Yesterday I went to my regular surgery at Paws, Play & Stay Dog Hotel to see, amongst others, the wee Milly and big Unni. I had seen and treated Milly once before whereas Onni was new to me.
|Milly giving me a helping paw|
I worked on the rest of her too just in case there were areas of compensatory injury so she did eventually turn over for me. At the end of the session she chased one of her brothers who had come to watch, around the surgery without any sign of limping or discomfort. Thanks for the help Milly.
Then it was the turn of big Onni – a 70 kg Pyrenean Mastiff. As well as being big, Onni only spoke Finnish which is not a language I have any knowledge of. Fortunately his owner translated everything for me. Onni displayed a rather raised hunch on his back towards his tail and walked rather stiffly particularly at the back end. Initial palpation of that area revealed very tight muscles, which could well be because of his size. His owner said that he had recently been pulling with his front legs when walking rather than pushing from the rear legs, which fits with this stiffness. Now how to massage a dog as big as a small pony? Certainly not by sitting them in my lap on the sofa. He was not too happy about lying on the floor (despite me giving him two massage mats to fit) so Unni started to receive his treatment standing up.
|Onni nice and straight again after his therapy|
It never fails to make me smile how quickly you can gain the trust of a dog and how they know to help – without being told to. Looking back through many of the pictures of the dogs I have treated over the past years, I now notice that they often have legs in the air for me, or are using parts of me as a stretching tool so they can really extend their legs – like Bodhi, the Husky, giving me his paw or even little three-legged Ollie balancing on his remaining front leg, rather than lying down which I would have thought would be more comfortable, so that we can work on his achy back. Sometimes I even get double help such as when I was treating Buzz, the collie/lurcher. His owner was sitting down with me and we BOTH got a stretched leg, hers was the front leg and I got a rear leg. It was like massaging Superman in full flight with his arms stretched out.
|Bodhi giving me a stretch|
|Ollie balancing on his one front leg so we could reach his back|
Thanks to all the dogs that help me – I continue to learn with all your assistance.