Saturday, June 28, 2008

Thunderphobia be GONE!

You may recall, dear readers, that Very Old Dog's thunderphobia had advanced to the point where I feared that he would literally die of fright. His fourteen year old heart simply would explode under the strain. He was terrified. And he got worse with each storm.

He had been totally oblivious to storms or any loud noises until about the time he turned twelve. During the last several storms he had gotten to the point where he paced, he shook, he panted and he suffered abject terror. The flash of the lightning would make him jump and whimper, and then the thunder... oh it has been awful. And in this part of the world, thunder storms are a violent, persistent presence. Year round.

Well, one of you dear readers, who happens also to live in Paducah, took pity on the old dog. We knew her casually; she and her husband enjoy Bill's art. They had us to dinner once and we had reciprocated, and we'd see each other at goings on around town. Jean (not to be confused with Jeannie who went to see Xela run with me, even though I called Jean Jeannie for three months cause I'm not so swift) and Roger were fun people and we looked forward to getting to know them better.

(A moment of truth: I was intimidated by that first dinner. Holy Moly could she cook! And everything was so beautiful, and organized and ... and I'm not. But I've gotten over it.)

I can't remember if Jean called or just stopped by, but she said the magic words, "I might be able to help Giacomino be not so stressed during storms."

Well, don't be bashful, come on over!!

I had been interested to hear about Jean's course of study, which she's been doing for some years. (Ill find out how many and edit.) She studies Energy Medicine, and is a Certified Practitioner. Now, I imagine it took some courage to come to the house of a retired M.D. and a retired R.N. and say, "I am going to work on your dog's energy flow and meridians and help him with his fear of storms." But I'd seen very good results in my dogs and horses with acupuncture treatments in the past, and I said, "Sure! It can't hurt."

So she worked with him. Oh, yes, she is trained to treat humans, but she had one course on animals, and she punted.

The first couple of storms after the first couple of sessions, I didn't see any improvement. But then the next storm, I thought, "Huh." He didn't seem so frantic. I reasoned that maybe his hearing was gone to the point that he couldn't hear it. I wrote if off as a simple, "huh."

But then there was no denying the improvement. More storms came, doozies, and he was unfazed. Maybe he'd look slightly unsettled for a nanosecond. BOOM!!! The windows rattled and the room lit up. Zzzzzzzz went Giacomino. "Oh thank everything that is good," cried a happy me!

Night before last was a big test. Bill and I were out, and a bad storm rolled into town, just minutes before we got home. When we opened the kitchen door, I saw dear Giacomino standing with both ears straight up, staring at the flashing window.

Uh-oh, I thought.

He was fairly worried. So I "worked" the points to relieve his fight or flight reaction, as Jean had taught me. This storm was bad, but I felt the pulses under my fingers, and saw some of my dog's muscles twitching, meaning that I was getting a reaction, and then, as the flashes and crashes kept on, I saw Giacomino relax.

And then, he went to sleep.

Good glory be it's a genuine miracle!!! I am one happy whippet servant! What a gift! (I know that is a lot of exclamation points, but I am exclaiming!) It is so miserable to watch your dear dog in a total panic and not be able to do a thing to help, and it is heaven to be able to help him.

Thank you, Jean.

hug your hounds


  1. There are all sorts of ways to help. Conventional is not always the way that is correct or helpful.

  2. Can I please come over and rub up next to Giacomino so that all the good stuff vibes rub off on me? I hate storms and I hate fireworks!
    Saint Jean is a doGsend!

    Love ya lots,

  3. You never know, huh?
    Good for you to be open-minded and look where it got ya.
    That's great, I'm very glad for you and ol' dog.

  4. wow. this was all through massage?
    riley suffers from fear of thunder (and, this time of year, firecrackers). he hides in the bathroom and shakes.

    we bring the boys to a holistic vet who does aquapuncture and massage on them. not for thunder fears, but to get their spines realigned and to help aging boscoe's old hips feel better.

    i'm so glad your friend could help VOD.

  5. will you please post any url that might help muzzer read more about this. I have decided we need to try it with Teka. Maybe it will help her learn to be calm on walkies.

    kisses and thank yous

  6. My poor Murphy went through this also! He was 131/2 and I like you was afraid for his heart.
    Our Vet put him on Valium, that didn't work(maybe it was for me).

    A neighbor told me her friend put a DAP Collar on her dog for storms. I tried this and had the most amazing results. I bought him one every month, till the end of his life.

  7. Jean rocks! Exclamation points rock,too! Yay,yay and yah for VOD!!! Martha and P-Doggy(who isn't afraid yet,but the Shania got afraid after her "mother" (old saluki) died-she's ok as long as we sit w/her,tho)

  8. Patience, Can you clue us in on the massage or pressure points. I'd love to try in on Pico.
    She has developed a fear of rain, thunder and lightening within the past two years. I'd love to try it on her. Right now we put a bed under the computer desk on in the kids bathroom which doesn't have windows but she still pants and paces. Thanks for any info you can provide.

  9. Glad to know the massage works for him!
    Kisses and hugs

  10. Wow! We need to know more about this. Cheyenne is only 5 but I swear there are times I think her heart is going to beat right out of her chest. I feel I have to be home anytime there might be a storm and as you know it's been a bit busy storm wise this year. We've tried medications, DAP, yawning (all that did was make me tired) and any other thing we can think of and it seems she just gets more scared. And here we are at the 4th of July. At least 3 more weeks of firecrackers...

  11. Oh we are so glad that it is working

  12. omdog, this sounds absolutely amazing! I don't get frantic or totally nuts but I sure HATE HATE HATE storms. We are so happy you guys are getting relief for your very special Very Old Dog.


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