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Coping with change

Mishka and Samba are really missing seeing all their friends at Wiltshire Equine Assisted Learning. How are we helping them cope with the massive changes in their routine?

Mishka and Samba love routine. The same is true of most animals and people too. Routines can be hugely comforting; they help us feel safe and less anxious because we know what to expect and when. The dogs have really missed their regular morning routine of breakfast, a quick walk then jumping in the car to head off to work at Wiltshire Equine Assisted Learning to see all their friends. I imagine there are things you are missing doing right now too and people you are missing seeing. This is very natural and understandable.

There have been times when Mishka and Samba have looked a bit confused by all the changes to their usual day and I've noticed signs of anxiety in their behaviour. Mishka has been licking herself more than usual and Samba has taken to digging up the garden again and burying things, especially her special toys and our socks! (Can you see the soil on her nose in this picture?!)

How are we helping them to cope with the changes? Well, we are trying to keep some structure and normality to Mishka and Samba's day: things like going out for our morning walk at the same time, sticking to regular meal times and their bed times. We're also finding new and fun ways of keeping them happy and amused. Today they have had their very own seaside in the garden with a paddling pool and sand pit which they loved!

What kinds of things are you enjoying doing? What things are you finding difficult? You might find it useful to have a chat with someone - either face to face or over the phone - or maybe writing a diary. Sharing how you feel can be a helpful way of coping with all the changes you are experiencing right now.

Just remember that all this too will change - it's not forever - and when you look back at this period, you may be surprised by how well you've coped and some of the new things you've learned and experienced.

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