Tell us about your girl.
What attracted you to a Groenendael?
Io is my first Belgian Groenendael and she is very different to the dogs I grew up with! I grew up with Dachshunds. She is an immensely loyal dog and is always happy doing whatever as long as it’s with you. She is super food motivated and despite her normally aloof nature with strangers, she’ll be almost anyone’s best friend for a treat. Her favourite thing in the world is sniffing! Our walks tend to be both fast and very slow, she’s speedy but she’s mostly just keen to get to the next most interesting smell on the path. This is part of what got us involved in scent sports.
I did a lot of research into what breed I wanted as my first dog and I was super keen to get involved in dog sports. There were a lot of aspects of the breed that appealed to me, they are active and loyal but certainly have their own opinions and have a wicked sense of humour. When we met Io’s breeders at a dog show, we fell in love.
What is life like as a Belgium Shepherd? What does she get up to?
Life is one very big, exciting adventure when you’re a Belgian shepherd! She’s a pretty busy girl and is always up for anything as long as she gets to come along with her favourite people. Belgian shepherds love to have a job and Io is no exception. We compete in scent work which she adores, and we plan to try tracking this year. We also dabble in herding, she has great instinct but is still learning the ropes.
Despite her active lifestyle, she does make for a great cafe dog and is happy to sit and watch the world go past as long as you share a little bit of the bacon.
Tell us about her injury. How did it happen, what was the road to recovery like?
I’m a veterinarian myself and so armed with my knowledge, I took all the precautions I could to aid with proper skeletal development. Despite this, accidents still happen especially in young silly adolescents! Like most herding type breeds, she loves to chase and she found herself jump chasing the possum that ran across the back fence and likely landed badly but didn’t notice in all the excitement. When she suddenly had a mild limp after resting for long periods all my vet senses were tingling and I suspected a partial cranial cruciate tear.
We got stuck into physiotherapy and hydrotherapy to help her build muscle and strength and due to her activity level and young age we pursued surgery at South Paws Referral Centre. The vets did an amazing job and I was SUPER strict with her recovery. Turns out when you are strict with your physio, you return to form faster and better! In retrospect that explains my lack of improvement with my own sporting injuries… I credit a lot of her recovery success on the amazing support from the team at the Dog Wellness Centre for helping us get back on track. Now almost 1 year on from her surgery, unless you feel the plate on the inside of her knee, you can’t tell! She’s back to her normal active fit self!
When and why did you introduce Antinol?
How has it changed her life?
Whilst I started on Antinol initially to aid with her recovery from her CrCL injury, it has done that and more! She’s active, she recovers from busy active days without issue and her coat looks amazing.
Using Antinol daily has meant that we don’t get fare ups with her knee due to especially active days and this improved her life on so many levels. Chronic pain can be really damaging to the lives of our canine companions and they are often so good at hiding it.
Moving forward, how will Antinol be a part of her life and dogs moving forward?
She gets her Antinol everyday and will continue to be so forever! She’s a busy active girl and Antinol makes a huge difference to her everyday life! When we hopefully add a new canine addition to our family this year, they will start on Antinol from day one!
What are your goals for the future?
We will continue working on our scentwork and tracking journey and also work on our herding skills too! We have plans for a truffle orchard on our little block in Yass River and a dog’s nose is going to be super important to our truffle plans!