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Ask Your Pet

by Jennifer Dickman

Dear Jennifer,

I run a small Great Pyrenees rescue and recently took in a male Pyrenees mix named Bart. Bart is heartworm positive, and when I brought him in two weeks ago, I placed him in a home that was going to foster him until his heartworm treatment was over. Unfortunately, the woman called me not even a week later and told me Bart was too much for her because he was being too disruptive. So, Bart came back home with me.

Bart seems to have A LOT of nervous energy and paces constantly. Can you communicate with him to find out what I can do to rehabilitate him to make him a more adoptable dog? No one will want to adopt a dog that is a basket case.

Lonestar Pyrs & Paws-NORTH

Dear Leslie,

A major cause of Bart’s anxiety is that at some point he heard someone talking about euthanizing him. He didn’t realize that he’s in a no-kill rescue now. That, combined with being shuttled around has made him feel very anxious and uncertain. The uncertainty of not knowing what is ultimately going to happen to him is driving him nuts. He also feels like he needs to get back to his old people. In particular, there’s a little girl he feels protective of, and he says he’s sorry about something related to her.

I explained to Bart that he can’t go back to his old home, but that he is safe with you, will not be euthanized, and that you are working to find him a forever home. In the meantime, you can help with his anxiety by explaining everything that happens to him. For example, if he has to go to the veterinarian, explain where he is going, what’s going to happen, and that he’s coming back home to you. Picture all of this in your mind when you’re telling him and put feelings of calm and security behind it.

Bart said it is very helpful for him to have clear instructions and know what is expected of him. He feels this was part of the problem at the foster home. So, if there are any rules you want him to follow or things you need him to do, please explain them in a very clear and calm way, using the method I described above. Also, if he goes to another foster home please explain to him that it’s a foster and he will find a permanent home soon. If he goes to a permanent home, please make sure he knows this and tell his new people to keep reminding him he’s with them forever.

I should also mention that physical problems can sometimes cause or be mistaken for anxiety, so it’s always a good idea to consult a veterinarian when a pet seems anxious. I prefer holistic veterinarians, who look at the entire mind/body picture and can often use gentle remedies such as flower essences rather than pharmaceuticals.

Many Blessings,

Jennifer Dickman

Jennifer Dickman is an Animal Communicator, Pet Reiki Specialist, and Reiki Master-Teacher. She is available for phone sessions and house calls. Jennifer can be reached at 215.817.0833 or Info@BoundlessSpiritReiki.com. To receive a free copy of Jennifer’s "Five Things Your Dog or Cat Wants You to Know" please subscribe to her newsletter by emailing Newsletter@BoundlessSpiritReiki.com.  More information is available on Jennifer’s web site: www.BoundlessSpiritReiki.com.

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