Today, I gave Aki, Haru, and Yuki their Christmas presents – relaxation massages paid for by their Dad. I was booked up last week when he rang and couldn’t fit in 3 hours of massage before the holiday – luckily everyone was happy to wait.
All I knew was that I was going to meet “two french bulldogs and a pug.” I was not disappointed; all three were charming. Yuki is the oldest, and will be 8 years old in March; Aki is 5; Haru will be 2 in February.
Yuki the Pug
Haru the French Bulldog
Aki the French Bulldog
Massages for your dog make a wonderful gift; relaxation massage distributes the oils of the coat to support skin health, allows your dog to chill out and be the center of attention, and I report back on any lumps and bumps I find to ensure you have discussed these with your vet.
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand
It has been a great week for Izzy (and it’s only Wednesday!).
Over the weekend, she was my ‘demo dog’ at workshops to teach owners how to give their own dogs a relaxation massage. Izzy is very comfortable on my massage table and chose to remain there during the last half of the workshop rather than getting down on the floor…
Izzy relaxes on my massage table during my “Learn Dog Massage” workshop
And then on Monday night, she visited a local scout group so our local coordinator for Greyhounds as Pets could talk about the re-homing of retired greyhounds. Izzy loves children, and soaked up all their love and affection.
I’m so proud!
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand
I had seen Flynn at dog park a number of times before his owners asked for me to give him a relaxation massage. Then I received an email several weeks later informing me that he had died suddenly.
His owners felt it was important to let everyone at dog park know of his passing.
Rest in peace, Flynn!
Dogs are emotional creatures and they often form strong bonds to their owners, extended family, and other dogs in the household. This, of course, is one of the many benefits of having a dog (or more) as members of your pack. Because of these emotional connections, dogs also experience grief when a loved companion dies.
Symptoms of grief can include lethargy, loss of appetite and weight loss. With the grief comes a depression of the immune system, possibly leaving your dog vulnerable to problems like kennel cough (even if they are vaccinated). Being aware of these symptoms is important and when a loss is experienced, extra care and attention are needed to help the dog manage their grief. Things like extra outings to new parks can help stimulate brain activity and keep the dog happy. Ensuring the dog has a solid routine they can rely on is also very comforting. I have even been called in to give grieving dogs a relaxation massage to provide them extra stimulation and help them feel better.
One of the most ‘celebrated’ cases of a dog’s loyalty to its dead master is the story of Greyfriars Bobby. Bobby was a Skye Terrier owned by John Gray, who worked in Edinburgh, Scotland as a night watchman. In February 1858, John Gray died from tuberculosis and his body was buried in the Greyfriars Kirkyard. According to legend, for the next 14 years, Bobby spent most of his time at the grave mourning his master. In 1872, following Bobby’s death, a statue of the dog by William Brodie was erected outside of the gates of the Kirkyard with funds from a local patron.
The Greyfriars Bobby statue located in Edinburgh, Scotland
For more recent stories about dogs who have grieved for their owners, read The phenomenon of grieving dogs.
Posted in dog care, dog ownership, dogs and families
Tagged dogs and grief, Edinburgh, Greyfriars Bobby, grief, massage, phenomenon of grieving dogs, relaxation massage, routine, stimulation