I have loved being able to take my dogs for hydrotherapy sessions, as they have gotten so much out of the activity. So, you can imagine how excited I was to discover the following article. But, I surely wish Pam Tewes could be in my area of Maryland rather than that of Massachusetts.
Her Golden boy Luke is surely one lucky guy as it’s not too often a mom develops an entirely new career to meet the health needs of her dog. For those folks in the area of Waltham, get on the phone and set up a time for your dog. While this is great for rehabilitation purposes, it is also a wonderful activity and great exercise for any furkids out there. And, it is done in an intelligent way so that a dog’s muscles are most accomodated.
For more information, visit aquadogfitness.com, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To schedule an appointment, call 781-893-2364 or send an e-mail. They also have an introductory coupon for $15 off so now is the time to provide your dog with such a great time.
Doggie finds relief in the pool
By Jennifer Roy, Roslindale-West Roxbury Transcript
When Pam Tewes’ dog, Luke, was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia four years ago, his vet told her to take him swimming. It sounded like an easy enough solution to keep her aging best friend comfortable, but Tewes, a West Roxbury resident, soon found “there was no place to go.” I live on the Charles River, and I wouldn’t jump in,” she said.
Her husband, Bob, said allowing the 11-year-old golden retriever to swim in dirty water could lead to more problems for the pooch and more veterinarian bills for the couple. Water could have bacteria in it which may lead to infections. It’s cold and may have rocks and sticks in it that could injure a dog, he said.
“You have to break the law, which we don’t want to do,” he said, of finding places for Luke to swim safely.
Rather than becoming outlaws or constantly feeding Luke pain medication, Pam Tewes decided to open AquaDog Inc., an aquatic fitness center at 96 Clematis Ave. in Waltham. It opened last week. “I want my dog to be pain-free, but I want him to be healthy,” said Tewes, a long-distance runner who often trained with Luke. “When I could, I swam him.”
She said she did not want Luke to have to rely on painkillers, especially since one type he was prescribed has been found to cause fatal and long-term side effects.
Looking for a more permanent solution, Tewes started studying aquatic dog fitness, and went out west and to Ohio, where she completed two certification programs — one in pool work and safety, the other in massage therapy. “It’s big on the West Coast,” she said.
Tewes, a canine swim specialist and a member of the Association of Canine Water Therapy, also does in-home dog massages by appointment, and is a Reiki practitioner for people and pets. Reiki is a form of massage.
Luke is also a Delta Society therapy dog. The Delta Society is an international, nonprofit organization that trains animals to help improve the health of people with mental and physical disabilities, and for patients in health-care facilities.
At AquaDog, Pam Tewes gets right in the 3,000-gallon fiberglass pool with the dogs which are fitted with life jackets. Their owners are not allowed in the pool for safety reasons.
The water is heated at between 82 degrees and 86 degrees for fitness swims, and gets hotter — about 90 degrees — for massage therapy. It does not contain chlorine, but has a state-of-the art, ozone-based purification system. “I personally hate chlorine because it hurts my eyes,” Pam Tewes said, “and, we know that dogs drink.”
She said AquaDog is not only for ailing dogs. It also will cater to overweight dogs, help anxious dogs relax and provide relief for dogs with mobility problems. It may be open to cats in the future. “Swimming is a lot more vigorous,” Pam Tewes said. “Three minutes of solid swimming equals three miles of running. High-energy dogs can work out their energy here.”
Bob Tewes said the facility is handicapped accessible, and if a dog can’t even make it down the ramp, its owner can drive right into a garage adjacent to the therapeutic pool. Pam Tewes said she chose to open in Waltham because of its accessible location to MetroWest and greater Boston.