FEP33 Soothing Anxious Dogs with Flower Essences

Show Notes:

Helping dogs and their people is one of Kathleen’s specialties, and recently she released a new course on Udemy to teach pet parents how to use flower essences to help their nervous and anxious dogs. In this episode, she offers insights and essence recommendations for issues such as separation anxiety, rescued and rehomed dogs, and stressful environments.

Flower Essences discussed during the show:

Resources:

Udemy course Flower Essences for Anxious Dogs by Kathleen Aspenns – coupon for podcast listeners (expires 3/12/21), free preview videos available

Kathleen offers consultations for people and their pets – online scheduler here

Show Transcript

Rochana Felde: [00:00:40] Welcome, flower essence friends. Today on the podcast, we’re going to highlight our own co-host, Kathleen Aspenns, and her work with anxious dogs. Kathleen recently launched a class on the Udemy platform called Flower Essences for Anxious Dogs. And it’s a really wonderful offering for doggie parents, guardians, and pet care professionals. So if you’re a listener of this podcast, you may already know that Kathleen is a well-respected, professional flower essence practitioner, but she is also a former veterinary technician and continues to help animal clients as well as people with flower essence therapy. Kathleen, I’m really excited about this. Congratulations on the launch of your course, and I’m really happy that your unique offering is available to the public.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:01:33] Thank you. I’m really happy that we have the opportunity to talk about it a little bit because one of my goals for creating this course was to make it accessible for people who are pet parents, and maybe, they don’t want to have to learn a lot, to learn too much, but just the right amount of things that they can try to help their anxious, nervous animal with separation anxiety. There’s a lot of issues that dogs can experience that we can help with flower essences. So I’ve been working with people and their dogs since before I became certified because initially, I thought when I got my certification, when I did the training, I thought I’m only going to work with animals. That was my plan. And when I did the certification, it made a lot more sense to do the training work with people because animals are really bad at filling out forms. So I started working with people, and I discovered I actually really enjoyed working with people. So I could have come into the normal flower essence work sort of sideways.

And my background of working with animals also informs my work with people because we’re not as different as we’d like to think we are. We all are experiencing the same emotions. We all experience the same traumatic events that get stored into our bodies and our emotional systems. And the flower essences are fantastic at helping every living creature. So that’s my goal is to help more living creatures and being able to put a course together and put it out to the world to experience, I’m really, really happy, and I’m glad that we can talk about it today.

Rochana Felde: [00:03:25] Yeah, it’s really great. So I’ve been doing the course, and I really wish that I had all of this information so much earlier in my experience as a pet owner, specifically, a dog owner. I mean, and it’s just so concise and practical, and it’s easy to do with Udemy. If somebody hasn’t been on Udemy, it’s just an online platform that makes learning really kind of easy and fun. So it’s got video. It’s got the information, and it just takes you through almost effortlessly. So to have your information on that platform is really great. I think it’s really filling a need that’s out there.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:04:15] Thanks. I’m glad that you’re experiencing in that way. That really was the goal is to– especially with online learning, you can’t consume an hour of content at a time. It’s just way too much. So you design it with little five-minute, seven-minute videos, so it’s not overwhelming, and you can take it little step as you have the time and bandwidth to tackle each little topic. So, yeah, I’m glad that it worked, that you’re enjoying learning, and I’m able to share this decade-plus of information on working with dogs.

Rochana Felde: [00:04:52] Awesome. So when we talk about anxiety and nervousness in dogs, can you talk a little bit more about what that means, and how you can tell if a dog is feeling those emotions?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:05:07] That’s a really good starting place to talk about this topic because a dog can’t talk about anxiety in the way that we could maybe say, “I’m feeling really anxious about this.” They might have a whole spectrum of challenging emotions that they are experiencing, certainly starting with fear, and I’m kind of putting all of these fear, anxious, worry, that whole spectrum are things that I talk about in the course. So whether you might call it anxiety or whether you would call it fear, whether you would call it separation anxiety or just kind of general worry, those all kind of fit within the concept of what I’m talking about in the course.

