Friday, November 28, 2008

HOLIDAY SHOPPING

Make it easy on yourself...

THINK:
  • affordable
  • meaningful
  • lasting
  • easy (from right where you're sitting!)
  • thoughtful

THINK:
video


Journey with Nadine M. Rosin into the emotional healing and self-awareness she develops over nineteen years through the unconditional love of her dog, Buttons.

Learn how to give YOUR OWN beloved animal the best life possible by joining them as they explore the world of holistic pet care to successfully treat canine cancer.

Experience how Nadine copes with grief and loss, and ultimately discovers a continued spiritual connection with Buttons after death. This is her story. It is only one version of a story shared by millions of pet parents.


Available at all ONLINE book retailers


Monday, November 24, 2008

TEACHING YOUR DOG TO READ

It always surprises me how willing we are to believe that if it's being sold in a store (even a health food store), it's safe for us and/or our pets. Recently, a friend of mine alerted me to a post he had read on a dog trainer's blog about Rescue Remedy. Rescue Remedy is a Bach Flower Essence that has been around for decades, and is used homeopathically to clear the emotional/energy body of trauma. It's great for dogs who have anxiety about thunder, fireworks, or going to the vet, to name a few. When I first started using it, it was packaged only in liquid form. These days, it also comes in a spray (which I now use) and eatable candy pastilles (which I don't). The official RR website also has a form packaged specifically for pets.

To make a long story short, the trainer had suggested that this pet parent try Rescue Remedy for her dog and the pet parent bought the candy pastilles and gave them to her dog. One of the ingredients listed on that label (pastilles only) is xylitol - a natural sweetener made of corn or birch bark; healthy for humans, DEADLY FOR DOGS!!!

In my opinion, there are two important things to consider here:
  1. ALWAYS read the label. If you don't know what something is, or how it might affect your animal, PLEASE INVESTIGATE. Most vets could tell you that xylitol is toxic for dogs. A simple google search: "xylitol dogs toxic" will generate all kinds of information.

  2. Don't assume anything, but do your own research. The reason why many wonderful herbs have gotten a bad rap is because people were not responsible in learning how to use them. Many herbs are incredibly medicinal at one dosage and highly toxic at another. I have read about herbs referred to as deadly in mainstream publications, that I know from personal experience are beneficial and non-toxic in proper dosage. On the other hand, just because it's sold in a health food store, doesn't mean it's always healthy.

Until our sweet doggies can read and be informed to make their own responsible decisions, it is up to us to do it for them. On the other side of that coin, had I followed Buttons' obvious opinions about a few of the men I've dated, I could have saved myself a lot of heartache! More about that in The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood. :)


Wishing you vibrant health
and precious moments-
Nadine (and Buttons)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

MORE DOGGY DIALOGUES! Q's & A's: Canine Elders and Home-cooking

As author of The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood and Mom of a dog who survived canine cancer and lived to be 19, people ask me lots of questions about holistic care, senior care, and grief. I am not a vet. Loving pet parent, avid researcher, and holistic pet care advocate are my credentials. That said, please email your questions and let The Doggy Dialogues begin!


Question: from Mikey
"I'm going to be 10 this week, my vet told my mom-person that I was now (gasp) geriatric....I am an Akita and very spoiled. Does that mean I am old?"
Dear Mikey-
It's funny...50 years ago, 10-years old was not considered old for a dog. My personal belief is that as the rate of such things as canine cancer has skyrocketed, we've grown used to a lower expectation of doggy lifespan. As I've written about throughout The Doggy Dialogues, in my experience, given a truly toxic-free inner and outer environment, dogs can once again be expected to live 18-25 years. Personally, I'd like to wait until your 14th or 15th birthday to officially welcome you into the esteemed ranks of canine elders.

The above photo is Buttons at the age of 18.
I added Yucca extract to her food to help eliminate any swelling in her joints, and ALA to keep her mind sharp. Her senior care is described in more detail in our book. In the meantime, happy birthday, Mikey... enjoy middle-age!


Question
: from Biskit
"Buttons... I read in your mom's book that she fed you ground turkey and millet. How many times a day did you eat? Did you always eat the same food for every meal? Did you eat any veggies? My mommy is interested in cooking for me instead of buying dog food. Thanks in advance for your help!"

