As a child I was fascinated by how things work. I loved biology and in particular animal and human behaviour. I knew I would always work with people or animals and I am pleased to say I have managed both.
In 1990, I gained my ITEC human massage qualification and went onto run a successful massage service for the staff of hospitals in and around Norwich.
Throughout my adult life, there’s always been at least one dog in residence; currently there are three – Sparky, Sasha and Tula.
Seven years ago I took up dog agility; it’s good exercise and a great way to have fun with your dog. During one particular training session however, Sparky appeared to have a stiff neck so I massaged his neck to relieve his taught neck muscles. Thankfully the massage worked and Sparky rewarded me with a huge grin. You know, the sort that we dog owners love to see, ‘ear to ear’.
This event opened up my eyes to the possibility of using my massage skills to help dogs as well as people, and in 2010 I started Canine Remedial Massage training with ICAT (Institute of Complementary Animal Therapies), qualifying with distinction in May 2012.
My first client proper was Spoofy, an 11 year old Great Dane. As her owner says, "Weekly massages have totally transformed Spoofy. I hadn't realised the reason she no longer wagged her tail or stretched her neck was due to stiffness in her spine and legs! Despite her advanced years she's now a much happier and more active Dane..."
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As for my dogs they are middle aged now, but still active participants in agility, and I continue to provide them with regular massages to enable them to stay active for longer.