Giving Thanks

As Thanksgiving approaches, I realize that I have so much to be thankful for; voicing it to others clarifies just how intensely thankful I really am.  I am thankful for all the goodness in my life, and so many of these blessings are related to the work that I do.  When I ask other people what they are grateful for, it’s not often that they include in that list their career, job, or the company or people for whom they work. I decided to ask our own staff, instructors, and graduates of the Chicago School of Canine Massage what they are most thankful for as it relates to their job/career or work in this field.

Some may say that this topic is too personal to put in a blog that usually focuses on issues more related to education, business, and canine health and wellness.  Luckily, there are no hard and fast rules to prevent the occasional sharing of our more private thoughts.  Even with the many new exciting innovations that are in store for CSCM in the coming year, and even with the mushrooming growth we are experiencing, I vow to stick with a promise I made to myself when founding this company:  Always keep the heart, the head, and the hands open to students who are committed to this work, to the school, to the business, and to everyone who contributes their talents and efforts to help us excel in what we do for our canine companions.  Always keep it personal.    

I have no doubt that those who truly take this work seriously; who see the potential of this work and how it can change the way we treat, enrich, train, and care for our animals; who work tirelessly to bring this work to the forefront; and who see the amazing results of this work time and time again will have no problem stating how thankful they are to be working in this exciting and rewarding field.

Here is what they said…

Erin:  I am grateful for taking an amazing program at CSCM that has helped me make a difference in the lives of many dogs and their families. Even though I graduated from the advanced certification program almost 5 years ago, Denise has been of constant support and actually encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone to become an instructor, something that I never thought I would have the courage or personality for (as a very shy person). I have become an extremely inspired and confident therapist as a result of the wonderful team at CSCM and am truly honored and blessed to be part of this fantastic group of animal lovers.

Debra:  I am grateful that I have the honor of helping to spread the word about this wonderful work we are doing.  I am grateful that I get to put my hands on LOTS of really cool dogs!  I am grateful for all of the amazing friends I have made because of CSCM.  I am grateful that I have the opportunity to learn so many new things with every class we teach and every dog we touch.

Pam:  I am grateful for the gift of canine massage and behavior skills given to me by my teachers Denise and Sara, the trust of my clients, all the friends I have made through CSCM – human and canine – and all that they have taught me.

Jaclyn:  As a canine massage therapist, I am thankful every day for the ability to help improve the quality of dogs’ lives.  I am thankful that being a part of CSCM means that I can help to pass this knowledge on to others so that more and more dogs can have the opportunity to receive the quality care that they deserve!

Colleen:  I am thankful for the opportunity to work with a dear friend and the incredible women at CSCM.  They inspire me to dig deeper, aim higher, and put love into my work every day.  My experience has been life changing, and isn’t that life’s goal – to be forever learning, changing, and growing?

Melissa:  I am thankful for my husband Lars who has supported me and encouraged me to follow my dreams of being a canine massage therapist.  Every day I wake up happy, and I am so fortunate that I get to do what I love, and that is help dogs! I couldn't be happier!  Dyna is thankful that she was able to be a demo dog for the Chicago School of Canine Massage and receive a lot of great massages and meet new friends like Lucy. She is also grateful to have met Dr. Ridley who gave Dyna her first chiropractic adjustment.

Sara:  There is so much for which I am thankful as it relates to my work and experiences as a canine massage therapist.  However, when I boil it all down to its essence, I find there are two reasons at the heart of everything that I am thankful for in my work life.  First, there is Denise, who introduced me to the world of canine massage during a pet parent class several years ago and who continued to teach, guide, and mentor me in my various roles as student, therapist, and instructor.  Without Denise, I would not have experienced that life-changing moment of discovering the passion that would propel me head and heart first into a field I never knew existed but can’t imagine now how I could live without.  Then, of course, there are the dogs to whom I am forever thankful.  The dogs that I have met and continue to meet inspire me and teach me the most profound lessons that help me grow as a therapist and a fellow being.  They show me how powerful this work is; that it truly makes a difference.  It’s for them that I keep going.   

Dr. Megan Ridley:  I'm thankful for clients who think of their pets as family members and understand the importance of pain control in the form of massage and manual therapy!  I'm thankful for all the furry creatures who learn to trust their massage therapists and docs and let us provide comfort when needed.  I'm thankful for animals teaching me something new every day.

Dr. Sara Bennett:  I am thankful for the opportunity to educate clients on how to recognize signs of discomfort – physical or emotional – in their pets and help them put a plan in place to help make their pet feel better.  Not only is this a win for both pet and owner on an individual level, but also helps to promote good animal welfare and strengthens the human-animal bond – the very reason I am in this profession.

Denise:  I am so thankful to be in a position of helping dogs in so many ways.  From helping them physically and emotionally to helping them develop stronger and more respectful relationships with their humans. I am thankful to be teaching others to help dogs. To work with amazing individuals in my field and related fields to change the way we work with, handle, interact with, and view our canine companions. To have a successful business doing what I absolutely love, and to have an amazing staff and support team at CSCM.  I am so thankful to see dogs relax, become less fearful, feel better, move better, and feel more comfortable in their own skin.

All of us at CSCM are thankful to see how the value of canine massage and bodywork continue to grow and spread among and within varied communities of canine professionals and pet parents across the nation and around the world.  It is exciting to know that it won’t be long before canine massage and bodywork become the norm for our companion animals.