It all started with a Chihuahua back in 2007 ….. like the effect of a small flutter from the butterfly’s wings…
That day started just like any another working day – until woman walked into Hodes (where we were making orthopedic aids for people) with her Chihuahua. She was desperate to the point of euthanising her dog. Her dog had neck problems and could not lift his head anymore. He has eating and drinking problem resulting in a deteriorating condition. We decided to help her and made from a Neoprene, a support to keep the dog’s head up. We did not ask for any payment – it was an interesting and different patient for us. We were already happy that the support was successful and requested if he could use the story for our website.
A few months later, I had a call from this well known Dutch consumer programme called Tros Radar. They had a special acknowledgement section for company with satisfied customers and requested to film us. The day after the programme went live, my phone started ringing non stop from pet owners asking me make orthopedic aids for their pets.
… the turning point of my practice
Two years after that, I turned Hodes Animal Orthopedic into an established company. I divested a large portion of Hodes Group activities to be able to concentrate fully in animal care. At the end of the day, I have my ‘hands in the plaster’. I looked into a maximum of seven to eights dogs per day, and enjoy the good mix of social aspect, technical activities, and the medical part of my job. My job is of medical nature, technique is required to solve mobility problem and the social aspect in the consultation.
A bit about my history with orthopedics
My parents started the company in 1965 and it was growing gradually. In 1992, I joined my parent’s company. I didn’t want to work as an orthopedic although I am a qualified orthopedic by education. I chose for the operational aspect of Hodes orthopedic because I love to work with hands and with people.
A few years later my sister Cristel Hodes followed my footstep. In 2008, Hodes Orthopedie grew into twelve different segments: orthopedic revalidation and mobiliy devices, wheelchairs, elevators, adjustable beds. Most of our products were focused on accelerating healing of patients in their own home environment. When Hodes Animal Orthopedic is established, I started from scratch again but this time for animals. You have to do what you are good at. I am just a pioneer and in that sense I am an entrepreneur.
I love dogs
To say I love dogs is an understatement. Our dogs are always happy when I am coming home. His tail is wagging unconditionally. That makes things relative and put things into perspective for me.
I believe in energy transfer. I think I breathe a certain peace and dogs noticed that. Dog smells in the butyric of your sweat that you are tense. A part of the energy that you transfer. A dog smells a million times than we do.
Once a woman came for the first intake and she was convinced that her dog would never allow him to be casted. The dog was, just like the owner, pretty active. I assured her that I would take the time and give it a shot. The dog was very calm in the middle of the room while I was doing the casting. The women asked if I hypnotise the dog. 🙂
Family, life and adventure
I live for my work. I like my customer to be satisfied even if that takes the extra mile. I also likes to be at home with my wife, daughter of two and half years old, our new new born son. When you are with your family you look at things differently. We are often outside with our dogs.
Besides that, I am an adventurer. I love the excitement and special projects where I can grab the bull by its horns. In 2007, I took part of the latest African Edition of the Dakar Rally (Paris Dakar) as the driver for a press car through the African continent. My next challenge would be to cycle the Trans Alp with eight stages almost 600km long and 200m altitude – it is the most adventurous cycle event. The question is not if, but when I will do this cycle tour.