|Dog artwork by Todd Young (www.ToddYoungArt.com)|
When it comes to seasons in Northern Wisconsin, you just kind of get used to having patience. The trees will burst into full foliage and flowers will bloom overnight... one morning in the next couple of days, everything will suddenly be summer. That's how it goes here.
The temperatures are definitely milder and we're experiencing quite a bit of rain, so it's no doubt that the new season will arrive very soon. Charlie and I have been walking a lot more lately and exploring new neighborhoods, the arc of our travels getting wider and farther each day.
Having been cooped up so much this winter, I'm working on resocializing Charlie to the multitude of sights, smells and sounds that grow more numerous by the day since she's been a little skittish with things that never used to be an issue.
I've also been reading Dogs Naturally magazine the past few months and am learning a lot about essential oils and flower essences to help dogs with behavioral issues and <ahem> realign their chakras. I know, I know. I thought this was all a bunch of hocus pocus at first but the more I read, the more I believe this stuff actually works and I want to continue learning about it.
My curiosity about natural remedies prompted me to purchase a bottle of Bach Rescue Remedy from the local natural pet store. Bach Flower Essences come in 38 different formulas with Rescue Remedy being the most well known. The combination of flower essences used in Rescue Remedy were created specifically to address stress in emergency or crisis situations but can also be used to treat chronic conditions when appropriate.
It's a pretty small bottle and as you can see from the picture, it's priced at $17.99. There is a little dropper attached to the cap so you can measure the dose very accurately... but don't worry, you can't overdose on this stuff since it's all natural and non-toxic.
I had an opportunity to give this stuff a try the other night after one of our neighborhood walks. As I said, Charlie has been a little skittish with noises lately, so when we walked past a house that was under construction, the automatic nailer (an air tool?) scared the crap out of Charlie. Her ears pinned back against her head and she shot forward as if to bolt to the nearest safe place. I tried calming her down with some treats, but she wasn't having it.
Ten feet later, a motorcycle revved its engine as it drove by and Charlie again shot forward with her ears pinned back. To make matters worse, a car back-fired on the next block. Charlie was in a frantic state by now, whipping her head from left to right looking for the next sign of danger, continually pulling forward on the leash struggling to get home.
Unfortunately home was another four blocks away and she practically dragged me the whole way. I felt terrible for her but there was nothing I could do to soothe her.
As soon as we got home, I ran upstairs and got the Rescue Remedy. I applied four drops to the top of a dog biscuit and offered it to her. Amazingly, within a couple of minutes she was laying down and seemed calm. She was still panting but her ears were relaxed and her eyes no longer had that wild, scared look.
Since the remedy can be given orally with food or mixed into the water dish, I decided to add a couple drops to her water as well. She watched me put the drops in the bowl and came over to check it out, and after sniffing the water decided it was safe to drink.
Bottom line: this stuff works. Results of using Rescue Remedy would probably be difficult to see in use with chronic conditions, but for emergency situations, the proof was plain to see. I'm going to start carrying this little bottle in my poop-bag pouch during our walks from now on. It's so easy to use and the effects were immediate.