A wonderful session with Mancha

Mancha is a beautiful female dog, at the  Dog Shelter in Spain.

Mancha lives together with her brother known at the Shelter as Burt -but be amazed to learn, that this is not how he is named actually.

Mancha does only allow human touch on her account and that is often then food/treat related. Mancha is quite jumpy/skittish in nature. She has not left this shelter and she has not ever been on a walk.

Maja Brexel– Mancha can you say hello to me please

Mancha – Yes, I can say hello.

MB – Hi, Mancha

M – Hi.

MB – Hi, remember me?

M – Yes, I remember

MB – Good remember or not a good remember?

M – Good remember, your kind to me

MB – Thanks very nice to say. Where are you now?

M – I’m in a cage still.

MB – Who’s with you?

M – A load of other dogs.

MB – Where’s Burt?

M – We don’t call him Burt.

MB – The people call him Burt?

M – Yeah, they call him Burt.

MB – How do you call him?

M – He’s Alfred

MB – He’s Alfred?

M – Yeah, that’s what his name is, Alfred. (Read his story here:

MB – Okay what’s your name then?

M – Hmm, what ever they tell me what my name is.

MB – You’re happy with Mancha?

M – Yeah, that’s okay.

MB – Is Alfred happy with Burt?

M – Well he’s getting used to it.

MB – Why are you not letting anyone touch you?

M – Because they could hurt me.

MB – Where did you learn that other people could hurt you?

M – There was a horrible man that used to hit me with a stick.

MB – How old were you?

M – Three months, six months, not very old.

MB – With how many brothers and sisters were you all together when you came to the shelter?

M – Eight.

MB – What happened to your other brothers and sisters?

M – Some got adopted, some went to Holland.

MB – How many are with you?

M – I think its just me and Alfred. I don’t think there’s anyone else, unless there’s another cage.

MB – Would you not like to have a forever home?

M – Well I don’t like change. This is okay.

MB – Don’t you even want to go for a walk?

M – No, I feel safer in the cage, because I don’t know what I’m going to meet out there.

MB – Would you like me to tell you meet out there?

M – Okay.

MB – Different kind of smells, you can smell things like flower and insects and the pee of other dogs. You would have different feelings underneath your feet, you would have very soft feeling, very warm, very hard, you would have different feelings underneath your paws. When you allow the people to take you for a walk, you get cuddles, have you ever had a cuddle?

M – Yeah I have, but I don’t like it, its too claustrophobic. I don’t know what they are going to do to me.

MB – I can just reassure you that no-one will do you any harm. The people here in the shelter they do not do you any harm. The only thing they want for you is, to have a beautiful life with lots of happiness, lots of walks and lots of cuddles. So the only thing that the people want to happen to you, are beautiful things, because your such a long time with Alfred in the shelter and they wish for you and for Alfred to have a forever home, where you can sleep on the couch, go out for walks because you’re so long in the shelter.

M – Yeah but its my home. I’d miss it.

MB – You would miss it?

M – I don’t know anything else.

MB – That is true you just don’t know anything else. Just imagine, just step by step you could get a beautiful place, a forever home, like your brothers and sisters where there are people taking care of you, they take you out for walks, would that be something you would enjoy? It’s very nice.

M – I don’t know.

MB – Do you remember the nice man, who has your siblings?

M – Yes, I remember him

MB – He for example, he has two of your siblings and they are so happy with him.

M – Yeah I know they tell me that, but I don’t know.

MB – How about we change a bit the ‘I don’t know’ against ‘well let me find out’.

M – It’s so scary out there.

MB – But now, it’s not any more, the man who was hitting you with the stick is not there any more.

M – I know. I haven’t seem him in a long time.

MB – And the people in the shelter and the people who would give you a forever home would protect you against any man with a stick, they would never allow that to happen.

M – Hmm, maybe I’ll go for a walk for ten minutes.

MB – The thing is actually that I like you to just give it a go. You know, when you don’t know things, that can be scary, right?

M – Mmm

MB -Do the other dogs tell you about their walks when they come back?

M – Yes, but I don’t believe them.

MB – What do they say?

M – They had a nice time and they ran around and they sniffed here and there. But I’m so scared

MB – Scared of what darling?

M – I’m scared of going outside the cage.

MB – What can happen outside this cage?

M – I don’t know.

MB – What are you scared of, what could happen?

M – I don’t know, I’m scared.

MB – Then let me ask you, is this scared feeling a nice feeling or not a nice feeling?

M – Its not a nice feeling.

MB – Imagine, just imagine for now, you could give up that feeling. Just imagine you can take it out of your body and give it to me, the feeling of being scared, because you don’t even know what for.

