Sunday, October 23, 2011

Worried K9 Family Member

When a human family member has a health crisis and goes into a hospital, don't forget the family dog. They experience stress too, magnified by their limited ability to understand all the nuances of the care that's being given. All they know is that the person is being kept in a stressful place, perhaps in pain, and when you come home from a visit they smell it all.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Honest Kitchen shipping boxes having a second life as non-toxic grass killer under our grapevines (after mucho weeding by my intrepid mother).

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Recipe for Temporary Tummy Trouble

Vida had a little bit of an upset stomach last night and this morning. Enough to disturb her sleep, but still with good energy. Evidence this morning (mucous coating on some of her poop and vomiting some very sticky white muck) led me to not feed her breakfast, however, and instead I gave her herbal tea, waiting a few hours to offer some food. 

Her tea was chamomile and calendula with honey, served room temperature. I made it just like I'd make it for a person, steeping it covered for about 20 minutes, but then let it cool quite a bit more, stirring in the honey with my fingers. She drank it all, about a cup.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Repurpose/Recycle - Ripping Good Dog Toy

Yep, that was a box. I was just going to toss it into the recycling bin and thought I ought to get one more use out of it.... dog toy! Handed it out and off she went to the back yard. Shaking, ripping, growling... as I followed along picking up the pieces. Less than 10 minutes, but as you can see she looks pretty satisfied with herself. Now time for breakfast! This is the way to start a Sunday morning.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Watching the dog: updates and clues

Vida enjoying a Labor Day Weekend party.
Seeing both the holistic vet and the chiropractor in the same week was a reassuring and educational summary of Vida's current health.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tumor? What tumor?

It's there, but Vida says "nuthin to see here, lady."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Joy (& thoughts) on Seeing Tumor Reduction

Vida's new supplements seem to be doing their job and reducing the size of her surface tumors!

I noticed it yesterday, her muzzle tumor wasn't nearly as prominent - the same "acreage" but flatter. Today it was flatter still, and slightly smaller in its spread. The one on her hock was down by half.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Tumor Update


More tumors keep showing up, and some of her old ones get bigger.

I veer between negative and positive states when thinking about it, but am taking action.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Healthy Dogs On A Budget With Plants

It can seem expensive to feed your dog fresh food, but it doesn't have to be. It doesn't have to be “all or nothing,” any fresh food is a good thing, more is better, and thoughtfully chosen fresh food is the best.

One of the best ways to add useful nutrients to your dog's food is to use plants. Surprised? You'd expect to read “meat” in that sentence, but when you learn about the disease preventing power of plant chemistry you'll see that modest amounts of well chosen plant foods are extremely useful for dogs.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The starting point...high regard.

Sometimes people ask me how I got started feeding my dogs a raw food diet. I usually talk about how my own health issues (chemical sensitivities, toxin overload) brought me toward natural health care in general, and how the health issues in my dogs (cancer) brought me to the decision of feeding them raw food diets.

This is a path of change that is easy to communicate, but it really doesn't get to the core of what continues to inform my decisions about how to feed my dogs.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Summer Herb Blend

Since Vida's doing a homotoxicology program that's rather involved, I'm letting that remedy series to the heavy lifting and am using her herbal blend for support with a focus on antioxidants and adaptogens.
  • 2 parts rosehips
  • 1 part hawthorn berries
  • 1 part spirulina
  • 1/2 part astragalus
  • 1/2 part ashwagandha
  • 1/2 part kelp
  • 1/2 part milk thistle
.... hold on.... 
I was low on ashwagandha, so that and the astragalus are ending up a little lower  proportion. 


I had to figure out how much to make for the summer! I found a handy conversion tool that told me that 70 teaspoons is 1-1/2 cups. Whew!

So the finished products is a little different... 

2/3 are roughly as above. 

1/3 is:
  • 3 parts rosehips
  • 3 parts hawthorn
  • 1 part spirulina
  • 1/2 part kelp
It's fine, it's not rocket science, it's just a meal boost.

And then I bagged up individual meals for the road! 15 meals, grab and go when we get to the hotel (plus a few more for my mom to feed while I'm at IHA). Easy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Packing List for the Traveling Dog

Food for the road

Supplements for the road

  • Mushroom Matrix MRM
  • Homemade Herb Blend
  • 3 different dropper bottles for her auto-sanguis therapy (that have to stay refrigerated,so... I bought a cooler that plugs into the car)
  • Stress Stopper flower essence from Spirit Essences (like Rescue Remedy)
Additional supplements for the 2 month destination

