Local dog walker begins a journey of 1,000 miles

A client gets into it as dog walker and animal massage therapist Carol Kozlovich does her thing.

by Janet Oshiro

Making a difference is as simple as walking, as Carol Kozlovich knows. The former market researcher, now a dog walker and animal massage therapist, has added another leg to her journey: striding 1,000 miles for women suffering horrific abuses in the war-ravaged Congo.

Kozlovich worked in the corporate world of marketing and market research for 25 years, and then had a life changing revelation.

“I’ve always had a passion for natural health and animals,” she said. “So when my mother passed away unexpectedly several years ago, I realized that life is short – we die. My sister asked me, ‘Have you learned anything from this?’ And I said ‘Yes, it’s time for me to stop working for my own survival and start working for my own passions.’”

Kozlovich turned her life upside down. She went back to school and completed the animal massage program at Ojai School of Massage. In addition to this, she also completed the Veterinary Technology program at Los Angeles Pierce College.

“Then I started rehabilitative massage on dogs and cats, as well as pet sitting,” she said.  “I also started working for another dog walking service and I branched off into my own business.”

Rather than volunteer for an organization such as Rover Rescue or the SPCALA, she chose to launch Creature Comforts, working in animal exercise and therapeutic massage. She believes that pets deserve the same treatment their owners do.

“There’s a real need for it,” said Kozlovich. “A lot of dogs don’t get walked enough.  I believe everybody, including people, needs enough exercise. We get cranky and don’t behave well if we don’t get enough exercise. And it’s the same for dogs. A lot of dogs will develop behavior problems if they have too much energy and it doesn’t get released.”

Her services include pet sitting, walking, therapeutic animal massage, and hiking.

“I mostly take care of dogs and cats,” said Kozlovich. “But I’ve also done a gecko, a bearded dragon, and a rabbit.”

She is one of only a few animal massage therapists in the South Bay.

“I work mostly with dogs that are recovering from surgery or injury. I also work with older and terminally ill animals,” she said. “The field is really up and coming, as more people are coming to understand that animals get the same therapeutic and rehabilitative benefits that people experience from massage.”

Kozlovich also holds a deep interest in humanitarian issues. Two Saturdays ago she began her “journey of 1,000 miles,” committing to walk that distance to raise awareness of the plight of women in the Congo, who are suffering rape as part of the strategy of combat.

“Rape is used as a weapon of warfare. It’s used to control and manipulate. And it’s very frightening,” said Kozlovich.

Rather than setting off on a journey across the United States, Kozlovich decided to walk and run five to 15 miles a day. She also records her progress on a blog.

“I’ll be finished probably by the end of November,” she said.

Kozlovich is working with Run for Congo Women, a global running and walking movement that benefits Women for Women International’s Congo program.

“If you go on my website you can click, it takes you to a secure webpage and the money goes directly to Run for Congo Women.  I’m trying to raise $50,000. It’s tough in this economy, because everyone’s having a hard time. But I figure if I can find 5,000 people to donate $10 – there are a lot of people who have $10. It’s worth a couple of lattes. So I’m really hoping to raise a lot of money. It’s such an important cause.”

Women for Women International raises money for medical fees, medicine, school fees, and training.

“They’ll train them in a trade like cooking or sewing or farming. They give out micro-loans. They’ve made a real difference there,” said Kozlovich.

“I hope to raise awareness for this issue and to get other people passionate about their issues. I want people to understand that you can make a difference,” Kozlovich said.

For more information see dogwalksouthbay.com or call (310) 316-8124. To follow Kozlovich’s progress or join her, see dogwalksouthbay.blogspot.com. ER


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