So a dog would show anxiety in a variety of ways that you can watch behaviorally. Certainly, panting, shivering, shaking, those would be pretty darn clear and obvious signs. We’ve all seen a dog that was afraid of maybe having to go to the vet, and you see their face kind of close up. You see their ears drop and droop. You see their tail tuck. You see them sort of huddle into themselves a little bit. That’s certainly a sign of anxiety. If you can start to watch for your dog and see even these little moments of micro anxiety, you can be working with that with the essences as well. It doesn’t have to be going all the way up to the 100-scale on anxiety before you can work with it. So those are pieces. Sometimes, dogs will be really reactive when they’re feeling anxious. So you might get a dog that’s barking like a maniac or just kind of tearing around hypervigilant, excessively worried about every sound or sight or what have you. Those are things that you could kind of lump into the quality of anxiety.

I work a lot with dogs who’ve come from a rescue circumstance, dogs who have been either re-homed or part of– in a shelter or all of the different varieties of challenging childhoods, let’s say. That is something that I would really recommend anybody who rescues a dog to be thinking about working with some essences for them because there’s a lot of trauma that comes from having a difficult childhood, essentially, which is what we’re talking about. And having a disrupted, caring circumstance where you don’t have somebody looking out for you, a dog who’s been on the street and had to survive by their own wits, they’re coming with some stuff that really you want to work with. And so those are some really important populations to be thinking of with the anxiety.

There’s also one more piece that is really important to just touch in on, and then, we can dig into it a little bit later, but separation anxiety is a really big thing, and we’ve had a lot of dogs in the last year who’ve been adopted because of shutdowns. So people are at home all the time. And there’s some concern in the, I guess, maybe the veterinary community or the behavior community that when people start going away again and start going to work or leaving the house for longer periods of time, there’s a lot of dogs who are very used to people being at home all the time, and there are going to have to be some adaptations to that. And if you have a dog who has underlying separation anxiety, you’re going to want to get on top of that before you develop a full-blown dog who tries to tear their way out of a wall.

Rochana Felde: [00:09:03] Wow, I hadn’t even thought about that, but that makes a lot of sense with more adoptions happening now. And then, what will happen when things change again or if the person is not home all the time. How do you treat the separation anxiety challenge with flower essences in general?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:09:30] I see– and this is my theory on it. You can certainly find other theories, but what my experience has shown me from working with this problem and from my experience as a flower essence practitioner in general, I see separation anxiety as being a fear of abandonment for the most part. And I find that most abandonment fears are coming out of that early bonding experience with one’s mother and litter. Humans don’t have litters usually, but a disturbed bonding experience with mom and being left alone and defenseless. And that, whether they are six weeks old or six years old, that pain and that trauma and that fear can reside in the system, and they didn’t develop that sense of themselves that they will be okay, that somebody’s looking out for them, that everything’s going to be fine, and so that hypervigilance towards being abandoned can emerge in really big and very difficult ways.

So that is something that I love to get, as much of a history on a dog as possible, and sometimes, there’s very little history known, but just to recognize that a dog that’s coming out of whatever kind of adoptive or rescued situation, they quite likely had some sort of disturbed early life experiences that may well result, not always, sometimes they’re fine, but that can certainly wind up in the sort of separation anxiety symptoms that we see.

So separation anxiety is a dog– sometimes, it can manifest as a dog who will bark and will tear up the house when you leave. Sometimes, that happens right before you come home as well because they’re just starting to get really anxious about you coming back and worrying about, are you going to come back? And it’s a horrible thing to be on the inside of. If you’re living that experience, it’s really distressing. So we want to help with some essences to help bring that animal back into themselves and be able to transfer and recognize that you love them and will take care of them and will be there for them and that they can be safe even when you’re not right next to them.

