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Fall brings a slight chill to the air, but S’wooft Team Member Melissa feels warmth in her heart as she remembers her first dog, a boxer pup named Icesis. Melissa’s sister brought her home for Melissa when she was in high school, and the pair quickly bonded. Melissa felt that Icesis was meant to be hers especially because of the patch of fur on Icesis’ chest that was perfectly shaped like a heart! Icesis was in her life to give love and to get it in return from Melissa. It was a match made in heaven!

Due to this overwhelming bond and also being her first pup at the tender age of 14 years old, S’wooft asked Melissa to share more about her life with Icesis.

What impact did this pet have on your life?

Every time I saw Icesis, she would always get excited and start running around. It was a great feeling to get so much love from her. 

Can you share a memorable story about her?

When I watched TV, I'd sit on the floor with my legs crossed. Icesis was fully grown by this time, and she would plop her butt right in my lap. She loved being with me!

Icesis was Melissa’s first dog but not the only dog she developed a deep connection with - working with S'wooft has allowed her to form bonds with several animals. This past spring, Melissa started walking a golden retriever named Reagan, who was only 7 months old at the time. Always full of love and excitement, they quickly grew attached. Besides showering her with love, Reagan always had the ability to make Melissa feel better. On top of that, Reagan was the first dog that Melissa was able to train. She trained her how to give both paws, and it worked!

Melissa initially wanted to expand her knowledge on dogs and have the ability to help them in case an emergency happened to occur. In searching for pet CPR classes and various pet-related certifications, she came across S’wooft. Melissa was drawn to S’wooft when she heard about Sarah’s mission to equip all walkers with ongoing training and a Pet First Aid/CPR Certification. She agreed that by having continued education and holding a certification in CPR, the pet owners would feel more at ease leaving their fur babies with dog walkers who were otherwise essentially strangers. It's one thing to play with dogs and do all the fun things with them, but it's just as important to know what to do in case they get injured or become ill. On top of that, Melissa believes that the certification process is easy, as long as one takes the process seriously and firmly understands the material. She knew immediately that this opportunity not only satisfied her thirst for ongoing education but was a great fit for the animal lover in her! Melissa believes that she’s full of love and wants to share it with as many animals as possible. She also says that she never has a bad day walking dogs.

Melissa also believes that dog walkers need to understand how important the dog is to their owner and treat them as if they are their own. Patience with “special pups” is also significant. In order to gain their trust, a walker must work with them and show them that they have the patience to go at their pace. Treat them as your own.

In speaking with Melissa, we learned that her patience and compassion also extends to other areas of her life, while overlapping with her dedication to the fur community. Check out her response when we asked her to tell us some fun facts about herself.

Share with us fun fact (or two) about you.

A fun fact about me is that children tend to gravitate toward me. When I attend family parties, I’m always interacting or involved with the children at the party. I honestly have no idea why children gravitate toward me, they just do.

I also believe that there are similarities between children and dogs. As the fur and human parent, you teach your child manners and how to behave. When you teach puppies certain commands, you're teaching them how to behave.

Another fun fact about me is that I also went to massage therapy school. I make sure to give all my dogs a shoulder rub. It’s funny because they always have their heads down, resting against me. My experience with massage therapy has definitely added to gaining my fur client's trust. They can feel I'm there to bring them peace and joy. By massaging my fur clients, they feel relieved and more relaxed. 

S’wooft is fortunate to have not only such a compassionate and dedicated team member, but one who goes a step above when it comes to animal care and accident prevention. How appropriate that she is highlighted in the month of November, Pet Awareness Month!

Learn more about Melissa and the rest of Team S’wooft by visiting Our Team!

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