Dear Biskit-
First, everything Buttons ate was organic. I would buy the turkey frozen from the health food warehouse and the millet in bulk. Once a week I would cook up the turkey and make a pot of millet (high in protein and amino acids, easier to cook than rice). Every morning and every afternoon, I would mix up and gently warm a bowl 1:3 turkey to millet. To that I would add sea kelp a daily vitamin, and some grated, raw veges. Her appetite was extremely healthy up until the day before she went to The Bridge. I'm guessing she eats liver and steak there (only organic*wink*).


Wishing you vibrant health
and precious moments-
Nadine (and Buttons)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

THE DOGGY DIALOGUES! Q's & A's: Poop Eating & Allergies

As author of The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood and Mom of a dog who survived canine cancer and lived to be 19, people ask me lots of questions about holistic care, senior care, and grief. I am not a vet. Loving pet parent, avid researcher, and holistic pet care advocate are my credentials. That said, please email your questions and let The Doggy Dialogues begin!


Question: from Anonymous
"I would like to know why I eat my own poop."

Dear Anonymous-
First, I congratulate you on your bravery for admitting you have a problem and seeking help. I have always read that when dogs eat their own poop, they are not getting the proper nutrition from their food. (or I guess one could also assume their food is REALLY good!) Here is one of the best articles I've ever come across regarding commercial pet food. I believe every pet parent should be informed. We are what we eat. Especially important for a body weighing less than 100 pounds.

I home-cooked for Buttons and one of the supplements I added to her food was this daily vitamin. I would open the capsule and pour the appropriate dosage into her food. This way, she wasn't ingesting the ingredients of the capsule itself. I would encourage you to do some research and shopping for the best product and prices. Bon appetit!



Question: from the Heelers
"One of my packmates has severe allergies which result in her chewing on herself until she bleeds. She also has ear infections. Our vet said that her allergy was probably an inhaled allergen from the environment and that the best thing we could do was give her a steroid shot. This allergic reaction used to be in the springtime only. Now it almost all of the time. My Momma read on the internet that long term steroid use is bad for the dog. So mom started using medicated shampoo and giving the dog Benadryl. She also uses an ear cleaner with an alcohol base and garlic ear oil. Although these things help they do not alleviate the symptoms. My sister is always sad and itchy. She has lost weight and is not interested in her favorite hobbies. We are worried. Much Love and Thanks"
Dear Heeler Family-
First let me say that my heart goes out to you for all the pain and frustration you must be feeling. Next, please refer to an earlier post I have about the difference between symptom treating and a holistic approach. I believe that the body only develops these type of symptoms when the immune system is weakened. An otherwise unburdened body is not usually affected by naturally occurring allergens.

If it were me, the first thing I'd do is start clearing the home and outdoor environment of possible toxins which might be the cause of that immune system compromise: processed dog food and /or treats with corn, any type of "meal", chemical additives, sugar, etc., weed killers, fertilizers, non natural carpet cleaners, bedding laundered with fabric softener or dryer sheets to start.

After clearing the home environment, the next step is to cleanse the body of all stored toxins. In my opinion one of the better products for pets is Newton's Detoxifier. Next, you want to strengthen the body with good, clean food. One great brand is The Honest Kitchen.

Yucca Extract is a natural steroid with no negative side effects when used as directed. Hope that helps! Please keep us informed- we're pullin' for ya!


Wishing you vibrant health
and precious moments-
Nadine (and Buttons)


Friday, November 14, 2008

MORE DOGGY DIALOGUES! Q's & A's: Fleas, Rawhide

As author of The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood and Mom of a dog who survived canine cancer and lived to be 19, people ask me lots of questions about holistic care, senior care, and grief. I am not a vet. Loving pet parent, avid researcher, and holistic pet care advocate are my credentials. That said, please email your questions and let The Doggy Dialogues begin!


Question
: from the lovely Ms. Puffer
"My mommy is always looking for a natural form of flea and tic repellent. She uses the store bought ones because it would be even more dangerous and irresponsible to do nothing but hates loading us up with chemicals. She'd love to find something to replace those drops and something to spray the yard with."
Dear Puffer-
Hurray for your mom for not wanting to apply something between your shoulders once a month to be absorbed by your skin until it's able to kill every flea that comes into contact with you!!! The popular, 'applied monthly' flea product can kill fleas because it is a form of poison. Some products contain strychnine. Others have the active ingredient, imidacloprid which is rated as "moderately toxic" acutely by the WHO and the EPA and which causes thyroid lesions in rats.