Rochana Felde: [00:11:54] And what are some of the essences that you might use for that?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:11:58] Yeah, we, certainly, a lot of times will start with types of Bach essences to work with the bigger pieces of whatever the anxiety or whatever that picture might be. So we look at things like the different types of responses or signs of fear or anxiety. We look at if the animal is shaking and shivering, then we think about using Aspen, which is one of those Bach essences. And Aspen is characterized by that sort of terror that expresses in shaking, shivering, that sort of extremeness.

I also will be looking at Rock Rose for a fear of death. Rock Rose is that adrenal fear when you feel your guts liquify, and you’re sure that you’re going to die. And some dogs certainly experience that or have experienced fears like that in their life that are still somehow in– there’s a residue in their system of that fear. And Rock Rose can be very, very effective to help with that kind of fear.

Star of Bethlehem, always a good starting point. I think this is probably the number one essence for all of us as practitioners because it’s so soothing. It helps to come back from any kind of trauma, really. So whatever sort of trauma you’re dealing with with an animal, it can really help to soothe and calm and help them get back into the parasympathetic state. That’s the rest and digest state as opposed to the sympathetic nervous system, which is the fight-flight kind of experience. So helping your animal get into that calm, quiet, rest, safe place is a really good starting place to start to rebuild their sense of self, to start to rebuild their sense of safety in their bodies.

Rochana Felde: [00:14:09] There’s a section in your course that you were talking about how you speak to animals and how you speak to your dogs. And I thought that was really great. Do you want to talk a little bit about that because, again, that’s information I wish I had as a young pet owner a long time ago, knowing how much that can help them?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:14:33] Oh, yeah, I do love to share this with clients because my first animal that I had in my life was my African Grey parrot, Kali. And I was really fortunate. And my interests were always in behavior. I was always really fascinated by animal behavior in general, and I was fortunate to develop a friendship and work for an avian behaviorist. And she taught me a lot, and she taught me how to always recognize that your animals are listening and watching, and they’re a lot smarter than we tend to give them credit for.

And so her name is Chris Davis, and I think she’s retired from consulting, but she still writes and is engaged. And her teaching me to tell Kali when I was going away and when I was going to be back, and what her job was when I was gone, to keep an eye on the house and to take care of the other, that kind of thing, that instilled in me the importance of the respect.

I mean, it’s like, would you walk out of the house without telling your spouse where you were going and if you’re coming back? Would you just leave? And I know we do this, and I’ve done the same thing. I’ve done that all the time. I forget all the time. So if this is you and you’re hearing this, you’re like– just give yourself a break on that, but try better. Well, now that we know better, we try better. But yeah, to talk to your dog, they understand so much more than you think they do, and I talk to them, I talk to my animals like children, not baby talk because that’s not it. It’s just simple words, really clear like, “This is what’s happening, and this is what we’re doing now,” especially when you’re making major changes, going back to work or leaving the house for a longer period of time than usual, or I always try to tell them when I’m going to be back so that they can kind of relax, like, “Okay, she’s gone for a little while, and she’ll be back by lunchtime. Great,”  that kind of thing. So, yeah, it’s something that I really emphasize because I find that it really has– there’s a reward there because your animals start recognizing that you communicate with them, and then, they will start communicating with you because they know you’re listening.

