Summer storm season is rolling it's way in. I've recently learned that both Ryder and Diva don't like storms. Ryder gets worried, pants, and hides. Diva gets manic. She circles, barks, leaps at the windows, and jumps on and off the couches all with an edge of hyper desperation. When the first rumble came from the sky, I ushered the dogs into the house and gave them a dose of the herbal stress relief. Ryder then sat beside me on the couch panting, while Diva did her wild dog routine. Eventually I was able to get Diva settled on the couch sandwiched in between Ryder and myself.
I've discovered that much like some the special children I've worked with she really likes pressure. If I hold her squirmy little body and apply pressure (pushing her into the cushions of the couch) she seems to become calm. It settles her down. I noticed this with the submission roll (yes, even though it has been likened to child abuse). For that reason I think as long as I'm gentle and it works to settle and calm her I'll continue to do it. I think animals, like people are individuals. For Ryder, pressure would stress him out and for that reason I won't ever do it to him.
With Diva it can be as simple as placing my hand on the back of her neck and holding her still. Or pulling her onto my lap and cuddling her close. Or holding her in a lie-down position. I'm never rough or aggressive. I've discovered this strategy works when she's overly excited (she's a bit special on that side of things), stressed (either at home or in public). When summer arrives and I'm not so pressed for time I'm going to do some research into pressure therapy and dogs. I've grown curious on the topic.