I first came to see Dr. Sung about 2 years ago after I rescued a Maremma Sheepdog named Baby. Baby's breed characteristics combined with a very sad background of abuse and trauma had resulted in an extremely fearful dog who was also reactive to other dogs. Baby is terrified of men, certain noises, sudden movement, wary of strangers in general and extremely protective of me.
I met with several trainers prior to seeing Dr. Sung and all told me they were extremely doubtful that he would ever be able to improve or have any quality life and one even told me to consider euthanasia as she felt his background was too extreme to overcome. I felt very strongly that my dog was capable of overcoming some of his fears and that someday he would be able to participate more in the world without the extreme fear he had when I rescued him.
My vet recommended Dr. Sung because she felt that medication might be helpful in our case and I needed someone who could handle both the medical aspects of Baby's treatment as well as the behavioral aspects. Dr. Sung prescribed behavioral medication for Baby and it has made an enormous difference in our daily lives. The medication did not miraculously solve our problems but it helped calm him enough that he was able to absorb a lot of the counter-conditioning and desensitizing exercises she prescribed.
We have continued to see Dr. Sung as needed for the last two years and Baby has progressed to a level no one who knew him prior to treatment would ever have imagined. He can now go to public places, meet men in a controlled environment, be calm around other dogs and his quality of life has improved beyond all my hopes. If only she could prescribe a better name for Baby since I seem unable to come up with a good one! I am so grateful for Dr. Sung's expertise and most of all, for her optimism and willingness to work with a dog that everyone told me was hopeless. I would highly recommend her.
- Jen and Baby
We were feeling really frustrated with our cat, Murphy, when we contacted Dr. Sung.
Murphy had taken to marking various spots around our home ever since we'd moved into the house a year prior. We knew that he was aware his behavior was not alright by the way he'd act if one of us happened to see him marking but no matter what we tried nothing seemed to curb his bad behavior.
Dr. Sung came out to our home and did an evaluation for us. She determined that Murphy is generally a little anxiety ridden and the other neighborhood cats that frequent our yard were making him even more anxious. She put together a treatment plan that included medication, clicker training, changing play and meal locations, as well as a few other things.
Things have been MUCH better since her visit. Murphy is more relaxed and happy. He's even reverting back to some of his old playful antics that we haven't seen since moving into our new house. Dr. Sung has been great with follow up after the visit, answering any questions and making suggestions if we need to tweak the treatment plan at all. I can't express what a positive experience this was for all of us...everyone is much happier!
- Courtney and Murphy
Even those of us who have raised numerous pets, or work with pets every day, sometimes run up against a problem we're not sure how to fix. I have been a veterinarian for 24 years, and work with pets of all personalities. But when I got Alisaud, my beautiful Egyptian Mau kitten, he was different than any cat I'd ever raised. He had the intensity and focus of a champion field-trial dog, but with all the feline instincts. And even though he loved attention, he HATED to be held. It was as if he was claustrophobic.
As the weeks passed with only minimal improvement, I thought of all the difficult cats that I see in the clinic every day. The cats that are terrified, untrusting, aggressive in unfamiliar situations. The cats that fight restraint. The cats that can never get ideal medical care because they can't be examined or hospitalized without major stress or sedation, even though they're wonderful at home. I knew that if his issues didn't get resolved while he was a kitten, that he would be one of those difficult cats as an adult. I didn't want my Alisaud to become the "Cat from Hell" at the vet hospital, and I wanted him to enjoy cuddling with me.
I took him to see Dr. Wailani Sung when he was 5 months old. I had filled out a long questionairre before the visit, so she was familiar with his background and behavior issues before the visit. We spent over an hour discussing his behavior in various circumstances, and I left with a structured, easy-to-understand, easy-to-achieve plan to correct his behavior. Homework for the cat, and for me. Stuff that was fun, and really worked. No medication that changed his personality, no harsh discipline that broke his spirit, and definitely nothing scary that increased his anxiety or damaged the bond that he and I had developed. Just fun daily activities that steadily worked towards a goal. And now -- he's a confident, high-spirited, athletic two year old that I can hold, carry around, and take to the clinic without concern. He's exactly who I wanted when I adopted him.
- April Sandors, DVM
I have a 5 year old Standard Schnauzer named Ava. We rescued her two years ago this month. When we got her she had many issues. She was nipping people, guarding people while they were in the house, and she had a great fear of fireworks.
I was able to make some of the issues better in the first year by socializing her to as many dogs and people as possible but I was not able to make any of the issues go away completely.
I had interviewed a couple other behaviouralists but did not believe they were a fit for our family. My Vet then told me about Dr. Sung. I am so grateful to her. She gave me the knowledge and tools I was missing to help Ava through the rest of her issues.
Since we saw Dr. Sung I have been able to travel with other people in the car with Ava. I am able to put her in situations she would have melted down in before, and she is reacting less and differently to fireworks this year.
Dr. Sung has been my greatest asset in coming closer to having a healed dog. She gave me information to read, techniques to use, and continued advice on particular issues.
Thank you Dr. Sung for making our life better. It takes a lot of hard work on my part but I couldn't do it without you.
- Doug, Kim, and Ava