Rochana Felde: [00:17:13] Oh, wow. That’s really powerful. Yeah. And I mean, I’ve always known how our energy, our personal energy can affect our animals, and so that we have to really pay attention to that. If we get in a fearful state, then they really pick up on that, especially protective dogs that I think really can feed off of that. And so how do you work with that with the pet owner?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:17:48] Mm, another one of my absolute favorite topics to talk about. I really do– when I first start working with people, I’ll start talking about their dog and start talking about some essences that might help their dog. And when I start talking about something like Chamomile, which is soothing for sort of the nervous belly, if you have anxiety that expresses in your tummy being upset or if I start talking about Grove Sandwort, which helps with feeling sort of that re-imprinting of the safe bonding experience with your mother, that you’re safe in your body and you’re safe in the world. And I’ll start just telling them about some essences that I’m thinking about for their pet, and that’s so often. I wish I had a nickel for each time because the client will often say, “Oh, that sounds like something I need.” And then I go, “Yes, yes, it is something that you need too,” because our animals, sometimes, they’re expressing things for us, and sometimes, we attract animals that have a resonance for us, that have some matching types of situations, and it’s not that you’re making your animal sick. It’s not that or that your neurotic stuff is coming out in your animal. That’s not really what I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is that they love us, and we love them. And we are in a sharing of energy and a sharing of space and having both parties or all parties, the family can get involved here too, having both parties involved in the healing process in taking essences is so helpful and healing because then you’re not taking an animal as a separate object, as if we are in the Newtonian universe of everybody separate, and nothing impacts the other. No, your energies impact your animal, and your animal impacts you. So working with both, working with the family, as it were, is incredibly valuable and very, very helpful to be taking essences yourself.

I remember I had a really interesting case with a Mastiff who, he had a lot of anxiety, but he was a big, sort of almost a stern kind of a dog. A Mastiff is a serious animal. And when I talked to his mother and created some essences for him because he felt a lot of responsibility to take care of his people, his house. Some dogs are very– there’s a lot of responsibility on them that they take on for themselves. And in this case, he really felt that. He felt that very, very strongly. And so he had a lot of anxiety about being feeling a little overwhelmed about his life. He had a lot to deal with, and he had had a past experience that was impacting his current situation.

And so she got a hold of me after she got the essences. She says– and we’d talked about different options of giving the essence on a cookie or on a treat or whatever. And she told me, “He won’t take it. He just won’t take it.” And I thought, “Well, that is a new one because I’ve never had that happen before.” And I asked her. I said, “So why don’t we try that you take it with him?” And so she sat with him, and she took the drops, and he looked at her very seriously, and then he was willing to take the treat with the drops on it.

Rochana Felde: [00:21:35] Wow, I’ve had some experiences with a few of clients that I’ve had who’ve thought that they wanted to– that they were having some challenges with their animals, but once they started doing their own flower essence work and their own therapy, taking their own blend, that just sort of disappeared in their animal without actually going down the path of working directly with the animal. Is that very common?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:22:09] It certainly can happen. I tend to see it from the other direction more. So people will come to me with their animals, with whatever issue it might be, and so I tend to see that– we start with the animal, and then if the animal doesn’t shift right away, and this is something that I do think about quite a lot. When I feel like I’ve targeted from getting– during the consultation, we go into a lot of details, a lot of details. And I also talk about this in the course too about the things that I’m looking for, the history points, and you may not know much, but you might know one or two things, or from the observation of your animal, when does this particular circumstance happen? What time of day? It can be the time of week. There’s all sorts of little details that I love to drill into because that helps to get the most accurate picture, and then, you can match it most accurately with essences. So essences can be amazingly broad, but your impacts will be much better if you can get really specific with your choices.

So I think I’ve gone a little off track of your question. I might have even forgotten what your question was about. Oh, the animals– or the person working on themselves first, and then the animal stuff will shift.

So my experience has been more that we start with the animal, and we watch to see what happens there. And if they don’t shift pretty quickly, because I feel like I’ve gotten, “Okay, they’re taking the essences that I would normally offer for that circumstances there.” I ask more questions, but when that’s not obviously solving, then we look at the person and like, “Okay, let’s see some essences for you might start to get this process moving,” because if there is a lot of tension in the person or anxiety or whatever, the animals, of course, they pick up on it. Of course, they experience that, so.

And sometimes, their animals are sneaky. They’ll bring their people to me. When they start talking to me, when the person starts talking to me, and the animal’s like, “Oh thank God, we’re getting some help and make sure my mom gets some help too.” So yeah, that happens. That happens often enough.

