About Dogs In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Centre and Michelle Monk
Over 20 years ago I started my physio journey as a human physio because I wanted to help people to have a better quality of life and mobility. Having always had a huge love for dogs, it was a natural progression to shift my skills over to animals. When I entered into the canine rehabilitation industry in Australia I was shocked to discover that our pets didn’t have access to the same quality physiotherapy and rehabilitation services as we as humans do. I became determined to change this for Australian dogs and their owners.
Initially I started with a short course in animal physiotherapy and not long after this we bought an existing Dog Swimming Pool and this became our first clinic. My husband Greg and I worked solidly to educate the vets around us about the importance of rehabilitation and the business steadily grew. We installed our first underwater treadmill in 2003 and the rehabilitation process for dogs accelerated.
Not long after this we took on a little dachshund ‘Roonie’. She had spinal surgery and couldn't walk, or toilet herself. Her owners were told she would never walk again. They were unable to manage her and had elected to euthanise her. This was when we heard of her plight and the owners agreed to sign her over to us.
Roonie gave us experience first hand the caring for and rehabilitation of a dog that was told she would never walk again. It took a lot of hard work, lost sleep, and lots of washing, but after 5 months of intense rehabilitation she was able to walk again!
This really proved to us that not only were we able to help dogs move and feel better but we could also save their lives. Roonie went on to live another great 6 years in our family until she passed on as an older dog.
In 2004 I completed my Masters Degree in Animal Physiotherapy and my award winning research proved we could help dogs recover faster and get back to doing what they love with their owners sooner. Since then we have been fortunate enough to help many dogs walk again, run again, and of course to save dog’s lives.
Over the years we have worked tirelessly to provide first class physiotherapy and rehabilitation services to pets and in 2009 we expanded our services to include distribution of custom animal prosthetics and orthotics from the world leader in this industry.
I am still completely passionate about providing access to rehabilitation for as many dogs and their owners as possible. Not just through my own clinics but also by teaching other health professionals such as Vets, Vet Nurses and Physiotherapists how to provide quality rehabilitation in their clinics.
I am truly grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had, to meet and help so many great dogs and their owners. Seeing a dog and their owner get back to enjoying life together, or for some, just maximizing their quality of life until the end is an extraordinary feeling that I'm fortunate enough to experience every single day.
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Who is Michelle Monk:
A Canine Physiotherapist for almost 2 decades, Michelle's commitment to the ongoing improvement of canine health and longevity is commendable.
A loving mother of two human kids, 2 fur kids, devoted wife, and respected peer within the animal health care industry Michelle is a unique blend of strength, commitment and kindness.
Experience and Awards
Michelle started her journey as a qualified Human Physiotherapist in 1996, and completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy and Dry Needling. After always having a strong desire to help animals, she transferred her skills and founded the first Canine Rehabilitation and Hydrotherapy Centre in Melbourne Australia in 2002, with the aim of helping as many dogs as possible move and feel better.
She then went on to complete her Master's Degree in Animal Physiotherapy at the University of Queensland, receiving the Dean's award for outstanding Academic Achievement, and having her research published the the 'American Journal of Veterinary Research'.
Over 18 years later Michelle Monk has treated thousands of beloved pets, spoken all over the world at conferences, and saved many canine lives.
To reach more canines in need she founded the Canine Health & Wellbeing Academy in 2017, so that more people could enter the canine therapy industry and consequently provide quality health care for more dogs.
Dedicated to the quality of therapy provided Michelle also sits on the board of the Australian Canine Rehabilitation Association. Thus, playing a part in ensuring the standards of canine health care within Australia are upheld.
Where Michelle Spends Her Time...
Michelle's commitment to canine health, happiness and longevity is evident
Dogs in Motion Canine Rehabilitation Clinic
Michelle Monk started the first Canine Rehabilitation & Hydrotherapy Clinic in Australia 2002 and has treated many thousands of dogs since improving their mobility, health and saving their lives
Australian Canine Rehab Association
Michelle is a current board member of ACRA. The Australian Canine Rehab Association contributes to the standardisation of the quality of canine rehabilitation education and treatment practices within Australia.
