How Houston Woman Calms Pandemic Dog Anxiety With Massage

The pandemic may have seemed like a nightmare for many of us – but for our pets it was a dream come true.

As a result, canine companions no longer have to spend a day alone or dread seeing their owners looking for the keys to the car before going to work.

These four-legged friends are still adjusting as their parents return to their old routine.

“We created separation anxiety without even realizing it,” said Cheryn Pollard. “You can’t disappear for eight hours when you’ve been home 24/7 for two years. “

As a certified dog massage therapist and veterinarian cannabis guide, the Spring Branch resident knows how to keep anxiety at bay. Through massage and CBD, Pollard helps dogs break free.

“Massage can help with that – just like with people,” she said.

Pandemic puppies, those dogs adopted by COVID, are particularly prone to having difficulty these days.

“These dogs went through their formative years without any socialization with humans or animals,” Pollard said.

Now they are embarking on a whole new world.

But even without a pandemic, life in Houston can cause pet anxiety. Pollard pointed to thunderstorms and sudden showers that can quickly form in the city. Additionally, dogs can easily feel stress from their owners.

“Emotion flows down the leash,” Pollard said. “The animals don’t know why. We cannot talk to them or explain to them.

But we can schedule a massage – or arrange a CBD consultation – to ease the transition.

Pollard’s PAWSE Canine Wellness company is located at Paw-radise Pet Spa, 615 Long Point, where it operates on weekends, as well as Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

During the week, it offers a mobile service to the owners’ homes.

Pollard, who previously worked in the hospitality industry, became interested in alternative therapies for dogs when her foster dog fell seriously ill in 2018.

She had taken old puppies for acupuncture and to visit the canine chiropractor.

When her foster family was sick, she intuitively began to massage the dog. It worked. When the rescue group came to take care of the puppy, they said, “I can’t believe how well this dog is doing. Are you trained in this? “

“A light bulb has gone out,” Pollard said. “I asked myself, ‘Should I be? “”

She had wanted to become an entrepreneur and do something about dogs. Suddenly she knew which direction to take.

Pollard went to Denver to get her certification in canine massage therapy.

“It was really interesting to go and learn the anatomy of the dog,” she recalls.

Pollard went from discovering and practicing canine muscle groups, to working on real dogs, and then to his written and practical exams.

The next step was to work on case studies in Houston. It took her about a year to get her certification and she started PAWSE Canine Wellness in 2019.

Then COVID struck.

“People didn’t want you to come to their place for a mobile massage – and they didn’t want to go to your place either,” Pollard said.

But its services have become more and more necessary over time.

Massage helps improve blood and lymphatic circulation; it also triggers the release of endorphins, Pollard said. She has seen benefits such as improved mood, improved flexibility, and better performance, as well as a shortened recovery time after illness, injury, or surgery.

“When people saw the benefits of massage for their dogs, you didn’t have to explain it,” Pollard said.

Former Pollard colleague Chrissy Baskin is one of Pollard’s loyal customers.

“We bonded through our love of dogs,” Baskin said. So it came as no surprise to her when Pollard launched PAWSE.

“I was more than impressed,” Baskin said. “It’s courageous every time you go from working in a company to being alone in the world. “

Her dog Thumper, whom she calls “the love of her life”, enjoys her regular massages.

“I think about how I feel when I play too hard – and Thumper is a great player,” Baskin said. “Now my dog ​​is happy. “

Pollard also helped another Baskin dog after knee surgery.

“I asked Cheryn to come over to the house and she did reiki on her leg,” Baskin recalls.

The heat emanating from his injured knee is gone.

“Within 24 hours the swelling was better,” Baskin said.

Based on her own experience, she often recommends Pollard to other dog parents.

“I know how much she cares about animals, how passionate she is about dogs and their welfare,” Baskin said. “It’s something she does to improve your pet’s quality of life – and I’ve personally seen the results.”

Pollard also offers treatment for end-of-life care and recovery aid for athletic dogs.

She became certified in Animal Reiki in 2019 and Veterinary Cannabis this year, allowing her to advise dog owners on applicable state laws, product safety, and provide referrals for treatment.

For all her treatments, she works with veterinary advice.

“It’s not against your vet,” Pollard said. “It’s with your vet.”

She just wants to help dogs cope with injury, aging, surgery, and anxiety.

“I am very passionate about this,” she said. “I just want to keep learning about everything we can do. “

Lindsay Peyton is a Houston-based freelance writer.

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