DALLAS — Carla Campbell of Menlo Park, California, is a canine massage therapist who is helping guide dogs unwind at this month’s conference of the American Council of the Blind, to be held in Dallas, Texas. Guide dogs, responsible for safely delivering blind and visually impaired adults from home to work and back, work really hard and deserve some time to relax.
One of the dogs Campbell massaged was Merrick, a four-year-old Golden Retriever. She worked on his joints, muscles, neck and back. She also massaged the spots on the dog that were sore from the snug harness he wears.
“He’s letting go nicely,” says Campbell. “He really needed this.”
Campbell is a canine body worker from California who is at the annual conference to help the dozens of burned out dogs in attendance. Guide dogs have a lot of responsibility safely delivering their blind owners to and from work, across streets and through aisles, day after day. Also adding to any stress they might have is being away from home surrounded by hundreds of other dogs. Campbell’s services are greatly appreciated.
The conference is expected to draw over 1,500 people, along with about 300 guide dogs, who can be seen guiding they’re trusting owners through the extensive lobbies and corridors of the Sheraton Dallas.
“This is probably the most stressful environment these dogs will ever have in their career,” said Carl Richardson of Boston, Merrick’s visually impaired owner. “It’s good to give them a little break and let them relax.”
Campbell, who lost her sight to glaucoma, left a technical support job to pursue canine and equine massage. She always knew she would be working with animals. During the conference, she will massage about 10 dogs a day, with her one day record being 17 dogs.
Most of the dogs at the conference are Labradors and Golden Retrievers, dogs who have proven to be fit for guide work with their intelligence, size and strength.
It’s nice to see these amazing dogs getting some well deserved special treatment.