Courses and Instructors

101  Small Animal Anatomy and Introduction to Pathologies (Distance students take this online.)

102  Small Animal Behavior, Handling and Management  (Distance students take this online.)

103  Animal Health/Bio-Security  (Distance students take this online.)

104  Species and Breeds  (Distance students take this online.)

The following classes are taught in-person at Doggone U for all students:

105  Animal Massage Techniques I

106 Animal First Aid/CPR

107  Passive Range of Motion

108  Introduction to Biomechanics and Gait Analysis of Small Animals

109  Animal Massage Techniques II

110  Regional Massage Applications

111 Sports Massage

112  Introduction to Energy Healing Modalities for Animals

113  Business Practices, Marketing, Presentation Skills/Ethics

114  Internship- 39 hours, performed in your local area


Marlene J. Narrow

Program Developer, Principal Instructor in Animal Massage Techniques I, II, Regional Massage Applications

Marlene has been a human massage therapist since 1982 and has taught at BSMT since 1983 in many capacities. She has created techniques and developed curricula in both the human and animal programs. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Education from Worcester State College.

She is the co-founder of the Animal Massage Program at Doggone U, creating the massage techniques, writing the curriculum, and developing the program.

Marlene is a pioneer in the canine massage therapy field and has been involved in animal massage since the early 1980s. She originally trained with Jack Meagher, the founder of Equine Sports Massage in the United States. She has led numerous canine massage workshops to sled dog racers, agility dog competitors, dog groomers, and other animal groups. Marlene’s family includes her own horses,  cats, rescued bovines and a pig. They are all living testimony to the healing power of massage and the contribution to animal health and well-being.

Lisa Ruthig, BS, CSAMT 

Director of Animal Programs, Anatomy and massage instructor.

After graduating from University of Delaware with a BS in Biology, Lisa worked in molecular biology and immunology laboratories for a number of years before following a meandering path to her career in animal massage.

A traumatic injury to her puppy, Fergus, led Lisa into the realm of complementary healing techniques. Attempts to treat his resulting structural problems and anxiety quickly led to a passion for working with all animals.

A graduate of Doggone U Small Animal Massage and Equine Massage Programs and a Level II Reiki practitioner, Lisa uses her scientific mindset, along with her natural affinity for the emotions of animals, to guide her in treating various behavioral problems, injuries, and movement disorders in small animals. She also works with agility dogs in between events to keep them in peak condition. A combination of massage and Reiki has been successful in improving behavioral issues stemming from anxiety. Learn more about Lisa at Lively Animal Massage.



Rebecca Therian, BS, CCMT, RMT


 Anatomy and massage instructor

Becky is a Certified Small Animal and Equine Massage Therapist (Doggone U), a Reiki Master Teacher (Balanced Essence), Professional Pet Dog Trainer (Connecticut K-9 Education Center) and a graduate of the University of Connecticut with a B.S. in Animal Science.  She has extensive experience working with a variety of different animals in many related fields - including veterinary, training and rehabilitation. 

Inspired by her beloved companions, Becky founded The Animal Touch and is dedicated to the well-being of the animals in her care.  Using Reiki energy therapy in conjunction with manual massage techniques, Becky strives to improve the physical condition and performance of her animal clients and relieve any stress or discomfort the animal may experience due to injury, disability or ageBecky also has a special interest in the behavioral effects of these healing modalities as she has observed the increase in overall health and vitality of the animal tends to coincide with the reduction of various behavioral problems and complaints. 

Becky operates her own business, The Animal Touch, and works in alliance with the New England Canine Rehabilitation and Fitness Center.  Together they provide service to CT and Western MA and offer a comprehensive rehabilitation and/or fitness plan specifically designed to meet the needs of each animal and support their individual path to wellness.Becky may be contacted through her website at www.theanimaltouch.com


Becky is passionate about her work and considers it one of her greatest interests.  Other interests include hiking with her dogs, gardening, writing and good conversation with family and friends.

Ilene H. Segal, DVM, CCRP

Dr. Segal is a 1987 graduate of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and the owner of Parkway Veterinary Hospital and Pet Rehabilitation in West Roxbury, MA where she practices as a veterinarian. She completed the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society Course in 2001 and has received her accreditation as a certified canine rehabilitation practitioner from the University of Tennessee in 2003. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture.

Dr. Segal is on the Advisory Board for the Small Animal Massage Certification Program. She also helped develop the canine anatomy course. Parkway Veterinary Hospital