I have often read the justification that the
amount of chemicals these products contain is too small to harm our pets, but I wouldn't risk my animal's life on those corporate claims. Besides, anything used consistently will over time, build up in the body's tissue and liver. The liver is the body's filter. It cannot break down most chemicals, but instead, becomes toxic, overloaded, and unable to function properly because of that build-up.

There are wonderful, affordable essential oil combinations made especially for repelling fleas. Most contain oil of lemon and eucalyptus- very pleasant smelling. Puffer, next time you're on the computer, try googling "natural flea repellent" and you will find many great, easy to use brands. Most are as effective as using the "poison" products without being harmful to you. Some come as easy to apply sprays and your mom can just spritz you before you're around other doggies (think of it as your own Chanel #5).

If you already have fleas, your mom can do this:
Make a "tea" of lemon peel and water, and let it steep overnight. Sponge the tea on your flea-infested Puffer, the fleas will die instantly.

Diatomaceous earth is an inexpensive, natural remedy for flea infested areas of the home or yard. It is inexpensive, nontoxic and can also be found online.

Thanks so much for your question. My guess would be there's a strong correlation between non-natural flea repellents/shampoos and the huge rise in canine cancer. Your mom is very wise to seek out natural, safe alternatives. A little research can go a long way.




Question: from canine, Jackson Rambo
"We want to know if rawhide chewies are really good or bad for us. We heard pig ears can cut the throat and esophagus of us dogs. Then my human cousin called and said they heard the rawhide it's self is bad for choking on. We would like to know that because thats our favorite thing is rawhide chewies."
Dear JR-
Here's the deal: rawhide is literally the outside of a cow – the skin. Rawhide is not regulated in any way. Some imported brands (China, Philippines) have been reported as soaked in formaldehyde or contaminated with arsenic. These foreign hides may also contain other detrimental things such as antibiotics, insecticides, or lead- things you'd never knowingly want to ingest.

Your human cousin is correct, choking is a hazard, and rawhide can cause canine gastric irritation when chewed on often, which can lead to vomiting and extreme discomfort.

Now the good news: there are great alternatives for purchase online. Or, thick pieces of dehydrated organic sweet potato is nutritious, delicious, and cheap if your human has a food dehydrator. At the very least, have your human buy you a brand that is made in the USA and says something on the label about being natural. Good chewing!



Wishing you vibrant health and
precious moments-

Nadine (and Buttons)



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

THE DOGGY DIALOGUES! Q's & A's: Vaccinations

As author of The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood and Mom of a dog who survived canine cancer and lived to be 19, people ask me lots of questions about holistic care, senior care, and grief. I am not a vet. Loving pet parent, avid researcher, and holistic pet care advocate are my credentials. That said, please email your questions and let The Doggy Dialogues begin!


Question
: from Tommy Tunes- doggy friend to all
"I have a very bad reaction to my "annual" shots". Dad can't touch me and I sometimes go into the hallway and lay down and mope for a couple days. I read an article saying that dogs do NOT need annual shots. They can easily go 2 or 3 year between shots. I told my vet and he let me skip 1 year and he also doesn't give the shots all in one day. That helped some. Annual shots are a major part of a vets income so I always wondered about what is really the truth about shots."

Dear Tommy Tunes-
My personal preference is to forgo vaccinations. Of course, there are risks involved in that choice and I urge everyone to do a lot of research before coming to their own conclusion either way. I would encourage your dad to start googling. Some key words to begin with might be: canine vaccinations dangers, holistic alternatives vaccinations. Here is one place to start gathering information about the risks of vaccines. I have not used these particular ones myself, but there are companies that sell homeopathic remedy kits to counteract the negative side effects of vaccines. The few times I did take Buttons for shots, I gave her Rescue Remedy beforehand to calm her emotionally. That might be the ticket to help you to stay happier throughout the process and afterwards. Thanks so much for your question and great review of the book!


Wishing you vibrant health
and precious moments-
Nadine (and Buttons)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

MORE DOGGY DIALOGUES! Q's & A's: Canine intuition, joint health

As author of The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood and Mom of a dog who survived canine cancer and lived to be 19, people ask me lots of questions about holistic care, senior care, and grief. I am not a vet. Loving pet parent, avid researcher, and holistic pet care advocate are my credentials. That said, please email your questions and let The Doggy Dialogues begin!

