Happy New Year! Start Fresh!

Walk Into 2018 With a Clean Slate!

Happy New Year!  What I love about a new year is that it is a marker for leaving anything that no longer serves you as you go into a new year, a new time, new beginnings.  If chaos seems to follow you around, check what you may be doing (or not doing) that is encouraging this and allow yourself to change that. Where do your loyalties lie?  Do your current relationships serve you or serve to ruin you?  Do they cause more joy or upset?  Do you feel more or less in balance within them?   If you routinely fall into the victim role, feel like you just cannot get it all together, self-sabotage opportunities or you are around or supporting people who are like this, causing you more stress than peace; Leave all this behind in 2017! The mind likes to create stories and habits but BOTH are adaptable, changeable. You cannot change the way anyone around you thinks feels or acts, but you can control yourself and who you allow to remain in your life.  Each day you breathe air, you have an opportunity for growth, to remove blinders (we all have them) and go and do better.  Some folks are stuck in making things harder than they need to be. They want to blame, argue, delay and create what I call High Queen.  My mother used to say ‘This is just how I am’ No, this is just how you programmed yourself.  Begin taking ownership, stop deliberately going off the rails emotionally, self-control is underrated. Life is far too short to start pointless arguments, deliberately cause chaos, or be with anyone that behaves this way.  IF you are used to living with someone that is High Queen, you may struggle at first embracing the quite. Trust, the brain gets used to all this noise and it can take a bit for quiet to sink in, to feel normal. Counting your blessings rather than stirring up drama is far more healthy. Reward those good to you, rather than complain.  See what happens then.   Life is short. Stress causes disease.  Embrace Joy!

2 Things Wrong Theory – Minimizing Chaos Maximizing Joy

An ordered life brings calm.  Our body is our temple and our mind the seat.  Whatever your religious beliefs, big bang theory etc, you can look around you at all the beauty of this world and all the atrocious acts too and conclude two things:  Firstly  – there is good and evil sparring it out here and Secondly  – this planet and everything within it and upon it didn’t just happen.  There is way too much order, beauty and workmanship in everything and how it fits together, from fish to butterflies, to Jaguars to trees.  Nothing had to be this well orchestrated, this beautiful and yet it is.

Part of honoring ourselves, our temple, our seat, is taking care of ourselves by taking care of things around us in such a way that we create calm rather than calamity for both us, our family members and those within our scope.  But because being OCD can also bring chaos, there is value in things being imperfect.  There is, in fact, perfection in the imperfection, if you will.

Now, as one of my dear friends always says when discussing finding a lover or choosing friends, is that you have got to pick your flavour of crazy because we all are.  And another dear friend used to tell me she was looking for someone who had fewer problems than she had.  These two principles can be applied to all areas of life, really.  It boils down to the respect of one’s self, one’s divinity.  All of us being devine in nature, when we get in touch with that grace, then we begin to recognize that we no longer need the fluff of drama injected into everything that we touch. And when I say drama, I mean negative drama because I stand as a big fan of fun drama!

This doesn’t mean that sometimes negative stuff doesn’t simply happen, but rather, it means we are engaged to actively minimize it on a daily basis and we do this out of honor for ourselves and our fellow companions because  we deserve it, we deserve peace and life is stressful enough without adding negative drama on the top of it all.

That stated, here are ways that I actively work to reduce chaos and create peace.

Two Things Wrong Theory –  For anything in my life, whether it’s a car or house, a usable item like a sofa, electronics etc, I strive for not more than 2 things wrong.  In this way, I maintain a 0-2 defect ratio in all things.  If I hit the third thing on the car or house, then I know I am out of balance and promptly get at least one thing that’s wrong, fixed. Honestly, I am rather anal about my cars and home so things get fixed quickly.  This can be tailored to the individual, perhaps you can adopt five things for example or make other adjustments which suit you.  Make it something that is comfortable for you and your lifestyle as well as tailored to what you care most about. For example, you may care more about your home than your car and want 2 or fewer things wrong with your casa but if your car is dirty, you have 3 door dings but it runs, you’re good with that.

