It is the time of the year when the ocean gets too freezing cold for me to swim in, and I start my hydrotherapy at The SPAW. Since swimming is crucial to maintaining my muscle tone, which in turn provides support to stabilize my bad elbow, I go to my rehab center twice a week during the winter months.
The SPAW occupies the entire left wing of Aldergrove Animal Hospital located in Aldergrove BC, about 60 Km east of Vancouver.
So this morning, mum woke me up a little too early for my liking and started the hour drive to Aldergrove. Can you see I was barely awake in the trunk of my SunshadeMOBILE??
We arrived at MY pool, and I couldn't be happier. I again, un-locked my car door on my own because I just couldn't wait to get out. I hadn't been to the pool since June, so I was extra excited!!
The pool water is heated to about 30 C (or ~ 86 F), so it relaxes the muscles and increases blood circulation to my arthritic joints.
This is a salt water pool which means no chemical disinfectants need to be added, and yet the water is as clean as any other chlorine or bromide pool. Mum loves the fact that there are no chemicals in the pool, but I DON'T....... for reasons you will see later.... SIGH..
This green thing that I'm standing on is an underwater treadmill, or hydro-treadmill. It is mainly used for post operation dogs to maintain range of motion without having put stress on the operated limbs, or partially paralyzed dogs. I used the underwater treadmill after my two ACL reconstructive surgeries back in 2003.
The treadmill is on a power lift that can be raised and lowered from the edge of the pool to about 3 feet deep to accommodate dogs of any size. See now the treadmill is lowered:
The removable railing can be put in for treadmill work, and taken out for swim therapy.
Aldergrove Animal Hospital is the first vet hospital in Canada to have an underwater treadmill and pool. The design of the treadmill & pool is also the first in the world. Ohhh.... do I feel lucky!
I almost forgot! The pool is equipped with an underwater camera that allows the vet and therapists to monitor progression of therapy in an individual.
This is a hoist that can pick up large, paralyzed dogs, or dogs who aren't willing to walk into the pool on their own.
Now that you've seen MY pool, here is me in ACTION!!!
Even tho the pool is only 9' X 12', I still have so much fun swimming in it, and I ALWAYS manage to flood the pool area with my "dolphin-ic" flips!!
Usually a dog goes in the pool with a trained therapist. However, I'm an old-timer and since I'm only in for maintenance swims, Dr. Jeff Bowra lets mum swim me on her own. Dr. Bowra is the head veterinarian at Aldergrove Animal Hospital as well as the "rehab vet". Using hydrotherapy, he has successfully rehabilitated many dogs like Goldie who suffers from paralysis back to being able to use all four legs!!
This is a video of me first getting into the pool:
Did anyone count how many times my mum said "Good Girl"??
Note to mum: Mum, I know I'm a good girl, but I really don't need to be reminded every 2 seconds you know. It gets quite annoying (I bet even you would agree!!).
This is a video of me swimming against the jets. The jets are designed for dogs to "swim against the current" for strengthening and conditioning. We do a few of these every time we come.
Notice how smart I was to stay out of the jet's way??
I get quite warm exercising in the heated pool, that's why I was panting so loud.........
Now remember how I said I didn't like the fact that it is a salt water pool?? Well this is the reason!!
It seems like wherever I go, whatever I do, I always end up in the bath tub....... Mum says salt water can sometimes give me the itches, so she always has to rinse me right there at The SPAW. SIGH.... what have I done to deserve this??
Lastly, I've been wondering about these pictures on the walls of The SPAW.
Is it just me or are these pups super flexible??
To see all the rehab services offered at The SPAW, please visit: