Monday, March 23, 2009


I would never again feed my dog barley. To explain why, here is an excerpt from The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood. To "set up the clip" let me say, that Buttons had been recovering rapidly from a severe stroke in her 18th year.

By January her C neck had disappeared completely and she was able to walk pretty well, her CDS symptoms had lessened and she no longer got “stuck” in corners or behind furniture. The only symptom we couldn’t seem to overcome was the late-night pacing. I figured it might have been too late -- that perhaps she’d had the symptom too long for the alpha-lipoic acid to reverse it.

As a result of my on-line research, I was lucky enough to also have secured the advice of a holistic vet in northern California, Dr. Gloria Dodd. After reading Dr. Dodd’s website, I emailed her and the next day received a detailed response about her experience working with other CDS animals using homeopathy.
Excitedly I called her office. Forty minutes later, I hung up from our conversation with a heart full of hope and a list of suggestions. Number one on that list was for me to send a sample of Buttons’ fur to a lab for hair analysis. This was something I was familiar with, as a few years before, I had sent samples of both my hair and Buttons’ fur to a lab in Texas, which did analysis on people and dogs. Basically, a hair analysis will give you an idea of the mineral levels and their ratios in the body -- kind of like how geologists determine natural history by studying layers of rock. Back then, Buttons’ had come out normal in everything while my analysis had indicated extreme magnesium deficiency, a common symptom of CFS and adrenal exhaustion.

In addition, Dr. Dodd gifted me one of her products called a Healing Halter™, which arrived a few days after our call. It consisted of a green, nylon halter that fit around Buttons’ body and neck with Velcro. Sewn into the halter were quartz crystal mandalas and an anti-radiation bead, which also used the principal of pyramid configuration energy, something I was familiar with from Dad’s energy plates long ago. As Dr. Dodd explained on her website, the halter was designed to balance the body's own electromagnetic field (EMF) and in so doing stimulate the immune system and natural healing mechanism of the body.

In our small apartment, Buttons was never too far from the television or the refrigerator, both of which I knew to have large electromagnetic fields. Ten years before I had gotten rid of the worst culprit, a microwave oven, and I was happy for any protection the halter may have offered her from the other appliances. Again, it was at worst something that I knew couldn’t hurt.

When we got the results of Buttons’ fur analysis we were surprised to see that her level of aluminum was through the roof. It made sense as far as her Alzheimer’s-like symptoms went: the mystery to unravel was the aluminum’s source. Dr. Dodd and I carefully went over all the supplements Buttons had been on over the last five years. The water she drank was distilled. The treats were mostly homemade and always contained natural, organic ingredients. I’d never used aluminum cookware, so that wasn’t it. And then we found it.
Two years before I had taken a natural-care pet consultant’s advice to replace brown rice with barley in Buttons’ food. When she heard that, Dr. Dodd jumped on it, explaining that in the past she’d sent several types of grain to the lab and all the barley had tested the same: containing high, perhaps toxic levels of aluminum. Although Dr. Dodd had some personal opinions as to why that was so, all I cared about was finding the source of aluminum and removing it from Buttons’ world. So I took Dr. Dodd’s suggestion and sent a sample of the organic sprouting barley I’d been special ordering from the health food store to the lab for testing. Sure enough, it came back showing an extremely high aluminum content. Immediately after receiving the results, I threw out the ten pounds of barley I had in the pantry along with the all-natural, dry dog food with barley listed in the ingredients that I kept for travel and emergencies.

Frustrated that even high quality organic products could be toxic, I focused instead on our next step: trying to pull some of that aluminum out of Buttons’ brain. I ordered a series of nosodes -- homeopathic remedies developed for a specific problem, in this case, aluminum, the probable cause of her CDS. All I could do was pray that they were truly clean and natural.

For the next several months, Buttons was on those remedies and the results were subtle, but sure. The late night pacing continued, but her mind seemed sharper, more alert, and her spirit more present, enabling me at times, to bask in the illusion of staving off time. Most importantly, she never developed the CDS symptom of not recognizing me. In any event, between the pacing and the stroke, there was no denying that we were in the beginnings of our major transition, the one that would take her physical body away from me forever.

Copyright © 2008 Nadine M. Rosin. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or retransmitted in any form or by any means without the written permission of the author.


Freehope said...

My late Ridgeback Mojo was allergic to Barley (in addition to Wheat, Soy, and Beef/Lamb). Its the 'wheat substitute' of choice in treats - making it a huge pain to try to avoid. We try for "just meat" treats now-a-days. Love the Papa POOCHinelli's dried meat:

Nadine M. Rosin "The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood" said...

Thanks for the comment and link, Freehope. I checked out the treats you mention and they look good, safe and clean to me!