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Thank you for taking the time not to rush Ruby

Ruby was a very special dog. She was only 12 months old when she had to endure the earthquakes which changed her for life. She became cautious and preferred not to leave home except to go to places of trust. Things became on her terms or she would hide out in her safe place under the table or in her kennel. This continued through out her life and we adjusted to her ways. Ruby’s “out “was exercise and running alongside of my bike, hunting possums and endless swims. When she injured CCL joint and exercise had to stop about a year ago, we called in Kathleen for massage and rehab work. Its was great that she offered an in-home service and was always on time and very professional and a genuine person. Kathleen understood Ruby and did not rush her and was very perceptive of Ruby’s signs and signals. Ruby played hard to get, and it took a lot of time, gentle persuasion and trust for Kathleen to be able to work on her. We could see the difference in Ruby after a couple of treatments and for her wellbeing continued to have Kathleen treat her right up until Ruby’s passing in November 2019. I am happy to say that Ruby did enjoy the sessions but was still playing hard to get! I cannot thank Kathleen enough for taking the time not to rush Ruby and respecting our wee girl’s idiosyncrasies and working on her to make her last year a happy and comfortable one.

Chrissy Bell
Henry the Newfoundland after his carers learned massage

Henry's in better form than he has been for a long time

Henry has lost about 8 kgs. We are happy to have our big boy not just back in good form but in better form that he has been in for a long time. We have worked out a system that he stays 2 weeks on each coast and while he is over in Christchurch, he gets hydrotherapy at the Dog Swim Spa. This routine has really helped with Henry's anxiety - he is much more settled and in much more silly form. His legs are quite stiff sometimes, although he is still taking the supplements daily. We have got to know some more dogs here in Hokitika and that has definitely helped him too. I cannot thank you enough for all your help and input.

Maeve Reamsbottom
Caesar from Christchurch Bull Breed Rescue

Rehabbed at our rescue centre

Caesar is a 2-year-old Neapolitan Mastiff Cross that came into the care of Christchurch Bull Breed Rescue and was diagnosed as having a ruptured cruciate. Kathleen started her rehabilitation work with Caesar once he was at the recovery stage from the surgery on his leg. Kathleen accommodated us by coming to the rescue every Saturday before our opening hours to work with Caesar; she developed an exercise plan that we could easily work with in a rescue environment with our limited resources. He learnt quickly to love the beep from the laser therapy machine, as he got a treat from Kathleen each time and would give her hand a bunt if she was taking too long delivering that treat. Kathleen changed the exercise programme as Caesar regained strength, the improvement each week became so visible towards the end of his rehabilitation. We would not hesitate to use Kathleen’s services again if the need arose & highly recommend her services.

Charlene Te Amo
Buster on the massage table

Great advice as well as taking care of our best mate

We got referred to Kathleen from our vet when Buster was starting to suffer from arthritis. We started him on a good regime of medicine for his aches and pains and some supplements. Kathleen came to our house and talked with us about what she thought she could assist us with for Buster. He was a bit hesitant at first and I had to stand next to him and help settle him while Kathleen did her thing. Over time Buster learned to settle and have a snooze up on the table. He knew when the session was coming to an end and he would get ready for his treats. Kathleen’s work with Buster and her advice on other things we could do to help him out made the last few years of his life more comfortable and gave him some extra time with us. He knew when he was due for a massage and when we told him that Kathleen was coming, we could see him perk up and we knew he was looking forward to his quality time. Over the years Kathleen gave us some great advice as well as taking care of our best mate. We are very thankful for the help Kathleen gave us with Buster and would recommend him to anyone that wants to do the best for their best friend.

Richard Shuker
Bear a young itchy dog helped by food therapy

The benefits have far exceeded my expectations

I stumbled upon an article about the Balanced Dog and gave Kathleen a call as our fur baby was suffering from allergies and we had no idea what or why. Kathleen has been working with my wee Cavoodle Bear for 10 months and it was the best thing we have done for him. Bear also gets a massage every 6 weeks and he absolutely loves it. There is a lot of excitement when he sees Kathleen as he knows the relaxing treat he is about to receive. Kathleen’s food knowledge and guidance has helped us all immensely. I can email Kathleen with any questions or queries that I have which is huge support. The benefits have far exceeded my expectations and her service is outstanding. For any owners that love their dogs I highly recommend Kathleen at The Balanced Dog.