Pick your number. For me, nothing in my life has more than two things wrong with it at any given time.  In this way, I don’t feel snowed under with to do lists that I feel I’ll never crawl out from under.  I minimize the heavy expense of fixing a bunch of things at once too.

Love Your Home & Create Peace In It-  Home should be a safe haven, a place where you seek and find comfort, joy and beauty.  You can tell a lot about a person and their psyche by their home.  Conversely, you can mind your brain and heal your nervous system by keeping things tidy.  De-cluttering what is around you orders and calms the brain.  Having things around that give you joy bolster you up with every passing glance just as seeing piles of what needs taking care of can weigh you down.  Even if your home is temporary, it affects you each time you are there.  I’m a big fan of adding even a hint of personality to a temporary space or cubicle and ordering it in such a  way that it provides you clear thinking and peace.  I highly recommend Sacred Space by Denise Linn, it’s one of my reference books on everything from space clearing to meditation. I also have her Feng Shui For The Soul and keep that as a great reference too.

Expect & Buy Quality – To minimize chaos for myself, I strive for things made well.  I don’t mind paying more for this because I generally keep things a long time.  My amplifier is over 2 decades old.  The amp before it was also over 20 years old.  It met its’ demise over a hairball my kitty hawked onto it.  It never stood a chance. One entire channel went toast and in the US, there were no matching parts.  I didn’t think it would ever sound right with mismatched channel components so I shopped for a replacement.    So I buy quality,  take very good care of stuff and my expectation is that they take care of me.

Let Go Of Crap Products –  My Lexus LS600HL is pictured above.  At over 120k MSRP, I thought I had purchased a reliable and solid vehicle and one that would last me decades.  But the thing was a Debbie Downer with a failed water pump, the brake actuator and all four upper control arms going out all at the same time and all at less than 60k miles.  On top of this, the ‘luxury’ of it suffered with poor workmanship.  The leather wrapping the dashboard came totally unglued in a week’s timespan parked not in a garage as was typical, but in the June sunshine. In that same week, the Bezel surrounding the console mysteriously cracked as well. Lexus Corp refused to cover the dash and only partially covered the rest. The thing ate money.  Now, I was completely fine paying all that cash up front, and being overcharged on general maintenance for the rest of my life.  But I got completely pissed off paying months of salary every quarter on things car makers should already know how to do in their sleep!  I’m in a Jaguar now.  I got everything fixed on the misbegotten Lexsucks except the bloody dashboard and sold it to Carmax for 7k higher than the dealership offered to buy it back!  In the most respectful way I can say it right now, Lexus? Sodd directly off! Never again will I purchase a new Lexus or Toyota product.  You will note that I created signs and added letters to the back end around the ‘L’ to spell Awful Lousy and I had fun for a few months discussing the car, parking in prominent places all over town sharing my story.  But at the end of the day, the vehicle was not bringing me the peace I bought it for.  I had named it Zen and it wasn’t happiness anymore when I never knew when the next break would happen.  So, whatever you personally expected or paid for something, let it go if it’s crap.   Just get it out of your life. In this situation, karmically, I repaired the car and to the best of my abilities assured (Per Sewell Lexus in Dallas) that nothing else was, at that moment, wrong with the car.  I turned it over to Carmax still owing repair bills, with a fresh oil change, ready for the new owner who will hopefully avail themselves of the Carmax extended warranty.

Take Care Of Your Stuff – I try to apply the minimum pressure to things such as buttons and dials, keep it clean, polished, lubed, whatever to keep it humming smoothly.  When you buy with care and take pride and care in what you have, it is amazing how long stuff can last.  This is why we have appliances from the 60’s still working in kitchens today.  Also, the recent shift has clearly been to make crap.  I don’t suffer crap very well.  So when we expect quality and choose to no longer put up with junk, that is when companies will be incited to create better merchandise.