Canine Health and Wellbeing Academy
Michelle founded the Canine Health and Wellbeing Academy in 2017 to create a quality education platform, a community of therapists, and a solution for the lack of quality education in the growing canine therapy industry
Michelle Monk's Canine Health ExTEND™ Methodology
Michelle Monk has been one of Australia's leading Canine Physiotherapists treating patients for over eighten years in her clinic in Melbourne. In both 2010 and 2015 she was voted the Best Canine Specialist Provider of the year by Master Dog Breeders Association (MDBA).
Through the treatment of thousands of canine patients Michelle has created her signature treatment framework K9 ExTEND™ which is designed to extend the quality and length of a dog's life so that each dogs owner can spend as much time together with their best friend as possible.
This K9 ExTEND™ framework forms the basis of all of Michelle's teachings, writing and treatments and is the reason for her award-winning success as a canine physiotherapist.
Exercise is an integral part of every being having a healthy body. We were all born to move, especially canines. The way dogs need to move, the intensity, the length and type of exercise requirements change as your dog progresses through life.
Just as we are what we eat, so are our dogs. What they consume, where its farmed, how its manufactured and processed all have a major impact on their health and longevity. Their nutrition and supplements they consume are a vital part of their health.
Science now proves that our dog's health is directly related to the stressors in the environment they live in. Keeping their mind active and stimulated, and keeping our stress at a minimum can have a positive effect on our dog's quality and length of life.
There are so many forms of therapy available to our pets. An integrative team approach to canine healthcare is paramount. Knowing when and what therapy is best for your dog is at different stages of their lives and during times of ill-health is vital.
Environmental factors most people aren't aware of can have a positive or negative impact on your canine best friend. Becoming aware of these factors and changing your dog's environment can extend the quality and longevity of their life with you.
The Dogs in Motion Team
Director and Senior Hydrotherapist
Greg and Michelle started the Dogs In Motion Canine Rehabilitation business together in 2002. Greg has been swimming dogs in our first clinic and providing underwater treadmill therapy for dogs for over 16 years and is our most experienced canine hydrotherapist.
He has a passion for seeing dogs get back on their feet, especially those the vets said 'would never walk again', yet through our rehabilitation and hydrotherapy services we prove them wrong! In a great way!
Jess has always had a passion for helping animals and became a qualified veterinary nurse after moving to Australia to complete her degree in Environmental Science (Wildlife Conservation). Whilst working as a veterinary nurse she witnessed firsthand how hydrotherapy and rehabilitation greatly improved an animal's quality of life and the lives of their humans.
Jess shares her home with her wonderful cat, Archie, and feels lucky to spend her days making new four-legged friends.
With over 20 years of nursing experience, Andrea made the switch from human to canine care last year when she discovered the canine hydrotherapy course. She is also interested in canine anxiety, canine communication and canine behaviour training.
Andrea gets great satisfaction working in an environment that provides care, healing and rehabilitation for dogs. To help dogs achieve an extended and better quality of life brings her nothing but joy. At home, Andrea shares the couch at home with her 13 year old border collie, Olivia and her 2 cats, Ollie and Sassy.
Alison first came to Dogs in Motion through her own experience of needing help for her four legged best friend, and through this she knew instantly that the area of Rehabilitation in animal health care, particularly Hydrotherapy is exactly where her vocation lies.
Alison has now been with the Dogs In Motion Clinic for close to 5 years as a fully qualified Hydrotherapist, providing her experience and knowledge in Hydrotherapy, along with product fittings for harnesses and dog boots, and over the past 3 years has added Cold Laser Therapy to her clinical therapies.
For Alison nothing is more rewarding or satisfying than being part of this team to care for our fury friends when they need us the most, seeing their progression to a happier and healthier quality of life and getting to know there wonderful, dedicated owners.
