Looking at sweet Moxie’s face, you’d never guess he has a variety of issues. But this Maltese/Bichon rescue dog struggled with anxiety, reactive-compulsive behaviors, and attachment issues to top it off. Pharmaceuticals for his anxiety had unpleasant side effects, so his mom, Nancy, turned to natural alternatives. Moxie is a truly a new dog with the help of Bach flower therapy.
Meet Moxie! Six year old Moxie is owned and loved by Nancy Patterson of New Jersey. Nancy has 4 dogs, but Moxie has a special place in her heart. Moxie had previously been on Fluoxetine, which worked very well but had unwanted side effects, so Nancy was seeking an alternative. Moxie’s story offers a perfect example of highly effective combining of Aldaron Essences’ formulas.
Aldaron Essences: Nancy, welcome! Please tell us about Moxie.
Nancy: Moxie is a Maltese/Bichon rescue. He is 6 years old. Moxie definitely has attachment issues. He was malnourished and had been abused when I rescued him. I am the first person he’s ever trusted. He is very attached to me. We have made progress but he still has a ways to go.
Moxie is also reactive. When anyone would come to our house or tried to leave the house he’d get excited, jump around and nip anyone that got near him. If anyone moved suddenly, he’d get excited, “in the zone” and hard to control. I said he was like an autistic child.
When we are home and he can relax, he is a love. When anything outside of the norm happened, he’d spiral out of control. When I walked him, I had gotten him to the point that he listened to me 80% of the time.
Taking him to the groomers, he’d go crazy because I was leaving him. (He’d get better while he was there.
Aldaron Essences: What approaches had you tried before trying Aldaron Essences?
Nancy: I have worked with him for a while now. I had hired a trainer and tried desensitizing him to triggers.
Initially I was telling him when he was good and giving him positive reinforcement. I made no progress. He was prone to outbursts so I needed a stronger tool. I switched to using a firm low voice and he’s gotten better. I feel he does better when he knows I mean business. I coddled him for so long, thinking I was helping him… I needed to change things up.
Aldaron Essences: That’s awesome. And so important to realize that if one approach doesn’t work as well as you hope, move on and keep trying.
So tell us which Aldaron Essences formulas did you find most helpful?
Nancy: I started with High Anxiety and Over-Attachment formulas. Later I added Equilibrium, and most recently, Poise. Eventually I decided to have you blend his own special formula by mixing the essences from those formulas.
These are the flower essence formulas Nancy used with Moxie:
Aldaron Essences’ Over-Attachment blend boosts both confidence and independence in dogs. This is a nice formula for the dog that’s your constant shadow. This is also my recommended Bach flower blend for needy, “velcro” dogs, including dogs that use negative behaviors to make sure they stay the center of attention.
This formula is a special blend of Bach flower remedies specifically for reactivity based on fear and frustration. Moxie is very intelligent and observant, and was always tracking every change in his environment. This was simply too much for him to handle. High Anxiety relieves the stress and anxiety, while also addressing the type of mindset that has to keep everything and everyone “in order”.
Aldaron Essences’ Equilibrium formula contains Bach flower remedies for stressed, anxious dogs that show their stress by becoming intimidating and confrontational. This has been a very successful blend for reducing controlling, bullying tendencies when stressed. Equilibrium helps your dog be more emotionally flexible, and increases cooperation and calmness.
Our Poise Bach flower essence formula is for dogs that become terrified, panicked, and freaked out in specific situations. It calms the nerves and increases courage and confidence. Poise is very successful for reducing “fight, flight or freeze” panic reactions. It’s a great choice for strongly fear-reactive dogs.
In Moxie’s case, we didn’t do a Bach flower consult, but Nancy asked me to blend together the most important flower remedies from the formulas she’d had success with. Although it may seem like a lot to blend four separate formulas together, there was a fair amount of overlap, particularly with the fear/anxiety blends, so the combined result wasn’t overwhelming.
Aldaron Essences: Can you describe the differences you’ve seen from the flower essences?
Nancy: Within days I saw Moxie watching things that happened without reacting. He was not as compulsive. When we went for a walk, he was calmer and responding better to me. As time went on he was even better. When we had company (something we avoided for a while) he would get excited at first, but then he would lose interest. He was able to calm down on his own.
Since using the essences, Moxie is much happier. He’s smiling and eager to play. Before this he would be tired from being so stressed.
He is making great progress. He could never pay attention well enough to listen to me. He was always so distracted because of his anxiety. Now, he is able to “think” about what he is doing. He is even able to process consequences. When he is doing something that is not allowed I simply remind him not to. If I have to repeat my reminder I tell him he will get a timeout and he stops.
He is slowly being allowed more freedom. I let him sit in the window for short times. He loves doing that. He can sit there quietly enjoying the sights. If he feels he’s getting too stimulated, he will walk away from the window. He’s never removed himself from a situation before. He seems to be thinking about what makes him feel good and what doesn’t. I am very happy with his progress.
Aldaron Essences: Did you use any other alternative therapies that helped?
Nancy: CBD helped to a degree but he would fall asleep.
Aldaron Essences: Which accomplishments are you are most proud of?
Nancy: Moxie being the happy dog he was meant to be. Moxie is my heart. When I see him smile it melts my heart. Thanks to your essences, he smiles.
My husband is not always a believer in the things that I do to try to help the pups. He said yesterday he cannot believe the difference in Moxie. He said he seems so happy and to really be enjoying life. It brought tears to my eyes.
Aldaron Essences: Any future plans with your dog you’d like to share?
Nancy: Moxie is always a work in progress. I will continue with Aldaron Essences and introduce him to as many new experiences as I can think of. It certainly helped make my life easier.
Aldaron Essences: Any final words for people experiencing similar issues with their dog?
Nancy: I would say to people, be patient and calm. Dogs feed off every drop of your energy. Don’t baby them (I did that). That creates insecurity.
Thanks so much to Nancy for sharing Moxie’s story with us. I think it’s fair to say they are both an inspiration!
Julie Cantrell CBDC BSc is a professional dog trainer and canine behavior consultant who’s logged many thousands of hours training dogs and teaching owners since 1990. Flower essences have been part of her work with canine behavior since 1994. (bio)