I have been a dog person all of my life. Growing up in the USA, a few of our first school reading books were ‘Dick and Jane’ stories. Dick had a dog; Jane a cat.
I always wondered why Jane couldn’t have the dog…
Fast forward a few decades and several dogs later (I got my first dog at aged 10, when my parents thought I was old enough to take on the responsibility)….
I adopted my English Pointer, Daisy, in 2003 and she reacted badly to many commercial foods and treats. And in learning to manage her health conditions, I not only made my own recipes for her treats, but I started researching natural health for animals – my science and research skills came in handy to do this. (I am a geologist by training and worked full-time in the environmental science industry for a solid 24 years).
By 2007, I decided to go into business and we started selling made-to-order dog treats that were ‘Daisy tested and approved.’ However, I wanted to do more than bake treats and, drawing on my background as an environmental scientist, I decided to pursue qualifications in natural health for dogs.
In 2009, I added canine therapeutic massage to the company practice. Around this time, I also started writing for a New Zealand based pet website. Unfortunately, the site didn’t last for too long and so I decided that I could still write (and more frequently) by going solo and established this blog in 2010.
Each year, I undertake at least one activity for professional development but I am probably most proud of my Fear Free certification attained in 2018. I’ve done a lot of behavioral training including at the famous Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. I became the first Fear Free certified massage and rehab practitioner in New Zealand, as an ongoing commitment to my clients to work with their sometimes painful and uncomfortable dogs without causing additional stress.
In 2021, I was proud to be selected by accounting software company, Xero, to feature in one of their customer stories. This video includes actual customers (human and dog) of my practice and my greyhound, Izzy.
I hope you enjoy this blog about everything dog. Feel free to comment and contribute and you can reach me through my website at The Balanced Dog.