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ACUPUNCTURE PROVIDES RELIEF FOR AILING FOUR-FOOTED CLIENTELE

Is Fido feeling feeble? Morris miserable? Conventional cures can't correct it?

Take your suffering pet to the acupuncture vet.After spending 120 hours in Florida learning the 3,000-year-old Chinese art of acupuncture, Ellen Paul has brought her skills back to Urbana to improve the health of ailing dogs and cats.

Take Divot, for example - a dog with more than the usual canine aversion to cats. She's allergic to them, and when her skin itches, she tugs at it with her teeth, leaving scabs behind.

For the cure, Divot stood atop a table, her paws sliding on stainless steel while Paul stuck needles in the dog's hide and spun them.

"This is the worst part," said Paul. "Once the needles are in, they get bored and want to leave."

Divot, who started treatments early this month, was calmer when she returned for her second round of treatments last week, said her owner, Bob Heister.

"She doesn't seem to be biting herself as much," Heister said. "It seems to work."

Acupuncture is not a cure-all, Paul said. "But it does a good job for the things it is indicated for and is better than some medication," she said.