Through much of my life, I worked full-time as a nuclear medicine technologist in a hospital and later as a nuclear cardiology technologist. As fulfilling as this work was, my love and passion for animals stimulated me to seek out ways to work with and interact with canines.
I began assisting with obedience and agility classes and co-taught therapy dog classes at our local dog training club in Salem, VA. My husband and I volunteered at our local shelter and with our Pet Partner therapy dogs visited nursing homes and hospitals, participated in a children's reading program, did in-home hospice visits, puppy sat for service dogs in training, and became certified in pet CPR and first aid.
After our move to Brunswick County in 2014, I began exploring careers in which I could combine my love of medicine and canines. After considerable research, I chose to pursue a career as a canine massage therapist.
As a competitor in dog agility, I had seen first-hand the benefits of canine massage in helping dogs maintain fitness and top performance. I also witnessed the reduction of stress in our own therapy dogs after receiving a massage.
I selected the Chicago School of Canine Massage in Chicago, Illinois for my training. Their 200-hour comprehensive program provides on-site learning experiences not only in the classroom but also in a rehabilitation center, a dog training facility, and an animal shelter. The program offered education in canine anatomy and structure, physiology, kinesiology, canine behavior, gait observation, and basic and advanced Swedish canine massage techniques. My training also included working with special canine populations (such as puppies, older dogs, touch-reactive dogs, shelter and rescue dogs, dogs in rehabilitation, and end-of-life care).