Buddy, my bulldog is a lot of things: my top dog, my moment-to-moment muse, my unwitting comic, and my cherished companion; but lately Mr. Buddy has assumed a new role, that of a model, specifically a massage model. Yep, my favorite fur-ball has secured the best gig a quadruped could be fortunate enough to enjoy on Vashon Island, that of a massage dog at the Northwest School of Animal Massage (NWSAM). In essence, Buddy has a dedicated team of students learning the art and practice of animal massage on him–a hands-on experience the likes of which Buddy has only dreamed of.
At first I was worried Buddy would suffer a little separation anxiety when I introduced him to the class and handed the leash over to the wonderful Lola Michelin, animal whisperer extraordinaire. Buddy instead had the look of a kid at Disneyland, the bulldog equivalent of let’s get this party started, oh yeah, and buh-bye Pops. As I turned to leave, Buddy was making new friends, ensconced in the attention, and reveling in each student’s unbridled adoration of the new big boy in class.
Buddy did look back at me, and mustered an assuring I-got-this kind of nod. I knew he was in good hands, lots of good hands. After arriving home, the house seemed empty without him–grunts, slobbers, farts, snoring, and barks nowhere to be found or heard. Ironic that I was the one now with separation anxiety.
When I returned to pick up Buddy, a student body of devotees shared some Buddy-love in tales and laughter and delight. Instead of being worn out, my little Master and Commander was fully charged and ready for playing, eating, walking, barking, and getting in my face. I think we play enough tug-o-war on his school days to lengthen my right arm.
A big thank you to the Lola and Wendy of NWSAM who love Buddy just as much as I do, and provide for his welfare and good health every time we visit. Buddy agrees, he’s got the best gig in town!