A Throw-Away Society Is Ruinous To The Entire Planet – When we create throw away items or when we as consumers buy things that we don’t take care of, causing them to wear out faster, we affect the ecosystem of our planet.   There’s a girl who writes a blog about how her life has been creating zero trash.  https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-16168/i-havent-made-any-trash-in-2-years-heres-what-my-life-is-like.html
I am nowhere close to that level of recycling and green, but the post has inspired me to do better since the day I first read it.  It has made me far more aware of all the things I purchase, whether it is something which can be reused and if not, what else I might buy or use instead that will not trash the planet.

Downcycle By Giving Away (or selling) What You No Longer Use or Need – Recently, a neighbor put out a box to the sidewalk area (code for take it if you want, it’s free) with a nice note stating it was a Dell Monitor and that it worked very well, they had just upgraded and didn’t need any longer.  Well, it just so happened I needed a monitor for my contract job.  I didn’t open the box until I got to my cubicle the following Monday. Let me tell you, I was impressed with the care and level of attention paid to re-wrapping all the cables, cords and whatnots.  The monitor was clean and looked like new.  I wrote a thank you card introducing myself and how much I appreciated that monitor!    I love paying it forward and what a thrill it was to actually get something so fabulous.

Expect Quality in Yourself – While I am far from perfect, I do try to eat right, no meat, dairy, lots of raw veggies and I use organic skincare routines and work out.  I invest in and take ownership of my own well being.  In short, I minimize what can go wrong by being aware of where I am at healthwise and managing my resilience.  Some folks eat like they don’t give two f*cks and people, this is going to show up downstream.  It is never selfish to take care of you.  When you come from a position of strength, you are in the best shape to go help others.

Unhook From Drama – Our mind is a computer that literally programs itself to think in such a way that we tend towards.  In other words, if you tend to be happy and positive, your brain will tend to think positively and if you tend to think oh why me, and life sucks, then your brain will condition that way as well.  If you want change, the trick is being patient for the next 30 days which create the new habit and way of being.  I know people who are continuously in one negative drama after another. They do this simply because this is how they have taught themselves that life is for them.  They don’t know and accept for themselves another path, a new way.  Believe me, there is!   Try a daily meditation such as Rolf Gates, Meditations From The Mat or Meditations on Intentions and Being.  IF you are stuck in a co-dependent relationship, I will say that Melody Beattie The Language Of Letting Go and Co-Dependent No More, HEALED ME!!!  Denise Linn’s books came next into my life and pushed me onwards from there!  I had no idea that I was co-creating drama nor did I know what co-dependent behavior was but oh boy was this toxic!  And I got out.  You can too!

Take love, patience and more calm into each day, each week by breathing before you react and finding small ways to create space and quiet. With time it gets easier as your new habits are formed which will add quality and resilience to your life!

Be Blessed. ♥

CANINE KIDNEY Renal Disease & Dangerous Pet Food

 

 

Happy Boy!

 

 

 

 

Rhett has suffered kidney damage since he was just a year old (2011). He has been on a high grade mostly raw diet and has no kidney issues in his line.  Rhett’s Grand-dad passed away last year at 12 1/2 and he has some 14+ relatives so he comes from healthy stock.

His kidney trauma is due to bad greedy people,  egregious practices and misbegotten crap passed off to the consumer as something made in America but was actually produced using tainted meat from China.  Waggin Train and Canyon Ranch dog treats made by Nestle-Purina.   Read my Petfood Rant for more details and check out this link too: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-recall/waggin-train-chicken-jerky-treats-recall.