Rochana Felde: [00:24:31] That’s really interesting. Yeah. So right, it’s different with me because the people aren’t coming to me with their animals. But I’ve just noticed that sometimes where there was, as a secondary consideration, thinking about working with flower essences with the animals, but then for minor stuff. But then by the time, it’s like starting with the person, it just pretty quickly, over a month or two, it seems like those issues sort of just self resolved. So I’ve seen that a couple of times, and I just thought that was really interesting because, yeah, there is such a symbiotic relationship between the human and the dog, for sure. But you were talking about one of the ways of giving the dog the flower essence with the drops on the treat. So what are some other ways that we can give flower essences to our dogs?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:25:39] Yeah, that’s a good question because it comes up a lot, and I’ll kind of start with kind of the most basic. So if you were to go to the shop and to get some Rescue Remedy or order online, get some Rescue Remedy, because that is a good starting place for, well, a lot of our essence journeys start there for Rescue Remedy or a.k.a. Five-Flower Formula, which is the non-brand name. Dr. Bach called it Five-Flower, and then, Rescue Remedy became a brand. So starting with that, it helps with anxieties and fears and shock and really crisis-level trauma. So it’s a good starting place, and it might be all you need. And won’t that be great that you don’t have to worry anymore? So starting with that, and then, you can sort of go with the rest of the essences down the road of the same application, essentially.

And I do go into quite a bit of detail on this in the course so that you have all the details that you need to know in order to make a dosage bottle and make something that’ll work over time. But I just want to, for the listeners, I just want them to have the tool right now, okay? So something like Rescue Remedy, you’ve got it just off the shelf. You can offer Rescue Remedy directly.

Now, one of the first questions that comes up is about the alcohol. So we’ve all looked at the side of the label, and it says, “It’s X number of percentage alcohol.” And a lot of people are very concerned, quite reasonably, about the consumption of alcohol and pets. Should we be giving alcohol to our pets? Like, “Yikes, maybe that’s not great.” What I’ll say is, is that the alcohol is just there as a preservative. It’s not part of the medicine per se. And because we’re working with vibrational medicines, it’s not about drops per pound. You’re not dosing based on the size of the animal. So we’re just trying to get that energy into their energy system.

So you can use Rescue Remedy right out of the bottle, putting a drop on a treat. I maybe wouldn’t give it to an infant, but for a good-sized dog, a drop is probably not going to be the end of the world. You can go ahead and do that. That should be fine. Not the whole bottle, please, but just a drop. What you can do, if that’s just not– those are crisis type situations where you’re just trying to get something into them right away. What my preference might be is to take a little egg cup or a little small basin, a little small cup of water and put a drop or two of Rescue Remedy in it, fill it with maybe an ounce of water, give it a good sloshing, and then, you can dip a treat in that and then offer that. And that’s a way of mitigating any of the alcohol concerns.

If you have the time and energy, you can certainly find a Five-Flower Formula in a glycerin base, which usually it’s marketed as for kids or for pets. It’s the same thing. It’s just that the preservative is different. So if you have the regular one, use that. If you’ve got the kids one, use that. It’s all the same. It’s just that they don’t have the alcohol in them. So that’s a good starting place.

And then, another thing that’s really good to know that works and that you can do is to use it topically. Now, this is where the glycerin-based goes awry because you don’t want to use glycerin on skin because it’s sticky, and it gets the hair all messy. So this is where the alcohol base is much more helpful and versatile, let’s say, because you can just go ahead and put two drops on your hand and just pet it onto the coat. I like to pet from the top of the head, down the spine, all the way down to the tail, and stroke that energy onto the spine. You don’t want to– you’re not trying to wet the skin. You’re not trying to do anything complicated. Just moisten your hand and go ahead and stroke down the animal, and you will be amazed at how well that works. It’s simple, it’s effective, and it works really, really well. So animals don’t know that this can’t work. So go ahead and give it a try.

