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Monkey - Client Testimonial

Monkey is a Belgian Tervuren. He is basically a friendly, happy, funny, somewhat high drive boy. Monk is my second dog. He came home at 9 weeks old to follow in the footsteps of Mina, an Obedience Trial Champion, Masters Agility Excellent with tracking and herding titles girl. With high expectations, we started training and shaping our boy with an eye for performance titles.

Monkey has the innate willingness and intelligence to do it, but early in his development we had a hugely devastating set back at a very formative age. I had tied Monk to a chair in an emergency situation and he took off with the chair chasing him around the training facility. It was very bad. Monk never truly recovered from the incident. He formed a number of negative associations to this event and had varying degrees of difficulty with the sound of scootching chairs, metal crates breaking down, dropped boards, new environments, vendor booths and garbage cans to name a few. He was about 1 year old and prior to the chair incident, had not demonstrated any difficulties.

I always unfailingly have my crate with me now. A heart-breaking lesson.

Going on instinct and observation, I did come up with a routine of working with Monk’s fears and was making slow progress. It was very often like handling a spooking pony. About a year after the original event, I met a man with another Tervuren at an agility trial. As it turned out, this Terv was a son of a littermate to my older dog, Mina. In the course of talking about our dogs he mentioned his dog was on flower essence therapy. He glowingly spoke of the success he had in managing his dog’s fear of thunderstorms and fireworks. I, myself have been getting acupuncture and Chinese herbs for years and having some experience with the efficacy of these medicines, I felt the floral essences could be a good way to support Monk’s therapy. I got some info from him, tracked Kathy down through the Internet, and set up a consultation. Kathy listened to me closely and created a formula specifically for Monkey. We started Monk right away on his essences. He receives 6 drops 4 times a day directly in his mouth. He rarely misses a dose.

Monk has been receiving his flower essences for about 2 years now. Most people when they observe Monk working would never perceive that he ever had any difficulty. Only the people that have known him from the beginning could testify to how far he has come in his recovery. It was not an overnight success, but quite a noticeable, steady progress. He has much less difficulty going to new places. He now recovers very quickly from startling events instead of turning in to a nervous, jumpy wreck for the rest of the day. Dog shows are loud, high pressure, crowded, unnatural places, where we ask our dogs to give us their all. I really had doubts that Monk would ever be able to function in this kind of environment, but I just wasn't going to give up on this dog. He is just too talented and I love him.

Comparing the Monkey of today to the Monkey of 2 years ago is dramatic. Let me illustrate this by saying, Monkey to date (March 2005) is a group placing AKC breed champion. In agility, Monk performs with extreme enthusiasm and is 1/4 of the way to finishing his AKC Agility Championship. In obedience, Monk can occasionally be a little over whelmed, but he always tries to do his job anyway and often does quite well. He earned his UKC Companion Dog Excellent title, ranking with that organization in 2003 as the #8 all breed novice dog, and # 18 all breed open dog. Monkey is, at the time of writing this, more than half way through his AKC Utility Dog Excellent title, and has points and a win toward his Obedience Championship. Besides high in trials and high combined awards, he has achieved a number of near perfect scores.

Monkey has never been trained with compulsion. I primarily utilize motivated, positive methods, and of course, I continue to rely on the effectiveness of the flower essences. Along with Kathy’s expertise with the floral essences, has been the great moral support that she has offered throughout Monk’s on-going therapy. Besides many e-mail correspondences and phone conversations, Kathy has even taken time out to meet us at agility trials, where she cheered Monk on to the finish line and those 1st places. Thank you, Kathy, for your help in our endeavor to full fill my Monkey boy’s real potential.

Rebecca Allen and Monkey - Chicago, IL