• Dog ADHD

JUNIOR’S REHAB – Fixing Dog ADHD

Well, Junior is finally in rehab! When I first met Junior I thought he might have a neurological problem. His eyes darted back and forth like a child that spins himself around in a tight circle for 5 minutes and then suddenly stops! There was NO focus, just quickly darting eyes back and forth…..back and forth. He was checked thoroughly by a vet and nope-nothing neurological. After a few months and many hours of effort by his supporting dog rescue volunteers and some kind folks where he was boarded, his eyes did slow down somewhat but still lots of darting. However, everyone that knows Junior or has worked with Junior, knows he just could not focus or acknowledge people. It was definitely a severe case of “Dog ADHD!” Junior had already been with a trainer for 2 weeks and was still attacking every other dog he came in contact with, tearing every crate apart and pulling rescuer’s arm’s off when they tried to walk him. Junior was un-adoptable and was down to his last chance. My “3 dog days” program was all he had left, so I agreed to give it a shot. Junior’s behavior was like a bull that charges through doorways and reacts with first, excitement; then aggression toward other dogs. He was distracted by everything and was basically uncontrollable. Humans couldn’t get him to learn much or change his behavior because his mind seemed – for a lack of a better word – scrambled.

The Breakthrough

What I discovered, after taking two hours to get him to my house and settle down, was he had a serious case of anxiety. Anxiety that was being fed by his mistaken belief that he had to pay attention to every noise. I mean EVERY noise -the wind, a leaf blowing, the house settling. Medium noises also frighten him, but strangely, he wasn’t really afraid of big noises. He froze with 100 tiny moments of fear everyday. At first all dog parents can see is super excitement then aggression. So in dog rehab, step one is guiding them to settle down and then you can see the more subtle body language of fear and anxiety. Meaning, getting rid of over-excitement is peeling back the first layer, the second layer is extinguishing the fear-freezing, the third layer is guiding them toward acceptable behaviors and games that fulfill them. No this, but yes this. During the 3 Dog Days’ Program, keeping him under control and giving guidance every day of the 3 days, Junior settled and his eyes stopped darting. I disagreed (a small touch on the hip or saying “hey” in a calm but firm voice) EVERY time he froze or paid attention to a noise. After that, things got better fast. I continued with my “3 Dog Days” guidance for about a month because Junior was such a severe case. I also used my respectful Soft E program to stop the dog aggression and now Junior is adopted and has a new family! I’m especially thankful Junior has a new Boy to walk him and love him. Welcome to happily ever-after Junior!

About the Author:

I’m going to expose myself to you. I’m generally a fairly private person, so this kind of mass, personal exposure causes me some discomfort. However, I’m also a very straight forward person and I don’t shy away from the truth – I’m always happy to share anything I’ve discovered with others in the hope they can also benefit. My greatest desire, my absolute passion, is to change the world for dogs; and in order to do this, I must tell you my story. My journey started, like too many others, doing my best to ride out a very dysfunctional, abusive childhood. How I survived it, how I coped, was to escape into the natural world. I spent every moment I could, observing and caring for my much-loved pets. My family and friends would later remark they rarely saw me without, a cat, dog, guinea pig, horse, goat or rat! In my teens, I became obsessed with researching and planning how I could make things better for animals and protect them from abuse. Adulthood brought a career in real estate and construction and then the gift of two fantastic sons. My focus was on raising my boys to be kind, resilient, happy young men. Through the years, though, I was rehabilitating rescue dogs one or two at a time…the more difficult the case, the more I learned. The dogs were teaching me. I was honing my techniques until I was consistently able to cure dogs and bring back a happy dog mind. Like most moms, I did push myself too hard on all fronts and stress was my constant companion – eventually leading to a decade of various health challenges. I was very busy, and out of necessity, I developed a high tolerance for pain and kept pushing myself forward. Eventually, the universe dealt me a hand that would break me and demand I sit up and take notice. The short version is I was finally diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, a rare condition that delivers excruciating nerve pain in the form of “lightening strikes” in the face. I typical had around 30 strikes a day, which varied based on the number and types of incapacitating, medications prescribed to help me endure…to help me stay alive. Trigeminal neuralgia causes what is generally described as the “worst pain known to man ” and “the suicide disease.” If I tried to eat or speak, I got a strike. If I tried to brush my teeth, I got a strike. If I tried to go outside in the wind, I got a strike. I think one of the most devastating parts was not being able to cry…even crying brought a lighting bolt through my mouth. TN steals your life through extreme physical pain and starvation; and terrorizes you emotionally. After enduring it for 5 years, bedridden for the last six months, it was clear I wasn’t going to survive. The details of what happen next are extremely personal, but I was utterly aware I was living my final few days in this world. I had fought, furiously, to stay alive for my boys, but I felt the last energy from my cells slip away. I had lost my last battle. At that moment, I left most of my physical body and pierced the veil between our world and another world. I was instantaneously pain free and completely at peace; but it was not to be. How I was saved, though, is a whole other story. I will just tell you that I was not allowed to fully leave this world; while simultaneously and without my knowledge, a completely random set of circumstances and people were coming perfectly together to my rescue. By the next day, I was rushed to Pittsburgh for emergency brain surgery, preformed by gifted surgeons I had never met. I awoke from the ordeal completely cured…and with a clear directive. I was the recipient of a miracle; and I was to use this second chance to make the world a much better place for dogs. I realized I had to figure out, no matter how difficult, a way to spread this desperately needed information about the dog mind and heart everywhere! No longer was it just ok to save one dog at a time or help one family at a time. I had to make videos with clear, concise, common sense techniques and information; and get them into the hands of every dog parent. I will never stop working and advocating for dogs until my second chance time here is over. Please join me on this journey and help me spread the word!

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