Shannon Mackie
Zoe the greyhound

Our greyhound's movement improved immensely

Zoe, our retired greyhound, and I attended one of Kathleen’s massage workshops. During this workshop, it was noticed that Zoe was tender in her hind legs and there was a difference in muscle development on each thigh. She had trouble jumping into cars and onto things like beds, waiting instead to be lifted. Kathleen and I decided that some intense therapy was required. Kathleen came to our home and treated Zoe in her own surroundings a number of times. Zoe was immediately at ease and eventually would nearly nod off during sessions. Her movement improved immensely and soon we witnessed her ‘bunny jumping’ when on a ‘zoomie’. This is where the greyhound tucks its hind legs under and almost leaps with delight while running. After Kathleen’s treatment was the first time we had seen her to do this. She also began jumping onto beds and couches (!) and can now leap into the car with no difficulty. It was quite obvious the muscle tension holding her back had been eased. The sessions with Kathleen made all the difference and it is great to know our girl is now feeling comfortable. I wouldn’t hesitate to ask Kathleen to provide more treatment if Zoe ever required it.

Kirsty Mathieson
The Patel Wu family of Bernese Mountain Dogs

A very methodical, logical and holistic approach

Kathleen’s involvement with our dogs started with purchasing her delicious dog treats. It soon followed with massages on Helga to supplement acupuncture treatment. It did not take long before she started helping the rest of our pack, too. Our dogs are always excited to see her and look forward to every session. Most recently Kathleen has helped us work through our most challenging case yet – Lucy’s food allergies. She has a very methodical, logical, and holistic approach to her analyses. Kathleen has opened our eyes to the options available to us, in both analyses (including NutriScan) and dietary options. In terms of dietary options she has gone the extra distance in researching sources of kibbles and consulting with Canterbury Pet Foods in sourcing raw options. Lucy’s allergies have been one of our most difficult challenges yet, but Kathleen has made it so much more tolerable.

Kash Patel and Dany Wu
Coffee attended a dog massage workshop

I would not have discovered the lump if it wasn't for your class

Coffee and I came to your massage class last weekend and, when we were doing hands on, I noticed a golf-ball sized lump on her. I took her to the vet and they have operated and removed it, so just wanted to say thanks as would not have come across it if it wasn’t for your class.

Liz Blakeley
Kenny an elderly dog

Since getting massage, he has remained mobile and is no longer as stiff

Kenny is our 12-year old precious Blue Heeler/Bull Terrier cross. After being hit by a car when he was young and then suffering a stroke in 2011, his back gets very sore and his left side has become very weak. As the years have passed Kenny has found it more difficult to walk long distances and to fetch the Frisbee which he once did with ease. But, since getting his massages from Kathleen, Kenny has been able to remain mobile; he’s no longer as stiff, and he can even chase his beloved Frisbee every now and then. Kathleen’s visits are the highlight of his week and our entire family love having her visit. You only have to say the name ‘Kathleen’ and his face lights up. It’s so lovely to see our baby (who most of the time puts up a tough exterior), lie back on the massage table in absolute bliss while listening to classical music. Thank you for the genuine love and care that you give Kenny each and every visit.

Elesha and Jason Ennis
Bran a front leg amputee

Healing hands for our amputee

I have been bringing my 3 legged, 12-year-old Labrador, Bran, to Kathleen for a 6-weekly massage for three years now. Bran loves his visit to Kathleen. She eases all of his aches and pains and makes his life that much more comfortable. Kathleen is kind and caring towards Bran and myself. She is very knowledgeable in all areas of animal care, always quick to give advice and ideas on remedies and supplements to help. Kathleen is always willing to go the extra miles using her own time and resources to find additional information. I would highly recommend Kathleen and her healing hands to anyone who wanted to give their animal some relief.

Sue Hayes
Baxter a dog with a cruciate ligament tear

We've managed his cruciate ligament tear without surgery

Kathleen has been amazing working with Baxter after we chose a conservative approach to his ACL injury. Her visits are highly anticipated – Baxter waits by the front door whining with excitement. The regular massage and laser treatments have definitely helped with his recovery – he has made steady progress. Baxter is a bouncy Jack Russell cross who turns to ‘mush’ when Kathleen works on him. She is a wonderful communicator and great listener and is totally non-judgmental with great practical suggestions that work.

