Name: Annie Thorne
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Certifications through Angel's Animals, LLC: Canine Massage, Cold Laser Therapy, Kinesiology Taping and I'm enrolled in ANMR.
When did you decide that you wanted to work with animals? It was an accidental career move, roughly five years ago. It came about as a result of developing skills for my own dogs as there were no professionals locally that could help me when I needed it. First it was training and behaviour, then came the health, fitness and bodywork. It made sense to use my developing skill set, and so the business slowly emerged.
What animal influenced you the most growing up? Whatever I could find and borrow; often it was my aunt's border collie, Geoffrey! My dad had grown up with dogs, and my mum with cats and neither wanted the other, so I got goldfish and guinea pigs! I had cats first, and had to wait 30+ years before I finally got a dog of my own! It was a long wait, and well worth it.
What animals do you currently own? Two dogs - Wolly is an 11.5yrs Ridgeback -X and Tigg is a 6.5yrs Huntaway-X. They both regularly get massages to keep them in their prime.
Up until a few months ago there was also Barney, the cat. He was a few weeks shy of 17 when he died and also benefited from regular massage as he aged.
What makes your animal bodywork practice stand out? Your Whole Dog reflects my philosophy that nothing happens in a vacuum. I have a multi-modal approach to canine health and behaviour, and use my bodywork and behaviour skills to ensure that all my consults are individual and appropriate to the dog in front of me, taking into consideration their emotional as well as physical needs.
What message would you like to share with potential clients? The 'badly' behaved dog is a myth. First, make sure you are meeting their needs, then check their health. The link between health, pain and behaviour is undeniable. Regular bodywork is an ideal way to support dogs, whether they be sports dogs, senior dogs, dogs recovering from injury. Find a professional, or team of professionals that will work with you and your dog at your dog's pace and comfort level.
What message would you like to share with others who are thinking about pursuing a career in animal bodywork? Do it! It's incredibly rewarding, and owners want to do what's best for the animals in their care. It's always an honour to be part of their team.
Every month Dr. Barbara acknowledges and showcases one of her certified practitioners! You could be next!