Category Archives: dog adoption

The Pet Effect

The Pet Effect is an educational campaign to raise awareness of the health benefits of pets and to encourage veterinary and other pet professionals to understand their role in promoting the benefits of the human-animal bond.

Needless to say, this is an issue very near and dear to my heart.

I am a passionate supporter of “Adopt, Don’t Shop” and, because of my work with dogs and owners as a canine massage therapist, I have the honored position of working with dogs and their owners as a team.  We often focus on quality of life for the dog.  In many cases, the quality of the dog’s life is a direct consequence of what is happening in their human family and vice-versa.

I really like the Pet Effect’s latest video – Adopt a Human – because it puts a different perspective on adoption.


Did your dog rescue you?

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

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Willa – Our Sweet Girl

Willa is a special dog.

An American Pit Bull x Boxer, Willa has breast cancer which has likely spread. She’s on medication, but with time being precious, it’s important to focus on quality of life.   Willa is a popular sleepover dog at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary – every precious sleepover adds to Willa’s quality of life and enrichment.  She really enjoys getting out of kennels, getting cuddles and having a good, deep sleep.

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Willa loves rides in the car

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A special tag for a special girl

I really enjoyed staying with Willa and seeing her sweet nature in person.  Let’s hope she gets a home soon.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Hank’s in-room massage

I love having sleepover dogs from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.  When Hank (a Mastiff cross) stayed with me, I gave him an in-room relaxation massage.

At first he wasn’t sure what to expect, but he soon got into it.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

The Great Global Greyhound Walk

The Great Global Greyhound Walk has become an annual event since 2014 to raise the profile of adoptable greyhounds.  (The event was started in 2010 as the Great British Greyhound Walk but interest soon went global.)

Groups from around the globe organize walks with their hounds to show them off to the public and to raise funds for greyhound adoption.

This year, the date is this Sunday – 11th June.  gggw-logo  If you follow the Walk’s website, there’s a searchable database to find the walk closest to you.

Check out the map while you are there – this event is truly global.

As Izzy is a greyhound and we volunteer for Greyhounds as Pets, you can guarantee that we will participate in our local walk in central Christchurch.

Interested in knowing more about bringing a greyhound into your life?  Why not come out on Sunday and meet lots of hounds and their owners.  Owners love to talk about their dogs and their enthusiasm is infectious.  Bring your spare change and make a donation, too, so more hounds can find a forever home.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

When a rescue champion retires…

I have just finished writing a column for NZ Dog World magazine about the issue of demographic change in the veterinary medicine sector.

And then in my Linkedin newsfeed pops up this article about a rescue group in Utah that is winding up.  It’s founder and stalwart is retiring after 13 years…

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Santa Clara City Councilwoman Mary Jo Hafen presents Linda Elwell with a bouquet of flowers in appreciation of her work with Friends of Ivins Animal Shelter, Santa Clara, Utah, May 31, 2017 | Photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News

…and the rescue group is ceasing its operations as a result.

Something that ‘experts’ warned for quite a few years is upon us – demographic change.  In the next 10 years, many Baby Boomers will be retiring.  They’ve done their bit and it’s time to slow down and enjoy life.

The problem is – the Gen X and Millennials that are living their lives have different pressures and priorities.  Gen X are dealing with aging parents, educating their children, and retaining full-time employment to pay for their own retirement.  Millennials have different priorities too.  They may have aspirations to buy a home in a rising housing market; they are integrally connected to technologies of all types, and they don’t ‘volunteer’ the way previous generations did.

Rescue groups and those involved in re-homing need to take heed.

Succession planning is important if your rescue group is to survive.  This means an honest look at business processes and how they relate to the current generations with disposal income and the ability to support your efforts.

Digital presence is a must; as is content curation – the provision of new and regular content.

It’s a real shame to see groups winding up; but there will probably be more who don’t survive the rapid change in their memberships.

Need help?  I’m an experienced not-for-profit and public sector manager as well as a canine massage therapist and entrepreneur.  I’d be happy to work with your group to facilitate the development of action plans for your future.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Mutual Rescue™

Mutual Rescue™ is a trademarked initiative of the Humane Society Silicon Valley.  Aimed at changing the way people think of animal welfare and adoption, each year the Society asks for submissions from people to share their story about a special connection they have made with an animal.

These stories of inspiration and transformation have come about because a person walked into an animal shelter and adopted a pet.

Four new videos will be released in early 2017 after over 400 stories were submitted for consideration.

Below is the first Mutual Rescue™ video released last year – the story of Eric & Peety.  I particularly love the way the drawings have been introduced to the film.

Please also note that Eric’s naturopathic doctor recommended a dog as a key part of his treatment for obesity…

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Season’s greetings

In 2012, I went to Best Friends in Kanab, Utah for the first time.  I was there to take a workshop and to volunteer my skills.  What I didn’t expect was to fall in love with a dog, Dumpling, in the Old Friends section of the Sanctuary.

Unfortunately, Best Friends has a policy about adopting dogs to overseas locations where quarantine is required (rightfully so, they feel their dogs have been through enough and the USA and Canada offer plenty of re-homing opportunities).  The situation was further complicated because Dumpling had heartworm and would require treatment.

She was my sleepover dog for several nights including my last night and then I returned her with a heavy heart.  I watched her status on the Best Friends website and had mixed feelings when the site confirmed that she had been adopted in December 2012 (and successfully treated for heartworm) – because I was heading back there again in 2013 and she would not be there.

But I did manage to check in with the Adoptions Coordinator when I arrived and asked if they would be willing to pass on my contact details to the adoptive family. And now each year around Christmas (Dumpling’s anniversary), I get an email from Dumpling’s Dad, Stuart, about her.  dumpling-sleeping

This year was my fourth update:

Kathleen, Good morning and Happy Holidays.  It’s time for our annual update on Dumpling.

Hard to believe it has been four years now since this sweet girl joined our family.   Given all her issues, we had no idea how long we would have her, but I am very happy to say she is showing little signs of slowing down.  She does have some minor medical issues but nothing that cause her any problems.

She still dances about when it’s time for her walk or when I get home from work.  Her energy level is still great.

Over the past year she has stopped getting up on most of the furniture.  The exception is the love seat in the bedroom which she claims early in the morning (3:00-4:00 AM) and will stay there until mom calls her for breakfast.  I don’t think it’s that she can’t get on the furniture, I just think she likes to be able to choose the bed she wants to sleep in depending on if she wants to be alone or with us.  There are 8 dog beds in the house & garage for two dogs.  Not like they’re spoiled or anything.

The Lab in her comes out anytime she is near water.  Get her close to any body of water and she walks right in.  Even the rain doesn’t bother her.  Her sister Callie will avoid the rain at all costs but Dumpling will go out and run around like any other day.  One new thing is she does like to be dried off now.  I think she likes the physical contact more than the drying.

I just wanted to check in and let you know she is doing great.  We consider ourselves very lucky to have her.

Please have a very Happy Holiday.

Warmest Regards,

Stuart

I hope Dumpling has another good year and there will be a 5th update in 2017.  Most of all, I am forever grateful that she found such a safe and happy home after many rough years.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand