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Published on July 7, 2011, in Useful Information.

The hydrotherapy fundraiser held on Sunday 14th August was enjoyed by all.   The people who brought their dogs were surprised and delighted at how well their dogs did on their first time in the pool.  One or two were afraid of the water, but with skillful handling by Mark Athow – the resident canine hydrotherapist at Newborough Dogs – every single dog swam for a full session.  Even the most nervous calmed down after a few minutes and seemed to enjoy their time in the water.

Mark is extremely good with the dogs. He monitors them very carefully for signs of stress and fatigue, and regularly rests them during the swim sessions to check their pulse and make sure they’re not cramping etc. All the dogs seem to like him; in fact, one of our swimmers on Sunday was reportedly not good with men, and yet she took to Mark within minutes!

£120 was raised for Brambleberry, and several of the people who brought their dogs along decided that they would be back for more sessions.  We had three dogs who were afraid of the water (two had nearly drowned after getting into deep water as pups and one was a rescue who was generally afraid of new things), and three labradors with hip displasia looking for a way to exercise while reducing the strain on their hips, and keeping their joints mobile.  Three of the dogs were old hands, having been to hydrotherapy many times before.

So, first, I’d like to thank Newborough Dogs, Mark Athow, and Sarah (who came to help on the day) for their generosity. And then – let’s introduce the dogs who swam on Sunday!

First of all, here’s Dave – a really sweet Staffordshire.  He was one of the nervous nellies, but he did very well!

It didn’t take him long to stop making that face!

Marley, the beautiful fawn Greyhound, swimming like a pro despite it being his first time in the water

Gugu the Miniature Snauzer.  Not at all sure at first, but was soon swimming around beautifully!

Lovely Mara – doing what Retrievers do so well!

Pippa, the Nova Scotia Duck Toller, who really did take to the duck toy!

And didn’t want to let it go!

Tizzy, the rescue Collie – one of the nervous ones, but she did so well!

Harley, just a youngster but with hip problems already, poor soul. He enjoyed his swim!

Jinx and Monty swam together, two of the pros at hydrotherapy, they’ve been coming for a while now, and these two really know how to have fun in the water.



Lola, another natural at swimming, being a retriever

Arwen – a sweet little dog. It was hard to get a good picture of Arwen for some reason.

And lastly Sid, the other veteran of hydrotherapy.  Sid only has three legs, so he needs a support for his head too, or he finds it hard to keep it above the water.

Thank you, Mark, Sarah, and all at Newborough Dogs! We enjoyed our day with you.