Rochana Felde: [00:30:12] Yeah, I’m really glad first that you clarified the difference between the dog kid and regular Rescue Remedy formulas. It’s a question I get all the time. And the good thing about the glycerin formula that ended up working really well for me and my dog was I think that the sweet flavor is pleasing to the animal. And so I would put a drop of the formula in the palm of my hand and have my dog lick it, and it was just– it became a really sweet bonding moment, and it turned into a little ritual where every time I’d pull out the bottle and show her the bottle and say, “It’s time for your medicine and put it on,” and then, she was excited for it and was really happy to lick it off my hand. And it just turned into a really sweet kind of, I mean, wow, what a difference that is from trying to force a pill down their throat or something like that, right?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:31:19] Yeah.

Rochana Felde: [00:31:20] Not that it necessarily takes the place of medication. I’m not saying that, but I mean, just as a way to give something healing to your animal, you can turn it into a really nice bonding moment is what I’m saying.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:31:37] Great point because it does shift the paradigm. And yeah, if your dog will come and lick it out of your hand, that is awesome. That’s great.  Run with that. So yeah, the glycerin can be really good. Sometimes, dogs don’t even mind having just a little bit of that diluted alcohol. They’ll come and lick it and recognize it. They know the energy. They’re not smelling the contents. They can actually inhale the energy of the essence. So there’s something really remarkable when you create that opportunity for them to respond positively to what you’re doing with them. So I love that you told that story about your dog and her loving it, the Rescue or whatever essence it was that you were offering, that’s really quite lovely.

Rochana Felde: [00:32:32] Yeah, is there anything we haven’t really covered that you wanted to bring into this conversation? I mean, I really enjoy hearing about how we can help our furry friends, these companions that look up to us for care and for safety. And this is just such a lovely tool that we can– we might feel confused about how we can help them sometimes and what we can do, and these flower essences are just such a beautiful and lovely tool for this. And so I think we kind of gave some broad strokes about what your course was about. Is there anything that we missed?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:33:21] Well, I want to loop back to responding to the way that you were offering essences to your dog, and I think that that’s something that sometimes because I’ve been doing this so long, I can sometimes forget to emphasize because essences aren’t one more pill to jam down their throat, right? And the attitude and the energy that you’re putting into the offering of the essences is important. It’s not just a mechanical circumstance that you have to kind of get this into them this many times a day, that kind of thing. You want to be able to offer it in a way that they can be calm, that they can relax into it. So the thing that you do not want to do is to pin them down, force their mouth open, and stuff the essences into their mouth. So I think that that’s a really good point to bring up because it is really important that they are able to relax into it, and that it’s enjoyable.

I can’t tell you how many times my clients tell me their dogs do the same thing that your dog does where it’s like, “Oh, boy, you’re going over to the essence bottle, and it’s time for my special whatever.” It’s like my special flower treat. They so often will absolutely look forward to it, and they’ll also start to ask for it. If they’re starting to feel a little anxious, they’ll know, “Oh, okay, I know what I need.” And they can go,  lead you over to the bottle to where they can get what will help them feel better. So I think that that’s a really nice piece to bring into this conversation because you can do a lot to help your animal feel better, and you can do a lot for yourself too because sometimes, it’s like a little bit of Rescue for me, a little bit of Rescue for him, be taking it together.

Rochana Felde: [00:35:11] Yeah, and you are. Even if you’re not putting the drop in your mouth, you’re getting it because it’s on your skin, on the palm of your hand, or when you’re petting it on them like you were talking about, I mean, you’re getting that energy too. So it’s just such a– like a co-creation. The energy, it’s a shared energy, and the more relaxed you are, the more relaxed they are, and you’re feeding off of the good energy instead of going into a downward anxiety spiral together, which can also happen.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:35:47] Oh, yes, you can have everybody going into it together. Yeah, that’s creating a calmer environment for everybody is definitely an advantage. And that is one of the topics that I talk about in the course as well, about how your environment impacts your animal and you, and what essences are helpful to help with that sort of circumstance.

