Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Changes in our appointment & new dog systems

We've been trying to figure out a way to make it easier to book an appointment; and then what we can do for online purchasing of classes, and more.... So, Angie (our new admin) looked into a few different systems and combined with price and wanting a web-based system, we are going with "MindBody" http://www.mindbodyonline.com. Its a system that is used by yoga studios (even Ocean Yoga here in Pacifica uses it), spas, and gyms.

What I'm looking forward to is being able to let our clients find their own appointment times instead of having to go back and forth multiple times on email. Of course, we'll still be available to chat on email or talk to folks on the phone; but this will be an added convenience! This system will also allow our clients to have a login, store their credit card, buy memberships, classes, setup appointments, as well as send out reminder emails!

Google apps has done well for us, and we loved using the calendar to be able to 'magically' populate other people's blackberry's and work calendars, but doing the manual reminders and actually booking the appointments has remained cumbersome.

Other changes that we've made:

  • Followup Emails: We used to send these ("How's your dog doing?") after every swim however, it became rather repetitive for dogs that we saw every week, twice-a-week. Now, we're simply going to send them for our new dogs or when a dog improves/changes significantly.
  • Monthly Survey: We would like to send out a monthly survey to those who swam and may give you some suggested followup topics.
  • Credit Card Requests: In order to make an appointment with us, we are asking all clients to hold that appointment with a credit card.
  • Signup forms (new dog swims, classes, new massage dog): These will now be available online except for the waivers that still must be read and signed.

We're experimenting and trying new things. Wish us luck!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Cathy Chen-Rennie, Head Swim Coach, contributes advice about arthritic older dog

Cathy contributed to an Expert Panel on a local blog site called InCirclePets.com

The reader’s question: We have an 11-year-old Queensland Cattle dog that has numerous issues. Right now, we would like to strengthen his hind legs which have arthritis. Can you help us?

Cathy's advice
There are many things you can do to help your dog with arthritis, some examples include making sure the dog is lean, exercising him on a regular basis, adding nutritional supplements and working with your vet on a pain management regimen. My training is within canine massage and I’ve worked with a number of dogs in a canine aquatic fitness setting - so I know from experience that swimming is a great non-impact exercise that works the joints gently. Water has the benefit of buoyancy so your dog can exercise while getting a bit of a break from gravity. We have observed many dogs using their hind legs for propulsion when swimming so we’ve seen that it helps with stretching the back leg muscles.

With a swim coach, your dogs can gain confidence in the water and perhaps work up to doing a few short length laps in the pool. A swim coach can also create resistance and drive by having them tread water or letting them swim against a current. I work with dogs in an indoor warm-water swimming pool and perform massages while in the water to help them feel comfortable. We use warm water because it promotes muscle relaxation and good circulation. If you would like to learn more about canine aquatic fitness, please feel free to contact me.

To read the rest of the article...InCirclePets Article "Experts Weigh In on Aging Dogs and Arthritis"