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Amber's second swimming trip!

We brought Amber to Canine Wellness & Rehab for swimming again, this was her second attempt and we met up with Toffee so that they could swim together!

We reached the place earlier and visited another pet store located just beside, they had rabbits, chinchillas and a few dogs for sale. The store owner was also quite friendly, saying hi to us even when he was busy grooming another dog. This store practiced open concept grooming but the grooming area looked really small, the shampoo used was not very well known either. Other than that the whole shop looked pretty decent, it felt like an animal farm, their rabbits were placed in play pen instead of cages, we could touch and interact with them!

About 10 minutes later we entered Canine Wellness & Rehab, there was obviously more people compared to our previous visit, our experience throughout was also different. After our review on our blog as well as uploading pictures of Amber's experience at Canine Wellness & Rehab, it was very well received, we got a lot of feedback and questions from our viewers about this place. It was supposed to be a good thing as we would always encourage people to visit places that we loved after trying.

However, good things usually don't last and it is very hard to take back why we've said in the past, some had given their personal feedback, asking why their experience was different compared to ours. We want to take this chance to clarify about our reviews again, everything is based on personal opinion, what we feel is good may not be the same for you and vice versa. Also, people change, businesses change, sometimes for the better, most other times for the worst. What might have been a good experience for us might just become the opposite after just one week, 99% of people start businesses for the money, they tweak their management, get busy as there are more customers and thus forgets about practicing good services. I'm not saying any particular place, but all the shops, veterinary clinics and grooming stores are just the same, they are here to make money and we are there to give them what they want in return for our pet's well being.

there's no hiding parasite!

Canine Wellness & Rehab looked a tad bit dirtier, there was obviously more staffs than before, and they all seemed very busy. One of the staff told us that our appointment would be delayed for awhile and we were perfectly fine with that. On inspection of the reception area, we noticed a bug at the corner where Amber was seen smelling and looking at, I straight away asked someone over and pick up this bug up. It looked like a pregnant tick from afar and the staff asked, "do you want me to pick it up?", insisting that it was a beetle, which we did not pursue further. We then started to get a little paranoid (admittedly) and scanned through the place, true enough, a tick was spotted! It was busy running and hiding from us, the staff actually monitored our actions after the first "beetle" incident and she saw what we had seen. She then said "ya this is a tick", quickly taking a tissue and removed the tick. We both started conversations about ticks, especially the terms and condition, whereby the booklet of Canine Wellness & Rehab said that dogs with ticks and fleas would not be allowed for swimming. It would've been a nightmare bringing a tick home, especially when Amber was very clean before she left the house. Even though we could understand ticks and fleas are common in dogs, having to risk bringing ticks home just because of a swimming session was not worth it at all. But since we had already made an appointment with Toffee and we were already there, we decided to instead stay and check Amber thoroughly before leaving instead.

happy to see each other

Toffee and his family came in a moment, Amber was very excited, she was running around and wagging her tail. They came in and Amber ran straight towards them, I was not feeling very well and lost my voice so all I did was to push her back, she listened for only a short while before getting excited again. We knew that this was supposed to be a fun day for Amber and it was only her second attempt at swimming so we gave her a little allowance, which was only correcting when she jump up on people. Amber seemed to understand our intention, after about 5 minutes she stopped jumping on people, only to run back and forth, attempting to jump but hesitating, which we had to monitor and correct her briefly when needed. Toffee and Amber remembered each other, they were happy to see each other and ran around happily. Toffee was also ignoring commands, pawing, barking at certain times and running around the place for quite some time, we knew that he was at his peak of growth, rebellious behaviors are showing and the owner needed to be much more firm. However we understood that this meet up was supposed to be fun for both Toffee and Amber so we simply enjoyed their company and focused on their swim instead.


As it was time for swimming, staffs of Canine & Wellness had to help the dogs try on their floating equipments. Toffee grew a little and could now wear the life jacket with no trouble, Amber however needed to keep to her neck float. One thing we also noticed prior to the swim - during our first visit previously, the staff would first check the body of Amber for ticks and fleas before swimming, they would also make sure that Amber had not eaten for the past 3 hours. This time round they did not check nor ask any questions, we knew right away that this place was undergoing some changes.


