Dakota Askew


The average person who does not have a dog, considers those that have dogs, as pet owners. That could not be further from the truth. People that have dogs understand the closeness and love we develop for our four legged friends. In fact, they have become close family members. 

We adopted Dakota at 8 months old without ever having seen or met him. He fit right in with my wife and I and ever since, he has continually brought smiles to our faces and brightened every day.

In the fall of 2011 Dakota developed a sore left front leg which just seemed to appear one day when he started to limp. We took him to our vet with Xrayed him to determine if there was an underlying cause to his limping. They determined that he just strained it, but recommended we visit Northborough Animal Hospital's Dr. Dudley to get a second opinion.

After a thorough examination, Dr. Dudley recommended some physical therapy at Northborough Canine Rehabilitation Center run by Susanne Russell.

We were amazed at Susanne's knowledge of every joint, muscle, bone, and how they interact with each other. She started working on Dakota with massages and stretching his legs. I actually thought I saw his eyes roll back in his head during one of the massages. After the first visit, Dakota looked forward to the Physical Therapy (pt) sessions. He would drag me to the door and then run to the bed for his massage.

While being treated for the front leg strain, somehow Dakota injured his left rear knee. Another trip to Dr. Dudley was in order. The news was not good. He would require knee surgery to repair the torn tendons. This would require 8 weeks of recovery confined to a crate. We were so worried. Long story short, Dakota had the surgery and after 12 weeks we returned to Susanne to help in strengthening his muscles and to continue working on his front leg because that still bothered him. 

After a few visits of massages, stretching and walking in the treadmill with water he was showing signs of improvement. I've never seen anyone who shows so much love and attention as Susanne does to every dog that I've seen her interact with. We are so thankful for her help in getting Dakota back to normal. She truly loves what she is doing and it shows. In our discussions with Susanne, we determined that swimming would be a great exercise for Dakota. We have a pool but he would not go in. He goes on the top step of the pool but no further. We asked Susanne if she could make a house call to try and coax Dakota into the pool. On one visit within about 15 minutes, she had Dakota swimming! It was incredible to watch. Dakota trusts her completely.

Dakota is now completely healed and as good as new. I can now coax him into the pool to keep up his non impact exercises. People that are not pet owners laugh when I mention Dakota's PT, but without it we would be living with a dog in pain and limited ability to walk and play. We can't thank Susanne enough for caring about Dakota as much as we do and knowing what was needed to make him good as new. 

Bill & Dolores Askew, Marlborough 

Dakota Askew
Bill & Dolores - Labrador Retriever