Alta Dog began with a Black Lab named Buster. Buster came into my life when he was a year old. Buster was living in Maine, chained up outside the majority of his first year of life. His first owners decided they didn’t have much time for him after having their human baby. Lucky for me they were willing to relinquish their rights to him and he entered my life!
Buster and I had many life adventures. We enjoyed running, hiking, swimming, playing in the woods and snow, camping, traveling 2,700 miles back and forth from Maine to Utah to ski at Alta for 15 years every fall and spring. Buster even braved being my sidecar dog as I obtained my motorcycle license and purchased a Ural with a sidecar so we could have even more exciting adventures! Buster was by my side through the fun and difficult times of life, maybe you can relate.
At age 15 Buster was slowing down and developing spondylosis of the spine making it difficult for him to stand and walk, he also developed a seizure disorder. With every grand mal seizure he lost a bit more function. Together we adjusted and figured it out. Hikes became walks, walks became short strolls at the park or up and down the side walk. Standing in the side car catching the wind in his face became sitting in the side car and eventually his side car seat became a bed where he rode lying down still sniffing and catching the wind in his face! Buster didn’t give up so neither did I. I tried to adapt what I knew as a human physical therapist to help him. I used massage, stretching and adapted his “activities of daily living”. He needed assistance with walking and stairs, but he took all the changes in stride! He taught me so much! I always try to remember that I would not know that kind of heartbreak and loss if I hadn’t known that kind of love.
Thank you Buster! B-brave boy, U-unconditional love, S-sidecar dog, T-True Hero, E-Extraordinary Strength, R-Reliable Companion. Buster passed in May 2005.
Looking for a change from treating humans, in the late fall of 2005 I began my course work in Canine Rehabilitation. With my friends and colleagues, Tracie Robertson and Dr. Kristen Clady, I attended the Canine Rehabilitation Institute in Florida, USA. We finished our course work and exams and received our full Canine Rehabilitation Therapist Certification in January 2007.
Over the next seven years the winding road of life took us on an adventure. Alta Dog Rehab started as a mobile practice where I met many wonderful veterinarians and canine professionals. There have been marriages and new babies, four legged ones and two legged ones! Travels, new jobs and well. . . adventures! Fast forward to 2015 and I am proud to finally be living out my dream of having a physical location for Alta Dog Rehabilitation! A home away from home where I can help four legged children and their two legged humans feel better!