“Off we go to see Auntie Julie at Therapaws!”
“Yes, yes, it must be Wednesday – Mums getting the swimming bag ready, now let me see, have I got everything? Towel, clean collar, brush – yep, I think that’s the lot. Open the door Mum, get the car out Dad, off we go to see Auntie Julie at ‘Therapaws’. I have weekly ‘private’ swimming lessons at ‘Therapaws’ – that lines goes down awfully well with the ‘Pooches’ at the local park, don’t you know! I tell the lads that I am in training – ‘Stamina Building’ to race them to the next tree. Oh, and of course there’s FiFi the Poodle – she’s panting over my new slimline figure, what a Physique! I think I am in with a chance there!! But of course I am a natural at swimming, don’t you know – Oh yes. Us Labradors make excellent swimmers, I can manage the full 30 minutes non stop now, and Auntie Julie makes it great fun with toys and games. She even helps those doggies who haven’t quite perfected the art of ‘Doggie Paddle’ with specialised harnesses and life lines to help them along. Mum and Dad seem to love it too, it’s quite a ‘Social Occasion’ – I’m trying to persuade them to take the plunge – maybe I’ll give them a ‘helpful nudge’ next week!! Hope to see you there.”

“…all the family have noticed the vast improvement in her well-being”
“Mollie is a seven year old yellow Labrador who has hip dysplasia. In the five months she has been attending Therapaws for her weekly swim, all the family have noticed the vast improvement in her well-being. Before her swimming therapy she need our help to lift her back legs in the car, she was regally wakeful at night and could be uncooperative, which made bonding with her difficult, despite medication to alleviate her symptoms. Mollie’s regular swim has made her a much happier and contented dog, there has been no increase in her medication, even her physical appearance has changed – she now looks in much better condition, and jumping in the car causes her no problem! Overall the swimming therapy has improved her quality of life and has given us a loving family dog.  ”

“Nearly six months on and Pacha is a changed dog”
“A year ago things weren’t looking too good for Pacha. I took some comfort from the fact it wasn’t hip dysplasia, but severe arthritis in the hips and spine sounded almost as bad. She was depressed, miserable and in pain. The vet said he could slow down the progression of the arthritis and make her a bit more comfortable if only I could find a swimming poolfor her, preferably heated, then he thought she might be able to exercise comfortably and keep her weight down – walks where very limited from now on. After moths of searching and enquiring, the article appeared in the Chichester Observer. That Saturday, Dave and I scoured every inch of Siddlesham to find Therapaws – thank goodness we did! Nearly six months on and Pacha is a changed dog. The vet has not felt the need to give her her injections on the last two visits – the swimming is the best medicine she can have. She is happy, playful and full of life and Saturday when she visits the pool is the best day of the week!”

“Budge now swims completely unaided and is starting to walk a few shaky, hesitant steps”
“Budge is a miniature, wire-haired daschund, almost seven years old. About two months ago a calcified spinal vertebra resulted in total paralysis of the hind quarters and incontinence. Emergency surgery, vitamin supplements and a number of weeks of anxious waiting produced no improvement whatsoever. Then my vet suggested swimming sessions at ‘Therapaws’ in Siddlesham. I was sceptical, believing the dog’s spinal cord to be damaged beyond repair but willing to try anything by the this time. That was three weeks ago, with three swims a week. Budge now swims completely unaided and is starting to walk a few shaky, hesitant steps on all four legs and the incontinence is considerably reduced. For a normally nervous dog, it is remarkable the way he has taken to his swimming lessons. I am now much more confident that Budge will very soon be able to go for proper walks with his brother and me.”

“Now I can’t wait to get there and as we go through Hunston I know where we are going!”
“A friend of my mistress told her about this place where I could get lots of exercise in warm water. As I’m a bit rickety in the back legs it seemed like a good idea. Well, when I got there this lady put a collar and a lead on me and sort of persuaded me into the pool. It was rather scary and I shook alot. After ten minutes I was let out. Now next time it was different and I was in before being showered and it was great fun. Now I can’t wait to get there and as we go through Hunston I know where we are going. I’ve lost weight, I can walk more easily and I am less stiff. I love ‘Therapaws’.  ”

“People in the village thought I had another dog, but no, it’s all down to swimming…”
“First a few lines about ‘Pip’ our Goldie. When I first bought him to Therapaws he had no life, he could only get out of the gate to the middle of the road where he crumpled to the ground and could not entice him up. He is now a new dog, taking everything in around him I can now walk with him for about a mile. People in the village thought I had another dog, but no, it is all down to swimming which he used to hate. He is now really laid back with it. Many thanks to Therapaws!  ”

“It has helped our old dog no end!”
“We have two German Sheppard Dogs age’s 11 and 2 years old. The old one suffers from a form of arthritis in his neck which makes him lame, and on seeing the advert in The Sun last year we asked the advice of our vet who had seen the pool and thinks that it would help him. If race horses swim for their health why not dogs? We went for a look, were happy with what we saw and have been going every week (approx five and half months). Both dogs enjoy going and look forward to it each week. It has helped our old dog no end!”

“Swimming is the best exercise for him”
“My Labrador, Bugsy, has swam at Therapaws for many years had lots of fun and enjoyed the company of other dogs. He is now nearly 13 and has bad arthritis so swimming is the best exercise for him as walking is quite painful.”

“I am absolutely convinced that if it was not for Therapaws I would have lost Jazz at least 6 to 9 months ago.”
“Jazz is a yellow Labrador of about 14. I have had her for nearly 11 years. She is a rescue dog, so I am not sure how old she is. About two years ago Jazz was having trouble with arthritis in her back legs. The vet put her on pain killers and although she was happier it did not help with her mobility. A good friend saw an article in the local paper about Therapaws. Jazz adores swimming but was no longer able to go in the sea as she had problems getting out with the pull of the tide to cope with. Jazz has been going to Therapaws every week for the last 18 months and her back legs are much stronger with all the swimming. Even if it did not help with her legs she really enjoys herself as she meets up with two new friends Bob and Millie. I am absolutely convinced that if it was not for Therapaws I would have lost Jazz at least 6 to 9 months ago. Therapaws is a very friendly place and I also really enjoy going there. Thank you so much.”