Canine massage therapist aims to heal Connecticut dogs

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COLCHESTER -- Massages can be a great way to relax your muscles, but now one local massage therapist is marking his territory in a different way.

Dave Shoup is an electrical engineer by trade, but he's recently traded in the technology in favor of "touch."

His new massage business is booming thanks to word of mouth, even though his clients can't even talk.

That's because his clients are canines. Shoup gives massages to dogs as a therapy technique. His business is called "Tucker's Touch."

He started in January after a year-long, 200-hour certification program and now operates "Tucker's Touch" out of his Colchester home.

It's named after his late Golden Retriever who would sometimes experience soreness after long hikes.

Now his work is all based on Swedish massage techniques that have been adjusted for the dogs' anatomy.

"Just like we get sore, and we get hurt, you know, they do too. Of course they don't talk about it as much," said Shoup.

Shoup says massages can reduce canine muscle soreness, improve dogs' range of motion, promote relaxation and is even good for their coats.

It's pet pampering, with a purpose.

"I think it's just going to grow as it gets more acceptance and people understand it's a thing," said Shoup.

If you'd like to attend his next demo on April 23, head to pet food store "Naturally Dogs & Cats," located at 10 Trumbull St. in Hartford. The event will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Shoup will offer free 15-minute massages for your dogs.

If you'd prefer to massage your own dog, head to Shoup's "Fundamental massage class for dog owners" on Wednesday May 13 at 7 p.m. in Colchester. The cost is $60 and attendance is limited to eight people.

For more information visit www.tuckerstouch.com or call 860-267-0765.