The course was a four hour introduction to the basics of dog massage so that pet owners could learn some simple skills to use at home. Beth (our tutor) originally learnt to massage humans, but she loved dogs so much that two years ago she went to Australia to learn how to do Canine Myofunctional Therapy, and now she has a business massaging both humans and dogs here in Auckland.
Beth demonstrated different techniques with Colson (her own dog – a black lab x) who happily jumped up onto the massage table to be massaged. Then she went around everyone in the class, and checked things were being done right. Of course my happy face was a clue that I liked it. Beth also gave us some individual information about what my mum could do with the sore parts of my back, and she gave me a gentle rub down.
These were some of my class mates.
In between lessons about different techniques, seeing scary pictures of dogs (like the ones below the massage table – do we really look like that with no fur?) and information (like how many muscles I have in my ears!) we had several breaks where I got to play outside with the other dogs and say hello to all the humans.
The afternoon was so peaceful that I even let mum massage my paws and between my toes (normally I have tickly feet and don’t allow my feet to be touched).
The dog on the left was so relaxed that the whole class could hear him snoring as he was being massaged.
The best thing about the afternoon was that my mum also relaxed; she was calmer, wasn’t talking endlessly, or worrying about all the things she had to do next. Instead she was smiling as she rubbed her hands over my fur as she could see that I was happy. When we got home I went straight to my mat for a long nap. I was so relaxed that I didn’t even notice or react to the young one (who had been at home causing chaos with dad) until three hours later when I got up for my evening meal.
In the last couple of days mum has been practicing what she learnt on me, and incorporating little bits into our daily routine. Even my towel rubs (after being out in the winter rain) are different now, as she gently kneads my back through the towel (a bit like kneading bread) which is one of the techniques she learnt. I really like this!
PS For more information here is an article about the course which was printed in Fetch earlier this year.