Putting my steam aside a moment, as you can see, Hieronymus Rhett Thomas O’Brien Puppy is a very happy boy.  I am a natural, plant-based, alternative kinda girl.  As I have been treating Rhett with help from various others, since 2011.  I stopped his tainted treats in 2014 when I finally connected the dots, because he finally got massively sick immediately after eating the treats, wouldn’t stop vomiting, so it was obvious.   They say there is no cure for kidneys, that they progressively scar and stop doing their job and that we only notice the signs when the kidneys are down to their last 20% or so of function.  I really like to think of the body as a miracle machine, capable of vast healing given the time, herbs and pure living.   But at the very least, what I know for sure is that eating clean, getting exercise and lots of love couple with the right herbs and daily detoxing, can all only help prolong your dogs quality of life.

Foods and HerbsDETOX  The Lifestyle –  Everyone that looks at Rhett exclaims what a healthy handsome Doberman he is.  While he has lost 18lbs of muscle over the years, I believe one of the reasons he looks so stunning is the food and herbs I give him and it’s also what I don’t give him too.  First I read Martin Goldstein’s Book, The Nature of Animal Healing. I love this book as a reference and great natural guide. It is a wonderful balance between allopathic and homoeopathic modalities.  KIBBLE –  I read all ingredients and avoid most kibble which is done via an extrusion process and is just not a good thing to feed your dog or kitty. I go for the boutique and healthier ones, where the company makes it themselves, using low heat and then I only provide as a snack food.  Just something for my kitties and Rhett to snack on in between meals.  I tend to mix up the kibble, but right now I am feeding Ami Cat, vegan for our kitties and Halo Vegan Garden Medley for our Doberboy.  The reasoning against kibble as an animals only fare is similar to when we high heat cook our food.  Whenever anything is cooked above 118, it loses vitality, vitamins and moisture and enzymes.  Basically, the food is now dead and you may notice labels that state ‘vitamins and minerals added etc’ and that would be why because we have trashed the value in that food.  When you eat only dry food, your body takes moisture to break it down and it is very dehydrating.  For example, a cat typically doesn’t drink a ton of water but on kibble only, your cat will drink a lot more in an attempt to hydrate.

You can provide  Black Walnut, for worms, including heartworm.  I buy the capsules and break one up in his food.  Rhett is 100 lbs currently.  So I dose him like a human.  So if you adopt this, I believe the book provides guidance there too, but dose accordingly which may mean half a capsule or a 1/4th monthly.  Rhett had been given all his typical puppy shots up to 8 months old.  After that, all he has ever had is a fractional rabies dose (because it is the law) and one Parvo shot because parvo was prevalent in our area.  There is murcury and other poisons in our vaccines…I have no freaking clue why but I shun them.  Also, many are not vegan.  Think about it….do YOU personally get shots every year whether you need it or not?  The last time I had a shot was as a child when I had no say so.   Because we reside in an area (Dallas) that is pretty much open season with Mosquitos all year long, I give keep Rhett on Pawhealer Empiracle Heartworm Support, just a 1/4 tsp daily 7 days on, 7 days off, and every quarter I give Rhett a black walnut capsule to cleanse.  If we get any semblance of a solid winter that lasts a week or longer, I stop the heartworm prevention during that time just to give the boy a break and pick it back up as the weather warms up.  With his kidneys compromised, I try to minimize any conceivable toxin that he could come into contact with, from air pollution, impure water, floor cleaners and polishes, laundry detergent, dog shampoo and conditioner, flea control.  I believe it is due to all of this management, that Rhett has not once needed emergency care (yet) for his kidney concern.  We would not have known he had one except by his bloodwork.

