Luna is a 2 1/2 year old female Pembroke Welsh Corgi. She has been experiencing severe noise anxiety since her owner, J., got her at the age of 12 months. She is under the care of veterinary behavior resident Dr. Sophie Liu and is currently on Xanax.
Luna is scared of vehicle sounds, including especially the revving of motors, the sound of a car “whooshing” by, and the start of an engine if it is close. She is also scared of the sound of some home appliances and tools, sirens, and the wind.
J. would like to address her fear of vehicles revving. Muscle cars, trucks, and motorcycles are particular triggers.
During the course of our discussions, Luna regressed and also developed the fear of the “whoosh” sound of a car speeding by, a combination of motor and air movement sounds. On consultation with Dr. Liu, it was decided to address this first before going to revving. I agree, since it is a simpler noise than the revving, and also since it is the more recent generalization of vehicle sounds.
Choice of a Base Sound
At Eileen’s request, J. has chosen several revving and whoosh sounds from the media site Pond5. Eileen will choose a whoosh sound and use it as a base for creating a candidate for a non-scary sound that Luna can start with.
Test Sound 1
Please consult the instruction sheet before playing the test sound for Luna. There are a number of preparatory steps. There are 10 seconds of silence at the beginning of the sound file. The sound itself is about 9 seconds long. (You’ll need to feed her for the duration of the sound.)
The sound “looks” like this.
Please check with Dr. Liu, then follow the directions on the handout I emailed with any changes she stipulates. Either of you feel free to ask me any questions you have.
When you have played the sound for Luna, please let me know the outcome (as noted in the handout).
Technical Notes for Eileen
I added pink noise to the Pond5 recording “1018046: Car Passing On Highway 2,” and lowered the gain on the car by 8 dB.
Results of Test Sound
J. reports that Luna “did fine with the sound and was not triggered.” She thinks it will be fine to use as a base.
Technical Notes on Sound Series 1 for Eileen
For the sound series, I started with the base sound we tested. Over the course of nine sounds in the series, I raised the volume of the car whooshing by until the two sounds (pink noise and car) were at approximately equal volume. Then over the course of the rest of the sounds, I faded out the pink noise.
Sound Series 1
Test Sound 2
Please consult the instruction sheet before playing the test sound for Luna (although you know the drill by now!). There are 10 seconds of silence at the beginning of the sound file. The sound itself is about 5 seconds long. (You’ll need to feed her for the duration of the sound.) Please let me know the outcome. I’ll proceed to generate the series if she’s not bothered by it, or back up and make it less distinguishable if she is.
Note for Eileen: I generated pink noise at 0.8 amplitude and reduced the recording by 10 dB.
Results of Test Sound
J reports that Luna wasn’t scared of the test sound, so Eileen will create the sound series.
Technical Note for Eileen
I chose a part of the Pond5 sound “043783996 sport cars racing sound behind” and added pink noise at 0.8 amplitude. I started with the revving attenuated by 10 dB, then raised the amplitude of that sound until it and the pink noise were at equal volumes. Then I attenuated the pink noise down to nothing in the second half of the series.
Sound Series 2
(First sound is the same as the test sound above.)
For this sound series, I started with part of the revving sound we tested (it is reduced in volume compared to the pink noise). Over the course of 11 sounds in the series, I raised the volume of the low pitched car revving until the two sounds (pink noise and car) were at approximately equal volume. Then over the course of the rest of the sounds, I faded out the pink noise. I had to do more fading this time because the noise is bumpier and more raucous.
Sound Series 2: Second Half
Sound Series 3
Sound series 3 is created from the same commercial recording as sound series 2, but is the high pitched revving, almost buzzing, of cars speeding in the background.
Be careful, as usual, with the first sound, but with Luna’s previous responses I’m pretty confident that she will be fine.