FROM THE ACWT!!!
After completing another successful International Association of Animal Massage and Bodywork (IAAMB) conference in Seattle, Jonathan Rudinger (founder of the IAAMB) and his wife Anastasia came to Sequim, Washington to spend two action packed days with Cindy Horsfall, founder of the Association of Canine Water Therapy (ACWT).
The discussions started months ago in email form as these two pioneers discussed how close their visions were with their respective Associations and how possibly the ACWT could grow stronger under the info structure that was in place for the IAAMB.
Photograph of Jonathan Rudinger, IAAMB founder and Cindy Horsfall, ACWT founder.
Photo taken on September 9, 2009 after a successful meeting regarding the future of the ACWT.
The ACWT has become very successful and is growing with new members each month. Many of our members have asked about adding educational opportunities, an annual conference and insurance options – things that the IAAMB already has in place.
We are excited to announce to you that a plan was put into place and agreements were made to move the ACWT into a division of the IAAMB as of January 1, 2010. This union will make more things possible.
Our website will remain active until December 31, 2009. After that date, the web address of www.caninewatertherapy.com will redirect to the new ACWT section on the IAAMB website. Our ACWT members will not only have their directory listings in the IAAMB directories but also in the new water therapy directories of the IAAMB/ACWT.
Our logos will remain the same and those of you who have ACWT email addresses will enjoy continued services. After the Fall 2009 issue (due out in November), the SPLASH newsletter will become a section in the IAAMB newsletter which is sent out quarterly so you will enjoy continued and expanded services there. We will still want your stories, testimonials and new product listings to share. Your membership in 2010 will include increased benefits and more educational opportunities.
The dues and membership categories will shift a bit – those exact details and the steps to transferring your membership on January 1, 2010 will be sent to you within the next few weeks. These steps will also be outlined in our November ACWT Newsletter and will be outlined clearly on our website.
Members of the ACWT who have paid for memberships into 2010 will receive a refund from the current ACWT structure and we will assist you through the steps to transfer your membership to the IAAMB/ACWT structure on January 1, 2010.
This is a powerful move of growth and opportunity. Our goal is that this transition be as seamless as possible so that we can all move forward into this new exciting and expanded structure for the ACWT.
Jonathan is dedicated to world vision, growth and is dedicated to you. His own story for the IAAMB is as follows:
The IAAMB was created in 2000 when Jonathan Rudinger, the founder of PetMassage, Ltd. heard about one animal massage school making disparaging comments about another. At that time there were very few schools teaching animal massage and bodywork and only a few hundred practitioners. He understood that referring to any colleague in negative terms demonstrates disrespect to a significant percentage of the whole, and ultimately diminishes the one who makes the comments. As a new and burgeoning profession, there is more than enough opposition and misunderstanding from the uneducated or the threatened without adding to it from within our ranks. With over 75 million dogs and 100 million animal owners in the US alone, there are abundant potential clients and students for all practices and schools. The concept of "competition" for students and clients does not apply. The first tenant for the association was to "consciously speak kindly of our colleagues."
Recognizing the need for practitioners to stand united, he saw the need to create a community of people and schools with the common goals of helping animals find greater quality of life through complementary, alternative and holistic practices. The association has become a forum in which practitioners of many disciplines could interact, network and support each other. It is now a forum for more experienced practitioners to train and mentor others in their specialties. As more and more, pet owners seek answers and methods outside the traditional veterinary vision, IAAMB members' practices provide resources that support the work of veterinarians. They are never intended to be replacements or substitutes for competent veterinary care.
The IAAMB was created to meet the need for an organization that establishes professionalism within animal massage and bodywork practices, with scopes of practice and codes of conduct, setting the standard for responsible, professional behavior. It fulfills a need for the place where people interested in learning about specific practices and the legalities affecting them can go for assistance, support and guidance. The IAAMB is an organization that was created to stay aware of and help in bringing reasonableness to impending restrictive local and national legislation affecting our members' practices.
The association grew slowly at first. By 2002 it had only 45 members. By 2003, it had 100. In 2004-05 it more than doubled in membership to close to 250. Currently we have more than 400 members. Encouraging in these numbers is the percentage of members who derive enough value in their memberships to choose to renew; over 90%!
2009 accomplishments include optimizing our IAAMB.ORG website making it easier for members to update their profiles and contact information.
We are all so thrilled with these new plans for 2010 - giving us all more opportunity for growth, education and support.
CindyHorsfall, Lynda Coote, & Sandy Fisher
Your ACWT Board of Directors