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Animal Protection of New Mexico
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By Hersch Wilson/ For The New Mexican
Our dog Tank gets a massage every week.
I, by the way, don’t get a massage every week, or every year for that matter.
But I’m not bitter.
He came home from his second massage last week and I wanted to talk to him about it, but Laurie (my wife) said, “Leave him alone, he needs to nap. And you need to finish composting the garden.”
O.K., I’m a little bitter. But I understood the pecking order in our family. It’s always Laurie, then daughter No. 1 (Brynne) her fiancé (Luke), then Nellie, (Berner No. 1), then daughter No. 2, (Sully), and finally, Tank and I battle each other to stay out of last place.
With this new massage thing, Tank had clearly scored a coup and moved up.
It all began when a close friend of ours decided to get her canine Therapeutic Massage Therapist Certificate. She had completed her initial week-long course and now was required to work on three dogs as case studies prior to getting her certificate.
Because she technically wasn’t working under the supervision of a veterinarian, we will call our friend by her chosen code name, “la Masajista Perro.”
I went along to observe Tank’s third session. The first thing I noticed was how excited he got has we turned on to her road. By the time we pulled into the driveway he was whining. He sprinted out of the car to the front door and sat.
Clearly, he had already bonded with “La Masajista.”
She opened the door and we went in. After Tank explored the room for a few minutes he sat down on the living-room floor and waited expectantly.
“La Masajista” began with long strokes along Tank’s flanks and back. “I think of massage as ‘Intentional Petting.’ Any dog guardian (she prefers not to use ‘dog owner’) can do this part. It’s soothing to the dog and a few minutes a day can really help the bonding process.”
I wrote that down and then looked at Tank. Yep, his eyes were half closed, his tongue was lolling out and he was beginning to sigh with pleasure. He reminded me a lot of myself during the few times I’ve actually gotten a massage.
As Tank rolled over on his back, legs splayed to the ceiling and the massage continued, “La Masajista” talked about the various uses of massage — other than Tank being passed out on the floor in pleasure.
“Dog massage is used as a complement to other therapies, which is why it’s important to have a veterinarian involved. But the three important areas it’s used for are to help socialize puppies, to help with the weekend warrior syndrome, dogs that are basically lazy all week and then go out and play hard with their humans on the weekend.”
I interrupted, “That’s what I need. A massage every Monday.”
There was a pause, “La Masajista” and Tank looked at each other. I saw a barely perceptible eye roll from Tank. Apparently — like everyone in my family — neither of them appreciated my humor.
Then she continued, “The third area is in increasing blood flow to muscles in older dogs.”
At this point, she had both her hands on Tank’s hips. “Huh,” she said, “He has really warm hips.”
“Is that good?” I asked, noting Tank was looking at me with a little swagger, as if to say, “Do you have warm hips?”
She went on, “It could mean that he has sore hips. You should probably ask his veterinarian next time he has a check up. The other really good thing about massaging your dog is that you really get to know their bodies. Then, when something is wrong you’ll notice it quickly.”
At this point, Tank got up, stretched and walked to the door.
“La Masajista” laughed and said, “That’s the thing about dogs. They’ll let you know when they’re done.”
We left “La Masajista Perro” standing by her door. Tank immediately sprinted into our house when we got home and got to nap.
I wasn’t jealous . . .
If you’re interested in therapeutic massage for your dog, my recommendation is to see veterinarian Sue McKelvey, at Bounce Back Integrative Veterinarian Rehabilitation in Santa Fe.
If you’re interested in massage for yourself, you’re on your own . . . just don’t tell your dog.
For more writings by Hersch Wilson on dogs, firefighters and life go to herschwilson.com. Contact him at email@example.com
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Adoptable pets join youth symphony event
The Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association hosts its second Paws Pageant on Saturday, featuring adoptable animals, a host of vendors, free demonstrations, live music and a dog show
The event, dubbed The Dog Show For Every Dog, runs from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Santa Fe Railyard District. Several family-fun activities are planned, including “competitive” events to show off the beauty and talent of dogs. Categories…Continue
Posted by Ben Swan on May 6, 2015 at 1:47pm
Some of you may remember Pepper - he's the dog who helped rally a community to rescue him when he spent more than six months roaming the arroyos and streets of Santa Fe. Thanks to Steve and Yvette Dobbie and their Pepper's Posse, Pepper was rescued and found a beautiful sanctuary in Northern California. Unfortunately that sanctuary is no more and Steve and Yvette are once again there for Pepper. Steve picked up Pepper - the last of the animals at the sanctuary - to bring him…Continue
Posted by Ben Swan on May 2, 2015 at 12:10pm
Annual cleanup set for off-leash park
Dog lovers of Ortiz Park are gearing up for Saturday’s annual poop-the-scoop party and are banking on a big turnout.
The twice-yearly cleaning drives help make the park, located at the Frank Ortiz Park off Camino de las Crucitas in the city’s Solano neighborhood, a pleasant experience for everyone, said cleanup organizers. The spring cleanup is set for 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday. Utensils, including buckets, tables, chairs,…Continue
Posted by Ben Swan on April 24, 2015 at 9:36am
Due to new jobs, moves, etc. FELINES & FRIENDS is in urgent need of reliable volunteers to care for the cats at our
Adoption Center located within Petco in Santa Fe. Feed, clean litterboxes and play with the cats.
Several mornings and evenings available. Time commitment approximately 2 hours.
Between 8:30am and 10:30am
Between 5:30pm and 8:30pm
Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are willing to help. Kitten season has…Continue
Posted by Bobbi Heller on April 21, 2015 at 1:38pm
At 8:45 this evening while turning onto RidgeTop Road I saw 2 dogs. I stopped and tried to coax them over but they were spooked. They ran off behind the Thornburg building.. One appeared to be a german shepherd black and brown markings. The other a bit larger, longer haired predominately black, brown and white.
Posted by dena ducane on April 16, 2015 at 9:11pm
As I'm leaving work yesterday, I get a phone call from 2 pre-pubescent boys. After asking if my dog was still missing, one of the boys demands to know if there is a reward. After I reply, "yes" to both questions, the child demands to know how much the reward is. I say, "does it matter?" He replies, "YES!" Unless I told him the reward amount, the only information he would give me is that they were at Alto Park with Xena. I hear the other boy in the background saying, "Dude, just tell…Continue
Posted by sheila beuler on April 9, 2015 at 6:54am