Today, I worked at Old Friends. This is the ‘old people’s home’ of the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Besides helping to take dogs for walks in the cooler morning hours, I also got to use my massage skills on some special needs dogs.
Google was rescued from Kanab, Utah. He spent most of his life chained; and as a result he has neck problems. Because of his neck problems, his back, mid-thoracic, is also tight. Google thoroughly enjoyed his massage.
Wrangler had just had his second injection as part of heartworm treatment. Dogs undergoing this treatment have a series of injections and are restricted in exercise to ensure that the worms don’t dislodge from the heart causing respiratory arrest.
Wrangler needed very light massage (so not to stress his system) and few acupressure points for relaxation.
I am convinced that there is a role for massage therapy in the shelter environment, particularly for long-term residents and those with special health needs.
I am grateful to the caregivers at Old Friends who allowed me to work with these animals.
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand