Anxiety Alert

Fred2

In which Violet Greer talks to animals.

Sometimes when I’m called to help a pet in distress, it’s actually the owner who needs help. This is Fred. You don’t have to be psychic to tell by his expression that he is concerned. His owner, Celeste, is also concerned. She’s wound pretty tight any way and if I were a human therapist I might say she leans toward agoraphobia or some sort of phobia. She called me for a consultation right after Clyde’s book hit the book shelves.

Due mostly to Harriet Munson’s rabble rousing, the entire town was in a state of high anxiety. There were stories that Clyde had spilled everyone’s secrets – even the ones that she had discovered through psychic channels. Well, I doubt Clyde has a list of secrets that she’s collected through psychic sleuthing since she won’t use her talents even when it is clearly necessary. Once a few people had read the book and reported that most secrets were safe, everyone calmed down.

But not Fred. Like Celeste, Fred doesn’t really like crowds. He does like his daily walk. According to him, he was worried that when the hordes of people came to town looking for psychics and tarot readers, his long relaxing walk would be ruined.

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Here he is deciding whether to venture outside. I had to do a dual intervention in this case. I called Jillian and asked her to bring a vat of her chamomile tea over for Celeste, and I spent some time with Fred in his yard. As Celeste calmed, so did Fred. The two of them are enjoying a nice long walk right now.

Big thank you to Amanda for sharing her photos! -de

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Sports Injury Part 2

rowdycollar

In which Violet Greer talks to animals.

Now that the blog tour frenzy is over and Harriet has relinquished control of the blog, I thought I would follow up on Rowdy and his injury. I had the opportunity to check in with him on day five or six after his surgery. Things were not going very well. The family asked me to talk to him again and explain that he had to stop licking his incision.

Some dogs are pickers and they just can’t leave a cut or itchy spot alone. Rowdy is one of these. As you can see, when I met with him, he was wearing a collar designed to stop him from reaching his surgical site.

“I don’t know what has gotten into these people,” Rowdy said to me. “First, they take me to that crazy groomer, then they carry me around the house for days (which I really don’t mind, because there’s something wrong with my leg), then they buy me a new ridiculous collar. I like the old collar. This one is too big.”

I tried to explain that the collar was there to stop him from causing an infection, but Rowdy is not the most intuitive dog I have ever met. He kept insisting that his family had lost its collective mind and that there was something wrong with his leg that they were ignoring.

He perked up a bit when I asked him about his new toy.

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“I love presents, especially squeaky ones! Maybe you could tell them that there’s something wrong with my leg.”

Lord of the Flies

rowdytoilet

In which Violet Greer talks to animals.

Violet Greer again sharing another session with Rowdy. It is fly season where Rowdy lives. That means the family is on Red Alert. There is a lot of discussion about flies, and how they might get in the house, and how one might have been spotted, and whether Rowdy has seen it.

Like many small dogs, Rowdy has an over-inflated sense of his own power in the world. He spends his time protecting the perimeter of his territory with the kind of zeal that most dogs reserve for steak. He fears nothing and will take on all threats to his home and family – except for flies.

His family will notice a sudden hush has descended. No low growls of warning to people who are still hundreds of yards away in the public park that Rowdy can see from his perch on the back of the couch, no excessive barking when a dog is spotted. Rowdy will not answer when he is called and will not be lured out with promises of treats. The family has no choice but to begin checking behind the toilets.

Once found, Rowdy will come out if a fresh fly corpse is presented. He is not fooled by a long-dead fly. I may need to work with the family member who thinks it would be a good idea to keep a jar of dead flies around just to get the dog out from behind the tank. Maybe Diana, my niece’s Wiccan friend has that sort of thing, but I imagine it’s unsanitary, not to mention gross.

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Once out, Rowdy ventures carefully into the rest of the house scanning the ceiling like a bomb spotter from WWII. The moment he decides it is “all clear” he resumes his normal activities and refuses to acknowledge he was ever behind the toilet. I will have to spend some more time with him to get to the bottom of this…

Stress and the Suburban Mastiff

sabrinaweb

In which Violet Greer talks to animals.

Violet here with another client. This gorgeous girl is Sabrina. She is suffering from hyper-vigilance. It is clear from her picture that she is a deep thinker and, unfortunately, most of her thinking is about possible threats to her family. She is very loyal and feels it is her job to ensure the safety of her people. Unlike Archie, who thinks he is human, Sabrina embraces her canine heritage. She takes her job very seriously.

As a puppy, she attacked a doorstopper that was sticking out of the wall. “It breached the perimeter. It could have been trying to enter the kitchen. Where my food is.”

Later, she attacked a shovel while her owner tried to clear the sidewalk. “That thing made loud scraping noises. Then the lovely white water disappeared.”

I have recommended that she try to calmly assess the situation before attacking any more unknown tools or appliances. “I still hate the squirrels and rabbits, though. They are never to be trusted.”

Also, she should take time out for herself if she starts to feel overwhelmed. Her family reports that she is taking my advice to heart.

Sabrinarelaxed

Thank you to Michelle and Doug for sharing their photos! ~de

Secrets and lies

Olive boneweb

In which Violet Greer talks to animals.

This is Olive. And her bone. According to her family, she hides the bone all over the house. Her owner is a writer and even found it among her manuscript papers. Unlike some strange dog behaviors, this one is more perplexing than annoying. Because Olive is a rescue dog, her family doesn’t know her history or habits.

When I pressed her on this issue, she refused to admit to hiding the bone.

“Yeah, that’s my bone,” she said. “I don’t hide it. That’s crazy. It wasn’t me. I think it was the girl, or maybe one of the boys.”

I pointed out to her that the children don’t chew on bones and were unlikely to be the ones hiding it.

“No one saw me hide it, right? You have no proof. If I hid it and I’m not saying I did, then it would have been because I want to surprise my family with a chewy treat.”

Many dogs hide bones and treats. They may be continuing behaviors that were protective in the past. Dogs may have hidden food from other animals in the wild if they had too much to eat at one meal. I’m more concerned that Olive feels the need to lie about it. Who does she think will get the blame for hiding her bone? I will have to work with her some more to get to the bottom of this…

Thanks to Kali and Troy for sharing their photos! ~de