 

But now the therapist says she is seeing less worry and tension on his face. He's improving!  It's nice to know that the therapist sees a positive change in Gus.  I know he will continue on his path to "Good Boy."  He's already the best.

So today's post is dedicated to Gus's triumph.  I love that my handsome, sweet, nerdy fluffhead is winning the battle against his inner demons.  May we all be that successful.


  1. I'm glad Gus' therapy is going well and I can see the value of you going to the sessions with him. What a great idea. Our neighbor dog Tippy has her "dog shrink" and there has been improvement -- which is all one can ask!

    1. The improvement with Gus has been so great! I'm happy we found help. Glad to hear Tippy is doing well too.