Name: Theresa Wells
Location: I am located in The Villages which is in Central Florida and have been living in
this beautiful state for over two decades.
Certifications Through Angel's Animals? I received two certifications in Canine Myo-manipulative Functional Therapy (CMFT) and Animal Cold Laser Therapy (ACLT) from Angel’s Animals. I owned a business that makes homemade treats for the dogs and wanted to explore something different that I would enjoy. This happened at the beginning of the pandemic and I was studying to be Canine Specialist (Breeds, Behavior, Grooming, Nutrigenomics, and Training). I also have done the massage for my retired guide dog, Kartie for over 6 years. I thought I need to know the details because I did not know what the strokes and techniques were all about. I explored online looking for virtual courses in canine massage and found Angel’s Animals. The best part is that it is based in Florida.
What animal influenced you the most growing up? Dogs of various breeds and Russian Blue cats influenced me the most, and they were the best thing that ever happened to me while growing up. The dogs, Odin and Spike, were the wonderful protectors. They knew I have no hearing and would alert me if they heard anything that I couldn’t hear. The cats, Rocky and Raspy, loved to sleep with me and often comforted me when I was emotional. I also grew up having a mouse, birds, fishes (in tank), and a turtle. I feel like I am still growing up and still have the love for wild animals. I have a great relationship with wild animals such as getting to feed lemurs and giraffes. I even held 3-foot-long alligators and a python. Some animals felt comfortable to greet me in person and let me pet them. A beautiful camel gave me a big kiss a few years ago.
What animals do you currently own? Kartie, a Black Goldador (Golden x Labrador Retriever Mix), is the only pet I have at this moment and I am waiting to be matched with Kartie’s successor guide dog that may transpire later this year or next. It will be my first time to have two large dogs living with me.
What makes your animal bodywork practice stand out? I have a special close connection with the animals I massage. Many clients have reported improvement in demeanor, gait, stress levels, and apparent pain levels.
What message would you like to share with potential clients? My message is: Please! Bring your dogs in for a much-needed therapeutic massage to improve their quality of life, promote relaxation, reduce stress, and boost their immunity and energy level. When I observe a medium-sized dog whose gait tells me there is something wrong, I want to help. Sometimes owners are not aware of subtle changes in gait that could indicate pathology. I emphasize that the importance of the dog’s comfort zone is my highest priority of care.I love doing the palpation and bodywork to find anything that is hard to find, especially in dogs with very thick coats. On numerous occasions, I have detected pathology that no one was aware of. Kartie is a Stage 2 Mast Cell cancer survivor – the mass was very small and it’s good thing that it was caught early. It’s also paramount for me to feel the way around the dog’s body.
What message would you like to share with others who are thinking about pursuing a career in animal bodywork? I think that anyone who has a passion for taking care of animals of any size is a good candidate for pursuing the animal bodywork career. I think commitment and body handling experience play a key role for success. I advise others who are thinking about this profession to research the laws, statutes, and licensure in their states. If you welcome challenges, love animals, and wish to be involved in a satisfying job, animal bodywork is for you.
Theresa's recent unique experience......
Theresa recently had the opportunity to provide healing touch to a wallaby who was in need of some bodywork. The care taker was impressed with her knowledge and grateful for the beneficial session she was able to provide the wallaby.
Every month Dr. Barbara acknowledges and showcases one of her certified practitioners! You could be next!