Mary Marshall's Animal Wisdom Newsletter


July 2006


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Mary Marshall, Animal Communicator Consultant
Animal Wisdom Newsletter )
  July 2006
Thunderstorm Fears; Compulsive Foot Licking
  • Pet/Vet of the Month
  • Mailbag
  • Tip of the Month - Compulsive Foot Licking
  • Coming in My Next Issue
  • Referral Policy and Disclaimer
  • Schedule
  • Gift Certificates Available
  • 2006 Workshop Schedule


    The dog days of summer seem to have arrived early this year. We experienced several days of blazing temperatures here in central Indiana. Be sure your pets have plenty of water and access to shade. Older pets or those with chronic health problems should be kept indoors (preferably air conditioned).

    Calling all previous beginner-level workshop attendees! In August we will be hosting our annual advanced-level class. The focus of the weekend is to expand your understanding of animals, their spirituality and the healing process as it relates to pets and the humans they live with. This is a hands- on class (literally!) and requires completion of the beginner-level class. If you would like more information (or aren’t sure if you’re ready) please feel free to call or email me.

    Peace, Mary
    Pet/Vet of the Month


    Johann is a two-year-old and was rescued at 12 weeks of age from the Southside Animal Shelter in Indianapolis in September 2004 by his mom, Leslie May. He is a hyper little guy but enjoys his naps in the afternoon. His favorite pastimes include chasing birds, playing with his 5” squeaky basketball and, of course, agility.

    Because of his energy, Leslie enrolled him in agility training in mid-2005 and he competed just one week after becoming eligible in December 2005. This past spring he received his Indefinite Listing Privilege (ILP) with the American Kennel Club as a Bi-Black Shetland Sheepdog. To date he has his SS, SG, SJ, SSA and AD titles in USDAA, and his OAJ and OA titles from the AKC.

    Early this spring he saw sheep for the very first time and became a maniac! He loved herding and has the potential to become a good herding dog. Not long after his adoption, Johann’s mom started a company,, an online dog specialty shop which features everything from agility training and trialing gear, beds, collars and clothing; to books, food, supplements and, of course, toys. The website also features Johann’s dog blog, central Indiana dog events, mug shots and photos of his buds and other fun stuff.

    Johann has a sister Gracie, a Border Collie mix, and two other brothers, Wolfgang (a.k.a. Wolfie) and Ludwig (a.k.a. Wiggy), the cats.


    Dear Mary, My dog, a Heinz 57 mix named Cisco, is deathly afraid of thunderstorms. He goes berserk in his crate if I’m not home when the storm hits and will soak himself in slobber from his panting. He has even broken his teeth off in his terror. He is only slightly better when I’m home. I feel terrible but have no idea what to do to help him with this fear. Do you have any suggestions? Lisa, Bar Harbor, MA

    Dear Lisa, Thunderstorms definitely rank up there as the ultimate boogey-man for many dogs. There are several things you can do to help Cisco cope with his fears. First, when you suspect the weather will turn foul take an unscented dryer sheet (i.e. Bounce) and thoroughly rub Cisco down. Thunderstorms are electrical in nature (hence the flashes of light and booming sounds) and bring an added charge to the air as they approach. A dog’s fur acts like thousands of miniature lightning rods picking up the charge, causing the skin to tingle and to set an anxious dog on edge. By removing at least some of the physical sensation you will give Cisco a bit of relief.

    Next, I would give him some Bach Flower Essence Rescue Remedy and Red Chestnut (available at health food stores). If you will be gone during the day and expect storms to arrive while absent, give him a dose with his breakfast. Small dogs (under 20 lbs.) may have 1-2 drops of each, medium-sized dogs (40-60 lbs) 3-4 drops, and 5-6 drops for large or giant dogs. If you are home and the storm is expected to arrive in the next hour or so you can give Cisco the dose then by putting the drops on an absorptive treat such as a cracker or tiny piece of bread. If he objects to these types of treats (or he is on a restricted diet) you can try a small spoonful of tuna with the drops.

    I would also recommend you try using one (or both) of these therapeutic essential oil blends made by Young Living ( Peace and Calming, or Valor. I put one drop on the muzzle of dogs that have a decent length muzzle. If Cisco is short-nosed, you may put the drop under his chin.

    I also recommend that you put on some soothing classical music for Cisco. This isn’t so much to drown out the storm, as it is to provide an auditory distraction, one that takes the focus off of the crashing outside. Make sure you pick something soothing—no Tchaikovsky, Mozart or Copland. Instead think of piano sonatas or stringed pieces such as Pachelbel’s Canon in D.

    Make sure that the curtains are drawn in the room where his crate is, to lessen the changes in light levels with lightning flashes outside. If that isn’t possible, you might consider throwing a dark sheet (nothing too heavy as you do not want to cut off air circulation) over the top and sides of his crate. Do not completely cover his crate, as that may induce claustrophobia.

