Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I am continually blessed with wonderful doggies and pet parents coming into my life via The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood. One of those incredible pet parents is Jodi Jarvis-Therrian, a passionate artist and animal lover who contacted me through Facebook as she was reading Buttons' and my story.

When she finished the book, Jodi shared her deeply moving experience of the read in a beautiful email and then invited me to view her website where I could see examples of her custom-created, hand-made memory stones. Jodi's care and flare with color, shape, and effect was lovely and I was thrilled when she requested I send her a bit of Buttons' fur and some of her ashes so she could fuse them into a gift pendant for me.

hile my precious package made its way to Jodi's door, she plied me with questions: what size pendant did I favor, what shape, what colors did I love, and most importantly, what did I feel would best represent Buttons where those things were concerned? The process left me feeling very special and cared for- she obviously wanted to "get it just right" for me and Buttons.

My photography doesn't do it justice- but here's a photo (double click on photo for close-up) of my wonderful Memory Stone by Jodi. I love that some of the black in it is Buttons' fur. I love that some of the white is her ashes. I love that it was made with such respect, love and care.
I have no doubt that Jodi brings herself in this way to every piece she creates with every person. She also makes sun catchers, pocket stones and key chains- each piece unique and fashioned with your loved one's hair, fur, and/or ashes. I'm sure your experience with her will be as heart-warming as mine was.
*I have no business affiliation with Jodi Jarvis-Therrian or MemoryStonesByJody wahtsoever*

Monday, October 18, 2010


Awareness is a result of questioning. Those of you who've read the new edition of my book and other posts on this blog know I encourage intense label reading (in every store- of every product) and consumer research.

Personally, I'm an advocate of home-made pet food. I like the feeling of buying individual ingredients and doing preparation in my own kitchen as a way to have a little more quality control. Buying my own organic turkey, organic beans, whole grains & locally grown veggies, preparing them in my own stainless steel and iron pots and pans, adding my own informed choice of superfoods and nutrients gives me a more satisfying sense of responsibility, influence and peace of mind regarding a pet's well-being.

But for those of you who buy kibble- please keep in mind not only the ingredients and processing of the product you're buying, BUT ALSO THE PACKAGING!

Many pet food companies keep their profits up and costs down by using lower quality, unlined paper bags that allow air-flow. This can translate into oils and animal meals in the kibble becoming rancid. By the time the food travels from manufacturing plant, to distributor, to store shelves, and finally your kitchen, its contents- however high quality it started out- may have already lost any semblance of nutritional value, AND may already be turning rancid.

Call the company that makes the kibble you buy. Ask if the packaging they use is plain paper (if so, what's the cc air flow) or a barrier packaging. If lined- what is it lined with- something you want your pets' food to be absorbing?

Also keep in mind how you store it in your home. Is it continuing to spoil due to exposure to air flow through the bag or is it now sitting in a plastic bin leaching petroleum based chemicals? Why not consider a stainless steel bin to hold your pet's food?

As a pet parent who went through the horror of my dog's cancer diagnosis and also the miracle of aiding her holistically so her body could heal itself, I'll say it over and over: we are what we eat and so are our pets. Their life spans are short enough as it is- let's not make them shorter by overburdening their immune systems with low-quality food and chemicals. There's so much we can do that's simple, inexpensive, and highly effective in preventing disease. Why fight cancer? There's so much we can do to avoid it altogether.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Those of you who've read
The Healing Art Of Pet Parenthood have a clear understanding of how important a non toxic environment is for the health of our pets- not only when it comes to chemical toxins, but emotional ones as well!

You've heard me describe my own experience of my dog "shunting" for me; about how I and many others believe that because of their great sensitivity, our heart dogs will often take on and help shoulder some of our own illness and emotional trauma. Point being, if you're stressed-out, chances are your dog is, too.

I do not believe in symptom-treating, and feel it is always, first and foremost, important to find and remove the
cause of physical or emotional stress/burden/breakdown in the body. That said, if your dog is stressed-out, whether from an outside source such as thunder, or from your own emotional stress in the home, this product can help.

It's a musical CD series entitled,
Through a Dog's Ear™-clinically tested music for dogs, created by musician, pet parent, and graduate of The Juilliard School, Lisa Spector. If you go to her website, you can read about the extensive, interesting research and study gone into creating this beautiful, scientifically-based music. You can also listen to some samples, buy the CD or purchase and download files.

After finding me on Facebook, Lisa was kind enough to send me a CD (volume 2) requesting my review. Those of you who visit here often know I don't usually review and seldom recommend products - that more often I encourage every pet parent to do their own research and decision making when it comes to the care of their pets. But since Lisa hails from Half Moon Bay, CA, right up the road from Buttons' and my old stomping grounds of Santa Cruz, I made an exception.

I don't currently live with a dog- my regular blog readers know why- but I DO have neighbors with dogs: noisy, barking dogs. Of course, they only bark when my neighbors aren't home, so last time they went out for the evening and the dogs began their nervous, anxiety barking, I took the opportunity to pop the CD in the stereo, turn up the volume and open my windows. About halfway through the very first track the dogs fell silent and I was sold.

But for the sake of this review, I took the test a little further. Again, readers of my book know that one of the things I do for a living is therapeutic bodywork. Last week, for my (human) bodywork clients, I played Through a Dog's Ear while they received treatment. Several fell asleep on the table, including ones who normally want to talk throughout their session. One client enjoyed the CD so much, that I explained to her what it was and lent it to her to try at home on her own dog. She happily reported back that it visibly relaxed her pooch who has been rather hyper from storms of late.

So with 5-stars and a big thanks to Lisa for creating such a lovely, non toxic product, I encourage pet parents to run from things like doggy prozac (don't EVEN get me started) and instead, give the Through a Dog's Ear series the serious consideration it deserves for the well-being of your pet.