And I think Pink Yarrow, I should bring into this conversation because we’re talking about this interweaving of our fields and of animals and picking up on our stuff and we pick up on their stuff and all of that, but animals so often can be empath sponges for our stuff. And Pink Yarrow can be one of the essences that I look for a lot because they’re oftentimes acting out or expressing some things that we maybe haven’t been able to see yet or can’t work with yet. And so I like to give them Pink Yarrow quite a bit to help with that.

They live in our environment 24/7. They’re with us, at least now with lockdowns and such, they are with us 24/7. And so they have a lot of energy that, it was useful to help them discharge, and the Pink Yarrow can kind of give them a little bit better of a shield where they can love us, but they don’t have to take on our stuff.

Rochana Felde: [00:37:13] That does make a lot of sense. You also have a piece in the course that talks about how to prepare for known stressful events like fireworks and things like that. What are your recommendations for that?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:37:27] The first thing is just realize that it’s coming. If you know you have to take your pet to the vet, if you know that you have to get in the car or do something, or if you know it’s July 3rd, it’s coming. Well, in the US, that’s when we have our fireworks on the 4th. So other countries have different fireworks displays at other times. So it is one of those things that if you’re paying attention and you’re recognizing, “Oh, okay, this is something that’s coming up and I know about it,” and you can start working in advance.

It is really, really hard for humans, for animals, if your nervous system is fired up so high that you are in a panic. It’s really hard to come down out of that, okay? It takes a lot of energy and time and all that. So if you can interrupt that cycle somewhat and start working with essences to help keep yourself from going all the way up to the top of your red scale, you can do a lot of good. So I would really recommend just recognizing, “Okay, there are times that are going to be more stressful. So what are we going to do about that?” So you might, depending on your animal, depending on the animal story, and getting into the history of what essences are useful for this particular animal, just be starting to support them with the essences.

And if you’re not necessarily working on a long-term basis with some things like separation anxiety, and you just have a dog who, the rest of the time he’s fine, except for going to the vet, he gets terrified. All right. Well then, that may be a really good case for Rescue Remedy. Start it the day ahead. Start it when you make the appointment because it’s going to start brewing in your head, and you’re going to be thinking about it, and you’re like, “Oh, God, we’re going to go to the vet again, and it’s going to be this thing. And he’s going to puke in the car.” And you’ve got all this stuff that you start to worry about ahead of time. So start working with the essences when you make that appointment. Give the essences once or twice a day in the preparation to that. And then, as you’re getting ready to leave, go ahead and start offering some essences.

Now, if your pet is going in for a surgical procedure in the same way that you can’t offer anything by mouth to yourself before you go into a surgical procedure, this is when external use is the appropriate way to go. So if your pet had– if you’re going in for a spay or whatever the heck it is, you don’t want to be giving essences by mouth before you go to the vet because that’s breaking the criteria of needing to have them fasted. So you go ahead and use the essences, put it on your hand, and stroke it over the top of the body or stroke it on the head like we talked about earlier. The ears are a particularly sensitive place. If you go ahead and stroke the ears, that’s really good too.

So recognizing that things are coming, there’s something you can do to prevent, having the anxiety scale go up to 100. We can bring it– we can start it at a lower point, and we can keep it from getting so high, and then also recognize that giving it afterwards is part of the recovery as well. So just because the stimulus isn’t there, the anxiety may still be kind of present in the field or in the animal’s body. Go ahead and keep giving essences for a period of time afterwards. A week, two weeks maybe. I don’t know. Depends on your animal.

