Pet of the Month: April 2013 Winner: Kieran

Kieran jumping 1.jpg

Kieran is a 6-year-old Welsh Terrier born on New Year’s Day.  He enjoys participating in Dog Agility, Earth Dog trials, and just about any activity in which he can run his fastest and jump his highest.  This 20-lb. terrier is not shy.  In recent years, he has helped introduce his breed in the AKC “Meet the Breeds” booth at the Long Beach Convention Center.  Last September, he was featured on Torrance Citi-Cable 3’s TV show “K9 Corner,” performing some of his awesome tricks.  At the end of the day, Kieran is always up for a good massage!

Kieran is adorable, expressive and knows his own mind.  When Kieran received his animal massage, he is definitely not shy about letting me know what he likes and does not like …. If Kieran liked the massage, his eyes drifted shut, he moaned, and in general, was relaxed and content (as is the case with most dogs). 

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Kieran did not like his paws being touched (I planned to give him a paw-(foot) massage.  However, it was very apparent that he definitely did not want me to touch his paws.  How did I know?  His little lip curled up and he bared his teeth.  His “Mom” was close by and let me know, and, of course, I immediately stopped.* 

*I get all kinds of reactions …and all are expected …  the point is, I listen to, watch for, and respect what your animal is telling me.  And each dog will give off very different reactions.  Some may just give me a look, change facial expressions, moan, growl, move around, some may get up off the mat and walk away.  This is normal, especially for first-time massages.   However, where an animal does not like being touched, that tells me that that is an area that needs work.  (And I have "work-arounds" so I can get to those areas that need work.)

With my dog, Jake:  Jake does not like being massaged on his thigh.  How do I know this?  Jake reaches back, put his mouth around my hand, and pull my hand away.  He could not have been any clearer.