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Amber's first swimming trip - Canine Wellness & Rehab Centre

Today was a special day for Amber, it was her first ever swimming trip, we took her to Canine Wellness & Rehab, this place was located at Telok Kurau, in a corner that was quite hard to get to unless by cab, there's a bus stop nearby but if we didn't remember wrong only 2 buses were available.


We got Amber this Rogz brand ball so that she could play in the pool
We took a cab and landed in front of Uni building, we couldn't located the shop at the entrance of the building initially, only to find it located behind the building instead, in an area lined up with a couple of pet stores.
 





The place looked clean and nice on first impression, beside was two small room for day care use, a guy approached us and we gave him our appointment information, he then passed us a form with terms and conditions, in it states that dog should not eat anything at least 3 hours prior to swimming, dogs that has ticks and fleas will also be rejected, there were some more  which we couldn't remember, these two were the more important ones.

How it looks on the outside

 Reception area

 Day care area

Close up

This guy who seemed like a staff brought out a red Ruffwear life jacket for Amber, there is also a handle to hold onto at the back of the suit, it seemed to fit Amber very well! Amber started to demand attention by licking and pawing the staff, he smiled and touched Amber which escalated the excitement even further, we tried to calm her down by saying "No!"  when we heard the same old thing again, "puppies are like that", we kept firm and explained that Amber was no longer a puppy, which we told him that she was already 1 year and 6 months old, the staff replied it is still a puppy at this age, which I proceeded to explain that Amber is still undergoing training, he said that she was actually not that bad, I replied that if we didn't train Amber she would have been much worst, he then smiled and nodded.

 As usual, the friendliness :)


 Posing for photo


 Amber checking out another dog

Lets go swimming!

We proceeded into the pool area, where Amber was placed at the edge with a certain height, the staff praised Amber for not being afraid of height, saying most dogs couldn't do it, we knew why but smiled and kept quiet instead. Amber looked nervous for a few minutes at the edge of the pool, not because of the height but the environment, and also wondering why she was placed there, she was standing still but her head were turning left and right though her tail were not down, guess she just looked confuse.

 Overview of the room

 Cute corgis

 Amber checking out the pool

The therapist came over and as the session was going to start, she carried Amber and as usual, Amber licked the therapist, though not as excessive as before.

While we are really happy that Amber is a friendly dog, she sometimes get over the top and we are actually afraid this will put her in danger. We had tested her and Amber is actually afraid to be left alone with other people without us around, but because of her attention seeking character and also encouragement by stranger's love for her features, Amber's adrenaline level rises too quickly, this high adrenaline rush would block her hearing and attention to our commands in this small period of time, she might one day just get lost following strangers or even dog kidnappers, we are still figuring our way out to explain to passer-bys so that they understand our concerns and yet won't get offended, even though Amber would go crazy about people for the first 5 minutes or so, she seemed to panic if she can't find us thereafter.

The therapist then asked us a few questions about Amber's health, since there were no issue she explained to us that Amber does not need to go for hydrotherapy sessions, but to go for fun swim like we did this time round. From what we understand, hydrotherapy was targeted at dogs with hip, joint muscle problem, fun swim is for dogs like Amber who just wants to drain her energy and experience swimming, while the website says that the pool was equipped with heater to warm the water, we couldn't feel it when we dip our hands in, maybe the room temperature was not cold therefore it was not noticeable. She proceeded to slowly guide Amber into the pool, Amber walked into the pool calmly until the point when she felt water at her body level, she started to struggled and the therapist helped her up, only to put her into the water again, we did not expect the therapist to be that confident of her actions, we had expected her to cuddle and carry Amber every time she was afraid but that wasn't the case, which we were really glad! We knew that hugging and carrying your dog whenever it is afraid would only make things worst! The therapist then proceeded to repeat the same procedure, also taking care not to let water get into Amber's face, it was an impressive introduction of water in my opinion.