Miscellaneous supplies
  • Additional i.d. tag for the trip (says "traveling!" plus cell number) (she has a tag at the cabin with that info)
  • Mat/blanket (she has a bed at the cabin)
  • Horseblanket-style fleece jacket
  • Swim vest
  • Chuck-It
  • Two Turnups
  • Organic cotton plush toy (very important for the hotel, releases energy to shake it after a day of driving)
  • Small stainless bowl
  • Portable water bowl
  • Two Comfort-Flex harnesses
  • 10 foot Mendota lead
  • Two 6 foot Mendota leads
  • Water Loopie Sport
  • Nail tools
  • Tick and flea tools (Neem spray already at cabin)
  • Herbal Energetics Herbal 1st Aid Powder
  • Custom homeopathic remedy for bee allergy
  • Poop bags
  • Swim harness (old plain harness because I usually swim her at a boat launch and need to be able to grab her and display "control" if a boat comes)
  • Heartworm herbs (might use these if it seems they won't interfere with autosanguis)
  • Icelandic Fish Skin chews
  • Boulder Dog Food Company Dried Buffalo Heart Strips

I think that's everything!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Homotoxicology Gets Its Turn

Vida's cancer has indeed decided to express itself again, but my vet Keith Weingardt consulted with the surgeon (Dr Mullen) and oncologist (Dr Proulx) and all agreed that surgery would be futile and perhaps worsen thing by propelling the body to make more tumors. The thought is that by leaving them be (since they're not causing problems) they might prevent new ones from developing. 

I have mainstream options in my reserve arsenal if needed: prednisone, melphelan, or even radiation (that last one is really not something I plan to do again simply due to the expense), and will be speaking with Dr. Proulx in a few days about that.

I've opted to start Vida on a homotoxicology treatment known as autosanguis therapy. You're probably scratching your head right now, and I'll explain it a bit, but first enjoy this photo of Vida taken the day of her first treatment.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

The Importance of Taking Inventory

This will be a short post:

It's important to take regular inventory of your dog. 

What does that mean?

It means knowing every bump in their topography.
Is that a new one? 
What is it? 
What does it feel like? What does it look like?
Is it bigger than last month?

If you find something new, write it down. 

Vida has six discernible abnormalities. 

One I'd forgotten about.

One is new, and bad. A plasmacytoma, the same type she had in her mouth.

Thank goodness for her chiropractor. I had felt it a week or so before she got adjusted and thought it was a bit odd. Her chiropractor found it and was immediately concerned and strongly urged me to get it checked out. It was the size of a marble, just behind her right should and next to her spine.

Two weeks later the holistic vet felt it and immediately sent me to get it aspirated. That's how we got it diagnosed only 3 weeks before I'm due to leave for the summer.

Now it's a mad rush to do something about it. Surgery is most likely, perhaps also prednisone (something used last year as part of the treatment for the other tumor).

Do an inventory.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Chaga Redux - for pets and their people

I originally wrote about Chaga in March of 2009. I've continued to use it off and on, and have refined my preparation and learned more about its effect on Vida and me. From my experience this is the easiest way to get the most effective medicine. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Getting Creative

If you've read this blog for awhile you know I do a lot my own herb concoctions for Vida, but often they've been for specific acute situations. Well now I'm playing around with her daily herbs.

I've been thinking about how useful some herbs are on a daily (or almost daily) basis, but how I'd like to reserve the right for a little customization. I want her to get herbal foods in her daily diet that help strengthen her immune system and ensure healthy organ function. I do this because the basic food I feed her as basic vegetables in it, but not the power-veg that I want her to get. 

So I've been playing with powders.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day

Today is Earth Day. It's been a day of thinking, listening, and writing.... and a day of digging, watering, and weeding. 

I started my morning listening to a special Earth Day program on Democracy Now. I was really inspired by snippets of presentations done at PowerShift 2011, a youth conference on environmental issues.  Van Jones and Tim DeChristopher were exciting speakers. I encourage you all to watch them online by using the links. I started my morning off with more serious awareness of Earth Day than ever before, and I carried that energy through the day and right on to writing this post.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Spring Sprouts

Yep, simple. Sprouts. Add 'em to your dog's bowl and see what happens. 

Vida eats them, but usually dumps them out on the floor to finish with after she's cleaned the bowl, so your dog might do that too.

If your dog's never had sprouts before I would suggest offering a pinch of them as a treat. Nothing gets a dog's attention more than being handed something you just took out of the fridge.

If your dog isn't a veggie eater you can mix them into your meat, starting with a small amount.

I usually use red clover sprouts, sometimes alfalfa, but try whatever you like - the only thing more enticing than a food you've gotten out of the fridge is a food that you just ate yourself.

Springtime is the natural time to use sprouts. You'll often see dogs eating young grass this time of year, that's your hint. 

Start with sprouts, and move into spring detox foods next.