Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Helping Dog Lovers Have Well Behaved Dogs

One of the great things about doing online book promotion, is meeting and networking with so many dedicated, interesting pet parents. Today, I'd like you to meet:

took her first obedience class about fifteen years ago. She was just in it for fun, looking for a way to develop a relationship with her newly adopted Australian Shepherd, Freckles. As luck would have it, the class they signed up for was a clicker training course. Laurie didn’t know anything about positive reinforcement training, but she and Freckles were willing to try it. It turned out that the two of them loved the class. In Laurie’s own words, Freckles excelled and made Laurie look like she knew what she was doing. After a few more classes, the instructor asked Laurie if she’d like to assist, and in no time Laurie fell in love with teaching other people how to get along with their dogs.

“When I first started working as a trainer, clicker training wasn’t a mainstream training method. Marine mammal trainers had been using it successfully for years, but it was relatively new to the dog training profession. Change is difficult for people and many were reluctant to change their styles. I hadn’t been using the old fashioned correction-based training long enough to be committed to it, so the switch was natural for me.

I was in my clients’ shoes 15 years ago. I had never used a clicker and didn’t know what it was or how it worked. I struggled with a dog who lost her concentration easily. A dog who found it much more fun to run after a deer than to come to me. A dog who found smells on the ground much more interesting than the sound of my voice. I’ve been there, I have real empathy for what my clients are going through.

I realized that clicker training was easier and faster than the old fashioned corrections-based training. And it meant I could be friends with my dog, celebrating all our accomplishments, not looking for the next mistake and quickly correcting her without faltering. It was more fun to work with my dog using the clicker because we were focused on what she was doing correctly, and ignoring the mistakes.”

To find out more about positive reinforcement training please go to:

Laurie Luck holds a master's degree in psychology, is a faculty member of the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior, and is skilled both as a trainer and teacher. She founded Smart Dog University in 2001 to help owners improve their dogs behavior.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008


This is my pal, Morgan. He is a brave and mighty, 15-year-old, healthy canine cancer survivor.

I cannot look at him without smiling and being immediately connected to the pure, unconditional love that doggies are.

They remind us that we are pure, unconditional love, too. They make us better humans.

Wishing you all a healthy, peaceful, and loving holiday season.
Nadine & Buttons

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Say Hello to ORGANIDOG

"In 2003, I had the wonderful experience of becoming a doggie mom to my Siberian Husky mix, Anakin. As a first time puppy parent, I wanted to make sure that not only would he have a loving and nurturing home, but a healthy, plentiful source of nutrition. With all of the kibble and treat options filling the grocery store shelves, I was confused and overwhelmed with what would be the most beneficial choice for my little guy's diet. I took my query to the internet and what I saw was disturbing.

The bags of commercially produced of kibble I inquired about promised "whole chunks of chicken and fresh garden vegetables." Digging deeper into the translations of "chicken meal" and "lamb by-products", I found synthetic vitamins, beaks, hooves, chemical preservatives and other not-so-appetizing ingredients littering my pup's choices for dinner.

With no readily available alternatives to this problem, I began my quest to provide my dog with a healthy alternative to processed dog food and dog treats. I researched the ins and outs of canine nutrition and found what ingredients were beneficial to the growth and overall wellness of my pup such as omega three fatty acids, Vitamin A, Vitamin B complex, and Vitamins D, E, and K, which are crucial for growth, appetite, gastrointestinal regulation, and skin and coat health. I also kept close eye on what ingredients I needed to steer clear from, such as theobromine, grapes, raisins, and onions.

As a wholehearted supporter of organic farming, I wanted to incorporate a mission for chemical free diet as well. In experimentation with ingredients, I conjured my own recipes, and before long, I had created a healthy and tasty diet that not only my own dog enjoyed, but the dogs of my neighbors and friends. I began to sell my dog treats in small volume, but after several years, I decided that it was time for me to share my wholesome healthy goodness with a larger market." ©Organidog

For more information on how you can order Organidog treats and their fun and beautiful custom dog collars, please visit their website (just tell 'em Buttons sent ya:).

Friday, December 19, 2008


December 19, 2008


'The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood'
By Nadine M. Rosin (Wheatmark Books)

Anyone who has ever experienced the death of a pet knows how emotionally devastating it can be.

Rosin, a student of alternative healing for more than 30 years and a holistic body work practitioner since 1996, shares her life-changing experiences with Buttons, a dog that shared her home for almost two decades.

When Buttons cancer was diagnosed, Rosin explored the world of holistic pet care in an attempt to find treatment alternatives for her canine friend. In this beautifully crafted book, Rosin documents the care she found for Buttons, her struggle and eventual death, and how she coped with the loss. In dealing with that loss, she was comforted by the fact that her "spiritual connection" with Buttons continued long after her death.

"The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood" underscores the fact that the bond many of us develop with our pets is an incredible, inspirational thing that does not necessarily end with loss. This highly readable, intimate book is nothing less than a testament to that attachment.

Tucsonan Larry Cox's "Shelf Life" reviews of fiction and nonfiction books. For more, go to tucsoncitizen.com/calendar. E-mail: contactlarrycox@aol.com

©2008Larry Cox/Tucson Citizen

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I was a happy, kooky cockapoo/terrier. When I was 8-years old, I was diagnosed with deadly cancer. The vet gave me 6 weeks to live unless I had amputation, chemotherapy and radiation. Instead of conforming with the traditional prescribed treatment, my mom launched an intense holistic campaign which included clearing my inner and outer environment of all toxins, cleansing my body of all residual toxins, and then giving my body the nutritional support it needed in order to heal itself. Within a few months, I was CANCER-FREE. I thrived for an additional 11 years until I passed peacefully of old age, the week before my 19th birthday.

