The Golden Retriever lays on a table while a woman is bent over in what looks like a motion of pulling its tail.
To the observer it would appear to be an exercise in how to get bit but it’s just the newest craze in the pet world known as pet massage – and it’s taken off as a career for some.
Pet care specialists from all over the world are learning pet massage.
Petmassage.com offers workshops and videos where pet owners can learn the art of massaging their own pets and others.
In a two-day “water work” class you can learn about handling dogs in the pool. Known for its therapeutic and flexibility value, water has been incorporated into the curriculum as an option for those who want to learn more about animals.
Some of the pet massage taught includes Reiki, a Japanese technique, and Tellington Touch, taught by a German instructor.
Before you massage any dog you have to familiarize yourself with techniques and rules, according to the website.
In Energy Work With Dogs, masseuses access body language and “body wisdom” of the animal.
Some of the topics included in massage school are energy, awareness, bonding, respiratory enhancement, pain management, vibrations, and intuition among other offerings.
“I’ve finally found a career that I’m not only proud to be doing but the money isn’t bad either,” said Tracy Piatt, a massage school graduate.
Shawna Sellarole worked on her five dogs to complete the training at home and just sent her paperwork in.
“I have been working on my aunt’s nine-year-old beagle,” she said. “It’s amazing, I’m so happy!”
The pet massage site also shows students how to market their pet massage business.
Each dog is individual and will have different responses to the therapy, according to the Jonathan Rudinger, a pet massage instructor.
Over 90 percent of the students are women, many in the midst of changing careers.
“Animal massage therapists are a passionate group and passion is what it takes in this blossoming field,” said Shirley Vanderbilt, author of Animal Massage.