Page 9

There’s plenty of wagging at this pool’s program

Splish, splash: Labradoodles Dusty and Evie and their owner Karina Turnbull are keen participants in fitness and therapy sessions at Aquapaws Canine Rehabilitation Centre, Somerville. Picture: Gary Sissons

Stephen Taylor FOND memories of 47 dachshunds gleefully running amok at her swimming pool for dogs a few years back still makes Somerville woman Jo Woolley laugh. “They came to us via a Facebook group booking for a pool party and had an absolute ball in and out of the water,” she said. “They were hilarious.” That’s easy to imagine as the pool at Aquapaws Canine Rehabilitation Centre is a favourite destination for its regular four-legged visitors. Ms Woolley says she can hear her customers panting and squealing as they literally drag their owners across the car park to get there. “They are off the planet,” she said. Ms Woolley, who has run the business in Lower Somerville Road for the past 14 years, developed her skills during a canine rehabilitation therapy and

hydrotherapy degree course in the UK and the US in the early 2000s. Back home, her vocation coincided with a growing desire by dog owners here to better care for their dogs, who receive physiotherapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, pain management and rehabilitation treatments after injury or surgery. Fido fitness and weight-loss are popular aims and there’s even a seniors’ program for older dogs. Dogs of all shapes and sizes learn to swim in the 12-metre pool wearing lifejackets while their owners encourage them holding a handle on the back or using a leash. Their pets enjoy the feeling of the 24-degree water and become comfortable paddling and exercising. A puppy swim school teaches up to 10 puppies to swim at a time at $66 for four sessions. While the dachshunds were amusing, so too were the 52 greyhounds brought in by a dog rescue group. “That was a fun day and it was bucket-

ing down with rain at the time,” Ms Woolley said. In another amusing episode a largish woman fell head-first into the magnesium and salt chlorinated pool after her dog accidentally pushed her. “It took four of us 20 minutes to pull her out and she, and we, were laughing,” Ms Woolley said. “I even had to jump in and pull her gumboots off so she could get up the steps.” Despite this mishap, it’s easy to get the impression the owners have as much fun as their pets. “Many bring gazebos and trestle tables to picnic in the leash-free area and provide treats and even cakes for their dogs. They are here for hours.” Ms Woolley said most dogs were natural swimmers and took to the water with ease – especially the natural swimmers, like Labradors and retrievers. For others it’s simply a matter of diving in and learning by doing. And every dog seems to love doing that. Entry is $12.50 for 30 minutes, and $10 for a do-it-yourself wash and blow dry.

Annual bowel scans MT ELIZA Rotary Club has teamed up with 35 pharmacies to extend its annual bowel scan program. Of the 217 participants in last year’s program five per cent required further medical follow up by their doctor. Bowel scan kits cost $15 and are used to test for blood in bowel motions. The kits are sent for analysis and if blood is present it may be due to haemorrhoids, polyps or cancer in the large bowel. The free government kits supplied every four years are seen by Rotary as being more complicated to use and not made available as frequently as recommended (every two years). Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers, along with lung, breast and prostate cancer. It affects one in 19 men and one in 28 women and is mostly seen in those aged 40 and over. Ninety per cent of bowel cancers can be cured if detected early. Indicator signs include changes in bowel habits; weight loss; feeling of incomplete emptying of the bowel; persistent cramps or abdominal pain; blood in bowel motions. Mt Eliza Rotary has this year extended the bowel scan program throughout the Mornington Peninsula and Western Port with the involvement of 35 pharmacies. Kits are available at participating pharmacies in Frankston, Mt Eliza, Mornington, Mt Martha, Dromana, Rosebud, Rye, Sorrento, Red Hill, Hastings and elsewhere in the Western Port area.

Seagrass talk IAN Stevenson, of the Western Port Seagrass Project, will talk about research into seagrass, mangroves and fish nurseries at the Peninsula Field Naturalists Club meeting, 8pm, Wednesday 9 May, at 16 High Street, Frankston 8pm. All welcome. Details: Judy Smart 0400 910 941

Local and compassionate care for cancer patients SKYE local Melanie Rees was able to spend every precious last moment with her late husband Joel in hospital before he passed away on Boxing Day last year; but only because of Frankston Hospital’s expanding Oncology service. The 55-year-old sadly lost his battle with aggressive tongue and throat cancer and spent his last weeks on Ward 5FS at Frankston Hospital. “If I didn’t have the support of Frankston Hospital I wouldn’t have been able to spend as much quality time with Joel,” says his wife Melanie. “When Joel was receiving treatment in the city there was an endless amount of travel time, around three hours a day. If Joel was still in Melbourne during this time I would have been up for a bucket load in accommodation and parking just to spend time with him.” Demand continues to grow for our oncology service, which is why Peninsula Health is asking the community to Take a Break for Cancer and raise funds to expand cancer services on the Peninsula so that families like Melanie and Joel can get the care and support they need, close to home. Joel was initially diagnosed with cancer at Frankston Hospital in January 2016 after having a series of sore throats. “After his fifth visit to the GP with a sore throat he was referred to Peninsula Health’s ENT specialists and that’s where they diagnosed him with tongue cancer,” explains Melanie. Joel then had to go to the city for some of his treatment. A comedian to his friends who loved to dress up, Joel was doing well until he started getting headaches and having difficulty breathing towards the end of last year. He was admitted to Frankston Hospital and that is when Melanie and Joel, who have been together for 26 years, received some devastat-

Take a Break for Cancer this May & June to support your local cancer services at Frankston & Rosebud Hospitals. Raise funds so that everyone has access to fast diagnosis, fast treatment, and the care and support they need, close to home.

Get involved today: • Host a Fundraiser • Donate • Join events across the Peninsula ing news – Joel’s cancer was back and it was terminal. “It was very quick for Joel. From 1 December to 26 December he was in the constant care of the oncology team.” “All of the staff were just amazing, they were really supportive of me and of Joel – I used to joke with them that the only thing they weren’t doing for me during that time was my washing!” “Even during Christmas they made the atmosphere on the ward bright and cheery with all of their hand-made decorations – that to me shows the compassion behind what they do.” Melanie says. Melanie plans to continue to support the oncology ward at Frankston Hospital in memory of her beloved husband Joel. Take a Break for Cancer today by hosting your own fundraising event or making a donation online at Proudly supported by

Southern Peninsula News 8 May 2018


8 May 2018  

Southern Peninsula News 8 May 2018

8 May 2018  

Southern Peninsula News 8 May 2018