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Dog owners can spoil pets with a massage

Brookfield, IL

Now both humans and their four-legged friends can get massages at Brennan Spa in Brookfield.

The spa is offering dog massages from Sept. 18 to 20 to benefit Pets Are Worth Saving, a Chicago-based pet adoption agency.

A 30-minute massage session costs $40, and $10 from each massage will be donated to PAWS Chicago. All owners who schedule a massage for their pet will receive a 15 percent discount on gift certificates or spa appointments.

Abby Brennan, the owner of the spa, is excited about the unusual fundraiser.

“This is the first time we’re doing a fundraiser for PAWS,” Brennan said. “Valerie (Presto), one of our massage therapists, told me when I hired her that she had training in dog massage therapy, and I thought it would be a nice way to reach out to the community to provide something different.”

The dog massages will take place on the spa’s front porch, and the pets will receive their treatments on yoga mats.

Presto, who will be providing the dog massages, has worked at Brennan Spa for two years.

“I took a home course for dog massage, with books and video,” she said. “The anatomy is what we have to know about — the differences between humans and dogs.”

Presto says that the key to a dog massage is all in the neck.

“Rub the back of their neck, it’s their calm zone,” Presto said. “Dogs deserve as much care as we do.”

Presto said that dogs get benefits from massage, just as humans would.

“Especially for the older dogs, it’s helpful,” Presto said. “They get aches and pains, but they can’t communicate it. Massage is great for their circulation and arthritis, and it helps their range of motion — dogs are always on their feet.”

PAWS Chicago operates entirely on donations, and Sarah Ahlberg, the development and communications manager for PAWS.

“Twenty five dollars would feed a nursing mom and her litter for two weeks,” Ahlberg said. “Ten dollars can buy treats and toys, and $20 can provide vaccines for an animal. The more donations we receive, the more lives we’re able to save.”

The spa may have annual dog massage weekends, if this event is successful.

“It’s a trial year,” Brennan said. “We’re going to see what happens.”

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