Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Award winning canine massage

JC’s back (again) 

JC is a champion award winning 9 year old Collie who is the dog equivalent to the heptathlete Jessica Ennis in that she competes in many different sporting events.

I was asked to help her last year when she suddenly stopped being able to perform a controlled sit with her Mum during an event. In fact she missed this move a couple of times which was noticed by the Mum of another of my dogs I have helped. She was fine with all the running and jumping events, possibly because she didn’t need to think about those, but was running on excitable energy. This was an exact event which gave her time to think whether she could do it or not. 

At that first meeting with JC, her Mum said she can be a ‘bit morose’ and standoffish. Nope, JC walked over, licked my whole face and lay down on the mat. 

Flash forward exactly a year to the day and I’m invited back to see JC who has exactly the same problem again. Her Mum admitted that because JC did not display any further mobility issues after my last appointment she had forgotten about me. I was not crushed, just glad that I was able to help with the single treatment. But as soon as the issue recurred, JC’s Mum remembered that she was going to add JC to my maintenance programme. So I was asked if I had space to come back as soon as possible before it became a more chronic issue with JC. 

This time, JC welcomed me like her best forever friend. She rushed across the room, placed her legs on my shoulders and totally cleaned my face and ears! She had the same issue as before with tightened muscles at the rear end especially the adductors. All the muscles she would need to perform a controlled sit. Clearly, in her head, rather than do a bad sit because she was so tight, she thought a no sit would suffice. Unfortunately, that also means disqualification from that event. It was very important to ease those muscles out. 

I often talk about the dog leading the massage session. With JC it was like working with the Big Controller. She lay on her side giving me her back. Then she rolled over opening her back legs giving me her adductors. Then she did a shuffly circle so I had access to her biceps. Then stuck her head in my lap so I could work on her neck. She was in total charge of what she needed and what I did next. I just followed her cues. 

After an hour, she got off the mat and wandered back to her own bed where she lay down. 

I suggested to her Mum that as the problem seems to occur with the more precise events, she could build an obstacle course of different thickness of mattresses, followed by a few poles and then more mattresses laid out in a random pattern in the garden or room. If she walks JC round this course slowly it will assist her proprioception as she won’t know what is coming next. Hopefully that will help rebalance her. 

We are also making a specific date for a return visit this time so I am not forgotten. 

That weekend I received an update on how JC had performed at her next event. The email said “…..JC has worked very well including the dreaded sit on the move position! JC won open 'C' Bitch today!!! “ That is definitely a #result