Yesterday, I pulled into the service station to fill the tank. I also asked for help because I was filling a gas canister for the first time and didn’t want the nasty stuff splashing all over me.
I have advertising on my car. In fact, it’s one of the best investments I’ve ever made. Because of the advertising, I find myself in some odd circumstances explaining what I do.
The Balanced Dog’s car
This time, it was the station attendant. “I suppose they do that a lot in America,” he said as an opening statement.
I then replied with something of a stock-standard explanation, “for the same reasons people get massage, dogs benefit, too. I work on dogs of all ages – those who have arthritis, some are recovering from surgery and injuries and I even help with dogs that are suffering from anxiety and stress. Some of my clients are only young puppies to help them become calmer and used to handling.”
“Oh, I met a dog at my in-law’s holiday home who is afraid of men. I only had to say something and the dog ran away.”
Me: “That’s definitely a stress response. I use massage combined with behavioral training techniques to work with dogs who have stress problems. Last week, I started work with a puppy who gets so stressed at the thought of going in the car that she vomits.”
I consider every conversation an opportunity to educate people about the wellness impacts and multiple benefits of dog massage. It isn’t just about ‘rehabbing’ from injuries – it’s a lot more!
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand
It happened again yesterday.
Someone asked me what I do for a living and I described my dog massage practice and how many of my clients are older dogs with varying degrees of arthritis and other orthopedic problems.
And then he said it. “My friend has an old dog, he’s almost 10, and we’re pretty sure he’s got arthritis. But then again, it’s just old age.“
I tried to explain that there are many things we can do for dogs with arthritis which keeps them pain free and happy. And because their pain is managed, they live longer.
Buster, an older dog of 10+ is enjoying a new lease of life thanks to a combination of pain medication, massage, laser and weight loss
The message still wasn’t getting through…and then he described his friend’s dog:
- he’s getting more aggressive; he even bit my friend one night when he went to feed him
- he doesn’t run around much any more
- he doesn’t come to greet me when I visit; he used to
I did my best to say that his friend needed to get his dog to a vet for an examination and that I would be too happy to see him for an assessment. Behavior changes often occur when a dog is in pain. And, just because the dog is older doesn’t mean the issue is arthritis. We would need a working diagnosis from a qualified veterinarian.
He took my card; I hope his friend calls. I can’t stand the thought of another dog who is in pain and doesn’t have to be.
It’s not about old age; it’s about the right care.
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand
When you own a senior dog, it’s important to understand that they experience discomfort from arthritis, aching joints, and muscle tension.
A supportive dog bed is essential.
In Daisy’s case, she now sleeps on a total of four mattresses, one of which is memory foam and acts as the ‘boxed spring’ layer. I call this her Princess and the Pea look.