For all of Jacey’s life she has had dogs and loves the laughter and happiness that they bring into people’s life’s. Spending a lot of the time outside of work hours learning about dogs which then led into competitions with weekend trips away with her dogs. After working over 20 years in the corporate world it was time for a change and to follow her passion to work for dogs and now has a job that doesn’t feel like a job as it brings her so much joy.
Being a qualified hydrotherapist (and laser therapist) has given Jacey the opportunity to see clients’ journeys which is rewarding when seeing first-hand the improvements and successes for our clients. Jacey has 2 Kelpie x Border Collies. Pippa is 11 and has competed in the dog sports of Obedience, Rally Obedience and Agility. Mackie is 5 and has introduced her to world of sheep herding (which is way harder than the professionals make it look).
After working in Human Resources and Recruitment for 12 years, Tara made the decision to follow her dream of working with dogs. She came across the Certificate Course in Canine Hydrotherapy and realised that a career in canine rehabilitation was the perfect opportunity to follow her passion. Tara joined the team at Dogs in Motion as she was nearing the completion of her course and is thrilled that she is able to help dogs and their owners on a daily basis. In her previous career she has also completed a Master of Commerce (Human Resource Management) and Bachelor of Science (Psychology). Tara has two fur babies of her own - a 3 year old Great Dane x Mastiff called Hudson and a 1 year old Staffy named Nova.
Emilie has always had a huge passion for animals, especially dogs! Discovering Dogs in Motion was the best thing to happen for her career and she has completed the Certificate in Canine Hydrotherapy Course that is run by Michelle Monk. It has been an amazing journey to gain the knowledge from the course whilst also having the hands-on experience. She is grateful seeing all the clients’ journeys and getting to know all the devoted owners.
Lionel is her handsome Aussie Bulldog who completes the family, he is a lover of life.
Dr Sara Baldey graduated from Murdoch University, Perth, as a Veterinarian in 2004. Before this, she completed a Bachelor of Science and post graduate Honours in Organic Chemistry at Northern Territory University, Darwin.
She began her veterinary career in mixed practice in country Victoria before moving to Melbourne to focus on small animals.
Sara has always had in interest in natural medicine, long before becoming a Vet. Sara has been practicing veterinary acupuncture for over 11 years and is certified through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS). She has also completed evidence based studies in both eastern and western herbal medicine. She believes in combining high standards of modern veterinary care with evidence based natural therapies to optimise the health of our beloved pets.
Sara is a member of the Australian Veterinary Association, Australian Veterinary Acupuncture Group, Integrative Veterinarians Australia and the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies.
In her spare time Sara enjoys gardening. Sara has a soft spot for elderly patients and believes no outfit is complete without pet fur!
Claudia started attending Dogs in Motion regularly with her Bernese Mountain Dog, Seffy. She saw what a difference physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and canine remedial massage made to Seffy’s recovery from various surgeries and then in her ongoing battle with arthritis. Inspired by the results of these therapies and wanting to learn more, she completed the her Certificate in Canine Remedial Massage and then commenced her Certificate in Canine Hydrotherapy.
Claudia and Seffy share their house with two other Bernese Mountain dogs and two cats.
How to extend the life of your best friend
Those amongst us who are dog lovers understand the effect that losing your best friend can have on your life. They are with us only for a short time. Some shorter than others.
While we may love all the dogs that come and go in our lives, when you have that special connection with a dog, the 'Dog Love of Your Life', you will know. This is your Soul Dog.
The connection with your Soul Dog is like no other relationship you will have in your lifetime. There is nothing we wouldn't do to keep them happy, healthy and by our side for as long as possible.
This book is about her journey with her Soul Dog 'Lily'. Through her ill-health and journey to the end of her time here in the physical realm, came Michelle's K9 ExTEND™ framework
The author, Michelle Monk, a highly recognised Canine Physiotherapist with her own Canine Rehabilitation Clinic has dedicated her life to uncovering what treatments, environment, nutrition, exercise and even mind-set your dog needs to have to extend the quality and quantity of their life.
She shares all that she has learned in Soul Dog so that you and your Soul Dog can have a happy, healthy and long life together.