Before I met Mary Huntsberry, I was desperate: my usually very sweet four-year-old cat, Piper, had been acting out aggressively, to the point where I felt unsafe. Her attacks were increasing in frequency and intensity, and were especially alarming as I have a compromised lymphatic system—a bite or scratch from her could lead to serious infection! She had been on Prozac for a few months at this point but it did not seem to be helping. Clearly, her issues were behavioral and I needed help understanding what was going on with her. My vet recommended Mary, and I reached out to her the very next day to schedule an appointment.
Prior to Mary’s visit, she asked me to send along a detailed history of Piper. This made me feel confident that she was approaching the case from a personalized place rather than a cookie-cutter one, and as a pet parent I found that very reassuring! I appreciated her taking into account all of Piper’s history and that she was aware of her past behaviors when she came for our home visit. Mary definitely does her homework, and it shows in her wonderful insight!
Mary came over for a two hour visit, where we discussed Piper and ways to address her behavioral issues. She also got to observe Piper in her home environment and see some of the behaviors firsthand, which really helped in her assessment.
Meeting with Mary was incredibly enlightening for me as a pet owner. I used to think I was so attuned to Piper and her needs, but really I had been misinterpreting (and sometimes completely missing!) a lot of her behaviors and cues. I couldn’t believe I wasn’t seeing these things before!
After our home visit, things with Piper have vastly improved. I’ve implemented a lot of the recommendations and instructions Mary gave us and it’s been amazing: I don’t feel scared anymore, and I don’t think Piper does, either. She and I exist together in a much healthier way, regaining the closeness we had before but with much better boundaries.
I am super grateful for Mary’s help - and Piper is, too! :)
- Alexa Ercolano from Baltimore, MD
Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist
Elite Fear Free Certified Professional
Montgomery County, MD
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