There were no signs of abnormal behavior at the shelter, but it was clear after a few weeks in her new home that Ducky also had a rough start in life. All owners love to come home to a dog who greets you with excitement, but Ducky’s enthusiasm was frenzied and sometimes it took as long as an hour for her to settle. When I was home, she would follow me everywhere and appeared to panic as soon as I was out of sight.She became destructive when I left, even though she was always with my other dog. Having experience in dealing with difficult dogs, I figured that with a little effort I could help her. However, as I began to research separation anxiety, I was flooded with information and suggestions, much of which contradicted each other.
After months of trying everything without success and having friends and family urging me to relinquish Ducky, I turned to a veterinary behaviorist. I walked into Dr. Malamed’s office skeptical and with little hope that I would even be able to keep my dog, but left with a thorough plan of how to begin addressing Ducky’s separation anxiety. Although discouraged that this was my last chance to help Ducky, I was determined to do everything that Dr. Malamed suggested.
Two years later, I am happy to say that Ducky is still part of our family and can be left for extended periods of time. While Dr. Malamed’s protocol was key in modifying Ducky’s behavior, the support she gave to me during the process was equally important. Having a dog with behavioral problems is frequently overwhelming and sometimes embarrassing, and having a professional who not only knew what I was struggling with but also how to address it was essential. I cannot imagine my life without Ducky, both by my side and sleeping quietly alone on the couch at home when I am gone, and I will forever be grateful for the support and treatment plan that Dr. Malamed provided.
I was impressed with Dr. Malamed even before I met her! Her credentials as a Veterinarian and board certified animal behaviorist were exactly what I was looking for. Extensive intake forms that I completed and returned before her home visit assured that she was going to know as much about my two kitties and the situation before her arrival. Dr. Malamed is kind, knowledgeable, and thorough. Before her home visit, one of my cats had an inappropriate urination problem, meaning that he was marking furniture and other things outside of his litter box on nearly a daily basis. I knew that Cowboy didn’t want to be a “bad” kitty, but I needed help understanding what to do about the problem.
Dr. Malamed made absolutely on target recommendations. The result of Dr. Malamed’s visit and care is that Cowboy’s marking outside the litter box has decreased from nearly every day to maybe once a month, and usually only during a particularly stressful time such as when I am out of town. Even then, he has only marked on one particular item that is easily washed. This has made for much greater peace in our household, for humans and felines alike!
One of the things that I really appreciate about Dr. Malamed is her willingness for follow-up care and recommendations. I really felt that she was always accessible and that she was monitoring Cowboy’s progress even after her visit. I really enjoyed working with Dr. Malamed. She has done a great job with Cowboy, and his behavior is MUCH improved!
Lulu Belle, my rescued long haired Chihuahua, has had issues with loud noise; fireworks, hammering, nail guns etc. Regular vet and I had tried everything from tranquilizers to holistic Rescue Remedy. Nothing worked, with the first noise Lulu would start pacing and panting, which rapidly turned to her frantically running around the house. Last year (2014) after several months of reacting to loud noises coming from next door neighbor she finally broke thru the fence. She was hit by a car several miles from the house, which resulted in a dislocated hip, broken ankle and 14 weeks of recuperation time. Besides cementing the fence closed, I knew I had to do something to help Lulu learn how to deal with loud noises. My regular vet recommended veterinary behaviorists, Dr. Malamed. Of course, most of my family and friends thought I was crazy to take my dog to see a behaviorist. Lulu’s well-being was more important and so the appointment was made and off to LA we went. Dr. Malamed was our last hope, as I said I had tried everything short of rehoming Lulu! Initially we tried anti-anxiety medications in addition to the behavior modification exercises, but in the end the medication did not work well with Lulu. However, the behavior modification has worked perfectly. I’m happy to say Lulu Belle made it through this year’s 4th of July with flying colors. Six months out, I can use the command without the treats and Ms. Lulu is a calm and happy young dog.
I will be forever grateful for Dr. Malamed’s guidance and methods.
My orange tabby and I moved-in with my fiance and his two bengal cats. Unfortunately, my fiance’s bengals did not welcome my tabby. Both of the bengals were very mean to my cat. One constantly hissed and growled at my cat, and the other attacked my cat whenever he could. We had to keep my cat locked in a room to keep him protected from the bengals when we left the house, or when could not closely watch them. He was either locked in a room or being hunted by the bengals. He always had scratches on his face where the bengals had drawn blood during attacks. He even got an infection from one of the bad scratches he got from the bengals. Eventually, my cat began marking inside our house many times per day. Our home was a stressful place to be.
We tried creating positive associations and working with the cats on our own, but after months of having to either keep the cats separate or break-up fights when the cats were together, we decided that we needed professional help. Our vet recommended Dr. Rachel to us.
Rachel helped us to provide the cats with more enrichment and positive associations. With her assistance, my tabby stopped marking and one of the bengals started to like my tabby. The other bengal was more difficult, but now sleeps with my tabby and they even groom each other! Often, all three cats sleep together on the same bed.
Rachel took what appeared to be a hopeless situation, and caused a miracle for us. My tabby no longer has to be locked in a room when we leave the house; and he almost never marks. The bengals seem to like my tabby, and instead of playing referee every night, we have a peaceful home life.
Rachel is down-to-earth and very intellectual. She is great at what she does. We are so pleased with her work; we highly recommend her.