by Jenny Rukavina
Koa, a 16-week old Australian Shepherd puppy, moved home with Canine and Equine Massage instructor Jenny Rukavina, and her husband Joe, two months ago. He was available for adoption because he sustained a severe left-front paw injury at birth. He has only three metacarpal bones on his left-front leg and the veterinarians will be watching him closely for signs of growth plate problems as he continues to grow.
Cori, Jenny’s six-year old Aussie, has been her teaching companion since 2008. He was definitely not sure about this new addition to his home or professional life… but things are getting better and it appears that Koa and Cori will be great friends. Students quickly learn to read the signs from a dog during the massage by working with Cori.
Koa came to his first RMSAAM Canine Level 2 Massage course in May and learned a lot about being patient while lecture is going on, and even got three little massages throughout the week by a very patient student!
Koa and his progress will be a great ongoing case study for Jenny to share with her students. So far, he has dealt with his now healed injury very well and moves without lameness so you’d never know there was anything different. Koa will have updated radiographs on his carpus and paw at six-months of age, but he continues to do really well. He is living the good life of a normal four-month old puppy!