Tag Archives: canine fitness

The pledge

With every New Year, I read about how people make resolutions – many of which despite the good intentions don’t last much longer than February. But I’ve been thinking a lot about the lifelong commitment we make to a dog, and of course the number of cases we see each year when people don’t fulfill that commitment.

If we could change the rules of pet ownership, I’d definitely support the case for licensing owners rather than the dogs.

If I could change one thing about my practice, it would be that I would see more dogs for canine fitness and well-being and less for rehabilitation. Rehab means that the dog has been injured in some way, and often when I do the health history as part of my intake process, I can see where the dog was probably going to have a problem and that the early warning signs were missed or ignored.

So here’s my best effort for the Dog Parent’s Pledge for 2021.

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

4 Paws Marathon – Covid edition

Today was the second annual 4 Paws Marathon. Thanks to Covid-19, this event was different than last year. Firstly, we were wearing masks which would have been unheard of a year ago.

Because of Alert Level 2 requirements, the race director was forced to cap entries at 100 people (and dogs) and to request that no spectators linger at the start/finish to manage the numbers attending. And social distancing was expected during the race briefings.

Even with all of those restrictions, it was still a great spring day and, alongside Rachel from Bodyworks Massage Therapy, we again offered couples massage: runner and dog.

We met runners who had just completed there first-ever marathons which made it extra special because their dog came too. And some people attended the first event last year and challenged themselves to go a longer distance. For example, one lady did the 10 kms last year and completed the 15 kms today.

I always aim to support dog-friendly events because our dogs are family – and we want to spend our free time with them. Plus this event helps me to promote canine fitness and wellness – the cornerstones of my practice.

My favourite photo of the day – great perspective from my massage table. The finish line is in the background.

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand