Archive for the ‘Scout’s House’ Category

A Love Letter

Friday, May 1st, 2015


To our clients and friends, my co-workers and business partners—

Today is a big day for Scout’s House.

It was ten years ago this day that we opened our doors, hung out our shingle, and told the world we could help dogs and cats feel better, move better, maybe even live longer.  And even though most of us were new to this rehab stuff, we had the confidence of a great idea: that rehabilitation therapy could improve an animal’s quality of life just as physical therapy improves a human’s.  Together, we knew we could make a lot of dogs and cats strong again.

And we were right.

But did I think, ten years ago, that we’d be here today, celebrating our first decade?  Absolutely.  I had no doubt about it.  (There were plenty of times in the ensuing years when I wasn’t so sure, but ten years ago, it was a foregone conclusion!)

It hasn’t been an easy ride with Scout’s House.  Oh, we were right—our idea was a great one, as evidenced by the 2,130 animals we’ve helped along the way—but I was a green, untested CEO with a prickly personality and an aversion to working with teams, and as such, I made more mistakes than any of us can count or remember.

The good news is I’ve learned a lot since that first day, lessons that have enriched me, humbled me, astounded me, and aged me.  And I am grateful for each and every one that’s come my way.

From our patients I’ve learned what it means to go at life with everything you’ve got—and always with equanimity—no matter what life throws at you.  I am constantly amazed by the dogs and cats we see, by the graciousness they exhibit in the face of pain, disability, even paralysis.  They never complain, they never act like life isn’t worth living, they never feel sorry for themselves.  They just keep on loving us, ready to do whatever we ask of them simply because we ask it.

From our clients I’ve learned the true meaning of devotion.  Each and every one of you should be granted a gold crown in your heaven for all the things you’ve done to help your pets.  Your love for your animals is beautiful and each one of us at Scout’s House loves you all the more for it.  In you we’ve found our tribe.

From our investors I’ve learned what it means to believe in something—and someone—so much that you’re willing to risk your hard-earned money to make a dream a reality.  As an investment, Scout’s House offers no promise of a return, but our investors stay the course, knowing that success isn’t always defined by how much money you make but sometimes by how much good you do in the world.

And from my coworkers I’ve learned humility, patience, and the true meaning of family.  I started this business telling people how we were going to realize my dream, but along the way I learned that the dream we were trying to achieve wasn’t mine at all, it was all of ours.  I have been remarkably blessed by the people I work with: to a woman, they are brilliant, innovative, outspoken, insightful, and downright hilarious, each one in her own special and unique way.  And while we may all be coworkers, I have such love in my heart for them, I think of them now as my family.  I miss them when I don’t talk to them, I crave their company when I’m away, and I revel in their warmth and affection when I’m with them.

These last ten years have been extraordinary, affording the kind of adventure that most people don’t get to enjoy in their careers.  And I am grateful to all of you—clients, investors, coworkers, friends—for making it the most challenging, electrifying, and above all, rewarding experience of my life.

Thank you.  And here’s to the next ten years.

With love,


Scout’s House’s Sandy Gregory Named SCNAVTA Advisor of the Year

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Congratulations to Scout’s House’s own Sandy Gregory, MS, RVT, who was named SC National Association Veterinary Technicians in America Advisor of the Year. Way to go, Sandy!  We think you’re pretty amazing too!   NAVTA_MayJun12_16-17

Even Disabled Pets Like to Have Fun

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Even a cat who’s partially paralyzed still likes to play:


Congratulations to Dr. Janet Dunn and Tantrum for Making The 2011 AKC/USA Agility World Team

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

A big shout out to Scout’s House’s own Dr. Janet Dunn and her flyin’ Papillon Tantrum for making the 2011 AKC/USA Agility World Team!   J.D. and Tantrum will head to Liévin, France for the big event, October 7-9.  Way to go–and bonne chance, guys!

Dr. Janet Dunn and Tantrum Make the 2011 AKC/USA Agility World Team

The Unfortunate Results of Unbridled Dog Enthusiasm

Monday, June 6th, 2011

     One of the things I love about dogs is their enthusiasm, but sometimes that eagerness needs to be tempered with a little caution.  Here’s a list of some of the traumatic events that have landed our dog friends in physical rehab therapy at Scout’s House–all the result of “unbridled dog enthusiam.”

1)  Falling off a cliff
2)  Falling off bleachers
3)  Running into a tree
4)  Running into a telephone pole
5)  Jumping off a bed
6)  Jumping off a deck
7)  Jumping out of a moving car
8)  Jumping out of owner’s arms
9)  Getting kicked by a cow
10)  Getting attacked by coyotes

The Most Common Reasons Dogs Get Rehab Therapy at Scout’s House

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Our post on how to keep your dog out of rehab sparked a conversation here at Scout’s House about some of the most common conditions we see.  We were sure we knew what we saw the most, but after running a few statistical reports, even we were surprised at the results.

Number One complaint?  Osteoarthritis–by a landslide.  Not surprising when you think about it–most animals coming in for physical rehab therapy are bound to have arthritis, along with other ailments, but we thought we saw more dogs with neurological issues.  We were wrong.

