I was going to find a paper to review or another blog for inspiration… but honestly, this happened and it’s pretty big. So, it’s my blog for this week. On Saturday I won the inaugural Veterinary Rehabilitation Therapist of the Year award 2020. It’s an award created by the International Association of Veterinary Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy, and voted on by our peers. I am honestly so humbled.
Canine rehab has been my professional life’s work. It’s be 28 ½ years! I’ve seen it grow from physiotherapists testing, trialing, and simply attempting to apply physio skills and principles, to actual evidence based practice in this field! Of course, life has changed very much too – from letter mail to communicate between countries to online conferences and from needing to go to a library to read a journal to google scholar and PubMed! Crazy really!
I didn’t think that receiving the award would make me so emotional, but it did. I should have known better. I cry fairly easily, but I wasn’t expecting to cry! It didn’t cross my mind that I might cry actually! However, the flood of emotions came when I realized that all of the things that I have strived to accomplish in my career were being recognized on an international level: expanding animal health care options; promotion of physiotherapists / PTs in this area of practice; educating the many different professionals that come together to be collectively grouped as animal rehab practitioners (by our many names and titles); promoting continuing education; promoting evidence informed practice; translating research to make it clinically applicable; encouraging both skill and knowledge enhancement; and clinical competence. It hit me… that I’ve actually mattered! I’m such a nerd, I’m crying again just typing this.
Okay, and so I just want to reiterate my thanks. Thank you to those who nominated me for the award. Thank you to those who voted for me. Thank you to the IAVRPT for creating this award. Thank you to Online Pet Health for hosting the virtual awards ceremony at their Vet Rehab Summit. Thank you to my business partner, coworkers, and staff for putting up with me (and all of my traveling around the world to teach). Thank you to my clients and patients for trusting me (and my clinic) with the care of their animals and being my inspiration. Thank you to all of the practitioners I’ve taught over the years for making me want to keep learning myself, for extending my ‘reach’ in helping animals around the world, and for asking the questions that keep me on my toes! Last but not least, thank you to my family for your love and support, for being there so that I could ‘do my thing’, for keeping me humble (as only family can do), and for licking envelopes, fixing the underwater treadmill, babysitting, painting, modeling in videos, helping to shoot videos, staying up all night pumping water out of the basement while I’m in Australia for my Master’s degree, cleaning up vomit and diarrhea… and well, the list is endless!
So, while I’m not retiring any time soon, I do want to make some changes. I’m making some changes to Four Leg. It’ll have a new look. It’ll be easier to search. It will start to function as a library. It will become even more economical. It will still have new content, just at a slower pace, thus allowing me more time for new course creation, political advocacy for physios in animal rehab here in Canada, and to better manage my clinic (especially since I’ll be having to work a bit more to cover a maternity leave coming up. P.S. Looking for a physio to move to Calgary to work in a busy canine rehab practice!) All in all, keep your eye out for some exciting changes… and when we are out of this Covid crisis, I hope to see many of you again ‘live and in person’!!