Monica Bush of Flagstaff, AZ, is leaving her border collies, Squid Vicious, Mars Attacks and Flux Newton, at home this year. Although she has competed at Cynosport® every year since 2004, this year she is focused on helping others achieve their peak performance.
“It is difficult to switch between being a massage therapist to competitor in a matter of minutes at a big competition. I love to win and I need to give 100% of my focus to my dogs to compete in this environment. This year I decided my focus will be on the competitor’s dogs. These people are my friends, colleagues and competition when I am running. I am just as proud when they make the finals after I have worked on them during the event as I am when I make the finals with my own dogs,” she said.
Monica is a certified veterinary technician and a certified canine massage therapist with a masters in immunology. “Before becoming a canine massage therapist, I was a surgical research technician for a cardiovascular medical device company, an orthopedic surgical veterinary technician and a developmental biology research associate. I specialize in trigger point therapy for the canine athlete. My clients compete locally, nationally and internationally in agility, flyball, dock diving, herding, frisbee, surfing, schutzhund and rally. In addition to canine massage, I am also an agility instructor,” said Monica.
When she is working on canine athletes, Monica looks for a range of motion deficits and associated trigger points that may be affecting range of motion. “The majority of my clients are massaged before they compete to increase their performance. My massages are not about relaxing, although most of the dogs on my table look very relaxed. Instead, my goal is to get the dog ready to run their best.” She also offers post-competition body work to ease overworked muscles and increase circulation.