Saturday, January 30, 2010


A few months ago, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by yet another wonderful pet parent: Debbie Guardian, founder of OPIE & DOXIE/Wholesome Pet Solutions. Here is a little bit about her and our conversation together. Enjoy!

"Like many of you and your own pets, my life revolves around my girls, Opal (Opie) and Dixie. They are the first ones I see each morning when I rise to take them to the park, and the last ones I see each night as I crawl under the covers, wondering if there’s a chance they won’t hog the bed. They bring nothing but the best to my life and it’s only fitting that I would want nothing but the best for theirs. This is why I’ve created Opie & Dixie® Healthy Pet Solutions… All-natural nutritional products and grooming treatments made right here in the U.S.A. for the well-being of both your pets and mine."

"If you’ve read between the lines of a few of my blogs, you’ve already gathered that I have a profound interest in the care of senior animals, special needs animals, and animals with cancer. I recently had the opportunity to chat with Nadine M. Rosin, pet parent and author of “The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood.
Nadine’s beloved 8-year-old dog, Buttons, was diagnosed with cancer in 1992. She was told that without amputation, chemotherapy and radiation within 48 hours of having received the diagnosis, Buttons would only have weeks to live. Deciding to bypass that path in favor of holistic care, Nadine set out on her mission, making simple changes to Buttons’ diet and environment, and healing her with herbs, tinctures and homeopathic remedies. Cancer-free, Buttons passed away peacefully of old age, in Nadine’s arms, a week before her 19th birthday.
Here, I share with you Nadine and Buttons’ amazing story.
Hi, Nadine,
Thanks so much for speaking with me about your heartwarming journey through Buttons’ cancer, healing, passing, and, lastly, your continued, spiritual connection to her.
Thank you, Debbie, it’s great to talk with you, thanks for having me!

Buttons reminds me of Opal in so many ways! I don’t think I have to tell you how much I cried as I watched the video; not only tears of sadness, mind you, but tears of joy for the love and happiness that Buttons brought to your life, reminding me of the love and happiness that Opal and Dixie bring to mine.

How was Buttons' cancer discovered?
One day I found a hideously ugly, red, horn-rimmed tumor at the base of her tail. It was terrifying. I rushed her to the vet and had him do a biopsy.

What were the symptoms that alerted you to the fact that there might be something wrong?I was caught completely by surprise. However, in retrospect I saw that there were some telling signs like loss of energy and lethargy. One of the reasons I wrote the book was to document ALL my 20/20 hindsight in the hopes of helping other pet parents avoid the same mistakes and oversights I made.

When Buttons was diagnosed with cancer, what gave you both the determination and the confidence to bypass the traditional, prescribed “medical” treatments in favor of holistic care?
I had the advantage of having been raised in a family that practiced some alternative health care methods. I was already well-versed in the difference between Western/allopathic medicine’s way of focusing, squelching and treating the symptom versus the holistic method of removing all toxins from the body and environment, cleansing the body of all residual toxins, and strengthening the body nutritionally so it could heal itself. The EMOTIONAL turmoil I faced and overcame prior to my choice of treatment is described in detail in the story (it’s a good one- don’t want to ruin it for anyone here :).

Did you put her through any of the prescribed protocols at all, or did you stick to holistic-only?
The vet was insistent that without amputation, chemotherapy, and radiation within 48 hours of receiving the (twice done) lab results, Buttons would be dead in 6 weeks. However, I knew that wasn’t the route for us, and instead, I enlisted the help of several alternative practitioners. Combined with my own knowledge and experience of treating the cause (emotional and physical toxicity placing an unmanageable burden on the immune system) rather than the symptom (cancer), proceeded to implement a purely holistic, cleansing regimen.

Did you consult with a holistic vet prior to embarking on your treatment plan for Buttons? Or did you create your own treatment plan based upon your extensive knowledge of alternative and holistic healing?
Buttons’ diagnosis was in 1992. At that time there were no holistic vets in Tucson where we were living.

What did Button’s diet consist of prior to her becoming ill?
A dry kibble prescribed by her vet.

What changes did you make to her diet after she was diagnosed?
I immediately began home cooking organic food and treats. Eventually what in my opinion became the best diet for her was home cooked organic ground turkey, organic quinoa and millet, grated raw veggies and sea meal.

What were some of the things you did to clear her environment of toxins?I stopped using commercial flea products, air fresheners, and any cleaning products other than vinegar or lemon juice. I switched to an all-natural laundry detergent and stopped using all fabric softener and dryer sheets. I made sure her bowls were nowhere near an electrical outlet and gave away my microwave."
Please stay tuned for part 2! In the meantime-
what are some things you've done to clear YOUR home environment of toxins?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Helping Haiti

Help the people of Haiti
while helping your own family members
(and doggies) !!!

