I have owned and been around dogs my whole life. As a child, I never played with dolls. It was always stuffed animals, my favorite being a scraggly blue dog with yellow ears named “Fluffy”. We always had dogs growing up . . . a standard poodle named Pepe, and then a loveable mutt named Mac, who was part of my life for 18 years.
My first two dogs of my own were golden retrievers: Shelby, who I got as a puppy and Gizmo who was five years old when we rescued him and gave him a good home. They both worked as therapy dogs at a seniors’ nursing home for many years. It was during this time that I really understood what a special connection dogs have with people. Even some of the least communicative residents would smile as soon as Shelby and Giz entered a room. Residents would sit and pet the dogs for hours, reminiscing about the pets they once had. It was then that I decided to have a career working with and helping dogs.
After seeing a documentary on canine hydrotherapy, I knew this was the particular path I wanted to follow. I took a course in canine hydrotherapy with my best friend, Lianne, who is as passionate about dogs as I am. After a comprehensive course of theory and an internship working directly with dogs in the pool, we became certified hydrotherapists. The course was taught by Alex Debolt, at the Ottawa Canine Rehabilitation and Aquatics Center.
Plans were in the works to open our own hydrotherapy business when fate would have it that the Ottawa Canine Rehabilitation and Aquatics Center came up for sale. We decided to go ahead and purchase the existing business, renaming it Canine Water Wellness Ltd., and we haven’t looked back since. Working every day with dogs and seeing such positive results from warm water swim therapy is an amazing and rewarding career.
I come from a family of dog lovers. Often the number of dogs out-numbered the people who sat around our family dining room table. All animals, but particularly dogs, have been a preoccupation of mine while growing up. As a young child, I studied all the various dog breeds instead of reading the fiction books that my sisters were reading. My love for dogs has continued to be a mainstay in my adult life.
Even though I worked in high tech for many years prior to owning Canine Water Wellness, I have studied and worked with dogs continuously. I am fully trained as a Canine Hydrotherapist, an Animal Care Aid worker and a Dog Groomer.
Currently, I’m in the process of gaining certification in Canine Massage and also studying to obtain the Usui-Tibetan Reiki Master level and TTouch Practitioner status. As a committed student of other types of energy healing for animals, my aim is to incorporate these modalities into my work at Canine Water Wellness.