One of the treatments I use, which I mix in with Rhett’s food, is Dr Harveys Kidney Health For years, I have been a fan of Chinese healing herbs and modalities and have taken Astralagus for some years now as well as medicinal mushrooms, so it’s great seeing these magical compounds in this whole food supplement, along with Rehmannia Root and other herbs, all organic by the way, to help reduce inflammation (a precursor to cancer and other ills) strengthen the immune system, the kidneys and adrenals, and detoxify the blood and system.   See my petfood blog, but I also, primarily, feel Dr Harveys mix-ins, such as their Canine Health and veg-to-bowl when I want to create a meal with either no grains or when I want to add my own, such as brown rice.  What I love about Dr. Harveys, other than the man will get on the phone with you, (not kidding!)  is that with kidney issues, you have to reduce the protein.  With a healthy, organic mix in, it makes the meal prep very easy.  You control the protein source and amount, mix that into the bowl that you have hydrated following the easy directions en voila, a meal is served.  I make up batches at a time to last a couple or three days.  Dr. Harveys makes food for kitty too.  ♥

Another tool in my toolkit is Pawhealer Petigreens, which is all organic greens and digestives that help detox the system and are great for kitty as well.  Coming from my Hippocrates Health Institute training, I am gladdened to see wheatgrass, barley grass, loads of chlorophyll, which is one molecule off from our blood cells.  It is a powerhouse detoxifier!  I also have everybody in the house on Digestive Enzymes and probiotics.  For the furkids, I recommend  Dr. Mercola Digestive Enzymes.

Purify your water.  (Read my blog on water purification) There is plastics and pharmaceutical drugs in all municipal water supplies and no drop is pristine these days.  Get a Zero water pitcher or whole house system…see my blog, but please purify all of your water and if you have pets, they deserve fresh pure water too!  I add minerals back, using either mineral sticks or liquid trace minerals into the water once purified.  You need them for the bones and teeth.  Teeth and mouth are another dead giveaway to a pup suffering Kidney Disease.  Rhett has never had to have a vet clean his teeth.  Rhett will be 8 April 17th 2018. I have been using brushless toothpaste treats by Ark Naturals and Ark Naturals Plaque Zapper, little fizzy packets you add to the water bowl since he was a young boy.  I do periodically brush, but he really doesn’t like it and doesn’t have alot of ‘stay still’ patience for me to work as long as I need to. I also use a natural tooth gel, that I can apply weekly to his canines and back molars area, 2 drops front, back on each side.

For household cleaners, check out my other blog which is geared towards Mid Century Modern design, but I review and talk about best and safest ways to clean your home, top to bottom in a safer way.
https://mcmhomeanddecor.com/hardwood-floors-how-to-clean-and-maintain-them

Read all labels and be mindful of your protein source.  Think about what kidneys and livers do…they purify the system.  So you really don’t want to be feeding your kidney deficient pup liver or kidneys because they will have toxins that could overload your pup’s system that is already struggling to detox.

Variety!  Now, I believe it is important to provide variety at mealtime.  It’s healthier and there is so much we can benefit by adding different plants, legumes etc into the diet.  That stated I recommend a couple of books – Feed Your Best Friend Better by Rick Woodford and Dr. Pitcairn’s Guide To Natural Health For Dogs & Cats which is a plethora of information as well as a few recipes.  I realize everyone is busy and my husband jokes I make time to fix something from scratch for the dog but not for us, but even if you do this on the odd week-end, and Dr. Harveys mix-ins the rest of the time, varying your oils and protein sources, then you are adding some variety to your pup’s diet.
With Kidney Disease, we concern ourselves primarily with the BUN, the Creatine and Phosphorus.  When the Phos gets out of whack, we are really going downhill.  A friend tipped me to using a phos binder, such as RX Vitamins Phos-Bind.  While Rhett’s phos values are normal, I am adding a binder as a preventive measure.

IF you are one of the many who are suffering due to bad pet food, or an unknown cause, one way you can help others and detox emotionally is to simply  share your story and I encourage you to post comments below.  It helps to get it out and, also, if it is due to a bad product, it helps make others aware.

