Monday, 1 September 2014

I'm always learning...thankfully



I recently wrote a blog article about a post I read where a canine 'professional' had said canine massage is only about prevention. I felt that was rather narrow thinking and gave my thoughts on how there are probably far more benefits.

But I’m always learning about others. Even ones that don’t have a direct physiological benefit to the dog but a benefit to the owner is a good benefit in my eyes.

I’ve been massaging a small dog regularly for some months now. She came to me initially as she was very hyper. She did not like being touched by anyone other than the owner and often went into anxious barking snappy mode when meeting other dogs or people. My aim for her was not necessary to fix any muscular aches and strains but to get her accustomed to tactile stimulation and for relaxation. It didn’t take many sessions for this little dog to just lie in my arms for an hour and have her therapy. She never struggled, she never complained, she certainly never bit me. In fact she sinks into my lap during the session with closed eyes while every muscle and joint relaxes and calms. She always walks out with a smile and an extra spring in her step.

Recently the owner the said that the behaviour of the dog has changed noticeably. The owner now thinks that she would be able to leave the dog at the groomers – something she has never been able to do. Also, when someone comes to the door the dog still barks but it is now a bark asking for a fuss to be made of her and not flight or attack mode. So a new benefit to me is that the owner has got a social life back – one I hadn’t reckoned on when I started this therapy session.

And now I have yet another new benefit, albeit a rather tenuous one. The owner wrote to me and said “You're going to think this is wicked but now if my dog doesn't want to walk when she is out I say we are going to see Dr Les, and you will never believe it she perks up and starts walking”. It means the dog continues with her exercise (so helping her physiologically) while the owner gets to go out (helping her physiologically too!). Maybe that is a cheeky benefit but I’ll take it.

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