In this blog, we'd like to introduce you to Jody Chiquoine, canine clinical rehab consultant to Luke and The Boys. Jody has been a registered nurse for over 30 years, and holds a Masters Degree in Nursing as a F amily Nurse Practitioner with expertise in rehabilitation, cancer care, geriatrics and surgery.
More importantly to canine issues, she is a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist and a member of the American Canine Sports Medicine Association. She has completed canine rehabilitation courses with the Canine Rehabilitation Institute in Loxahatchie, Florida, the NorthEast Seminars/University of Tennessee Veterinary
School and attends the International Canine Rehabilitation Conferences.
Additionally, Jody has completed courses in canine massage, acupressure, Tellington Touch® and the Basic
Science Course for Animal Physical Therapists offered by the American Physical Therapy Association, Orthopedics Division.
Here's how she became involved with Luke, Hudson, and Murphy, and 2dogs2000miles.
I became extremely interested in 2dogs2000miles when I heard that Luke Robinson and his two Great Pyrenees were walking 2400 miles from Austin, Texas to Boston, Massachusetts for this unique cancer cause. My interest was in part because I own a business, Fitter Critters (http://www.fittercritters.org/), in Western Massachusetts that specializes in canine rehabilitation, fitness, and hydrotherapy.
Also, I own three Great Pyrenees dogs, Gaston, Gentille, and Bella (pictured with Jody), and serve as the President for NorthEast Great Pyrenees Rescue (NEPR). On so many levels, it seemed Luke, the Boys and I were destined to meet!
The rehab and in-door swimming programs at Fitter Critters are focused on being certain that every dog reaches peak performance and the highest level of wellness possible. This is true whether a dog is a family pet recovering from surgery, a performance dog seeking to stay strong year-round, working or service dogs trying to reduce risk of injury while doing their jobs, a senior dog with arthritis needing to be more flexible or a young dog needing to lose weight.
Part of the Wellness Programs at Fitter Critters includes teaching Canine Massage and Pet First Aid Courses. In fact, our new book, co-authored with Linda Jackson, is called A Dog Lover's Guide to Canine Massage and explains to owners the value of canine massage and stretching.
Peak performance, injury prevention, massage/stretching, conditioning, and understanding Great Pyrenees dogs are all extremely important on a venture such as Luke, Murphy and Hudson are undertaking. With this in mind, I thought I might be in a unique position to help, and so I contacted Luke to see if I could offer any assistance. We had so much to talk about in our first conversation that we talked for almost 3 hours and felt like kindred spirits!
As a result, I am thrilled to serve as a canine clinical rehab consultant to The Boys and we stay in regular contact. Luke has an electronic copy of our new canine massage book and uses the massage and stretching techniques with Murphy and Hudson. Luke would like to teach the Boys how to massage him but we have not Pyr-fected that yet!!
In addition, I work with Mark Vogel, a Board member with NorthEast Pyr Rescue to answer questions about Great Pyrenees dogs as this relates to their journey. Any questions we can’t answer are fielded through the many experts within our NorthEast Pyr Rescue organization, and then Mark or I reply.
NEPR will also be escorting and supporting Luke once he reaches our region and we are planning large celebrations in Boston. If anyone wants to help NEPR plan 2dog2000mile events in our Region or desires more information about Great Pyrenees dogs, please go to our website: http://www.nepyresq.org/.
Luke and I share one more strong bond. My husband and I lost our beloved Pyr, Remy, to lymphoma two years ago — about the same time as Malcolm, Luke’s Pyr, died of osteosarcoma. The 2dogs2000mile walk for cancer is personal for me because Remy is on the 2dog2000mile Memorial and also on Luke’s T-shirt. So, Remy, like so many others, is making this trip with them.
For me, I do this for Remy. I do this for the many cancer patients I have worked with in the past. They remind me that, Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice that says, ‘I Will Try Again Tomorrow.’ Luke, Murphy and Hudson have this courage. All the resources I can muster will be there to help them succeed.
A special thanks to Jody for all the expertise she lends to 2dogs2000miles, and for the countless hours she dedicates to helping other dogs.