I adopted my English Pointer, Daisy, in 2003. She became my muse - as I managed her reactions to many foods and treats and she developed other health problems. At the time she joined me, I was 13 years into a career as an environmental scientist and I put my research skills to good use by finding ways to help her using natural and proven techniques.
I started selling her dog treat recipes in 2007 with the certification that all recipes were 'Daisy tested and approved.' Drawing on my science experience, I decided to pursue qualifications in natural health.
In 2009, I added canine therapeutic massage to the company practice after training in the United States with the Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupressure and Massage. I imported my cold laser system in 2010. I returned to the USA again in 2010 and 2014 to obtain additional massage certifications.
I chose to be an in-home care specialist because I can see the dog's living environment firsthand (rehab requires good management of the dog's activity), dogs are more comfortable at home, and owners are busy, too.
I am particularly passionate about incorporating Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approaches to health care and so my massage technique is TCM-based - using acupressure points. My behavioural training at Best Friends Animal Society (USA) has combined with my Fear Free certification training to enable me to deal with the behavioural challenges of dogs such as anxiety, trauma and the personality changes brought about because of pain.
I regularly maintain my networks in the USA. Professional development is very important to me. My professional development has included:
- Holistic Health for Animals, Christchurch (at the now-defunct Canterbury College of Natural Medicine) (2006)
- Pet Nutrition, Colorado State University, USA (2009)
- Giving Hearts Workshop, USA (2012)
- Volunteer internship at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital, Boston (2012)
- Pet Tech CPR/First Aid certification (2012)
- Overview to Traditional Chinese Medicine for Small Animals, USA (2013)
- Small Animal Meridian Theory, USA (2013)
- Foundation Skills for Working with Dogs, USA (2013)
- Canine Theriogenology for Dog Enthusiasts, USA (2013)
- Canine Health and Pathology, USA (2013)
- Animal Welfare and Behaviour, Edinburgh (2014)
- Small Animal Food Therapy, USA (2014)
- Using Foundation Skills to Develop Dog Handling Skills, USA (2015)
- Therapeutic Exercises workshop, USA (2015)
- Acupoint Classification, USA (2016)
- Advanced Massage for the Canine Athlete, USA (2016)
- Canine Trigger Point Therapy Protocols, USA (2016)
- Dog Emotion and Cognition, USA (2017)
- Fine-Tuning Your Dog Handling Skills, USA (2017)
- Canine Energetics & Landmark Anatomy, USA (2017)
- Fear Freesm Certified Professional, USA (2018)
- Volunteer, Kindness Ranch Animal Sanctuary, USA (2018)
- Noise Aversion Beyond Thunder & Fireworks, Zoetis online seminar (2018)
- Coaching the Canine Athlete, one-day seminar with M Christine Zink, DVM, in Christchurch (2019)
- Effects and Management of Chronic Pain, Fear Free Pets certification course (2019)
My affiliations include:
- Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce
- International Association of Animal Massage and Bodywork
I adhere to the IAAMB code of ethics.
My current dog is Izzy, an ex-racing greyhound. She often travels with me to appointments and loves to meet clients. She is also the demo-dog in massage workshops.