Let me introduce myself, I am Stacey Edwards. My passion for animals started the minute I was born. My mum and dad had and 8 year old mongrel called Pepey and I spent a lot of time trying to be his friend. When we lost him all I continued to do was bug my parents for another dog so they got me hamsters. When I was 10 they gave in and we got a beautiful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel called Lucy, she was my best friend growing up and we did everything together. We used to go to dog training classes and my passion for learning about behaviour started there. Unfortunately we lost our beautiful Lucy when I was 18 and was lost without her.
At 21 I came across my soul mate. A 12 week old collie x greyhound x german shepherd puppy was no longer wanted and was going to be taken to a dogs home, I couldn’t let that happen and he came home with me. I named this extremely special dog Todd and he is the one who has moulded my life the way it is. He taught me so much, when he was 1 we met Gordon Salmon a well known established dog behaviourist who has helped guide me and develop my knowledge of canine behaviour and training over 16 years. It was via Gordon I met Charlotte. We now between us help Gordon run The Big Dog Club which includes obedience and agility training. We also have a demonstration team which has performed throughout Greater Manchester of which our own dogs are included
Through my years with Todd we did obedience, agility flyball and he was famous for being seen alongside me when I would be out riding my horse. Being a rescue Todd had various medical issues and this ignited my passion for anatomy and medical science in animals. He’d had an injury to his hip when he was 2 and it affected him in later life with chronic osteoarthritis. 26th May 2014 two months before his 14th birthday I lost my beautiful angel it was the worst thing to happen in my life but he has driven me to help other dogs who have similar issues to him.
In September 2013 Luna entered my life she was a 16 week old blue merle collie. From 6 weeks old she had been severely beaten and abused. She was petrified of everything but especially men. It has taken a lot of hard work to get her to where she is now. She’s an amazing dog and very cheeky she’s extremely talented and performs in obedience demonstrations and does agility. She is very vocal and likes to announce her presence. She is still very nervous but she manages a lot better now and is a very happy beautiful girl.
When I lost Todd my whole world fell apart a month later a very fluffy 12 week old tri-colour pup came into my life. He along with the rest of his litter were left at the side of a road at 11 weeks old. I named him Tedi because he looked just like a cuddly bear. It was clear from a very young age that Tedi had problems with his hips and we found out he had severe bi lateral hip dyspepsia. When he was old enough at 14 months old he had a total hip replacement. He is the reason I got into hydrotherapy I started to take him before his operation to strengthen his muscles in preparation for his operation. Seeing the effects made me want to do this as a career and so Charlotte and I created Walks, Wags and Woofs Aqua Dogs.
I am fully qualified in and have completed my Level 3 Diploma Hydrotherapy for small animals. I trained with Barbara Houlding of K9 Hydro in Suffolk and Maria Johnson of Active Balance in Hinckley (she is also the canine physiotherapist for Great Britain’s Agility team) and I am also fully trained in canine first aid.
Hi, let me introduce myself, I’m Charlotte Southwell. From very early in my life I have had an affinity with animals. At the age of fourteen my very best friend chose me, Rex my german shepherd/collie cross. He helped me learn and understand what truly loyal, loving and amazing animals dogs are. At the age of fourteen I began volunteering at a local charity, Pets In Need, Tottington spending my weekends looking after numerous animals with my beloved Rex by my side. Here is where Mollie introduced herself to me, Mollie was resident at the charity but was misunderstood with her challenging behaviour, she loved to guard items and would not let anyone near her. This is where my true understanding of dog psychology and love for King Charles Cavaliers began. Needless to say Mollie moved into my home within 6 months where she stayed until recently when she sadly passed away. On leaving school there was only one path for me to follow, which is where my adventure starts.
In September 2006 I began an apprenticeship at Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary initially working with cats, after a short time I was transferred to work with the rescued dogs. Once having completed and passed my animal care qualification I was employed by Bleakholt. I was allocated my own section being responsible for the welfare, health and rehabilitation of the dogs, working towards the dogs finding their new forever homes. Whilst working here I became an animal first aider and pet nutrition advisor. I dealt with some very challenging, frightened and abused animals but feel I connected with each one individually which brings me onto my own little treasure Robbie, a three legged Jack Russell cross whippet who arrived at Bleakholt aged 8 weeks with a shattered irreparable rear leg, he came home with me for one night to recuperate after the amputation and is still at home now having the time of his life. Whilst I thoroughly loved my time at Bleakholt I felt my career prospects were limited so I made the life changing and scary decision to hand in my notice and the next chapter of my adventure became a reality. I started my own business Walks, Wags and Woofs as a dog walker, dog trainer and offered home boarding to my four legged friends.
I am associated with a very well-known and established dog behaviourist, Gordon Salmon whom has encouraged and supported me in establishing my business. Ruby, a 5 month old cavalier joined my growing family in January 2013 after her previous owners circumstances changed, she is a loving, friendly, playful and loyal character and has just increased my love for the breed. The youngest family member is Lola (also known as Pesto) born in October 2014, my tri-coloured cavalier who’s aim in life is to keep me on my toes, she is adorable but just full of mischief and love. In July 2015 I expanded my business to incorporate a dog grooming and hydro therapy centre with my new business partner Stacey, who shares my passion to help and rehabilitate dogs with both physical and mental illnesses.