Level 1+2 Custom Itinerary

Level 1 Logo
Level 2 Logo

At the Heart of Canine Aquatics
Custom Combined Level One and Two

A Training Program
Offered by Cindy Horsfall of La Paw Spa

Please also be aware that this itinerary is the intention of my class however, everything is subject to change as schedules come together; course content however will remain basically intact.


Arrive in Sequim, Washington and get yourself situated for the week. when we meet tonight, we’ll be going over some ideas for good places to shop, eat out and beaches to hang out on – so that you can create the week that is best for you.

Sequim Beach

Sequim is located between the majestic mountains and the salt water edges of our country; it’s a perfect location to ponder the bigger picture of your life. I urge you to take advantage, while you are here, of our vast horizons and allow yourself to let go all that concerns or thoughts that don’t serve you and open your heart and mind to the week to come.

10am – We’ll meet up at LA PAW SPA for our first day together

La Paw Spa - Sequim Headquarters

La Paw Spa
We’ll take a tour upon arrival of the pool, the set up, the building and the solutions that were found to create this spa setting. This is an opportunity for you to begin to plan your own pool space and start answering some of your personal questions about your set up at home.

We will also go over the maps of the area – favorite places to shop and eat so that you can make your plans on how you are going to take care of yourselves in class.

We’ll talk about water therapy, enjoy introductions, we’ll go over the itinerary for class and we can go over the notebook that you have already received.

By the time you have gotten to this day, you will have done some work at home and have begun pondering the deeper meaning of water therapy. There were 6 homework assignments which you have done and we’ve shared via email. We will go over these this morning and begin to tie this all together.

Break for lunch: 12:30-2:30 PM

PACK: Wear swim wear to the spa after lunch and bring your change of comfy warm clothes to change into after our day – and a plastic bag to put it in. Be sure to grab a warm bathrobe to borrow for the week. Wear comfy working layers. Easy on and off shoes. Bring your notebook to class each day.

This afternoon, in the pool, we will go over a standard recipe for the work, clarify some of the massage holds and moves and practice some footwork. You will learn to move with a lower center of gravity in the pool – so that you will feel more grounded and secure. We’ll get a chance to work with buoyancy, water movement and moving with intention.

This is an important first step in our journey to be the best we can be in the world of canine aquatics – as when we get that 240 lb. Bull Mastiff in our arms, we’ll need to have a grounded stance in order to be the stable ‘island’ that this dog (and his person) will need.

And then… we’ll be joined by professors ANI and MAGOO who will be starting our first afternoon of dogs in water!

Ani and Magoo

Today we will enjoy a selection of dogs who will be teaching us how to use a pool this size, the steps and the benches – we’ll talk about massage techniques and holds. We have an easy line up so that you can get used to applying these techniques in water….

We’ll be all wrapped up by 7:00 pm – have a wonderful evening!!


10AM we’ll meet up at La Paw Spa!

PACK: ONE set of swim wear (for this afternoon) and a plastic bag to put it in after our day. A fleece cover-up for when you are wet but outside the pool. Wear comfy working layers. Easy on and off shoes, slippers.

We will begin this fun day with a short talk on orthopedics and injuries that we often see in our clients and begin to explore the various ways to support our clients via mobility aides and common protocols for water therapy.

Mobility Aids

Break for lunch: 12:30-2:30 PM

This afternoon we will be moving quickly into more and more difficult dogs as we work on the basic skills of how to get a dog in, how to keep a dog in and how to get a dog out of the pool safely. We will begin to work with harder dogs and explore how different injuries look in water and some of the ways we handle our sessions.

We will also cover how to introduce the gait of swimming, how to offer various holds for support. We will explore the differences in breeds, temperaments and sizes and discuss the challenges we face in this work.

We’ll be all wrapped up by 7:00 pm – have a wonderful evening!!


9:00 am – We’ll meet up at LA PAW SPA in Sequim.

Cindy Ericksen will be meeting you at 9am for a special 3 hour crash course in Anatomy, Massage, Stretches and SOAP notes.

Cindy Ericksen is an experienced licensed massage practitioner, both for dogs and their human companions. Having received her massage therapist license in 2000 and her certification for Canine Massage from the Boulder School of Massage Therapy, she recently completed training at La Paw Spa for work in Canine Aquatic Therapy.

