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Canine massage teaches so much more

How to give a proper canine massage

The Love Dog animal therapy team has adopted an elementary school class in Las Vegas and they spend every other Friday with the same second grade students. Each lesson centers around animals and how to care for them, teach them, love them.

For the last meeting of the year a fun class was chosen - Canine Massage.

Each child had received a Coco the Love Dog doll for the holidays and was asked to bring them in as their "demo dogs."

One of the Love Dog volunteers is a licensed massage therapist for humans and canines so she conducted the class. In stead of bringing in her own real dog, she brought Sugar, a stuffed toy. This way she could concentrate totally on teaching the proper massage techniques and move around the class more freely.

The class began with a wonderful song about not grabbing your dog. The children learned the lyrics very quickly and sang along.

Then each child brought their Coco dolls into a circle around one of the live Love Dog teams. There was Boise the Golden Retriever, Dash the Italian Greyhound, Benny the miniature poodle and Petey, the smallest dog of all, a four pound poodle.

While the teacher showed us the various strokes to use, the children massaged their dolls and the handlers massaged their dogs.

Not only did the children learn how to do a proper canine massage, but how to be kind and gentle and really focus on their time with their pet. It was explained how massage is different from simple petting and why it is so important to take the time to enjoy this activity with your pet.

If the students are having a bad day or experiencing lots of stress, they can now give a relaxing massage to their Coco doll or real family pet.

The lesson ended with another song and everyone agreed it was the perfect last class of the year.

Especially Boise, Dash, Benny and Petey who got tons of hugs and tickles and loving!

For more information about Love Dog Adventures, visit

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