Quite simply I have always been obsessed with animals. I had my first cat when I was 4, followed by a variety of rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, and more cats! My first dog came in the form of a black and white English Cocker Spaniel called Buster in 1987. He was quickly followed by 7 Welsh Springer Spaniels, 3 Italian Spinones, and a Basset Griffon, all of which were shown and worked. My grandparents had German Shepherds.
At the age of 8 I also fell in love with horses, eventually studying at Hartpury College in my late teens gaining my FDES and NDES diplomas. After leaving college I worked at a variety of yards around the country, including a hydrotherapy unit for race horses and show jumpers. It was during my ownership of my first horse, Po, that I came across Tellington TTouch. Po was diagnosed with Equine Gastric Ulcers, and I looked for a way to ease some pretty anxious and stressful behavior they left her with. With the help of a TTouch TEAM Practitioner I restored my horse to her once relaxed and happy temperament. I was hooked!
After giving up my horses in 2012, I nagged my husband to let me have a dog to fill the void. He eventually relented and after a lot of research Ron the British Bulldog came to stay. Ron and I went to the local reward based- force free canine training company and attended pretty much every class they had to offer from puppy classes to helpful hounds, where Ron learned to close doors and switch lights on/off. My passion for dogs kept growing and I kept feeling the pull towards TTouch. In 2015 I enrolled on the Tellington TTouch Training & Behaviour Companion Animal 3 year Practitioner program recently qualifying as a P1, and have been lucky enough to have been taught by Sarah Fisher, Robyn Hood and Lucie LeClerc. As my skill set grew I was asked to consult on a Reactive Dogs Course, using TTouch combined with force free techniques to rehabilitate dogs and give their owners the skills they need to help their dog through some difficult situations. All About the Dog – Therapy was founded in September 2016 and I now offer 1-2-1 Companion Animal TTouch sessions, workshops & talks across the country and Europe as well as specialist dog walking around my local area of Tewkesbury.
All about the future
In July 2018 I qualified with Distinction as a Canine Massage & Rehabilitation Therapist through The Institute of Complimentary Animal Therapists (ICAT) in Devon, a 2 year level 4 diploma (1st Year Degree equivalent). This course consists of 12 Units including gaining extensive knowledge of anatomy & physiology, musculoskeletal conditions & current laws and legislation’s which totaled over 400 GLH (Guided Learning Hours) and 47 credits at Level 4. I was also required to complete over 48 practical case studies before taking a final practical and 3 hr written exam. Animal Health and Welfare is at the very heart of ICAT’s ethics.
At the end of April I flew out to Ibiza to present 2 TTouch workshops, they very first of its kind out there and am already planning a return trip to share my knowledge of Canine Musculoskeletal Therapy. I also co founded the Ibiza Canine Collective (ICC) alongside Dressed to the Canines – Ibiza owner Victoria Taylor and Muddy Mutley’s owner Clare Grierson, where we offer free advice on all things canine to the residents of the island.
In October 2018 I started a new journey into Botanical Self-healing for dogs (also known as applied zoopharmacognosy), and will be trained by the fabulous Rachel Windsor-Knott and hope to qualify as a practitioner by October 2019.
I am constantly looking to expand my knowledge so I can give nothing but the best to my clients so as of February 2019 I am now also studying a level 5 diploma (2nd year degree) in canine behaviour with the International School of Canine Psychology & Behaviour (ISCP).
I am a member of the TTouch Guild, ACAT (Association of Complimentary Animal Therapists), ICAN, The Pet Professional Network and am fully insured for all practices through Balens and Protectivity, DBS checked and hold human and canine first responder qualifications, so you can be happy knowing your dog really is safe in my hands.