The Walrus on My Table: Touching True Stories of Animal Healing

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9780312262679: The Walrus on My Table: Touching True Stories of Animal Healing
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Several years ago, massage therapist Anthony Guglielmo got a call for a strange appointment. "Will you massage my horse?," one of his clients asked. And so began Anthony's strange and wonderful adventure into the world of animal massage.

In The Walrus on My Table, enter a world where dolphins line up to take turns for their massages, beluga whales lean in for better contact, and high-strung horses grow calm and manageable under Anthony's soothing touch. Discover animal friends you will never forget. Meet:

* Nuka, the 1,800 lb. walrus. A series of injections left Nuka's muscles severely constricted on one side of her body, and this gentle animal could no longer swim.

* Molly and Josephine, two playful elderly dolphins. Though at first reluctant to allow Anthony's touch, by their second session these two line up impatiently, eager for his attention.

* Mambo Point, a racehorse who just couldn't win. Mambo's owner knew that this horse had potential... so why wasn't he performing up to his ability?

* Rudy, the hump-backed penguin who wasn't expected to live. Born with a life-threatening condition that made breathing difficult, Rudy's future looked uncertain...

* Reddog, who loved to sleep on his owners' forbidden bed-until a sprain got him caught in the act.

* Mickey, an independent Tabby, who relaxes so completely under Anthony's hands, she topples right over!

* Tab and Presley, the prankster bachelor dolphins of the aquarium, who love to play tricks on their trainers.

* Baby, the recipient of the first ever shark massage.

So, dive in and romp with Nuka and friends...and enjoy!

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Review:

As Androcles knew, it takes an unusual level of compassion and sensitivity--and certainly bravery, and perhaps even chutzpah--to find out where an animal is hurting and then ease that pain. Anthony Guglielmo's stock in trade is to do just that. A licensed massage therapist, he's been spending the last few years kneading out the aching muscles and complaining joints of a host of animal others: walruses, racehorses, ferrets, dolphins, rabbits, dogs, and even penguins, to name just a few.

Writing with Cari Lynn, Guglielmo explains how he came to develop his specialty, which is, he notes, perhaps less unusual than it might appear; circus trainers have been massaging their animals for years, and humans help relieve their pets' stress with every pat or stroke. Many scientifically trained veterinarians, the authors note, are increasingly coming to value alternative, nontraditional therapies, and though skeptics may question Guglielmo's method, it makes sense that any healing technique that relaxes fear and tension has at least a chance of achieving a beneficial end. "I assure all my patients," Guglielmo says, "that I believe in gentle massage--that it should feel good, not painful. The challenge of massaging an animal is somehow communicating this philosophy to them." The search for a means of communication, based on sympathy and understanding, underlies this gentle book, which animal lovers will enjoy. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:

Anthony Guglielmo is a New York State licensed massage therapist specializing in sports and medical massage, and a certified equine massage practitioner. Besides running a very successful human massage practice in Long Island, New York, he is one of only a handful of massage therapists worldwide with experience working on both exotic and domestic animals. He lives in Lindenhurst, New York.

Cari Lynn holds a Master's in Writing from the Johns Hopkins University and specializes in writing narrative nonfiction. She lives in Chicago.

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Anthony Guglielmo, Cari Lynn
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