Vicki Eves
Abby a dog with many injuries and surgeries

I was desperate and she trusted your touch

Thank you for the tender care you gave to Abby before she passed. After watching her deteriorate so rapidly and undergo so many operations to fix her lameness and chronic pain, I have to confess that it was with some desperation that I contacted you originally, but now, my only regret is that I did not do it sooner! To watch our much-loved Abby who had suffered for so long, flop on your massage table, relax and trust your touch is something I will not only never forget but also will always be grateful for! She always greeted you at the door with a wagging tail (she rarely moved for most) and she was never hesitant as you lifted her onto the table! Your advice was given without any hidden agenda or personal gain and I have no doubt that she found relief in your work, something no one else had managed to do for her. You truly cared about her and it not only showed in Abby’s demeanour but also in your genuine sadness in her passing despite you only having lost your own dog, Daisy, just a week before. I will always be grateful for your care and cannot thank you enough.

Sue Stephens
Dixie an agility dog with a back injury

A huge transformation

Dixie is our five year old Wheaten Terrier. We were doing agility with Dixie but over time she was having trouble going over jumps. She had no problem with the first few but would then start knocking them down, eventually she wouldn’t jump at all…so we gave up, thinking she was just lazy. She became grumpy with our other dogs and would not play; her usual enthusiasm for the tricks she could do dwindled and walking became a chore for her, getting to the point of limping and lagging behind. It was now evident she was very sore somewhere. At this point we thought some massage therapy with Kathleen might help Dixie and what a huge transformation. She is now back to her old self, running around and playing with our other dogs, doing her tricks with great enthusiasm and loads more energy on her walks. My sister looks after our dogs when we travel and she commented last time how much nicer Dixie was, which we can only attribute to Kathleen’s weekly massages, although these have now progressed down to once monthly. Dixie certainly knows where she is going on massage nights and runs into the room with a ‘smile’ and leaves even more contented. Thank you Kathleen for your kind, caring hands that have helped our girl and Dixie says a special thank you for the treats!

Denise & Robert Balloch
Leroy the Border Collie

Excellent advice about all the little things

Thank you so much for the wonderful treatment that you gave Leroy and for your excellent advice regarding all the little things I could do to help him. Your kindness and support have been most appreciated. He was such a big part of our family.

Janine Johnson
Blackout an overweight and arthritic Labrador

Improvement within days and we never looked back

She was once a boisterous and energetic girl who couldn’t stay still, until old age and arthritis slowed her down. She also suffered food allergies, skin problems and was overweight from being unable to walk even a short distance. Before meeting Kathleen, she was stiff and sore and had lost all motivation, spending most of her time on her bed. Within days of her first treatment, we saw signs of improvement and since then have never looked back. She is full of beans, loves her daily walks which have now been extended to 1 km each day, and she’s even started running. Her massages can be challenging since she is always excitable after a two-hour drive to Christchurch, but Kathleen is patient and always finds ways to work with her. Thanks to Kathleen’s laser treatments, massage and dietary advice, Blackout has lost 8 kg so far and is looking the best she has in years. I’m so grateful to have met Kathleen and Blackout is running and jumping proof that her therapy works wonders!

Jodie Thwaite
Izzy a dog with elbow dysplasia

Great success for our dog with elbow dysplasia

Izzy is a two-year old Bull Mastiff who has elbow dyplasia. She has seen Kathleen four times now and we have had great success. Before the treatment, she was limping and after the first treatment plus dietary changes as advised by Kathleen, she is now walking limp free! She especially loves the soothing classical music that gets played to her whilst she gets massaged!! And as a bonus, I really enjoy Kathleen’s company for the hour too 🙂

Nicole Sangers
Blake the Beagle injured in a car accident

Recovery after being given a 50/50 chance of living

Blake won Reserve of Group today over at the West Coast shows. I have you and the vets to thank for his recovery from him having a 50/50 chance of living on 3 August 2013 after being hit by a 4×4…and I would love another order of your Liver Whips. My beagles LOVE them.

Gwen Hindmarsh
Meg hind end neurological deficit

A dog that didn't enjoy being handled made a connection with you

We would like to thank you for your kind and caring way with Meg, our 14-year old border collie, over these last few weeks prior to her sudden passing. Meg wasn’t a dog that enjoyed being handled by anyone or picked up, but she made a certain connection with you and accepted that you were helping her. We felt that the massages and laser therapy really helped her. Meg loved her walks, playing with her footie and having fun with the family even at her age. We would certainly recommend your massage services for our family and friend’s dogs and to others.

Lorraine and Graeme Raxworthy
Jaffa a dog with degenerative myelopathy

Increased mobility that made his final months more comfortable

I was recommended Kathleen by the Dog Swim Spa to help with maintaining his muscle tone and for relaxation. Jaffa loved her visits and was very relaxed with increased mobility after his session. Kathleen is just wonderful. She is extremely knowledgeable and recommended supplements that would assist Jaffa’s condition. Thank you Kathleen for helping make his final months more comfortable. We so love and miss him.

