Grace Granatelli, an animal masseuse in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale, said she would play new-age music or "spa sounds," which help relax dogs.
In her sessions, Granatelli would have the dog lie down on the floor or its bed and start by massaging its neck. She would then move to other areas, including legs and hips. But it's not crucial that the dog lie down or sit still.
"There are times where the dog is either very distracted or anxious or isn't quite receptive," Granatelli said. "So I just do the best I can doing the strokes while they're standing — whatever I can do to get the strokes in and get some relaxation in their muscles."Everyone was happy, including the massaged mutts. Enter the rent seekers, stage left;
That was until Granatelli became one of three animal massage practitioners who received cease-and-desist letters from the Arizona State Veterinary Medical Examining Board earlier this year. The trio has sued the board, arguing that the statute is overly broad in defining veterinary medicine. They are not practicing while the lawsuit moves through the courts.Three people are deprived of their livelihoods, because;
The board says "I was doing more than just pampering dogs and that was breaking laws," Granatelli said.A great threat to civilization, no doubt.
The American Veterinary Medical Association classifies animal massage as a form of veterinary care that should require a license. It is up to each state's veterinary licensing board whether to categorize it that way.Why?
"We do consider them veterinary procedures, and we feel the same standards should be used because a lot of harm can come from them," association assistant director Adrian Hochstadt said.Oh, your feelings are hurt. Screw the pooches!
Carol Forrest, a former client of Granatelli's, said her Dachshunds, Maxie and Lucy, got regular massages for five years. The two, who have since passed away, were able to relax after a massage despite dealing with issues such as arthritis.
Forrest said she truly believes massage benefits dogs as much as people.
"It's like if you go to one regularly that you like, they get to know you and you get a better treatment out of it," she said. "The same goes for the dogs ... versus going to the vet — my dogs aren't relaxed at the vet."In Arizona, so what. They can't let some dog, somewhere, somehow be happy. So enjoy your Thanksgiving, turkeys.