Question: from Donna
"Without a doubt the canine mind knows instinctively what's healthier for them than humans do and I thought I'd just post an eye opening observation and perhaps get your opinion. Why do dogs prefer drinking from the toilet? Well I discovered, when I threw out the plastic bowl and replaced it w/an old fashioned crock bowl, that our dog willingly went back to drinking from her own bowl. And this was well before all of the publicity about plastic bottles. Perhaps you might like to elaborate on the 'why,' Nadine. Thank you, Donna"

Dear Donna-
Your observation is spot on and your canine is lucky to have you- such an astute pet parent! Throughout my book, I describe the process of Buttons' and my communication: how I came to not only decipher her canine communication, but how to rely on her innate wisdom. During our intense holistic regimen to stop the cancer, I often followed her lead on what to do, when, and how much.
In an earlier post, I have info w/links regarding the dangers of plastic and the alternatives I found to work best for me. Thank you, Donna, for a great question and for your high level of awareness!


Question: from Pepper the dog
"First I think that a list of the things that people don't realize can be toxic to their pets would be good. Some times people give their pets people food with these toxic things in them. Also, what are some natural aids for arthritis in older large breeds."

Dear Pepper-
Here is a good list of what you should never eat no matter how tempting:
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Apple seeds
  • Apricot pits
  • Avocados—toxic to birds, mice, rabbits, horses, cattle and dairy goats
  • Cherry pits
  • Candy (particularly chocolate, which is toxic to dogs, cats and ferrets, and any candy containing the sweetener Xylitol)
  • Coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans)
  • Grapes
  • Hops (used in home beer brewing)
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Moldy foods
  • Mushroom plants
  • Mustard seeds
  • Onions and onion powder
  • Peach pits
  • Potato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • Raisins
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Salt
  • Tea (caffeine)
  • Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • Walnuts
  • Yeast dough
Also don't forget to avoid those delicious looking holiday plants:

Poinsettias
These plants are probably the most popular holiday plant and are easily recognizable by their large red, white, pink, or mottled leaves. These plants also contain a thick, milky irritant sap. In general, it would take ingestion of a large amount of this plant to see possible clinical signs in your pet. Signs could include vomiting, anorexia and depression. The symptoms are generally self-limiting and treatment is rarely needed. Your Vet may recommend limiting food and water intake for 1 or 2 hours if your pet is suspected of becoming sick after ingestion of poinsettias.

Easter Lilies
Some members of the Lilly family of plants can result in serious illness in cats. Specifically, Easter Lilies, tiger lilies, Japanese show lilies, rubrum lilies, many lily hybrids and day lilies have been known to cause kidney failure.

What kept Buttons spry and hiking well into her 18th year was, I believe, the yucca extract I added to her food everyday. That's pretty amazing considering she'd been hit by a car when she was 3 and had her back legs pinned under the car's front wheel. But for THOSE healing details, you'll have to read the book :) Thanks, Pepper!


Wishing you vibrant health
and precious moments-
Nadine (and Buttons)


THE DOGGY DIALOGUES! Q's & A's: Holistic defined

As author of The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood and Mom of a dog who survived canine cancer and lived to be 19, people ask me lots of questions about holistic care, senior care, and grief. I am not a vet. Loving pet parent, avid researcher, and holistic pet care advocate are my credentials. That said, please email your questions and let The Doggy Dialogues begin!


Question: from Kolchak the dog and Mommy (Jodi)
"This is a question Mom gets all the time when we describe some of the things our Vet does with us and she always has a terrible answer. She's hoping your answer will be better than hers: What is the difference between holistic vet care and traditional vet care? And why is it so much better? Mom's always like um....well...it's just more natural and um...better. Yeah better. Crazy inarticulate Mommy. Thanks for your help!"

Dear Kolchak and Jodi-
GREAT question. It is commonly misunderstood in the west, that holistic means symptom treating with natural remedies or herbs in lieu of pharmaceutical drugs. WRONG! What it means is clearing the body's inner and outer environment of all possible toxins, detoxifying the body of all residual toxins, and giving it the proper nutritional support so that it can do what an unburdened, nontoxic body does best: HEAL ITSELF.