I vote with my wallet. So, this means I boycott Nestle-Purina and Petco because they are equally culpable, having watched me for years as I checked out, spending between $300-$500 monthly at their store, with them smiling back at me and Rhett, letting me buy these tainted meat treats which they already knew the story on.  They smiled and said not one word of warning.  And yes, I hate them for that. But I also despise them for continuing to keep this poison on their shelves knowing full well what it was doing and would continue to do to our loved ones.

I own no stock in Petsmart.  I own no stock nor do I purchase any products made by Nestle-Purina. If they made air, I wouldn’t breathe it.  How did we get so freaking greedy that it actually makes sense to us to cut so many corners, turn a blind eye and begin ageing out and killing off the client base?  How, exactly, because I really want to know this answer, does that model actually work, long-term, as a profitable business model?  Who continues to shop with you after something like this?  It’s insulting and cruel is what this is.

For you guys suffering watching your fur kids suffer, try to stay positive and try these meals and treatments and just love them while you have them.  In the end, we are all spirit.  Mine will be haunting Nestle-Purina, Monsanto and a few Factory Farms.

Peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HHI Holiday Nog Recipe

 

Perfect for the holidays!

This Nog is a rich and frothy blend of nuts that will be an absolute favorite with family and friends. The folks at Hippocrates Health Institute were kind enough to share and I am thrilled to whip this up for the holidays!  This is vegan ‘egg nog’ made with nut milks.   If you don’t yet make your own nut milks, no stress, just do a search for my nut milk post.    I have included links below to amazon for quick and easy shopping.

Ingredients:

2 C. Almonds
1 C. Pine Nuts
3 Medjool Dates
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1 Tbsp Vanilla

Tools:
Nut Milk Sack  (The link takes you to the ones I use, into my 2nd year of use, they work great and wash up easy peasy too!)
Blender  This is Glass….Stainless, rather than plastics all around!  Glass is always going to be safer than your plastic.

Technique:

First you will need to make  two separate batches of nut milk.  (see my blog on how to make almond milk, which is pretty much exactly how you make all nut milks, with a minimum 4 hour soak, add water, blend, then strain.  Very easy and way better than store bought, so fresh and full of vitamins and minerals!)

Combine 2 cups of almonds with 2 cups of water, blend and strain through a nut bag.

Next combine 1 cup of pine nuts with 1 cup water, blend and strain through a nut bag.

Combine both nut milks in a blender, add 3 Medjool Dates, 1/2 tsp Cinnamon, 1/2 tsp Nutmeg, and 1 Tbsp Vanilla.

Blend and serve!

Note: This is a thicker and richer recipe than our regular nut milk, you can use stevia in place of the dates if you want a sugar free recipe.

 

CANINE BLOAT – GD & GDV Explained

 

Rhett –  Proof that sometimes shite just happens and also a great and  shining example of exactly what Western Medicine does RIGHT! WM excels at mediating trauma. They saved my boys life. And now I continue working my mojo magic on him at home.  I always seek the natural, the holistic, herbal or laying on of hands approach before I even remotely think about Hospitals or Western Medicine and their knives and pharmaceuticals.  I have thought this way since I was a young child and no ideas as to exactly who and what planted these seeds in me because my family was all about the Western Medicine man.

The reasoning in both allopathic and the older modalities is brilliant.  All life is duality. I believe in the herbs, foods and flowers of the field to prevent issues and keep us healthy and heal us when ill, however, there are times when you do everything right and end up in an emergency situation, which is exactly what happened here!

I am thankful I paid attention  to Rhett’s odd behaviour and tied that into the knowledge gained by  a couple of great resource books I had read, (links posted below) which allowed me to understand the full scope of the emergency that this was, act quickly on my gut, and get him to the vet before too much damage had been done already.  It’s a great way to begin a new week by not dying today.

