"Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened"
I am so lucky to have a career I am passionate about, I qualified as a Galen Canine Myotherapist in 2015 and haven’t looked back. I now work in the Norfolk Community delivering treatments and workshops.
So, where did it all start? Many years ago I rescued an ex-racing greyhound called David, David always enjoyed his walks but in 2012 aged 7 he didn’t want to go anymore, he was in so much pain that he was struggling to walk. Arthritis was diagnosed and he was prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs to manage the pain. By 2013 the medication was increasing and having a negative effect on his wellbeing, making him very lethargic, he wasn’t the same happy, ‘spirited’ (perhaps a bit too much at times!) dog he once was. One day I looked at him with his neck hunched over and pinched face I just thought, do you know what this dog needs a massage, I have back issues myself and have a regular massage, I know I would be in pain without it.
I researched dog massage therapists and found a Galen Therapy Centre, I booked myself onto the ‘Introduction To Canine Massage workshop’ with Julia Robertson. She was so inspiring, from that moment on I was hooked. I was then put in touch with Nicky Wrerford my local therapist near Newmarket. She was amazing and between me doing techniques at home and 3 treatments with Nicky David was back to his old-self, I really could not believe the change. She advised he had lots of muscle tension in his neck and lots of spinal sensitivity which she relieved, quite often the effects of arthritis or ‘compensation issues’ are more painful than the arthritis itself. I couldn’t help but wonder how many other dogs have to put up with the effects of arthritis and other conditions and are only medicated to mask the pain and not treat it, so I decided to train so I could help as many dogs as possible.
The last five years, coupled with raising a new born daughter, have been hard work, but very rewarding. The Galen Canine Myotherapy diploma was so rewarding, I completed two years of anatomy and physiology study, practical training and assessments including one by a veterinary surgeon. I then went on to start my own business in Norfolk delivering treatments, workshop and working closely with various charities on a voluntary basis
David went on to live until he was 13, he lived a full and happy life to the end, he still used to walk around like a 5 year old with no medication at all. His pain was managed through therapy and diet and I used to get such a buzz when I saw him having a mad five minutes – something I thought I would never see again.
Since qualifying I started my own business ‘Canine Massage and Laser Norfolk’, this has gone from strength to strength and I now run a clinic from Ruffs Hydrotherapy and Rehabilitation in Great Yarmouth in addition to my local home visits in and around Norwich. I have had the pleasure of treating some wonderful dogs and had some brilliant results making all the hard work worthwhile; I am so thankful to David for coming into my life and giving me and other dogs this wonderful gift.