My mom is a writer, painter, CMT, wedding officiant, and author of
The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood. Her book has been described as: "an engaging, true story about the human-animal bond, healing canine cancer using only holistic medicine, and an empowering new take on the grieving process when a beloved animal dies."

Her mission with this book is 3-fold:
  • TO inform others as to how they can possibly prevent their own beloved animal from ever getting this dreaded disease.
  • TO help pet parents navigate and find comfort in the wake of devastating loss.
  • TO help remove the words, "It's just a dog/cat/etc." from the lips of non pet parents everywhere.

Here is an excerpt from the book,
about the day my mom found me:
"The brother sat at one end of the cage directly in front of where we stood. At the opposite end, about four feet away, the sister lay alert and all curled up. As I reached in to pet the male pup, I was startled, when the female, who had been watching me closely, suddenly shot up and made three amazingly athletic leaps to bridge the gap between us. She then immediately and determinedly burrowed her entire front end up the sleeve of my winter parka.
Like the first time hearing some beautiful song with lyrics that seem perfectly written just for you, an unexpected surge of familiarity and tenderness raced through my body. It threatened to pierce the numbness at my core and was at the same time, both alarming and seductive. Judy looked just as surprised as I felt. She told us that this was highly unusual behavior for that female who’d only exhibited extremely shy and submissive behavior since the day she’d been born. I smiled, flattered to think that the cute little puppy was singling me out. And so at her insistence, I petted her instead of her brother, until Rachel suggested that we spend some time looking at the other dogs -- the pure Cockapoos.
As we walked the few feet over to the cages in the center of the room, the little black female began to cry and whine quite loudly. Again, her behavior shocked and amused Judy who said that that was the first sound she’d ever heard from the pup. As I sat on the concrete floor playing with the Cockapoo puppies while the serenade continued, I became aware of the subtle scent of magic in the air. Every time I glanced up from whichever pup I was playing with, the black one in the cage was staring at me intensely as she cried.
We’d been there less than ten minutes when I surrendered to the inevitable, knowing there was no mistake and that the decision had already been made. I had spent my entire life second-guessing and doubting myself, but in that moment, I was completely sure. I was the one who had been chosen. The black, female, Cockapoo Terrier mix was my dog, or more accurately, I was her person. That’s all there was to it. Period. Settled.
In retrospect, I wish I had taken her brother too, thus preventing their separation. But at that point, I wasn’t operating from the place of confidence, unconditional love, and wisdom that Buttons would spend the next nineteen years teaching me about. So after some paperwork, money exchange, and feeding instructions, Rachel and I walked back to the car with my new treasure and twenty-ninth birthday gift quietly and securely snuggled up with a small blanket in an open box."

The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood is available at all ONLINE book retailers

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

THE DOGGY DIALOGUES! Q's & A's- Teeth Cleaning

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 Rudy
"What is the best way to keep my teeth clean without having my peeps put their fingers in my mouth?"
Dear Rudy-
I know a dog's life is pretty tough, what with all those treats, naps, walks, kisses, and belly rubs, so it's understandable why you'd want to avoid the further unpleasantness of having your teeth brushed (BOL!) I have done some reading on the subject since receiving your question. You can click here to see what that famous vet, Dr. Pitcairn, has to say about your options. I've also done a little research on brushless dental products- you can begin your own research here. Hope that helps!

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

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A SPIELBERG CHRISTMAS (dedicated to Carmie & Yvonne)

To every pet parent, I remind you to pull out the video camera this holiday and be sure to get lots of extra footage of your beloved animal.

To those pet parents who may be going through their first holiday after the passing of a 4-legged son or daughter, I encourage you to honor your grief by letting it breathe, rather than trying to stuff it in. You don't have to pretend to be happy.

To all of you, I offer this excerpt from my book,
The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood:

"After seeing the article, my friend, Hanna, whose mother had recently passed, called, and in the course of conversation, encouraged me to borrow a video recorder. She shared that in her grief, the only thing that could bring her any comfort at all was the one video she had of her mom at a recent holiday dinner. She explained that while watching the video, it was as if her mind was tricked into thinking her mom was still alive. Of course Hanna knew intellectually that wasn’t true but still, for those few minutes while she viewed the tape, saw her mother in action and heard her voice, she was offered some relief from her otherwise debilitating emotions.

After hanging up I called my friend Laurie who owned a video camera. She was also an avid dog lover. As the mother of a young son, Laurie had once shared with me that after having lost one beloved dog, in her heart, she suspected that the pain was no less than that of losing a human child. I was incredibly moved by her extremely bold and candid opinion. It was something I’d always believed, but having no human children of my own, it was not a statement I felt qualified to make. Maybe it was a more commonly held opinion than many were comfortable with or willing to admit.

The filming marathon began with Buttons in the yard walking and peeing. It continued with her in the apartment eating, drinking, and pacing. Soon, in full Spielberg mode, I set the camera up on a tripod and filmed my waking her up in the morning to go outside, us in the rocking chair while I sang her to sleep, me giving her a bath, drying her, and brushing her. I added the tapes to the Santa Cruz redwood hike video and some earlier tapes of Butts at around three years old in the park and at my cousin’s. Deep inside I knew, no matter how many hours of tape I accumulated, they wouldn’t come close to filling all the hours of grieving waiting for me somewhere up ahead."

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