We were wrong, too, about the second most common complaint: knee problems related to the cranial cruciate ligament, or CCL.  Many of the dogs we’ve seen were recovering from one of the various surgeries used to fix a CCL rupture–TPLO, TTA, tightrope, or extracapsular–although a handful were hoping to avoid surgery with conservative management.  Of course, some of them had had surgery years before and were having problems with that knee (or stifle) now.  Can you say arthritis?

And while we would have guessed stifle problems were the third most common complaint amongst our patients, disk issues win there.  Intervertebral disk disease, disk ruptures, laminectomy surgeries–we see them all.

Wrapping up our Top 6: unidentified “rear limb weakness,” hip dysplasia, and degenerative myelopathy.

Coming up next:  Some of the unbelievable predicaments our patients have gotten into–and ended up in rehab because of!

5 Best Ways to Keep Your Dog Out of Rehab Therapy

Friday, May 20th, 2011

1)  Keep Your Dog on A Leash—You wouldn’t believe how many dogs we’ve seen at Scout’s House who suddenly bolted away from their owners and got hit by cars (HBCs, in vet med lingo).  Use a leash and you’ll spare yourself the expense of rehab—and surgery.

Daily controlled exercise will help keep your dog on the outside looking in at your local animal rehab therapy center

2)  Don’t Let Your Dog Jump Off Furniture—Little dogs especially but big dogs too can do a lot of front limb damage jumping off of beds, sofas, out of the car or SUV.  Train your dog to use stairs or a ramp or even to wait for you to put them on the ground.  (Or don’t let them on the furniture in the first place.  Yeah, right!)

3)  Put The Kibosh on Squirrel-Chasing—A veterinary orthopedic surgeon we know gives a slide show on knee surgery for dogs (CCL repair, as it’s known) and always asks the audience what’s the number one cause of CCL tears.  The answer:  squirrels.  Not hard to believe if you’ve ever seen a squirrel-crazed dog take off after her favorite fluffy prey!  Unfortunately, ball-chasing isn’t much better for dog knees.

4)  Keep Her Lean—Fat dogs are more prone to a whole host of medical problems, including arthritis, disk ruptures, and those nasty CCL tears we just talked about.  Keep your girl (or boy) lean and you’ll improve the odds for a healthy dog life.

5)  Keep Him Fit—Making sure your dog gets daily, controlled exercise is the best thing you can do for his musculoskeletal health.  Brisk walks, boisterous play sessions, any controlled exercise can help keep your dog on the outside looking in at your local rehab center.  (The key here is “controlled”—chasing squirrels or balls does not qualify!)

Want to know how physical rehabilitation therapy can help your dog? Click here.

Rehab Therapy: An Opportunity to Practice Patience

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

I am not known for my patience.  In fact, when I was a kid, my father used to joke that when the good Lord passed out patience, I didn’t bother to wait in line.

But I’ve learned a few things since opening Scout’s House and one of them is that you have to have patience with rehab therapy.  It doesn’t happen overnight.

As many readers of this blog know, I started Scout’s House because I saw what an incredible difference it made in the life of my own dog.  But when I started rehab with Scout, I had no expectations that it would help her.  To be honest, she was such a neurological mess, I didn’t think anything could fix her.  But rehab did.  Not overnight but over months, slowly and steadily.  And I’m so glad I was patient enough to give it time to work.

So if there’s one bit of advice I’d give to anyone considering rehab therapy for her or his pet, it’s this:  have patience. Too many people come to Scout’s House expecting overnight miracles, but that’s not how rehab therapy—or physical therapy for humans—works.  It takes time to regain lost muscle strength, particularly when a leg hasn’t been used for a month or two.  And it takes even more time to retrain a brain to move limbs properly again after, say, a disk rupture or an FCE.

We often tell our new clients to start by bringing their pets in twice a week for two to three weeks and by then they should see at least a little improvement.  And we say twice a week because often the more therapy a pet gets each week, the more quickly you’ll see gains.  It’s just like going to the gym:  go once a week and you won’t see much change over the course of several weeks.  But go twice a week—or even three times a week—and you’ll improve far more rapidly.

So, if you’re headed to rehab with your pet, have patience and give it time to work.  I can’t promise it will–rehab doesn’t help every animal just as physical therapy doesn’t help every human–but if you commit to at least twice a week for two or three weeks, you’ll know if rehab is right for your pet.  And you’ll have the peace of mind, knowing you tried.

FRIENDS & FANS ALERT: Post Your Scout’s House Story and You May Win!

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

FRIENDS & FANS ALERT:  Tell us how Scout’s House’s rehab therapy service or online store helped your pet!  Just post your testimonial on our Facebook page or our blog, and we’ll enter your name to win a $50 Scout’s House gift certificate! (Can be used for rehab therapy or on our online store.  Drawing will take place at February 14th at 3pm PST.  Winner will be notified by Facebook and blog post.)

Post here by clicking Leave a Comment above or in the Comment box below

FRIENDS & FANS ALERT: Post Your Scout's House Story and You May Win!

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

FRIENDS & FANS ALERT:  Tell us how Scout’s House’s rehab therapy service or online store helped your pet!  Just post your testimonial on our Facebook page or our blog, and we’ll enter your name to win a $50 Scout’s House gift certificate! (Can be used for rehab therapy or on our online store.  Drawing will take place at February 14th at 3pm PST.  Winner will be notified by Facebook and blog post.)

Post here by clicking Leave a Comment above or in the Comment box below