Cindy Ericksen’s entire career has been in the health care field. She first graduated as a bachelor’s prepared Registered Nurse, going on to attain her Nurse Practitioner certification after completing her Master Degree in Nursing. Her interest in massage developed as she came to realize the intrinsic connections between emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being and the therapeutic effects of using touch. Her interest in Canine Massage came about as a result of a life-long lover of dogs as companions and friends. Having experienced the care and rehabilitation support of La Paw Spa for her own Golden Retriever, Cindy’s interest has now spread to the water and the diverse health needs of athletic, geriatric, injured and rehabilitating canines.

shoulder pup

You will be all wrapped up by 12:00 noon.

This is the first of your two afternoons off – and I urge you to take this time to think about your unique gifts to this work – and how you see your contribution in this world. Seek the wild coast lines and gaze out at the vast horizons as you embrace this bigger picture… the Peninsula is a perfect place for this kind of soul search…….

Enjoy & we’ll see you tomorrow morning


10:00 am – We’ll meet up at LA PAW SPA in Sequim.

We will meet up again for a couple of hours this morning and discuss how things are going so far… we’ll talk about listening exercises and the importance of communication in this work.

I will also be giving you your 8 client files so that you can call your 8 private clients and confirm the times of your appointments together. We will go over files and chart notes and how to best stay within the laws and the scope of your practice when charting and taking notes.


We have begun to explore the bigger picture of canine water therapy, by now you can see that while it includes tennis balls and happy Labradors, it is also much much more than this.

Putting this all together, use this last afternoon off to embrace your gifts – the key with heart centered work like this is, is to do what resonates with your soul – to market what you do best and to create a business where your service is congruent with your true self. You will be most successful if you honestly assess your own unique gifts to the work and then create a service and a business in line with this higher calling.

So take this time to seek out the vast horizons and fresh air that the Olympic Peninsula is famous for and explore deeply within yourself – what makes you tick – what do you love. What kind of dogs do you want to come and see you? What kind of people do you envision supporting you? This is your life and before you can create it – you first need to identify what it is you want.

We will be all wrapped up by 12:00noon – Have a great afternoon!


PACK: TWO sets of swim wear, we’ll have one hour in the pool this morning and then you’ll have your sessions in the pool this afternoon. A plastic bag for wet things, your fleece cover-up for when you are wet but outside the pool. Wear comfy working layers. Easy on and off shoes, slippers.

10:00 am – We’ll meet up at LA PAW SPA in Sequim

Welcome back to the second part of our class together!

We will be seeing more difficult dogs and will begin to talk about treatment work and diagnostic skills. You will be doing your own private sessions, including the paperwork and file maintenance.

A large part of Level Two Training is building your intuition skills. When we receive a dog for water therapy, there are many options to consider when thinking of a treatment plan or how to handle the session. Does this dog need swimming? Massage? Is this case more about the person on deck? Do they just need us to listen and help hold the space? This is when we need to toss out the recipe and instead flow with the facts as they present themselves, we’ll spend a little time this morning talking about how to ignite your intuition.

We will work one dog together before lunch that is in therapy currently. You will work with Cindy Horsfall as this dog experiences his 3rd session in a program designed to keep him out of surgery. This is the real thing!

BREAK FOR LUNCH FROM 12:30 – 2:30pm…….

2:30 pm – Meet back at LA PAW SPA

It is time for your first round of PRIVATE SESSIONS !!! You will have 4 private sessions this afternoon which will be video taped by Deb Cox. We will get these videos back tomorrow morning and will be able to go over this afternoon’s experience together. What a wonderful opportunity for you to watch your own style in water and be able to adjust your style as needed.

We’ll be all wrapped up by 7:00 pm – have a wonderful evening!!


PACK: ONE set of swim wear for your sessions in the pool this afternoon. A plastic bag for wet things, your fleece cover-up for when you are wet but outside the pool. Wear comfy working layers. Easy on and off shoes, slippers.

10:00 am – We’ll meet up at LA PAW SPA in Sequim

This is our last morning together – we’ll go over the videos that were made from yesterdays sessions and enjoy any last questions or details. We will go over your files notes and celebrate your unique style in this line of work.

BREAK FOR LUNCH FROM 12:30 – 2:30pm…….

2:30 pm – Meet back at LA PAW SPA

You will have 4 more private sessions this afternoon where you will be able to practice your work on first time dogs and more difficult dogs.


As a graduate of Level Two, You will be able to enjoy this LOGO in your advertising…please find it to use at: https://www.lapawspa.com/level_2_training_graduate_certificate/


Heart 2 Heart - Certified Level Two