To find out how, just

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Depth Of Our Love

Originally written for and reprinted here with permission from: The Dog Files

The Depth Of Our Love

By Nadine M. Rosin For The Dog Files

There’s little if anything I can think of that brings more instantaneous joy than time spent with a beloved dog. That silly grin, that waggedy tail, the rush you get from flinging your heart wide open without fear or reservation while simultaneously being showered with totally accepting, faithful, and unconditional love. What perfect and precious moments our dogs provide. It’s the stuff great mystics have described, this safe and blissful love.

Our furry apostles are constantly reminding us that regardless of circumstances, worldly events, or economic climate, life is supposed to be fun. It’s to be lived with our awareness seated in the present moment without regret, judgment or betrayal of others. One never needs to protect oneself emotionally with a dog. Instead, they show us by example, how to live freely and love completely.

There have been people in my life who have done or said things that I’ve reacted to by feeling extremely hurt, sad, angry, or irritated, sometimes for years on end. But the truth is, I have never felt irritated or angry towards a dog for more than a few seconds. Our canines embody the highest, best parts of our humanity, and I believe, they make us better people. So, is it any wonder, then, that the death of a beloved dog can cut so deeply, can be so utterly emotionally devastating?

Taoists, quantum physicists, and motivational speaker and author, John Bradshaw, all agree that emotion is energy in motion. But instead, in our culture, we are encouraged to keep our grief, one of the strongest of all emotions, under control, private, and subdued. Above all, we are admired for our stoicism in the face of profound grief. Those who care for us strive to help us get over our pain and loss as quickly as possible- to stop all that emotion, not to take the longer road of letting it move around and out at its own pace. And as pet parents, we are often hurt the worst by the words of well-intentioned friends when they ask us, “So when are you going to get another dog?”

When my heart-dog Buttons, died in my arms 1 week before her 19th birthday, I thought the pain, loss and heartbreak would kill me, too. But as I began to spend less and less time listening to those who were trying to make me feel better, and instead, spent more time surrendering to and leaning INTO the pain, it took me to a place where I could begin to find true, authentic comfort. I found that when I let the emotions move through me and allowed myself to experience them fully, they allowed me access to a place within my own heart that no mantra or meditation had ever taken me to. And there, in that very deepest part of myself, where the agony and the ecstasy merged, there was no pain- there was only love. Because, of course, the depth of our grief is in direct proportion to the depth of our love.

In the nearly 2 decades we were together, I never once saw Buttons try to squelch any of her emotions. Yes, I could have gone out soon after her death, gotten another dog and eased some of my pain, but oh, what a gift I would have missed by not letting that pain lead me into such a deep and special place.

I am honored to be a guest writer for The Dog Files and I look forward to sharing more about my perspective of pet-loss, grieving, and the holistic approach that gave Buttons and me so many joyful and healthy years together. In future columns I will be sharing about the cancer Buttons was diagnosed with at the age of 8 when she was given 6 weeks to live without chemotherapy, radiation and amputation and how she went on to thrive an additional 11 years with exclusively holistic treatments. I will also explore with you, the many tools and paths to emotional healing I have discovered when a beloved animal passes.

But now it’s your turn. Please, share with us about your own heart-dog. Talking about it is a way to put the energy in motion.

Saturday, January 9, 2010 & HOLISTIC CARE FOR SENIOR DOGS

I recently had the great pleasure of being interviewed by Ann-Marie Fleming of Senior Dog Blog. Please visit their wonderful site today! Here is some of that interview:

"In our discussion with Nadine we learned a great deal about how to embrace a holistic lifestyle for our dogs, what steps we need to take and what benefits can result.

Ann-Marie Fleming: Nadine, you were able in many ways to cure Buttons’ cancer through a holistic approach. How was that possible?

Nadine M. Rosin: First off, it was our well-reputed vet who gave Buttons 6-weeks to live without amputation, chemotherapy and radiation within 48 hours of her diagnosis (the lab ran the biopsy twice as the prognosis was so dire- the cancer so insidious). Instead, after much soul-searching, I implemented what I define as a holistic regimen, and after 4 months, Buttons was completely cancer-free for the next 11 years until she passed of old age at 19.

What I did NOT do was treat her symptoms or “fight” the cancer with natural remedies and alternative treatments in lieu of pharmaceutical drugs. That would have been the same Allopathic approach that traditional Western medicine takes…that the vet insisted I take.

