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Mothering › Child Articles › Dogs Don't Belong On the Massage Table

Dogs Don't Belong On the Massage Table

I used to go to a massage therapist pretty regularly a few years ago and it had always done the trick. One time, I pulled a muscle in my back. I think it goes without saying that it was pretty painful. My usual massage lady wasn’t available as soon as I needed-this was a sort of emergency situation and I got in with the one who could see me ASAP. I had never been to her before, but she came highly recommended, so I went.

While she did wonders for my back, and seemed nice enough, I didn’t go back.

Here’s why: she brought her dog. When she came through the waiting room to her office, the dog actually jumped on me in greeting and in his excitement-something I didn’t quite appreciate. I had no idea this was her at the time. She gave the excuse of ‘he’s just a puppy, excitable. He’s really friendly’. Being the mother of a young child and a person who dosen’t particularly care for dogs, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this and think it to be a very poor excuse.

She asks me in the massage room: Will it bother you if he’s in here?

-Are you kidding me?!-

Absolutely, it most certainly will, I respond. Could you leave him in the hall?

So the massage went on-and well-with the dog in the hall.

I just couldn’t believe she let the dog be in the room while people are being worked on. I thought it quite disrespectful and unprofessional on the whole. I will say though, that the dog was well-behaved for being stuck out there in the hall and the Massage therapist did ask if I’d be comfortable with the dog in the room, not just assuming I would be. Still, who brings their dog to a massage space?

I felt great after the massage, the horrendous pain I was experiencing dissipated completely, replaced by the expected after effects of soreness from being worked on. However, well-behaved or not, the dog was the deciding factor in not going back there again.

Looking back on the experience now, I probably should have just cut my losses and left. But, like I said, it was an emergency.

It is my opinion that every mother should get a massage regularly. In fact, it should be mandatory: Massage For Mothers. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Free would make it even better, don’t you think?

Please don’t let my experience deter you from getting a massage. If you find the right person, it can be very helpful.

In an issue of KIWI Magazine (a few years ago now) there was a column, Musing On Manners, that focused on what they termed as ‘Petiquette’. The author, Thomas P. Farley, said this: “A multitude of problems arise when pet lovers begin treating their furry loved ones like human beings.” I get that pets are like their children to some people. I really do. However, when it comes down to it, pets are not human and are not our children. They are animals. Plain and simple, no matter how we try to domesticate and train them.

Have you ever been in a situation (by yourself or with your kids) where the use of “Petiquette” had been totally disregarded? As in the pet got a little too “friendly” and the owner said nothing of it? What happened and what did you do about it?


About Kris Underwood

Kris Underwood is the Social Media Manager at Hunger Mountain (Vermont College of Fine Arts). Poetry has appeared in several publications including MotherVerse, mamazine.com and Poetry Midwest. I read books & write about them on my blog sometimes.

Comments (6)

Although I agree that she should not have allowed her dog to jump on you, puppy or not, I disagree about having her dog there at all. If it's her place of business or if it's okay with the owners, she has every right to have the dog with her just as you have the right to not give her your business. I'm not sure how young this puppy was, but puppies need frequent potty breaks & attention to prevent accidents, to facilitate house-training, & for proper socialization.
There are a lot of misunderstandings between dog people and people who don't have dogs, just like their are between folks who have kids and those who don't. How would you feel if someone reprimanded you (to your face or behind your back) because your toddler was not living up to the expectations of a childless adult? How would you feel if someone was offended that you brought your child your place of work? What if it was your business that you owned? I hope you will consider this. I love mothering because the emphasis on raising children in open and affirming ways. I was so horrified to see this angry and judgmental blog post! Of course it is your right to chose not to go to this woman for a massage again if you are uncomfortable with the dog, but why the anger? Why the judgement?
I agree with Dana and Tatiana.
Dogs do not belong in places like this unless there is a warning ahead of time so the people can back out. Despite what childless people like to think, dogs and children are not the same think. And when someone refers to a child not behaving how it pleases them, it usually means the child talked or breathed. If a dog misbehaves, which seems to be usually, it involves peeing on someone, jumping on someone, or sniffing them. If you want to justify that by saying that is normal for dogs, then dogs simply do not belong out in places like this. If a child jumps on me, pees on me, or otherwise, trust me, I get very angry at the parents for it. But we all accept that children must behave. Dogs just do not get held to any normal standard.
I have to agree with Lisa. Also,in regard to open-mindedness, judgement and anger, this post is nothing compared to the comments I saw on Mothering's page when they announced they were no longer going to be in print. Talk about judgement, anger and being downright nasty....
Mothering's Facebook page, to clarify.
Mothering › Child Articles › Dogs Don't Belong On the Massage Table