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)

Friday, November 28, 2008


Make it easy on yourself...

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


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


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!

: 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!

: 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!

: 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:

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

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

THANK YOU Free Pet Tips.com!

Another great pet blog I am happy to be networking with is FreePetTips:
"We are animal freaks and computer geeks. After trying to find information on our pets we were disappointed to see that most information was spread across the web, and not very helpful. Our goal is to make FreePetTips the goto place for all your questions about your pets."

I am proud and thankful that today's featured article on Free PetTips is about The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood.

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