The Gus. Gus T. Basset Hound. Scolio-Puppy.
He’s a famous puppy, this Gus. He has been an integral part of the Scolio-Pilates work from the very beginning. Besides being present to snuggle up to children with scoliosis, he is also my constant companion as we move forward with the Scolio-Pilates work.
The Backstory: Scolio-Pilates Puppy.
Where did Gus come from? About 12 years ago, our neighbors had a litter of 7 basset hound puppies. I met Gus when he was 3 days old. At two weeks he weighed-in at twice the size of his siblings and at 5 weeks you could usually find him sprawled out, asleep in the community food bowl. When the other puppies were starting to run and explore, Gus was happy to sit on my lap. I didn’t mean to keep him, but my son went to college when Gus was 4 months old, and the rest is history.
The Book and the Puppy.
Scolio-Pilates, The Proactive Guide was published in 2011. Gus was born in 2009. That means Gus is truly the very first Scolio-Puppy — here for every bit of development of the work. He sat with me at coffee shops while I wrote. He curled into me on the couch while I studied. He has joined me for many, many teaching sessions. He especially loves to sit with children as they are performing exercises like, “Swinging Monkey Tail” and “Seahorse”. He’s much more than a symbol of Scolio-Pilates, he’s the comfort behind the work and I think that’s what makes him so special.
The Comfort Behind the Work.
Yes, Scolio-Pilates is about teaching scoliosis-specific exercise, but it’s always been much more than that. It’s always been about working with the whole person. We are not our spines, we are our hearts, our souls, our dreams and so, so, so much more than our spines. Gus helps us remember that. Have you ever met a puppy, kitten, or love of any kind that cared about the shape of your spine? Of course not. And that’s what Gus T. Scolio-Puppy reminds us.
Finding your comfort.
It’s not about getting your own basset hound (Public Service Announcment: They are very needy, and LOUD). It’s about finding own your comfort, and not all comfort has to be internal. Sometimes you need something from the outside that feeds your comfort. Maybe it is a pet, but maybe it’s a beautiful view, or maybe you have recently bought flowers that you can watch open up and flourish over the next few days. How about planting seeds? There’s nothing more fun that watching a dried up little speck turn into an explosion of green and color.
Find your comfort and then go out of your way to seek that comfort. We are so much more than our spines, and our comforts help us remember that.
But What Can We Do For Gus?
Gus takes good care of us by showing up in our sessions as our Scolio-Pilates therapy puppy, and I try to take good care of him in return. He loves to be together — at all times, at all costs. Because of that, Gus has had a lot of experiences that maybe a lot of basset hounds don’t get. He walks almost 5 miles a day on the beach or in the mountains, he kayaks and now he is learning to paddleboard.
Don’t be fooled by the expression on his face. That’s his happy face!