    Many pets benefit from having something to chew on (or tear up) when stressed, much as some people bite their nails or twirl their hair when nervous. When our pug, Sassy, is inclined to be stressed by a situation, I offer her a pig ear or small piece of rawhide to chew. She is a bit high-strung and the act of chewing helps her to cope with anxiety. Be sure to discuss appropriate toys or treats with your veterinarian.

    It is important that you remain calm about approaching storms since Cisco will pick up on the slightest indication of tension from you. If you will be gone, acknowledge that it may rain out loud but be sure to tell Cisco that he will be safe and he is to just relax and snooze the sleepy day away. By staying nonchalant, you are encouraging Cisco to do the same.

    If all else fails you may wish to consider a natural sedative such as Nutricalm or Valerian root (one of the herbs in Nutricalm). Be sure to speak with your veterinarian before administering any supplement, and read directions carefully.

    Tip of the Month - Compulsive Foot Licking

    Just like people compulsively crack their knuckles or pick at their nails, dogs can become obsessed with their feet or legs. Oftentimes the behavior starts with an injury where the dog’s natural instinct is to lick the wound to speed healing (licking stimulates circulation). What starts out as a healing tactic becomes an ingrained pattern. Soon the dog is licking his leg raw and driving his owner to distraction.

    Talk to your vet to make sure your pet is not experiencing undue pain. Surgical wounds, bites and other injuries often itch when healing. If this is the case try to keep your pet from licking the leg with a strip of old sheet (men’s hankies also work well) gently wrapped around the area. Be careful that the wrapping isn’t too tight or you could injure a tendon or cut off circulation. If possible, wrap the strip around several times so that you have at least two layers protecting the vulnerable area. Take a small amount of bitters, such as No-Chew or apple bitters, and brush a very small amount on the top layer using a cotton swab or watercolor paintbrush. Under no circumstances should the wrap be saturated. The taste of the bitters will discourage your dog from licking. I also recommend giving him some Bach Flower Essence Chestnut Bud, which is helpful for treating compulsive behaviors (use the same dosing levels listed above in “Mailbag” for Rescue Remedy).

    For hot spots I suggest using a mixture of pure aloe gel (no additives, available at health food stores, or easy to grow at home) and a bit of therapeutic grade calendula essential oil (make sure the bottle is labeled “therapeutic”). I use 2-3 drops of oil to one tablespoon of aloe. This remedy has an antihistamine effect on sensitive skin. If you have difficulty locating the calendula, you may substitute a combination of therapeutic grade lemongrass and lavender oils (two drops of each). If your dog ingests the aloe, you may have to discontinue using since aloe can cause mild diarrhea. I have also had success using an herbal product by Schreiner's. They make one specifically for hot spots (available at many pet stores) but I've also used the herbal spray made for horses on my dogs (similar formula). The horse version is available at most tack stores.

    Treat the problem as you would a child with the chicken pox who is driven to scratch his sores by providing your pet with distractions such as toys or chews.

    Coming in My Next Issue

    Professional trainers and animal communicators—a team effort to solve behavior problems.

    Referral Policy and Disclaimer

    Referral Policy: Existing clients will receive a $20 gift certificate toward future services for referring any new client for a one-hour reading. Please ask the new client to mention you so we know where to send the certificate.

    Disclaimer - Information given in this newsletter is not intended to replace diagnosis or treatment by a veterinarian or other qualified professional. Mary Marshall does not assume any legal responsibility. Readers should consult with qualified professionals for specific diagnosis, treatment or training advice.


    • Aug. 8-13, Tues.– Sun., 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily, Traders Point Hunt Charity Horse Show, at Wild Air Farm near Zionsville, Indiana. Mini-readings available. Call 317-873-5437 for more information or visit them on the web at
    • Aug. 26-27, Sat. and Sun., 1-5:00 p.m., Advanced-Level Animal Communication workshop at Flying Hooves Farm, southeast corner of Marion County. Cost is $225 for two-day class. Prerequisite: completion of beginner-level workshop. Advanced registration required. Please call 317-245-7073 or e- mail for registration forms or for additional information.


    Gift Certificates Available

    Looking for a unique idea for the pet lover on your gift list? Why not purchase a gift certificate? Certificates are available in $25, $75 or amount of your choosing. Gift certificates may be used for mini- readings, one-hour pet readings with me (Mary), a personal consultation with Natalie the Medicine Horse, or a workshop. To order a gift certificate please call 317-245-7073 or e-mail

    2006 Workshop Schedule

    I will be teaching both beginner- and advanced-level workshops at my farm again this year. Please call or e-mail for a registration form.

    • “Introduction to Animal Communication” – Learn basic visualization techniques, gain insight into your pet’s thoughts and feelings, improve training effectiveness and performance, and enhance your relationship with your pet. Cost is $250 for a two- day (weekend) class. Date: Sept. 9-10.
    • “Advanced Understanding of Animals, Healing and Spirituality” – Expand your understanding of animal communication, develop cleansing meditation and self-healing skills, and explore the spiritual dimension of communicating with and healing animals. Cost is $225 for a two-day (weekend) class. Dates: Aug. 26-27.




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