Photo of Junebug (dog)

Junebug Gerke Success Story

Close-up photo of JunebugJunebug is a 7 year old, mixed breed dog who was adopted by the Gerke family. Junebug’s family hoped that when they rescued her and provided her with love and safety that she would be okay, but unfortunately that was not the case.

As a rescue, Junebug had never interacted with a family in the ways a normal dog would, and the Gerke family found that she was anxious in many ways. She did not want to be approached by family members, she interacted infrequently with their other dogs, and she was scared to go outside. She was miserable being walked on a leash, never sniffing or wagging her tail, and she was also extremely anxious in the car, often lying down on the floor and becoming sick to her stomach.

Junebug’s family consulted with their veterinarian, and it was recommended that they bring Junebug to the University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching Hospital to see the hospital’s Behavioral Medicine service. Working with the Behavioral Medicine team, Junebug’s family was able to help her slowly improve through education, coaching, and medication.

One of the changes that the team recommended was to create two safe spaces in the Gerke’s home where Junebug could relax and be rewarded for her relaxed behavior. This helped Junebug practice being at ease. Despite progress being slow, her family never gave up and neither did the UGA VTH Behavioral Medicine team.

“The support that we got from Lynsey and Dr. Dantas is no doubt a huge reason she is the dog she is today,” her family shared.

Junebug is now able to go on walks twice daily where she enjoys hanging out with her family, running, sniffing, and splashing in the creek. These walks have become the highlight of everyone’s day. Additionally, when riding in the car, Junebug now sits in the car seat and never gets sick. She even barks at other dogs and people sometimes. Along with receiving help at UGA, Junebug’s relationship with her two doggie siblings has also helped in teaching her that life is safe and fun!

Junebug still struggles sometimes, but she can now lean on her family and furry friends for support through the hard days. Thanks to the Behavioral Medicine team at the UGA VTH Junebug, along with many other animals suffering from mental illness and behavioral pathologies, have been able to have a better quality of life.

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