What happens in Vegas. We’ve all heard (or said), “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” Or New York, or Chicago, or Miami, or —-. Canine massage is not like that. What happens on the table (except if the dog is incontinent) doesn’t stay on the table. It stays with, and becomes, part of who the dog is.
Do you remember that time when you had that heart-to-heart conversation with someone you were getting to know. It was that evening when you began sharing confidences at dinner. You only noticed the time when the brightening sky transformed the ambiance of the room. It was a new day. You two had talked until dawn.
The conversation was all-consuming. It was alive. Organic. You listened. You shared. You were heard. You understood and were understood. Your worth was recognized. Appreciated. You realized that you had the capacity to let down your guard and connect deeply with another. To love.
You may not remember what you talked about or even who you were with; it was the experience of it that stays with you.
Canine massage is that focused. That intense. That immersive. That personal. That open. With that depth of sharing. With that candor. With that intimacy. That level of trust.
That night, building on who you thought you were, your self-awareness expanded to include new insights. These memories will become part of the fabric of your inner-garments. They will influence all your future relationships. They, and variations of them, will randomly surface for the rest of your life. Hundreds of times. This one night was an event that changed your life’s course.
This is how dogs experience massage.
Intentional touch, and its potential to do good, is the mainstay of massage. Every touch elicits a response. A response is an acknowledgement. A reaction. That reaction might be acceptance, with a lick, a look, or softening. It might be resistance, with bracing, lowered ears, or raised lip. It might be repulsion, with pulling away, turning, grasping the table surface with claws, or tensing. It might be suspicion, with quicker respiration, tightly closed mouth, wide eyes with whale eyes, the white sclera visible. It might even be disregarding, seemingly ignoring, non-acknowledgement. There is always a response.
Each response is a cycle.
1. the inhalation of the essence of the pressure into the body; and
2. an exhalation that chooses how to respond and integrate it.
Are the effects transitory? Are they limited to singular moments of transference and transition?
The touch of massage flips dogs’ internal mind and body toggle switches. It adjusts their little knobs, opens passageways, redirects traffic, and turns processes on, then off, then on again, like updating your phone. Dogs signal that they feel it. They recognize it. They own it. Each of their massages, like your special night, enables them to become expanded versions of themselves. Optimized.
Their life’s compilation of unique and meaningful experiences now includes their canine massage insights. Massage enables dogs to become enhanced versions of themselves, newly formatted, redirected, moving into their new life. It’s a new day.
What happens on the massage table doesn’t stay on the massage table. It stays with and becomes, a tiny facet of who the dog is.