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My Story

Passion for Animals

Pleasure to meet you, I am Lesley Zehr and my passion for animals and interest in serving others inspired my decision to become a professional pet first aid instructor and pet bereavement counsellor. I began this journey in 2014, by offering pet first aid courses in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. More recently I have founded Mended Mutts and expanded my educational and compassionate services to the Bruce Penisula and Muskoka areas. I can’t wait to meet you and your furry friend, and learn more about your journey.

I grew up with animals: dogs, cats, guinea pigs and even raised a couple orphaned field mice. Being around animals I found a peacefulness and desire to care take for them. Entering the pet care industry was something that came naturally. With many years of instructing human first aid, I wanted to bring my passion for working with animals as well as teaching humans life skills together. Becoming a pet first aid instructor has been a great way to blend my skills and knowledge along with helping to promote health and wellness for furry friends!

First aid in general is a life skill I am strong advocate of; you never know when you will be faced with a situation that could require the knowledge and confidence gained through first aid training. Pet first aid adapts these life skills to dealing with a canine or feline anatomy as well as prepares the first aider to protect themselves and to use non-verbal cues and behaviours to assist them in assessing each situation. Pet first aid is a set of skills and techniques I believe as a pet owner and pet care professional is essential for being best prepared for what situations can and will arise throughout your time with animals.

Over the years of owning my own pets, as well as working with many different clients, I have been faced with tough decisions when it comes to quality of life and end of life care. I have learned how valuable and precious our time is with our furry companions and how emotionally devastating their loss is. I have come to appreciate the ultimate responsibility we have as pet owners and how each individual will require us to look at quality of life in a different way. I have experienced loss through tragedy, unresolve, medical conditions and old age, each has left a different scar and taken a piece of my heart. However, without ever giving my heart I would have never gained the beautiful gifts each of their souls shared with me while they were alive.

Pet bereavement counselling is a connection with others also experiencing loss. Some people may not have the emotional support of family and friends, some may not know how to handle their emotions, some people may just need someone to talk to without judgement, I hope to be able to allow others to cherish the gifts their animal gave to them and to help gently guide them towards self healing. There is no prescribed method nor prescribed length of counselling, it all starts with one conversation via phone, email, Skype or in person and taken one step at a time.

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