we pull a muscle, we go for an ice pack and some anti-inflammatories.
When our pets do it, they fight through the pain without
complaint. They may limp, but pets will continue to try
to please us by doing whatever we want them to do.
lucky ones have pet parents who call Maria Duthie, an
animal massage practitioner who will use her special
touch to work out the pain of sore, overused or injured
recently had the opportunity to witness Duthie, owner of
Annisage of Medina, Ohio, giving a massage to Flip, her
10 Ĺ-year-old Australian shepherd.
who easily jumped up onto a massage table, was as
relaxed as a limp noodle while Duthie used her hands to
touch his pulse points and her ears to hear his breath.
all by feel. I pay attention to his breathing. If he
takes a deep breath I know the muscle is relaxing,"
pulse told her whether his blood was circulating
properly through his body and whether he has proper
uses both senses to view how each one of Flipís 600
muscles are working as she keeps his neck, leg and back
muscles loose and pain free.
loves to be a model," Duthie said. "Heís
quite the superstar."
to the dogís medical history, Duthie works on him a
bit each day, paying special attention to his arthritic
despite the fact that he was diagnosed with lymphoma at
the age of 2 and took a fall from a hayloft five years
ago, still competes in agility. Oh, I should probably
mention that one of Flipís elbows is kept together
with a wire, a plate and eight screws.
Flip isnít the only star in the family, nor is he the
only one who has forged ahead despite a medical
condition that would defeat most of us.
whose unique ability to commune with animals through her
fingertips has taken her around the world, is legally
blind and has been since birth.
wasnít until the end of the interview that Duthie
admitted she sees only moving shapes. She doesnít
trade on what some think is a disability because it
simply isnít one for her.
spoke with Duthie shortly after her return from the
World Agility Championship in Belgium where she kept the
contenders for the American Kennel Club in top shape
before and during the competition.
are several reasons to try massage for your animal. The
show of resistance or the lack of willingness to move in
a particular manner could be a sign of muscular
discomfort. Through the proper use of massage
techniques, muscle tenderness and spasms can be
released," Duthie explains.
pain of muscle stiffness or strain can even cause the
animal to react with unfavorable behaviors, she said.
who originally hails from Wisconsin, is certified in
Integrated Touch Therapy. She received her initial
training through the Optissage program in Circleville,
Ohio. She has studied animal science at the University
of Florida, exotic animal management at the Santa Fe
Teaching Zoo program, and animal behavior at Indiana
has owned horses for more than 20 years and has worked
as a stable manager, groomer, trainer, and exercise
rider in a number of stables with a variety of
has treated dogs, cats and horses in many places,
including Ecuador, Tanzania, Austria and across much of
the United States. In South Africa, she worked on rhinos
and cheetahs and was once (gently) grabbed by a gorilla.
At Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, she worked on horses for
several years and taught a class on horse massage to
had to learn Swahili to teach them," she said.
captures her travels through her photographs and
recently entered some of her work in the Medina County
provides massage therapy at the Medina County home she
shares with her husband, five horses, four dogs, two
house cats and three barn cats.
request, Duthie will train animal owners how to massage
their pets. A massage treatment is $30 for each
whose loving family joked she would never get rich in
her chosen profession, believes riches donít
necessarily stem from money.
make an appointment, contact Duthie at 440-669-6023.