Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened. – Anatole France
Hello and welcome to the Silver Muzzles Club – your resource for all things related to caring for your senior pets!
Hi Everyone! I’m Vonni – professional Canine Water Therapist, Animal Massage Therapist, owner of “Doggone Day Spaw,” wife of One Wonderful Husband, and Proud Pet Parent Extraordinaire! We are currently owned by three cats (Bear, Chloe, and Holmes), and one very special chocolate labrador (Larry).
FYI – Larry and Holmes are best friends, and they do everything together!
Born and raised in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, I love everything related to animals (especially senior dogs and their care), and consider myself a perpetual student. Growing up I dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, and having a career that would allow me to be around animals everyday. To this day, my mom still refers to me as her “Little Snow White”. But as I got older, and closer to going into college, it became more and more difficult to accept that I would need to provide euthanasia on a regular basis, and I didn’t think my heart could handle it.
So what did I do? I attended the University of Washington and earned a degree in Business Administration (Marketing, Human Resources, and International Trade). Now you’re asking, “Did I read that right?” Yep – you sure did! I spent more than ten years pursuing a career that didn’t make me happy and was not fulfilling in the slightest. Have any of you done that?
CREATING A LIFE I LOVE…
Then, in 2004, my beloved dog, C.J. changed the entire direction of my life. He was my first dog, as I had only had cats up to the day my husband and I adopted him from PAWS. They estimated his age at about five years, and we had him for ten more, so we guess he lived to be 15!
The last few years of his life, C.J. developed a great deal of pain due to sever Osteoarthritis, especially at his hocks (“ankles”). Our walks got shorter, and playtimes were much less vigorous. He had such a hard time getting up from a sitting or laying position. But his mind was still all there, and if he wasn’t giving up, I wasn’t either.
I began doing extensive research into ways I could help support his physical needs – supplements, acupuncture, homeopathy, laser treatments, animal massage. These were all wonderful tools for pain management, but none of them seemed to do much to actually strengthen C.J.’s weakening hind end. And then I found CANINE WATER THERAPY…
As you can see from the look on his face in this picture, C.J. had instant (and lasting) relief from his arthritis pain. Not only that, but after just a couple of sessions, it was easier for him to get up, go for walks, climb the stairs – all the things that we take for granted. I began to notice that he was less painful for several days after a canine water therapy session (more on that later)! I’m absolutely convinced that using this modality with him, and training to be a canine water therapist myself gave us an extra two years with this special boy!
And so, the Silver Muzzles Club was born!