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Those who love their pets tend to enjoy all animals. Our animal owners are no different. Check in on News-Herald staffers Robin Palmer and Cheryl Sadler as they share their own animal tales and announce upcoming events in Lake and Geauga counties.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Free animal massage class Saturday at Lakeland

Licensed massotherapist Sherrie D'Anne does human massage in Auburn Township and teaches animal massage through Lakeland Community College's continuing education program.

When she's not doing those things, she travels to homes, barns, shows and stables and does dog massage out of Dogs and Suds in Chester Township.

All the while five very lucky pets wait for her to come home: her "demo dog" Maggie the bloodhound mix, two black cats and two mini lop rabbits.

"I mostly do horses and dogs, but I do some kitties and bunnies, too," she says cheerfully.

Such is the life of the woman who will teach animal massage Saturday at Lakeland's Free College Day -- a day of free, not-for-credit courses designed to showcase the school's campus and offerings.

Sherrie's course runs from 9 to 9:45 a.m. It is described as follows: "A licensed massotherapist who specializes in animal massage will teach how the power of touch influences your relationship with your four-legged companion. Please do not bring in pet."

Massage may not be for everyone or every pet, she says. "But with proper training and care, most animals can be led to accept the therapeutic touch. It all boils down to who's going to take the time and have the patience to do this. It's very much on the animal's terms, on their time."

Such touch improves circulation, boosts immunity, maintains homeostasis, keeps joints and muscles flexible and eases mental and physical fatigue, among other benefits. More importantly, though, it strengthens the human-animal bond, she says.

While pets are welcome in her continuing education class, she reiterates that they aren't invited to Saturday's event; "demo dog" Maggie will provide the visuals.

Classes are open seating, so space is limited. This class got packed last year, Sherrie said.

Free College Day also offers 53 non-pet-related free course options, and a free lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

For more information call Lakeland at 800-589-8520, read The News-Herald's preview story or see Lakeland's online flyer.

-- Sandra M. Klepach,


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