After learning how great the ThunderShirt worked for Rex, I had to see for myself. Since my own pooch is anxiety-free unless a butterfly tries to invade the garden, I recruited a helper. My mother-in-law has one of the most anxious dogs I know. Jack is a four-year-old Queensland Heeler/Short-haired Pointer mix with a difficult past. After being abandoned in a shelter as a pup, he was adopted and abused. He found a new, safer, happier home, but his high energy became a problem for another dog in the house who was suffering with health issues. In addition, gardeners at a neighboring home would tease him with their blowers through an open fence. It just wasn't a good fit.
Jack finally found his forever home with Tena, who has given him both loving comfort and solid training. She's spent hours with him in obedience school and has discovered that he's quite brainy. He passed with flying colors. But, like Rex, though Jack can behave, he still suffers from anxiety.
"Jack is the most loyal, loving, wonderful house dog I have ever had, but his frantic running back and forth along my fence line with incessant, loud barking every time a gardener is in the neighboring yard is a huge problem."
Since Tena's property borders a condo complex that requires a lot of maintenance, this gardening occurs four days a week. Soon after Jack arrived at his new home, neighbors started to complain. Tena knew something had to be done, both for the neighbors and for Jack. And for her own sanity.
I suggested the ThunderShirt to Tena because I'd heard great things about it. She was skeptical, naturally, as anyone would be of a daughter-in-law who frequently comes up with hair-brained plans to save animals. Even after I had the ThunderShirt sent to her house, she was hesitant. "I was a doubter," she now admits. I finally convinced her to give it a shot. "To get Jack used to (the ThunderShirt), I put it next to his blanket on the couch and in the laundry basket with my clothes," she reported.
Then it got real.
The next door neighbor began mowing his lawn, and Jack exploded into a barking rage. Tena managed to get Jack inside. She put on the ThunderShirt, admittedly too loose. Jack was so out of control that it was extremely difficult to get the shirt on. Still, "Jack immediately calmed down. He stopped panting and pacing and just laid down," Tena said.
The next time the gardeners came, Tena did a better job of getting the ThunderShirt on, fitting it snugly, as instructed. Tena was amazed:
"Jack went to sleep! When he woke up, I let him outside, and the gardner was still working. Jack barked about two times, then came right back in. I am so impressed! I never thought there would be a solution to this problem."
Testing fate, the next time the gardeners came, Tena decided to put the shirt on Jack, then take it off a few minutes later. "He went back to panting and pacing!"
Tena plans to keep using the shirt in times of high-anxiety for Jack. I'm looking forward to hearing more about it, and now that I'm convinced that the ThunderShirt really works, I'm curious as to how it works. Stay tuned.
Bonus in all of this: Perhaps Tena will subscribe to more of my hair-brained schemes in the future.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ThunderShirt in exchange for my honest opinion.