PHEASANTS FOREVER’S EMILY SNYDER RECOUNTS HER EXPERIENCE WITH COOPER, HER ENERGETIC GERMAN SHORTHAIR, AND PURINA’S CALMING CARE SUPPLEMENT
By Emily Snyder
One of my first- ever memories included a dog, and not just any dog, THE dog that created my love of everything upland hunting. Reggie was my family’s first German shorthaired pointer. He was a beast and unstoppable in the field. With him as my best friend, at the young age of 5, I knew that I would forever be accompanied in my life by a GSP. Their energy, passion for hunting, intelligence and lifelong unique personalities had me hooked even then.
When I decided to find my very own GSP, I started my journey with Great Plains Pointer Rescue. My plan was to adopt a female puppy, but just as some people fall in love at first sight with their partner, I fell in love with a young male GSP, named Cooper, the second I saw his picture. His beautiful dark brown and white ticking, big bright yellow glowing eyes and long undocked tail truly had me at first sight.
I didn’t care his background or what neglect he had endured. I knew I was going to give this dog the life he deserved.
To be honest, I shed quite a few tears in the beginning with Cooper. He had been hurt in his past and he needed to find trust in me. And I will tell you something: I worked HARD to gain that trust.
To start, Cooper needed to be socialized. Thanks to Pheasants Forever’s dogs-at-work policy, I could bring Cooper into work with me every day and get him used to all different breeds of dogs. Cooper also had trust issues with men.
These are still things that I work on daily with Cooper. Even with our routines and all the work I have done with him, I still felt hurt every time I saw my sweet dog become aggressive when another dog approached him or a stranger walked by.
First I tried a bark collar. It’s hard watching your very stubborn dog yelp through a bark collar. I may be sensitive, but it broke my heart.
Then I tried anxiety medication. That failed. My dog’s outgoing personality was numbed by the medication.
When I honestly didn’t know what else to try that wouldn’t take away my month’s salary, I saw a blue and black Purina box with big words saying “Calming Care” sitting on a desk near mine at work. I was intrigued. After reading up on it a little, I thought, heck why not?
The results have been nothing short of a miracle. And I’m not even sure Cooper is getting the full effect yet.
Coop is known around the office as “cute but naughty.” A young GSP’s energy shines bright and he does not hold back. But after 3 weeks of using Purina’s Calming Care, people would say, “Wow he’s been so good today” and “He was such a good boy while you were in your meeting” … things not normally associated with Cooper’s actions.
The first thing I really noticed was how Calming Care helps Cooper’s separation anxiety. In the past, the kennel was not his favorite place to be. In fact, he hated it. Even with me sitting right next to him, he would whine and bark for hours until I could no longer take it. This has completely changed. I can now say “Coop, kennel up,” and he gladly walks right in. Now I can leave him in his kennel when I go to a meeting or run errands, without the stress of worrying about his excessive barking.
Another thing I noticed was Cooper’s acceptance of other dogs and people. He welcomes stranger’s hands with a sniff now, and tolerates the young puppies he sometimes has jumping on his face.
Finally, there was Cooper’s controlled energy level. He doesn’t jump nearly as much when people approach my desk, and he seems to react less to all the stimulation that working at a dog-friendly office can bring. He now enjoys napping at my desk and doesn’t have a spike of energy or fear of separation when I need to leave to refill my water bottle or use the restroom.
The Calming Care supplement comes in individual packets that you pour out into a small dish and then just mix with water. Cooper loves them and even knows now when I ask, “Do you want your juice box?” that he’ll be getting his favorite meat flavored drink.
I truly believe the Purina Supplement Calming Care was named for the calming effects it has on your canine and the calming feelings you will have as an owner.
I am very thankful for stumbling across this Purina product and have confidence that you will be too.
Emily Snyder is a graphic designer at Pheasants Forever. A shorter version of this story appears as the Bird Dogs column in the Spring 2020 Issue of
Pheasants Forever Journal.