Because I was already very familiar with the age old Eastern medical philosophy that the body’s natural state is one of radiant health and that anything less is due to an overburdened immune system, I took the holistic approach of clear/cleanse/build:

  • I cleared our home of all potential toxins/causes including fabric softener, dryer sheets, chemical rug cleaners, microwave oven, monthly flea treatments, and rawhide chews to name just a few.
  • I cleansed Buttons’ physical and emotional bodies of residual toxins with herbs, cleansing tinctures, homeopathy and Bach Flower Remedies
  • I built her body nutritionally by switching from the vet recommended kibble to only home-cooked organic food and treats, supplements and superfoods.

Ann-Marie Fleming: What is the best way to start to incorporate a holistic approach? What are the first steps people should be taking?

Nadine M. Rosin: Start changing your thinking. “Clear/cleanse/build” is an entirely different paradigm than “take a pill and squelch that symptom”! We actually expect out bodies to get diseased and frail- our dogs to be “old” at the age of 9 or 10! But look at people like Jay Kordich (the Juice Man) who in his 87th year is vibrantly alive, living a chemical-free, raw and organic lifestyle, and we see proof that the body’s natural state is one of health and well-being. Look at Buttons, who was running down the trail for miles at the age of 17.

We are what we eat and breathe and absorb through our skin. Caffeine and sugar, chemical cleaners, parabens in moisturizers and make-up equals an eventually, overburdened immune system and degenerative disease. Processed, nutritionally empty commercial dog food, monthly flea poison, chemically treated plastic toys equals the same. Our pets’ bodies metabolize much faster than ours. They get cancer with far less exposure than we do.

Ann-Marie Fleming: You talk a lot about a toxic free lifestyle. What are some easy changes people can make?

Nadine M. Rosin: READ LABELS!!! Just because something is sold off a grocery store (or even health food store) shelf does NOT mean it’s safe to use or consume for ten or twenty years.

Remember, it’s a build-up of toxic burden to the immune system that weakens it and welcomes disease. Read and research the ingredients in things you are using, eating and drinking everyday!

Ann-Marie Fleming: What are some everyday items that people may not even realize are toxic?

Nadine M. Rosin: Plug in air fresheners is a good one along with popular brands of spray air, carpet and furniture fresheners. Same is often true for rug cleaners and stain removers. Many contain one or more of the following:

  • Benzyl alcohol: “causes respiratory problems, nausea and vomiting, a depressed central nervous system and a drop in blood pressure.”
  • Camphor: “currently on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste List … readily absorbed through bodily tissue… irritation of the eyes, skin, nose and throat … dizziness, confusion, nausea, twitching muscles and convulsions … avoid inhalation of vapors”
  • Dichlorobenzene: “extremely toxic, a central nervous system depressant, kidney and liver poison. One of the chlorinated hydrocarbons that is long-lasting in the environment and stored in body fat. Banned in California.”
  • Ethanol: “derived from petroleum and is carcinogenic … toxic to the skin, respiratory, cardiovascular, developmental, endocrine, neurological and gastrointestinal systems.”
  • Formaldehyde: ”toxic if inhaled, poisonous if swallowed. skin and eye irritant.”

Ann-Marie Fleming: Our audience are mainly owners of older dogs. Can a holistic approach help dogs that are already into their senior years? What lifestyle change would you say can make the biggest impact for senior dogs?

Nadine M. Rosin: A well-researched, well-informed holistic approach can help any living being at any age. In my opinion the things easiest to change with the greatest impact on senior dogs are vaccinations, flea treatments, and household toxin exposure. Food is also important, but one must be very careful when moving to a cleaner diet with older dogs. Much commercial food is made with ingredients filled with pesticides, hormones and antibiotics (in the form of chicken/beef/liver meal, fat, etc.) To suddenly stop feeding that food could cause the body to go into a healing crisis as it starts releasing years of accumulated toxins stored in the dogs organs, skin, and tissue. You do not want that to happen especially with a senior dog.

I encourage pet parents of senior dogs to find a well-reputed holistic vet who adheres to the policy of clear/cleanse/build and together create a slow and gentle change of diet plan. I have known holistic vets who’ve had German Shepherds live into their 20’s. Buttons had more energy at 16 following a holistic lifestyle than at 6 with a standard American canine lifestyle. Human and canine bodies will live long and vibrantly when given the chance. You’ve just got to do things a little bit differently than the mainstream, chemical-laden way."

For more about DogQuality watch their YouTube video HERE