- by Kemosabe -
Here I am back in Wellington, Florida for another winter equestrian circuit season. Crockett is here too. Our lives change drastically here: we go from farm dogs extraordinaire running free, to leashes and dog park incarceration. Yet, because we are canines and therefore highly evolved, we take this temporary restriction of freedom with humor and the profound understanding that this too shall pass.
Horses here in Wellington are treated like royalty. Even my human lowers her head when she meets a horse for the first time. I mean, what’s up with that? The last time she lowered her head to me was to take a shoe out of my mouth. The horses get all sorts of special treatments like acupuncture, chiropractics, massage, ultrasound therapy, magnetic wave therapy — even special blankets with ceramic fibers.
You can imagine my surprise when my human told Crockett and I that we were going to get a dog massage. Finally, we have been vaulted to horse royalty status.
His name is Jean-Pierre and he is a therapist providing horse massage, dog massage and human massage. He is French and speaks with an accent that makes my human swoon. Tell me, what is it about French men that make women get so giggly?
He came to the house and sat down on the floor with me. Crockett was temporarily banished to the bedroom because he was swooning over this guy too. Jean-Pierre does have a nice vibe for a human — better than most, I might add — in that he didn’t try to be my best friend in the first few seconds. He let me check him out, sniff in all the right places, sense his aura, mentally notate what he had recently eaten (a croissant and some lovely cheese), and then he began slowly putting his hands on me.
Okay, this is weird. This French guy is touching me and I can feel energy coming from his hands. This is very different from veterinarians who touch me in a clinical way that’s basically impersonal and not overly invasive. This guy is reading my body with his hands…
Hey. Buddy. Frenchman. That is personal information.
I immediately get up because, well, my body feels weird thank you very much. I am not going to let go of those tight places you found; they are my baggage and I am proud to carry it.
My human gently urges me to lie down again. I lick her face like a pacifier. Jean-Pierre speaks very quietly to me. I want to get out of here, I don’t want to let go, I don’t want to let go, I don’t want to….oh, that feels better.
When Jean-Pierre is finished, my human lets Crockett out of the bedroom. He bounces into Jean-Pierre like he’s known him all his life. Really, I don’t know if dignity will ever inhabit the consciousness of Crockett.
Crockett lies down and immediately just surrenders to Jean-Pierre’s hands. “See?” Jean-Pierre tells my human. “He simply lets go. He is so in the moment.”
Next, it’s my human’s turn. She climbs up on the portable massage table. “Watch this,” I whisper to Crockett, who is drifting into a dream state.
The first time the Frenchman found a particularly tight spot in her back, she let out a yell, and Crockett leaped to his feet to come to her aid. “Settle down,” I told him. “Just wait until he works on her wonky knee.”
At one point the Frenchman said something that made her laugh, and from then on she referred to him as Jean-Pierre de Sade.
When her massage was over, she moved like she was sleepwalking, and Crockett and I followed her into the bathroom where she started running a bath and pouring all her various oils and salts into it. I was feeling very sleepy. Crockett had made a beeline for her bed and was already asleep.
I have to admit that the following morning I felt pretty awesome. Crockett bounced around like a pogo stick, and even our human didn’t crawl out of bed as if she were 105 years old.
You know, there just might be something to this dog massage stuff after all…