Amber started to struggle through the water, panting heavily and was trying to push herself out of the water, resulting in more splashes and loss of balance, at one point she even climbed her way to the shoulder of her therapist! After awhile of swimming Amber's life jacket suddenly came off, it slipped off her head and they changed to a neck float, the jacket looked fitting at first though! Anyways the neck float kind of fit Amber better and she used it for the rest of the session, throughout she started to calm down and swam better, rushing to us when we run to the other side of the pool to encourage her over, she even learned to push herself off the wall of the pool to turn around at this point! The therapist said that Amber learn really fast, when I asked, "I thought poodles are supposed to be good swimmers by nature?", she then thought for awhile said that even so Amber seemed to be the only small dog she had seen to be able to adapt to the pool this fast, while I do not believe the learning abilities of dogs can differ within sizes, I believed it could be linked to how most owners treat smaller sized dogs, which was giving too much attention and affection and thus they get dependent and would not learn to handle situation themselves, these dogs would then have inadequate stimulation to the mind and this may affect their learning abilities in one way or another, Amber from small was trained to be dependent, from eating to playing and sleeping alone, she would learn to find ways to overcome obstacles and boredom, because of this we always see new tricks that she comes up with herself!








Halfway through, a corgi suddenly jumped into the pool, the owner seemed to be the therapist herself, she immediately carried the corgi out of the water, it was funny to watch, it seemed like the corgi really loved swimming! Amber however was not surprised by the corgi, instead she played with the new floating ball we bought her, she still couldn't fetch the ball inside the pool but used her nose to push it around, she seemed much more calm and having fun with her swim now, we saw less panting and more relaxed legs. At some point she even stopped moving her hind legs and use her front paw to slowly move through the water instead, she also learned to swim freely and was able to do soft turns, she looked really happy!

We started to keep a look out on the place and facilities, if we were to compare to what was stated on the website, it was kind of different, just to inform that we do NOT have any knowledge in hydrotherapy pool, the things we list out are through the views of a regular customer instead.

1) Water heater - as we mentioned earlier about the water temperature, we could not feel any warmth in the water, we do understand that 28-29 degrees celcius is not very warm but should at least feel different from tap water?

2) UV Sterilizer - we could not see any "UV sterilizer" in the pool, should be for killing bacteria and may be unnoticeable to the eyes, so once again, we did not see it but unsure if it is even there.

3) Filtration system that clears water - we do not know if it was turned on, the pool was not very dirty but it wasn't clean either, we could see small dirt particles and fur in there, not Amber's for sure.

4) Internal resting platform - it was a good idea but it was too deep for smaller dogs, Amber couldn't make use of it.

5) Underwater lighting - it didn't looked like there was underwater light, maybe it was due to the room lighting that made the underwater light unnoticeable? Anyways we did not see any light in there.

6) Underwater viewing window - we  loved this idea, the viewing window allowed us to see what Amber was doing underwater, we could clearly see her legs moving back and forth!

After the session ended, they provided a free basic grooming for Amber, and it was really basic, just shampoo and drying, the drying wasn't very thoroughly done either, Amber's ear and snout were still partially wet. Although the staff said that Amber's ear were cleaned, we could still spot wax, no powdering was done either, but since it was complimentary it was acceptable for us, a bonus actually.

 "My eyes..."

 "no..."

 "What the?!"

"Please let it be over"

Overall:

This is a great place, we would definitely come back again but not too frequently, the area is not easily accessible, price is also on the high side, $50 for a 30 minutes swim will limit our visits. The staff and therapist were friendly and helpful to the dogs, we did not want any attention initially so we only introduced ourselves towards the end of the session, which were great nevertheless! Facility wise we think it can be better, the place is big but it looks empty, maybe some decoration and things could be incorporated so that people can have more things to do while waiting. The pool definitely looked like a regular swimming pool to us, size wise it was perfect for all kinds of dogs whether you have a small or big dog.

If you are looking for a private swim for your dogs with friendly staff to guide them, this is the place to go, if you want to play with your dog during swimming then you might want to consider, they didn't seem eager to let us engage fun swim with Amber when asked, it seems that you need to ask for permission and only if the therapist approve, you will also need to be in proper swimming suit. Other than that, we think this is a very private place, you do not need to worry about getting ticks and fleas passed on by other dog unlike the normal dog pool outside, you don't need to share the pool with other dogs either, but it will be less fun.

We hope you will share your hydrotherapy trip with us too, feel free to email us at amberwonderland@gmail.com !

Do enjoy the video!!

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