Hayley Powell
Basil had a lick granuloma and anxiety

Our vet sent us to Kathleen for a lick granuloma that wouldn't heal

Our vet recommended Kathleen, after having a very frustrating time healing Basil’s lick granuloma. The laser therapy combined with Kathleen’s holistic approach and suggestions with which to manage Basil’s lick granuloma and other symptom’s of anxiety have helped us in being able to better manage his condition (leaving us and Basil a lot happier). Kathleen is great with the very excitable Basil and also always has something new to recommend to supplement the laser treatment.

Charlene Lang
Hunter the German Shepherd with spinal surgery

A special connection with comprehensive knowledge

Hunter is our 9 year old German Shepherd x Border Collie. Six months ago Hunter was diagnosed with lumbosacral disease which was causing her serious discomfort and pain. Our vet recommend acupuncture, swimming at Dog Swim Spa and massage treatments with Kathleen. In November Hunter underwent major spinal surgery and Kathleen has been an important part of the recovery process. Hunter has weekly treatments which benefit her enormously. Kathleen has a very special connection with animals and has a comprehensive knowledge to support her practical work. Kathleen has been a great support to us all and we are very lucky to have met her. All dog lovers should contact Kathleen- your dog will love you for it!

Mala Frost
Bertie the Boxer with spondylosis

Our Boxer has benefited greatly from his sessions

Bertie gets very excited when he sees Kathleen and he loves his hour of massage. He flops down and goes into doggy heaven mode. Bertie has benefited greatly from his sessions with Kathleen and she has been a source of information to help and keep Bertie in the best condition he can be. He loves his treats, too.

Julie Robins

An essential part of our Labrador's ongoing rehabilitation from spinal surgery

Kathleen has worked with my labrador Jet on a regular basis for several months and is an essential part of his ongoing rehabilitation after spinal surgery for a slipped disk (2008) and bilateral hip replacement to treat his arthritis (2009 & 2010). Jet is now 14 and still very active both on his walks and swimming at Dog Swim Spa. He loves his weekly massage and afterward I notice that his movement has freed up and he is wonderfully relaxed. I call Kathleen ‘the dog whisperer’ because Jet is so excited to see her and tells her all about his week. I love watching them together and feel very fortunate that Kathleen’s services are available in Christchurch.

Jane Newman
Sophie an arthritic dog

We were able to resume our daily walks around the park

Sophie was always an old girl, but she was very active. I always thought of her as part Labrador, part mountain goat. We spent many hours together in the weekends enjoying bush walks and beaches. When arthritis took away her ability to run up and down hills and jump onto precarious look-outs, it was very sad. She had got to a point where she couldn’t even complete a walk around our local park. When my vet suggested alternate therapies to ease Sophie’s joints I was all for it. She seemed to really benefit from a mix of therapeutic massage form Kathleen and hydrotherapy. Sophie enjoyed the sessions with Kathleen, often becoming so excited she would start barking; although it’s possible she was excited about the little home-made treat she would get at the end of the session. Having had sports massage myself to help with my own joint problems I know that massages helped to keep Sophie moving freely. It was obvious in the fact our daily walks around the park had resumed and she needed no assistance to make it home. I am very grateful to Kathleen for the fantastic treatment Sophie received and for her amazing patience when dealing with my house full of energetic dogs. She was an important part of Sophie’s treatment and if I ever again have a dog with joint or muscle problems, I will be calling Kathleen.

Raewyn Crosbie
Lucky an overweight dog with arthritis

Improvement with arthritis and mobility

Our Staffy cross Lucky has grown in stature over the years and is now having mobility problems due to excess weight and arthritis. Kathleen has recommended a course of action with his diet and her massage and laser have seen an improvement with his arthritis and mobility. I recommend Kathleen to anyone with a dog with joint or mobility problems and have done so to several of our clients through our pool.

June Blackwood
Renee the Newfoundland had spinal problems

Pain free and showing good improvement

Renee is a 12-year-old Newfoundland who started having spinal problems which affected her back leg. Since Kathleen has been giving her massage therapy, Renee is now pain-free and has shown good improvement. Kathleen is very professional and has a great affinity for animals.

