The dog owner who changed careers after watching her pet chew a tennis ball


It was a daily event, but it turned out to be a life changing one.

As Gemma Vale watched her dog Geoff gnaw a tennis ball, a thought occurred to her.

“Geoff is quite mischievous and loves to chew on things, so as he tore the felt off a tennis ball one day it occurred to me that I wouldn’t know what to do if he choked “, she explained.

Gemma decided to take a first aid course so she would know what to do in an emergency.

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She was so amazed by what she had learned that she only had to share it with others.

She now has her own Dog First Aid franchise in Manchester.

Gemma told TeamDogs: “I told all of my friends and family, who then wanted to take a course themselves, but there was no one in the Manchester area for the Dog First Aid franchise. and there was no intention of seeing them return soon.

“I felt with a lot of passion that this was something all dog owners and custodians should know and it led me to join the Dog First Aid Franchise Ltd team as a Manchester franchise partner.”

Miniature schnauzer Geoff was Gemma’s first dog

Gemma then went through rigorous training to acquire all the skills and knowledge she needed to make her new business a success. In addition to canine first aid, this also included business training.

She said: “After extensive and ongoing training with our in-house veterinary team, I have now been disseminating my knowledge to dog owners and professionals in Manchester for the past two years.

“Some of my course participants have gone on to save a dog’s life which, as you can imagine, is incredibly rewarding and I cry with joy when I get emails from owners who have successfully saved their lives. of a dog. “

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And aside from helping other owners, Gemma’s newfound knowledge has also come in handy when it comes to her own miniature schnauzer, Geoff. Twice she had to use what she had learned about him.

She said: “The first time was when he ate raisins which were thrown in the park.

“I knew raisins were toxic to dogs, so my boyfriend and I acted immediately and took Geoff to the emergency vet where he spent three days in the hospital while they flushed his system and made sure that his liver and kidney function had not been affected.

Gemma had to use her new skills on her own dog
Gemma had to use her new skills on her own dog

Fortunately, he made a full recovery with no lasting damage.

“The second time was when Geoff pulled his nail completely off the bed and he was bleeding profusely.

“It was the height of the lockdown and the vet was unavailable for three hours. I applied a compression bandage to stem the bleeding which he did and we were able to take it off later and keep it clean and dry (pavement walks) until he was healed.

His job is completely different from his previous position in a gas company.

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Although her job has changed, Gemma’s love for pets has never wavered.

“I have always had a love of animals and was particularly interested in my animal behavior classes at university as part of my biology degree,” Gemma said.

She teaches dog owners in Manchester life skills that could save their dog's life
She teaches dog owners in Manchester life skills that could save their dog’s life

“We always had dogs and horses when I was growing up, but Geoff is the first dog I own rather than a family dog.”

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