Rochana Felde: [00:40:50] Wonderful. Yeah, great advice. Yeah, is there any other essences you want to bring into the picture or talk about before we wrap up?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:41:02] I don’t want to overwhelm people with the essences, and in the course, I really made a curated selection, let’s say, of the essences that I think are absolutely the ones that I use constantly, all the time. These are the ones I always reach for rather than– because with animals, you don’t want to overwhelm them with too many essences at any one time. You want to keep your selections really tight as much as you can. Half a dozen maybe, max, different essences. So one or two essences is a good starting place for your animal. But yeah, I mean, I think that– I think I would like to leave it with–

Maybe, I think let’s talk about Mimulus for a second because Mimulus is so helpful for an animal that has a level of shyness. This is one of the Bach essences. It is so useful for especially a young animal or one that kind of seems a little young, kind of acts a little young to help them come into themselves, to help them come into their level of courage with the world and to recognize that they are more empowered than they think they are, because a lot of times when we’re in a fearful or anxious state, we can kind of get sort of sucked in on ourselves. And Mimulus gives that strength and courage to engage with the world and to bring your sensitivity because we don’t want to overwhelm that sensitivity. We want to appreciate that sensitivity. We have a lovely animal who’s maybe shy or nervous or has had some experiences that kind of weren’t very pleasant. But to kind of nurture that and help that come into the world in a better way, I think Mimulus might be a good companion.

I remember a friend whose dog would do the nervous licking. They lick air in the car and no other signs than that, but just licking air in the car, and I remember I talked to her and made a formula for little Sadie with some Mimulus, and it was just beautiful how it just shifted that. And she was like, “Yeah, she’s good in the car now.” And so that was a sweet memory of that little dog because she liked to go in the car after that.

Rochana Felde: [00:43:26] Aw, that’s very sweet. So how can people find this course?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:43:31] Yeah, we will put notes in the show notes, and I will also create a coupon for when the podcast airs. So they’re limited time because that’s how Udemy works. So I’ll put a coupon in for the best price possible, which is oftentimes a really good deal. The course list price is $89, but a lot of times, Udemy will offer coupons and discounts, so you can get it for a very reasonable amount, and I’ll put a coupon there and put a link in the show notes so that people can find it very easily. But if you just search in Udemy, Flower Essences for Anxious Dogs, you will find it.

Rochana Felde: [00:44:10] Yeah, I mean the affordability of it is, it’s so worth the content. It really is a good value. And how can they find you?

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:44:23] Yeah, well, I would love to help anybody who’s working with a nervous dog or separation anxiety. Those are things I work with a lot. So you can find my information on Consultations quite easily on my Flora of Asia site, floraofasia.com. And there’s a menu item for Consultations. And you can just go ahead and sign up for a consultation right there on the spot. Easy peasy.

Rochana Felde: [00:44:49] Again, this is just my pleasure to talk to you about this, Kathleen, and be able to know– I’m just very excited that you were able to put this information out that we’ve been talking about. We did a podcast, I don’t know, a while back about working with animals. And so now, there’s actually these resources that people can go to, and it’s great to see this. So, congratulations.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:45:19] Thank you. It’s been a labor of love, and I’ve enjoyed doing it. And I love teaching and sharing stuff with people to really empower them to do this because you can do this. Most of the time, what I’ve put in this course, will most of the time give you what you need. Will help your dog, your individual dog, and you. It’s all good.

Rochana Felde: [00:45:43] Beautiful. All right. I think that wraps it up for today. Thanks again, and we’ll see you next time.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:45:51] Bye now.

Rochana Felde: [00:45:57] You’ve been listening to The Flower Essence podcast with Rochana Felde and Kathleen Aspenns, and we appreciate your interest in connecting with nature on a deeper level. You can find us online at thefloweressencepodcast.com or join us on Facebook and continue the discussion.

Kathleen Aspenns: [00:46:20] This podcast is meant for educational and entertainment purposes only. We are not physicians and do not diagnose, prescribe, or treat medical conditions. Please consult with your own physician or health care practitioner regarding the suggestions and recommendations made by the hosts and guests of The Flower Essence podcast.

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