As a pet massage therapist, I love attending dog events and offering free massage to the dogs! It is a great way to meet dogs and their people, and talk about and demonstrate all the wonderful benefits of pet massage.
One of my favorite events is the Spooky Pooch Parade held at The Chicago Botanic Garden every year. This is the only time of year dogs are allowed in the Botanic Garden. This is probably smart as last year I saw one exuberant pup jump right in the Lily Pond. I don’t think the garden officials found this funny, but to the rest of us, well…
This year, the weather was beautiful – warm (especially for Oct 29!), sunny, and most importantly, DRY! The event was sold out, so lots of 2-and 4-leggeds were in attendance.
It is always interesting doing canine massage at large events. In the beginning, the dogs are too excited to even sit down. But after a little bit, most dogs calm down enough to experience a short massage. Many of the dogs I see at events are nervous and anxious. Events are loud, busy, and chaotic, a sure recipe for anxiety. I love seeing how the effects of massage can almost immediately calm most dogs nervous system and help them relax a bit. One little senior was carried over to me, and as the owner slowly handed him to me, he started growling. She quickly explained that he is an anxious dog, even under the best of circumstances. As I gently began massaging his head, he began to relax. After just a few minutes, he was relaxed and even calm. It was wonderful!
One of the most fun aspects of the Spooky Pooch Parade are the costumes the dogs, and often times owners, are wearing. The dogs all look fantastic! Many of the hand made costumes are ingenious with an amazing amount of detail. There are five categories with a prize for each category, so this is serious stuff. Of course, The Right Spot always donates a free massage gift certificate in the prize baskets.
This is an event that is well worth attending. Below are some pictures from this year’s event.