I wanted to be a veterinarian since I was old enough to say " animal doctor." I gave my favorite blanket to my brother's pet rabbit so Angel could stay warm spending the winter in our garage. I spent my time studying and reading about animals and especially dogs. My mother was severely allergic so we couldn't have pets in the house. I begged. I pleaded. I read. I studied. I left messages in unusual spots asking for permission to get a dog. My parents finally conceded. It was my best Christmas present that year - their consent to get a dog. That spring I got pick of the litter!
Fast forward. I spent fourteen years in general practice after I graduated from Purdue University's veterinary school and moved to Phoenix. I treated a variety of medical conditions, but I found that during those fourteen years the cases I really got excited about were the limping dogs, the overweight dogs, the arthritic dogs, the dogs with bad backs and sore necks and torn ligaments. I felt like these were the dogs I could really help. When I first graduated from vet school I didn't even know that physical rehab was available for dogs. That field was just being created around that time and I was just getting started in my career. After a while in general practice, I slowed down to start my family, switched to part-time to raise my little ones. When I returned to fulltime work, I decided to go ahead and follow my passion. I returned to school to get certified in canine rehab. I loved it! The timing was right and so I took the plunge to do canine rehab exclusively.
Now I train dogs to engage their core muscles (they think they are just trying to get a treat though). I instruct their parents on how to feed their dogs healthier to support muscle growth. I teach their parents how to do exercises at home that will help their dogs be more functional, prevent falls, or return them to their prior activities. I help improve their level of physical fitness and reinforce the bond they have with their pet parents. I improve their balance and coordination which in turn increases their confidence. I help dogs move better and feel better. And that makes me feel better too!