While many of us are sheltering at place at home and physically distancing ourselves from other people, this is a wonderful time to introduce some new ways of connecting with our 4 legged family members.
One of the wonderful things about TTouch is that a little can go a long way. Just spending a minute or two making a mindful, physical connection with an animal will enhance your relationship in a way just “petting” can not.
This morning my 7 year old son came out to help with feeding. In addition to horses, and few retired sheep, we have a small herd of relatively tame cattle. Sam has been enjoying doing some TTouch with his dog Ollie and the horses so wondered if he might try it on our Jersey Cow, Clementine.
Clementine is calm and quiet but not halter trained or experienced being milked. She is sometimes suspicious of people she does not know well but she was very accepting of Sam.
Considering the species, I suggested that Sam try doing the “Lick of the Cow’s Tongue”
The Lick of the Cow’s Tongue
This TTouch is a “Slide” type of TTouch. Using your finger tips, or the back of your nails for a sensitive animal, you gently slide up from the belly mid-line, to the middle of the ribs as you spin your hand around in a sweeping motion to lead with your finger tips to up and over the spine.
Generally animals LOVE this. As long as you start out with as little pressure and with the “right” speed for the individual, it can be a wonderful way to connect the belly to the back and increase overall awareness and circulation.
Here is Sam doing the “Lick of the Cow’s Tongue” on Clementine.
“Sam and Clementine. Please excuse the ongoing dialogue, Sam’s 4 year old brother Tom was a little too casual about the rest of the cow herd!”
Any guesses why this is called “Lick of the Cow’s Tongue?” If you have ever actually been licked by a cow you’ll know, cows have very rough tongues, reminiscent of a very large cat. The action of going up and across the hair grain has a similar, but lighter, feeling.