The Story of Inner Puppy
Mary’s path to becoming a Canine Massage Practitioner in Denver, Colorado
From as far back as I can remember animals have always been a big part of my life. I always knew that someday I would work with animals in some capacity, but I had no idea what that would involve.
As a kid I grew up with two dogs and many cats, but it wasn’t until I moved to Glenwood Springs, Colorado in the early 90’s that my dream of working with animals became a reality. One of my first jobs in Glenwood was working as a stable hand, making minimum wage on an Arabian Horse Ranch caring for 17 horses. I thought I had died and gone to heaven! I was hired with absolutely no experience and learned so much about horses from that job.
In 1995, I began to pursue a long time passion: working with llamas! With the generous help of my employers at the time, I started Lunch with a Llama: for three summers I spent my days trekking with llamas, taking tourists on three-hour lunch trips into the mountains. Lunch with a Llama was a dream job as well, but I was only able to do it during the summer while working at an independent bookstore the rest of the year.
One day in 2003, I was pulling my car into the driveway when I had this gigantic revelation: I needed to quit my full time job, go to canine massage school and become a canine massage practitioner! That is exactly what I did: one month later, with my dog Teddy as copilot, I drove across country to attend the PetMassage™ canine massage school in Toledo, Ohio. To this day, I believe Teddy came into my life to set me on my path to work with animals. This was very apparent on graduation day when I looked down to see her beaming so bright with a “WE DID IT” smile on her face! She was so proud of us that day!
I remember one day in class my teacher Jonathan saying “You know, all that we are really doing here is bringing out the inner puppy in our dogs through massage.” When I got back to Colorado I started my mobile canine business and named it “Inner Puppy Canine Massage.”
In 2005 my husband and I moved to Denver, and Inner Puppy Canine Massage had to find a new home. I took this opportunity to take some additional classes and learn new modalities. I took Healing Touch for Animals™ from Carol Komitor.
That same year I happened to read an article in 5280 magazine by Lisa Speaker, founder of the Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupressure & Massage. I was intrigued with what the school had to offer. I ended up taking all of their courses and was eventually asked to teach there; between 2006 and 2008, I taught canine therapeutic massage and canine & equine sports massage.
In 2009, I returned my focus exclusively to my mobile massage business. I feel so blessed to be doing what I love, working with animals and improving the quality of their lives through massage.