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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Minimizing a Dog's Reliance on Anti-Stress Medication

By Donald F. Smith, Cornell University
Posted July 8, 2012

         My wife and I recently met Jodie Yim, an MBA graduate on the Island of O'ahu who turned her dog's health challenges into a thriving and personally-rewarding business. She explains on her website that she was several years on the road to a corporate career in advertising and marketing when God led her down a different pathway and she became a handmade paper artist. 
         A short while later, a Black Labrador Retriever puppy "with anxiety and noise phobias" joined her, and her life changed again. Not wanting to use anti-stress drugs, she learned enough about semi-precious gemstones to make her first piece of jewelry, a 'calming collar' for Pono. 
         As her skills with creating jewelry expanded, she was able to work from her home with Pono, often with him literally at her feet. With the exception of an "occasional dose of Rescue Remedy® and wearing a Thundershirt® during especially stressful times," Pono is entirely free of medications. The name of Jodie's company, 'Ponoma' [Pono-Ma] reflects her special relationship with her dog.

Jodie Yim and Pono wearing a colorful  Christmas lei

 Pono's original "calming collar"
Photos providing by Jodie Yim
Jodie's experience reminds us not just of the pleasure and comfort we can derive from healthy relationships with our pets, but she also exemplifies what it means to be a responsible pet owner. In her case, that responsibility included finding creative ways to spare Pono the use of behavior-modifying drugs.  

If you liked this blog, you may also enjoy the posting of April 14, 2011, entitled:
A Letter to Sasha and Malia Obama on the Second Anniversary of Bo's Arrival

Dr. Smith invites comments at