You can’t even say ‘I’m scared of this or this or this’, so imagine we just take this feeling of being scared, we take it away. What would you say to that?

M – Yeah, I like the scared feeling to go.

MB – Okay, so I can just offer you the possibility to give it to me.

M – Okay.

MB – But then you have to understand that that feeling of being scared is not there any more, and it will be gone forever, it cannot come back.

M – Okay

MB – When I take the feeling of being scared away from you, how different would your behaviour be when a worker or a volunteer comes into your cage?

M – Okay yes, I could accept that.

MB – Could you accept that person coming up to you and stroking you, touching you, very gently?

M – Yes

MB – Do you already know where you like strokes?

M – Around my neck, not on my head.

MB – Why not on the head?

M – That’s where the man beat me.

MB – So you would start, you would be saying ‘okay, I’m willing to give that up, I’m willing to allow a little touchy touchy on the neck’?

M – Okay I’ll allow it.

MB – Would you like me to start now first to take the feeling of being scared away and see how different your are feeling?

M – Okay.

1st. Healing takes place.

MB – Okay, so just now, how different do you feel?

M – Yeah, I feel more relaxed.

2nd. Healing takes place

MB – So Mancha, I want to now check again, how different do you feel now?

M – I feel a bit lighter.

MB – Lighter?

M- Mhm

MB – How does light feel?

M – Its different.

MB – Is it? Is it different good?

M – Yeah, I think so, different good, yes.

Enhancing Technique is implemented

MB – Good, Wonderful. Now, shall we check if there’s is another not nice feeling around you? Because we took one bad feeling out, maybe there’s another one, shall we have a check?

M – Okay

MB – Okay, check for another bad feeling. Everything what is stopping you from getting out of the shelter, into a beautiful new home, where you get cuddles. Do you want Alfred to be with you?

M – Yes

MB – So you two stay together?

M – Yes

MB – Now, what ever is stopping you, just check, ‘are you going for a walks, sniffing, peeing everywhere, eating a bit of grass, ever ate grass? It’s very delicious. Playing in the sun, getting strokes, people calling you, kissing you maybe.

M – Mmm, okay.

MB – Is there any feeling in your body what would stop you?

M – No

MB – So the only feeling what was stopping you right now, was the feeling of being scared.

M – Mmm, yeah.

MB – So now, when people from the shelter come into the cage, how will they know you feel different?

M – I’ll be more bouncy.

MB – You bark at the people when they come in`?

M – No, I’m not going to bark now.

MB – Are you running away again?

M – Well I’m a bit reticent, but I’ll try to stand still and let them come to me.

MB – Okay, because every person that comes into your cage are only good people, in this shelter there is no bad person, there are only good people who come and only give love to you guys and the other dogs, there is not a bad bone in them, no-one there would ever do some harm to any of the dogs. So who ever comes into your cage, they actually want to touch you. Do you have something around your neck?

M – Yeah.

MB – (Anti flea necklace) They probably will want to take that off and make a new one, because they want to take you for a walk. How does the idea feel?

M – Mm okay.

MB – Would you like me to come tomorrow? Shall we give that a go tomorrow?

M – Yes, that would be good, it would be nice to see you again.

MB – Yeah, I haven’t been for a while. That means when I come into the cage, and I would call you Mancha because we keep that name you say, when I say Mancha and I would come to you, just imagine me coming in, me being me.

M – Yeah, I’ll come to you, you stay there and I’ll come to you.

MB – And you come to me?

M – Yes.

MB – And at first I’ll just stroke you on the body and on the neck.

M – Yes

MB – I’ll leave your head out.

M – Yes

MB – And you would come to me?

M – Yeah, I’ll come to you.

MB – Okay, then wonderful you, is there anything else I can do for you right now?

M – No, that’s fine, I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

MB – Can I one more time, can you tell me some positive feelings you find in your being, can you check for some positive feelings and name them for me?

M – Well I feel happier and lighter and looking forward.

MB – Good, can you make these happier and lighter feelings just a bit stronger for me right now?

M – Okay.

MB – And when they just a little more stronger. Now I want you to make them ten times as strong, now. And feel how good that feels.

M – Mm, that’s good.

MB – Does it feel good?

M – Mhmmmm.

MB – I’m really happy for you. Good, Wonderful. Okay Mancha, then I see you tomorrow.

M – Okay, see you tomorrow.

MB – See you tomorrow, and I talk to Alfred now.

The day after this session I went to visit Mancha and found her much quieter then I have ever experienced her in my few visits before. She did not jump against the fence and  did not bark. She did not bark at me once, she was laying relaxed, with her eyes closed. And at some point she allowed me to come so close to her that she was laying 1 m away from me, on the sun bench, and my hand was 5cm next to her paw.

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