As you will see throughout this blog, I have listed several of the ways I did that with Buttons when she was diagnosed with cancer. The first thing I did was to take her off commercial dog food. Twenty years ago my choices were few and so I home-cooked for her. Today there are lots of good choices. One thing I would still avoid is anything with barley in it. When Buttons was 17, it was brought to my attention that even organic barley can have extremely high aluminum levels.

This was confirmed when I had a sample of Buttons' fur tested by a Texas lab, in search of a reason why she was exhibiting symptoms of CDS: doggy Alzheimer's. I then immediately removed the barley from her diet ("removed the toxin burdening the body"), replaced it with organic millet ("strengthen the body nutritionally") and gave her a series of homeopathic nosodes to pull the aluminum from her brain ("detoxify residual"). The disappearance of symptoms was once again, amazing.

Personally, the 3 steps of clear/detoxify/support made more sense to me than cut/burn/poison when Buttons was diagnosed with cancer and given 6 weeks to live. Was it an easy choice initially? Is a holistic method better than an allopathic one? Perhaps best answered with an excerpt from my book:


"I lay awake all that night. If the cancer was in my body, I would absolutely forgo the surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. It wouldn’t be my choice to cut, burn, and poison. My beliefs, based on all the years of reading I’d done and exposure to alternative methods I’d experienced since childhood, were that one needed to boost the immune system in the presence of disease and not destroy it. Western medicine’s focus was on treating or suppressing the symptoms. A holistic approach called for focusing on the cause in mind and spirit, clearing it, and then strengthening the body so it could heal itself.

If it were in my body, I’d go to Mexico and cleanse and detoxify, meditate, visualize, and drink massive amounts of raw vegetable juice at one of the alternative cancer clinics there. But it wasn’t in my body. I tried to imagine Buttons without her tail. It would be like amputating her personality. I thought about what it might be like for her to go through radiation treatments and doses of chemotherapy. Horrendous. Demons wrestled violently in my mind. Who was I to force my beliefs on this innocent soul whose well-being I was responsible for? Who was I to risk her life for the sake of my preferences? How big a risk was it? The entire allopathic, Western perspective was screaming for me to follow the vet’s advice. He was a trained professional, and I was a self-taught, quasi-hippie health nut."

So Kolchak, perhaps the easiest way for your mom to describe using holistic methods is by answering, "removing the cause of the symptom rather than trying to squelch the symptom." Hope that's helpful. Thank you so much for your question!


Wishing you vibrant health
and precious moments
Nadine (and Buttons)


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Toxic To Your Pet #3- aka: In My Opinion

When my adopted daughter Buttons was 8 years old, she was diagnosed with deadly carcinoma and given 6 weeks to live. It was then that I launched a massive personal research campaign into the world of holistic medicine.

I soon came to learn that “holistic” DIDN'T mean symptom treating with natural remedies or herbs in lieu of pharmaceutical drugs. Instead, it meant clearing my home environment of all possible toxins, detoxifying Buttons’ entire system physically and emotionally, and then giving her the proper nutritional support so that Buttons’ body could do what an unburdened, nontoxic body does best: HEAL ITSELF.

The story of that journey is part of what The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood is all about. Here are some of the finer details not mentioned in the book:

Your Pet’s Dishes-
Personally, I would only use glass or stainless steel bowls for food and water. Plastics are known to leach and leak chemicals and some pottery glazes can do the same.

Electrical Outlets-
Everyday, there is more and more published about the ill-effects of EMF (electrical magnetic field) on the immune system. I always made sure Buttons’ bedding and bowls were placed at least 4 feet away from any electrical outlet or live appliance.

For "Toxic To Your Pet" #1 and #2, just scroll down :)


Wishing you vibrant health
and precious moments
Nadine (and Buttons)


Saturday, November 1, 2008

In Tribute

In less than an hour, it will be Nov. 2nd, my dad's 81st birthday. He was the original natural health care advocate of our family and if not for him, my journey into holistic medicine might never have happened.

I inherited his eyes, his coloring, and his thirst for leading edge knowledge. Like most little girls, my daddy was my first love. Although we've had our communication struggles, long silences, and intentional distances throughout the years, we were both always certain of each others love.

My dad passed away 9/29/08. The last thing we talked about was my book. The last words we said to each other were, "I love you."

It's not only all there is to say, it's all any of us really ARE. And isn't that, after all, what our doggies are always so easily connecting us to and reminding us of... just pure love?



Happy birthday, Daddy