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Lifting the Fear of Loud Noises

Tasha's Situation

Tasha, a Samoyed female, had been with her family since she was seven weeks old. They all moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, when Tasha was four years old. Initially Tasha adjusted to her family's new home very well. But after living in Wyoming for about two years Tasha began developing a fear of loud noises. At that time she was about six years old. In addition to being frightened by the thunderstorms that frequently rolled through the picturesque valley, during the winter months the dynamite blasts from avalanche control also triggered Tasha's fear-based behaviors.

 

Tasha the dog

   
           
Behavior

The early signs of Tasha's fear of loud noises included her going to the doors as if trying to scratch and claw her way out. This escalated to her becoming visibly upset, trembling, and panting rapidly as if hyperventilating. She could not be left in the house alone. As her fears grew, the level of her destructive behaviors also increased. When Tasha was 13, her family learned about Leslie's healing and communication work and contacted her for help. This was in 1995.

Assessment

The fear of loud noises that some dogs experience can come from a variety of reasons. The cause is very personal and unique to each individual dog. At the core of every fear-based behavior is a source incident. (The source incident is described more fully on the Behavior page of this Web site).

For Tasha, her source incident occurred when she was a tiny puppy. The noise she experienced shook her entire world causing a deep-seated fear of abandonment to become lodged at the center of her bones and stomach.

Result

Once Tasha began sharing her terrifying memories with Leslie, Tasha's healing process began. Leslie's healing ability assisted Tasha in identifying, walking through, and releasing her traumatic experiences. This is why Tasha's destructive behaviors that had arisen out of her fear of loud noises stopped after Leslie's healing and communcation work with her.

Delayed Response

But why did it take so many years for Tasha's early puppyhood experience to actually develop into destructive fear-based behaviors?

Leslie's Reply

Sometimes, when a traumatic event is experienced early in an animal's life, survival/coping mechanisms spring to life and take over. The automatic suppression of this type of memory is one such coping tool. An animal can lock a terrifying memory away so deeply that it will not have to be dealt with until much later. Then at some point a trigger stimulus releases the suppressed memory. This trigger can be an experience similar to the original trauma. Another mechanism capable of releasing the suppressed memory can be linked to the animal reaching a certain age.

The human mind-body connection responds to the memory of a past event and the anticipation of a future event with the same level of emotional passion and physiological responses that would accompany an event actually occurring. An animal's mind-body also cannot make the distinction between a memory, a future thought, and the actual experience. Once a suppressed traumatic memory surfaces in an animal the full emotional impact of the original trauma is unleashed for the animal to now cope with.

Tasha's caretaker writes:

"Leslie Morán has helped us with our companion animals in quite a number of ways. I first learned of Leslie's capabilities and professional knowledge with regard to companion animals in January of 1995. Our dog, Tasha, had begun having fearful reactions to thunder and other loud noises. I read an article Leslie had written on that very subject.

"Leslie is an excellent animal nutritionist as well. She helped upgrade Tasha's diet and add other supplements to the herbal supplements Tasha was already taking.

"Tasha has been free of the fear of thunder for quite a while and is more self-confident."

Cordially,

E.H., Jackson, WY

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