Helping a rescue dog – meet Bertie

I’m scheduled for another volunteering session at Arundawn Dog Rescue in a few days. But I saw this recent post from Elaine about Bertie the 10 and a half year old Staffie who was sadly back in kennels at the time – although now is in a wonderful new foster home.

When I looked at the videos, I felt sure that we could definitely help him – he clearly had issues which would benefit from a physical therapy session. I showed the video to Chris and he agreed. A phone call to Elaine, agreement from their vet and 36 hours later our back expert Chris was with Bertie and his new fosterers to offer a voluntary session.

Initially Bertie’s coat was quite dull and his fur was very tight – you could see him struggle to get any fluidity in his movement. He was our classic “36 inch chest in a 32 inch coat” dog. This where the fur is so tight it is like you’ve put on your favourite coat after a rather over-indulged Christmas – the buttons pop. We can, at least, tug at our clothes to stretch them. A dog can’t do that – but we can help with plenty of myofascial release.

Bertie was a dream to work with – all he wanted was attention and touch. As Chris was working with him, he was demonstrating the techniques with Bertie’s new fosterers. They both have monthly massages so fully understand the benefits and didn’t need any convincing that it would help Bertie.

Chris also left a few suggestions about household adaptations to make things more Bertie Friendly such as following where he walks to see where he might need a carpet runner or two. We offered them support if needed and suggest follow up in a few weeks to check progress.

At the end of the session, Chris had left behind a new dog who tried to stop him leaving and with a loose shiny coat that actually fitted him. It won’t take Bertie long to become another AchyPaw Massage Diva.



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