The lady therapist who used to guide Amber as well as Toffee was not present for the swim, we did see her around there and she chatted with us for a bit though. This time round 2 other staffs attended to the dogs, one lady in charged of Amber and a guy attending to Toffee. Toffee seemed to be afraid of the water, he tried escaping the pool for a few times, his therapist then allowed him back onto the edge of the pool to let him rest before trying again. Toffee was not very used to paddling swiftly but with encouragement from his family he did much better after 15 minutes, everyone was shouting his name, asking him to go over and we could see that he had tried his best! Amber was not any better than before, it was expected that she would struggle for the first few minutes, but when she got used to it she simply swam towards Toffee's family and not focusing on her swim! The therapist turned her away from the pool and she turned right back, getting so crazy about wanting another person's attention, we made splashes, threw her ball toy and she slowly drew her attention on us. Toffee's owner even passed us some treats, which helped to encourage Amber even further! As this was their first swim together, they were not really interacting with each other, Toffee was busy learning his paddling while Amber was busy wanting someone else's attention.


The therapists were generally friendly but we felt that they did not have enough patience, which may be due to their young age and being inexperience in this area. They were frowning at times, they lost patience to the dog's perseverance in doing whatever they wanted and the therapists gave up after a while. We felt that being in this situation whereby the main therapist could not be present for work due to personal matters was a major disadvantage, plus the recently increased charges, which is now at $55 instead of $50 for half an hour swim. To add on, there were dogs bathing and blowing dry during Toffee and Amber's swim, which was quite distracting. Same thing after they left the pool, the next customer came right in while Toffee and Amber was being bathed, they seemed very rush, 30 minutes sharp and the dogs had to leave the pool right away.

Oh yeah after Toffee and Amber' swim, we saw a familiar face bringing his GR for swimming. It was the guy that did not pick up his GR's poop at World Pet's Day event in 2012! We noticed him while waiting for Toffee and Amber's bath, he wanted to enter the pool and we accidentally blocked the pathway, and he pushed me with his shoulder! We turned towards him and found this guy familiar, then we remembered, he was the selfish guy that left his dog's poop and got a lady's shoe soiled.

Overall, we felt that Canine & Wellness Rehab is searching for their identity, therefore our experience there will change from time to time. This is a major stage in businesses and we truly hope it will turn out to be for the better. This time round the service is not as good as before, they did not check on our dog's health or whether they are infected with skin diseases/ticks and fleas before swimming. We do understand it is very hard to prevent ticks in a place where dogs visit frequently, however it will be good to follow example from reputable grooming shops, whereby a lot of dogs visit the place but we don't see any ticks or fleas anywhere in the shop. The key is disinfecting the area, practicing good hygiene and also checking on dogs that comes for swimming. Other than that, we also don't feel like it is a private swim, people are constantly coming in and out of the place, true enough Toffee and Amber has the pool to themselves during the 30 minutes but the noise level and comfort has decreased compared to our previous visit. Staffs were also inexperienced and prices are increasing! It's just a matter of time before people find out that this isn't any therapy session, that it's just a pool only with someone helping you to hold onto your dog.

Toffee's company actually helped to make the swimming session fun! We enjoyed watching him learn to swim with Amber, hopefully in future they will be able to swim without trouble and enjoy playing with each other. Also not forgetting to mention Toffee's family, who invited us to join their swimming session!

Our next event will probably to Discover Dogs 2013, it's been a year since Amber's first visit to this event! We will definitely be there and if you are going, don't forget to say hi to Amber!

Amber at Discover Dogs in 2012


  1. we tried to visit canine wellness few weeks back but failed as they are fully booked (Saturday). We ended up at Mutts & Mittens. Seems like Canine wellness has the same problem as M&M which they are both private pool but still very distracting due to different reasons, but at least M&M is not so "commercial".
    we are planning to go Discover Dog too! but most likely will not bring along our furkid, he not used to crowded environment yet =(

    1. Hi Wei Jin,

      How was your experience at Mutts & Mittens? Was it pleasant? We might check it out soon!

      For Canine Wellness and Rehab you will need to book an appointment in advance as they are usually packed.

      If you like you can find us at Discover Dog 2013, though it is supposed to be a family day we can still take some time to chat up a bit if you like :)


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