“In April 2016, my wife died after a lengthy period of ill health. For almost 8 years she had been confined to a wheelchair and whenever I was out, our Toy Poodle, Casper, sat on the arm of her chair until I came home.
One night an ambulance came and took my wife to hospital and Casper never saw her again. He was unable to handle her disappearance and immediately began howling whenever he was left on his own. This went on for some months before my local vet referred me to Dr Nicole Lobry de Bruyn.
Dr Nicole undertook a detailed assessment of Casper through observation and engagement and determined he was grieving from his loss as well as suffering separation anxiety whenever I was absent.
Casper was firstly prescribed medicine to help him relax.
Secondly, changes to his environment were recommended, to ensure he was not left alone for any period of time. Emphasis was placed on ensuring the dog did not become distressed.
Thirdly, I was provided with significant literature and information on how to help him overcome his issues. Dr Nicole explained how to ensure he remained calm and didn’t panic when left alone. She also made it clear that there was no quick fix.
Behavioural modification exercise were recommended and explained, as a means of calming and relaxing the dog. A Behavioural Dog Trainer (Sonya Bevan) was also recommended to assist with Casper’s recovery.
After all this, a detailed plan was provided and Dr Nicole made it clear she was available at any time to discuss any issues.
It was made very clear by both Dr Nicole and Sonya, that improvement would entail many small steps and considerable time and effort by myself. This turned out to be the case, but at all times, Dr Nicole oversighted what was happening, answered queries, addressed problems and made adjustments when and where required.
Improvement was obvious within one month, and after 4 months, Casper was able to be left on his own for over 3 hours without showing signs of distress. Whilst modification exercises are continuing, Casper has clearly returned to his old self – playful and active, and is back to enjoying life.
This could never have been achieved without Dr Nicole’s skills and assistance, and I cannot thank her enough for what she has done.”
Brett Allison and Casper
“My wife and I first met Dr Nicole Lobry de Bruyn following an extremely traumatic event when our 9 year old dog carried out a near fatal attack on a 10 month old dog we had adopted a few months beforehand. We were referred to Nicole by our Vet after we explained what had happened. Both our dogs were injured and had been kept separated since the attack. We firstly took our 9 year old in to see Nicole and after the first consultation we realised that firstly, they would never be able to live together again and secondly that it was almost certain that our dog had canine dementia and cognitive decline, which was the main reason behind the attack. Nicole was fantastic in providing us with all the possible options and information to enable us to make an informed choice to euthanize our beloved dog/ about where to from here. Nicole then provided us with an understanding of what was happening with our younger dog (Cash). After the attack Cash was extremely traumatised and scared of everything and everyone who was unfamiliar. Nicole was honest and upfront with us about Cash and the long road he would have to travel to his psychological recovery. Nicole referred us to a specialised trainer and has kept in contact between appointments to answer questions and provide vital support. Six months after the attack, with Nicole’s support, Cash is making great progress and is slowly but surely getting his courage and character back rather than hyper fear reactions to anything unfamiliar. These past 6 months have been very hard and very emotional for us, even though Nicole has worked wonders for our traumatised pup, she has also help us to believe he will recover and in turn helped us to heal from what was a life changing event for us.”
Neal Bodel and Tracee Blythe
“My dog has always been anxious and a barker but he is getting much worse as he ages.I was at my wits end and those around me were suggesting it was maybe time to let him move on.
I was referred to Nicole who immediately understood my distress.
We started treatment immediately and put things in place to make both my life, and the dog’s much more enjoyable.
I would recommend anyone with a difficult dog to visit Nicole at Palmyra vet clinic.”
Alison, owner of Bazza.
“We started seeing Nicole in October 2015 at Palmyra Veterinary Hospital. We were extremely happy with the behaviour service provided. We had excellent ongoing support from Nicole and she provided an excellent approach to our dog Bruiser’s Behavioural issues. We are thrilled to say our dog has made huge improvements. Thanks to the help of Nicole and staff at Palmyra Veterinary Hospital.”
“When we met Nicole we had an anxious shadow chasing puppy and we were quite upset as we didn’t know how or why this had happened. Nicole’s work and after consultation care has been so comprehensive, we now understand our pup’s disorder and how to manage it. Our pup’s condition is now under control and she is like a different dog. Nicole is an absolute pleasure to deal with and I highly recommend her to anyone who is concerned about their dog’s behaviour.”
“I sought guidance from an expert, having experienced aggressive and anxious behaviours from my three year old kelpie. Nicole is insightful, she has given many practical and achievable goals, and this allowed me to help my dog succeed in situations where she was regularly failing. Nicole is always quick to respond to calls and emails, which has also been invaluable. I warmly recommend her services.”
Sarah Pomphrey and Saffi
“I wanted to take a bit more time than my last quick email to say a proper thank you.
Pango has just had his most exciting weekend ever. He has been for multiple walks each day, met people at the coffee shop and played with other dogs at the park. He’s been in the car to Leederville and helped out in the garden with lawn repairs. Lachie’s friend came over and Pango calmly sat at his feet. These things had become difficult and distressing, but I’d barely realised we’d gradually stopped doing them.
Pango carried Rani’s collar around for the fist day but has just left it outside now. He didn’t look for her when we came that first night, so it was clear he knew that she wasn’t coming home. Thank you for your advice on how to support him. He’s wearing his pheromone collar and I’m sure it’s helping.
We’re doing well too. The kids have spoken to their friends, as we have with ours and they’ve all been understanding and sympathetic. The relief at being able to do so many ‘normal’ family things helps with feeling like it was the right thing to do.
I have retold many times the amazing support you gave us. When I saw how prepared you were, with Rani’s favourite food (chicken) and the chocolate, I understood that it’s also hard for you, and obviously so much more than “just a job”. If you ever have days where you question why you do the job you do, please know that you have made a great difference in our lives. For our kids to be able to experience such a big decision, and be part of a loved ones death, is one life’s big lessons, and you made it a positive one.”
Caregiver of Pango and Rani