Taking This Workshop Demonstrated Students Devotion to Dogs
PetMassage had another successful day of workshops for Dog Owners. The morning session was all about Dog Handling and in the afternoon it was all about PetMassage™. There were 6 attendees and their dogs. All the dog owners taking this workshop were female. They encompassed a wide range of life experience. One had never before traveled to a workshop –any workshop- by herself. One had never gotten a massage for herself; but she had taken her dog for chiropractic and swim therapy. One was an experienced massage therapist for people. One was an experienced pet groomer and pet stylist.
One had taken the Foundation Level workshop 8 years previous and after experiencing a couple of disappointing experiences, she let it slide. She’s back now, enthusiastic, and signed up for a Foundation Refresher workshop (just the hands-on portion of the Foundation Program).
Two of the women independently came to scope out the school. They wanted to see if my teaching style was compatible with their learning styles. This is not unusual. Checking out a school in advance is an excellent idea. Taking a workshop for something as atypical as canine massage can feel like a big risk. Websites can say anything; show anything. How can you know if you can trust the school, the instructors, the quality of training, and the facility? There is no way to really know unless you talk to people who have trained there; see the actual classroom, see the neighborhood where the school is located, and in the best scenario, get a sample of the workshop experience. These two had been following PetMassage™ and reading these newsletters for quite awhile, so we had already developed a modicum of trust. I’m delighted to tell you that they both registered for Foundation Level Workshops.
The ages of the women who attended the workshop ranged from their mid-20’s to the mid-60’s. One traveled to the PetMassage School in Toledo OH (Northwest OH) from as far away as 2 ½ hours.
The dogs they brought ranged in age from 18 months to 16 years. There was a tan and white hound, a black and white border collie, 2 grey pit bulls, a big black German Shepherd/Lab, a gently powerful tan shepherd/wolf, and a Chinese Crested with bright purple highlights. Guess which of the dogs belonged to the Pet Stylist? These were some lucky dogs to have adopted these people. These were some lucky people to have adopted these dogs.
Dog Handling for the Dog Owner
The workshops were focused on the specific needs of these dogs and these people. In the morning session, we identified each dog’s peculiar handling or socialization issues and offered suggestions that were eagerly understood and (hopefully) adopted. Monica, our dog handling guru, worked with each scenario and thoroughly addressed each concern.
PetMassage™ Specific to Each Dog.
Each dog was described in an informal history. Each was walked, observed, and assessed; after which their owner was shown a particular skill, applicable for her dog. The owners each return demonstrated what they were shown, repeating under my guidance until they were able to duplicate the skill. For one dog it might be scratching upward over the shoulder. For another, it might be rocking the hips. Everyone had an opportunity to observe what the others were learning. So everyone eventually saw PetMassage to the entire dog’s body: head, neck, trunk, hips, legs, paws, topline, and the ventral line.
Common Theme: Need for Pulsing
Most of the dogs benefited from having their people pulsing their hands over the ribs. Rib pulsing stimulates blood flow through the intercostal muscles. Muscles that are tight, or ischemic, (Ischemia is a restriction in blood supply to tissues, causing a shortage of oxygen and glucose needed for cellular metabolism) are common when individuals are in pain, in fear, or learning something new. That’s what happens to our tissues when we hold our breath.
The dogs may or may not have been in pain. We do not know. They did not appear to be in fear, though perhaps a bit apprehensive in the new environment with new dogs and new scents. They WERE learning something new; how to receive a PetMassage™. The dogs may also have been sensing their owners holding their breaths, learning something new, and were displaying empathy behaviors.
So, as I led them through a guided meditation, we all enhanced our breath, circulation, sense of safety and empowerment.
A Wonderful Day of PetMassage Training
Everyone learned. Everyone benefited. Everyone felt appreciated and loved.
Every caring dog owner, and those are the ones you attract, craves to know how to help their dogs and bond with them even more than they already have. I encourage all Certified PetMassage Practitioners to teach this specialized form of PetMassage to groups of dog owners. They will get a chance to see you in action and will surely return to have you provide your PetMassage magic to their dogs.
Upcoming Learning Opportunities
Our next Day for Dog Owners is September 9, 2017. People are already signing up for it. You can too.
If you were unable to make it to Toledo for Monica’s hands-on class, PetMassage Dog Handling for the Canine Massage Practitioner, Yoga Consciousness is offered online as a Home study Course.