Denise North
Olliver the Dalmatian in a quad mobility cart

A critical part of Olliver's recovery and rehabilitation

Olliver is a senior dog with arthritis, we starting having massage treatments over a year ago to help improve his circulation, mobility and overall well-being. Last July, he suddenly lost the ability to walk and veterinarians haven’t been able to diagnose a cause. Olliver is trying hard to walk again, aided by his wheelchair and the expert efforts of people such as Kathleen. Massage has now become an essential and critical part of Olliver’s recovery and rehabilitation.

Guy Holdsworth

Thoughtful about engaging with an unwell dog

It’s been great to have Kathleen come around weekly and work with Charlie-Pete. She was thoughtful about engaging with an unwell dog.

Maggie-Lee Huckabee
Golden Retrievers Bailey and Neisha

A great source of knowledge and support for both our dogs

We were referred to Kathleen by Elesha in late 2016 as Bailey had just been diagnosed with arthritis. It was great to get therapy rather than pain killers to assist Bailey along with a great strengthening programme. Our younger dog, Neisha, also started having relaxation massages. Bailey and Neisha loved the sessions with Kathleen. When Bailey was diagnosed with cancer in 2018, Kathleen was a great source of knowledge and assisted with keeping Bailey comfortable. Bailey loved meeting Kathleen at the front door with his blue toy. Bailey passed away in June 2018. Keeping up the massages for Neisha was a great comfort to her as she was missing Bailey. Now as Neisha has slight arthritis, Kathleen has given her a programme to strengthen her shoulders. Neisha loves her monthly visits from Kathleen. We can’t thank Kathleen enough for all the information and support she has given us during the time Bailey and Neisha have been seeing her.

Craig and Louise Stephens
Mouse the greyhound

Caring and professional with our reserved greyhound

We met Kathleen when she and her greyhound Izzy did our Greyhounds As Pets homecheck in 2016. Shortly after we had our own greyhound, Mouse. Kathleen has been a source is well-researched knowledge ever since. She is caring and professional and works wonderfully with our reserved boy. We have attended Kathleen’s massage and stretching class and Mouse benefits from regular massages and stretches, which really helps support his ex-racer greyhound body and long limbs. I also attended Kathleen’s cooking for dogs class where I learned a lot about healthy dog eating and, aftrer I tweaked Mouse’s eating, he quite immediately stopped popping off very smelly farts. Mouse has massages and laser treatment from Kathleen from time to time as he has a very long neck which is a weak spot for strains. Kathleen is my ‘go to’ for advice about dog health and well-being. Her practical, straight forward approach, together with her well-researched knowledge and wisdom and her love of dogs will make her an invaluable member of your doggy health team.

Adrienne Sykes

Improvement after only 2 sessions

Twelve years ago I was fortunate enough to have an eight week old Black Labrador puppy enter my life who I named Blue. Being rather active and enjoying the outdoors myself, Blue has accompanied me on hundreds of adventures and if we’re not away out of town somewhere, we will often be out in Christchurch’s Port Hills, almost on a daily basis. Blue's body (in the same way mine has) has taken a number of knocks and tumbles over the years and has progressively slowed down, but unlike me, he has given very little indication of how uncomfortable he has become. While sourcing myself a sports massage one day I came across an advert for Kathleen’s “Fear Free” dog care service and feeling that Blue deserved it as much as I do, I gave her a call. I personally put a lot of effort into my own professional career and expect nothing less of services that I’m paying for, so was very impressed by Kathleen’s promptness, enthusiasm and attention to detail. What impressed me most though, was the rapid improvement in Blue, after only 2 massages it seemed like he was 3 years younger, I was truly amazed and also a bit disappointed in myself that I hadn’t actually noticed how much he had slowed down until Kathleen started working with him. I describe it like a pair of glasses, you don’t notice how bad they get over time until you look through a new pair! Like any dog owner, I get great pleasure out of seeing my dog happy and enjoying life and I definitely get to see this every time Blue greets Kathleen at the door, he truly loves Kathleen and her massages. Over the last 2 years I have learnt that Kathleen is very passionate about dogs and their well-being, Kathleen has a wealth of knowledge and I always feel free to quiz her on anything regarding Blue's lifestyle so he can get the most from life. Blue is now 12 years old and I will continue to use Kathleen’s services for as long as he’s alive and no doubt any future dogs that I care for which makes it very easy for me to recommend Kathleen to any fellow dog lover.

Craig Prattley

Louie loves his sessions!

He will continue to have palliative care from Kathleen because I feel her skills and knowledge are helping him stay with us for longer.

Mary Bamford