Meet the team
our qualified experts
Hello, and welcome to “Canine Therapies”. My name is Anne and I have owned a dedicated pool for swimming dogs since 1992. Based in Preston, Lancashire, I had the pool built after one of my own dogs ruptured his cruciate ligament. I was in the fortunate position of having an out-building large enough for my new venture, and back in those days it was almost impossible to find a dog pool suiting the needs of a fairly large injured animal.
When the pool was first built there was little advice available about designing something ideal for dogs, so over the years many improvements and modifications have been made to create the facility to the standard it is today. I keep thinking we have got it just right, and then come up with another idea and development! However, it works for me, and it works for a lot of dogs. For anyone starting their own hydrotherapy business I can advise them about how not to waste money, but get things right from the beginning.
It is still the largest canine pool in Lancashire, and with our new water treadmill and a great team of qualified staff we have one of the best canine hydrotherapy facilities in the North West.
Owner of Canine Therapies
I have had Labradors ever since I had a place of my own, my first being from a litter bred by my sister. Apart from the dogs who live here at Teazledown with me I have joint ownership of my sister’s dogs. We think that having joint responsibility gives the dogs added protection and security, should either of us become unable to look after them, for whatever reason. So in theory I own several dogs! All my immediate family members are involved in dog-related things including showing, agility, and training. For many years I have supported animal rescue organisations, both by fund-raising and also in practical ways by offering therapeutic treatments for some of the rescued dogs in need.
My original training was as a specialist PE teacher which, as well as practical sports, included mechanics of movement, physiology and anatomy, and a second teaching subject of biology, all of which have provided a solid background in understanding complementary therapies.
I started showing my first Labrador in 1981 and success in the show ring led to an interest in judging and analyzing gait patterns. I took an Open University degree, gaining a BA rather than a BSc despite almost all the modules being in the area of science, because at the time it was all the O.U. offered.
In 2007-8 I undertook a Diploma course in Canine Massage and was delighted to earn a Distinction at each of the 3 levels. Again, it was initially for the benefit of my own dogs but it has gradually become an integral part of the therapies we can offer at Canine Therapies.
I took on additional qualified staff when it became clear I could not manage the pool on my own, and their enthusiasm encouraged me to further my own training (and theirs) by pursuing additional courses including that of Hydrotherapy for Small Animals. As a registered training centre we can now offer the same course to other students, putting great emphasis on the practical skills and knowledge they need in order to run a centre of their own with confidence.
I have lived with a variety of dogs all my life and at the age of 13 I was allowed to choose one for myself. I fell in love with Bichons (although sometimes I have regretted all the grooming they entail, particularly as I show them!) I now have a house-full ranging from 10 years down to my young puppy and also a couple of Xoloitzcuintle (Mexican Hairless).
I have helped out at Canine Therapies for a number of years and have swum my own dogs in order to keep them in peak fitness for the show and agility ring. It has certainly made a difference, as can be seen in the many judges’ critiques which almost always mention the excellent movement from well-toned muscle in such small breeds.
I have been training my dogs in Agility for several years and really enjoy competing with them. I have to train my dogs in different ways to meet their different characters and methods of learning. I have also shown all my dogs over the years, and regularly qualified for Crufts.
Being made redundant from my previous job allowed me to fulfill a dream and work with dogs full time. I qualified as Canine Hydrotherapist in September 2012 and further my knowledge each year with various CPD courses.
I have worked with animals since I was 13 years old, everything from being a kennel girl and having work experience on a dairy farm, to a veterinary receptionist.
I completed my first degree with 2:1 honors in Bioveterinary Science at the University of Liverpool. Following on from this I completed a post graduate qualification in Veterinary Physiotherapy, and furthered this by studying for the BSc(Hons) in Human Physiotherapy at Salford University. As a result of these qualifications I am registered as a Chartered Physiotherapist with the HCPC and CSP, and as a Veterinary Physiotherapist with RAMP and IRVAP. These latter two organisations are recognised by the majority of pet insurance companies.
Which brings me to now – I work full time as a human physiotherapist in Lancaster, and continue to treat dogs in evenings and weekends. I am qualified to prescribe hydrotherapy, and so working with Canine Therapies is an ideal partnership. Physio and hydro helps with many different conditions, ranging from mild cruciate strains to total paralysis from spinal problems.
I have 2 energetic dogs of my own, a Labrador x Poodle, and a rescued Golden Retriever.
I wanted to work with animals since childhood, so my first step after leaving school was to take a National Diploma in Animal Studies. I worked in kennel staff positions in show and breeding kennels with “Redwitch” Japanese Akitas and “Teazledown” Labradors, where I had my first introduction to canine hydrotherapy. In the 1990’s the canine hydrotherapy sector was in its infancy, so it was a unique opportunity to gain experience of it while the industry was so new and innovative. I went on to work for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, before joining the Animal Studies department at Myerscough College, where I remained for the next 18 years.
I obtained further qualifications, including a Foundation Degree in Animal Welfare with nursing options, followed by a BSc in Animal Behaviour and Welfare. When the College installed a hydrotherapy treadmill in 2004 I was tasked with setting up and managing this resource as a regular part of my weekly workload. I completed the ABC Level 3 Hydrotherapy qualification, and working alongside a qualified ACPAT physiotherapist gave me a good foundation and understanding of canine rehabilitation.
The opportunity to return to Canine Therapies was too good to resist, initially taking on a part-time role, and then, as its recognition as a Training Provider was established, it enabled me to play a more active role in the provision for students in hydrotherapy.
My spare time involves competing and racing my two canine companions who are non-pedigree racing whippets. My bitch, “Vet.Ch. Mollie Mayhem” is the 2017 Veteran Champion within her British Whippet Racing Association weight category, and she also holds the Scottish Derby Veteran Title.
I have always had pets since being a small girl, owning a range of them, from stick insects, to rabbits and guinea pigs, dogs and cats.
After leaving school I studied a Btec level 3 in health and social care, but then decided I wanted to explore the world of animals in more detail at university. Part of my FdSc in the Welfare of Animals (healthcare management) included veterinary nursing techniques, with a work placement. I was able to do the placement at Canine Therapies and they haven’t been able to get rid of me since!
During my free time, I am a keen baker (including cakes for dogs) and love spending time in the gym. I am also a fundraising volunteer for Guide Dogs. At the moment I own a rescue dog called Barney who joined us in 2012, and a cat named Nala.