Meet Pearl & Archie
Some years ago, at Bark in the Park, we met the lovely rescue Staffie Pearl. She immediately sat in our laps taking every bit of touch we gave out. This was quite remarkable for a dog who had been a street dog who had both front legs broken at some time. She is now 10 with arthritis of both elbows and a stiff back. Her brother, Archie was also rescued and is now 8 years old. His Mum and Dad say that they are no good at fostering, they tend to end up adopting all their foster dogs. I think that makes them excellent fosterers.
After all that time, I was called to go over and teach them how to perform a massage routine that would be appropriate for their age and mobility. Although Pearl is 10 she tends to have the two speeds of a Staffie, zero and 100. Then after a bout of 100 mph, she struggles to get up. Although Archie had no specific mobility issues, he had a cruciate operation a few years ago.
I always start my workshops with a “Get-to-know-your-dog” session where the owners learn about Palpation – a vital part of any treatment. You shouldn’t just dive straight in with muscle kneading until you’ve had a feel of what is going under that fur. It turned out that Archie did have an issue even though that was not presenting itself in obvious lameness. Touching his lower back was quite reactive. It is possible he is still carrying some imbalance after recovery from his cruciate operation.
Pearl also displayed an amount of discomfort in her back and legs which would be expected from her arthritis.
Pearl’s Mum is not able to work on the floor but can work from her chair. No problem. Pearl simply jumped onto her lap and massage was done there.
The session went on well past their normal dinner time. Their Dad looked at the clock and said that they ALWAYS get to the kitchen waiting for food at the same time. That day they were already 20 minutes late and not looking for food at all. Well, they were, in fact, asleep.
When we wrapped the session up, we told them it was now dinner time, which should have sent them into ecstatic bounciness. Instead they looked up at Dad as though to say “Oh Dad…just feed me here. We’re too comfy after all that massage”.
Pearl & Archie can now go from 0 to 100 knowing that Mum and dad will be able to help ease them out afterwards.
Their Dad posted a review later saying “Fantastic and informative visit by Les yesterday. gained so much help and information from him which will benefit our dogs in the future. Why didn't we do this sooner??? Many thanks for all the help and advice.”
It doesn’t matter if you wait a while, learning how to massage your dog whether they are puppies, middle aged or seniors, will help their quality of life.
|Pearl with her Mum|
|Pearl for the rest of the day|