Bloat is always serious and life-threatening in our canine companions.  But under this one moniker, there are actually two stages that happen or can happen. The first is you have gas and air that causes the stomach to fill up (gastric dilatation) and the dog is unable to burp or relieve the pressure.  When this happens, the stomach also sometimes begins twisting (volvulus).   We don’t know exactly why it happens, but some breeds, primarily your large dogs, those with big chests, can be prone to bloat.  There are discussions about ways to help prevent it, such as providing moist foods, avoiding kibble, not exercising too much ahead of or directly after a meal and breaking up meal portions into 2 or 3 smaller meals.
We did all that and still….

And further, Dr. Rutherford says in his article:

“Clinically, bloat is when the stomach fills with gas and becomes distended, but the dog cannot burp or relieve the pressure exerted by the gas. Bloat with twisting or GDV is when the dog’s stomach fills with gas (and often fluid) and twists 180 to 360 degrees on it’s axis between the esophagus and duodenum or the entrance and exit parts of the stomach. When “simple bloat” or gastric dilatation occurs and the stomach swells, a great deal of pressure is put upon the surrounding organs including the liver and lungs interfering with the dog’s ability to breath, and the blood supply to the stomach wall is decreased.

This is very painful for the dog and quickly becomes a medical emergency. When bloat is complicated by twisting, gastric dilatation, and volvulus, the situation worsens rapidly. In addition to the pressure exerted by the gas distending the stomach, the twisting stops the blood supply to the stomach wall and the tissues themselves begin to die.”

The two books that I use as reference material areMartin Goldstein The Nature Of Animal Healing and Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide To Natural Health For Dogs & Cats. Both books have their own offerings with a natural bent and are great guides with what we can treat at home in a gentler kinder and effective way and when we can do something to help while we also seek the vet for treatment.

Rhett an hour prior was happy, playful, and seemed just fine.  He wanted to romp around, but we didn’t because I was busy getting firewood and chores done, the house staged for when my handsome husband would walk through the door and we could begin a nice Friday evening and Saturday off together.  But as soon as Michael walked in the door, Rhett began acting strangely, laying down oddly, or sitting funny, pacing, panting a bit here and there, trying unsuccessfully to vomit and going room to room clearly feeling uncomfortable.  Michael thought he was hiding because he had gotten into something, some goody he didn’t want to let go of.  And I had let him out just before Michael walked in the door and wasn’t watching him.  So perhaps he licked a frog (he really likes licking frogs) or he got into something else, right?  But he wasn’t hanging out with us as usual and when he was laying on my bed, I looked him over.  His tummy appeared a bit bloated.  When I felt it, I got that sinking feeling as it was ‘taught like a drum’.  By the time we made it to the vets, it was far more obvious that I had made the right decision.

Rhett’s X-rays showed volvulus, twisting of the stomach between the endpoints or where the tummy connects up with the esophagus on one end and duodenum.  I briefly thought about giving him charcoal capsules but I sort of figured out I was too late for that.  If I had perhaps done so earlier, when there were absolutely no symptoms, sure, maybe that would have helped.  But we didn’t know our boy was going to bloat so here we were in a Friday night emergency.

As you might already guess, this is a very painful condition that, left untreated, escalates quickly resulting in certain death as few as a few hours later.  It is NOT a good death.  Rhett was so quiet, no whimpering, no vocalization that would let me know just how bad he hurt.  But his mannerisms told me he wasn’t at all comfortable and so I had to go on my gut.   As I responded and got him to the vet so  quickly,  Rhett was mobile, he was clearly ill, but able to move around, was lucid and basically not yet in shock.  This meant they were able to stabilize him quickly, set him up with fluids and otherwise prep him for surgery.  Once the surgeon untwisted his belly, while very bruised, the tissues engorged with blood and became nice and pink again.  His spleen was intact, he had no permanent damage done to any of his internal organs.  This photo was taken 9 hours after surgery. He could barely stand and was not at all comfortable or apparently happy to see us.  About 6 hours later on the same day, though, he clearly was happy to see us and go home!

During surgery, Rhett had a gastropexy where they attached the stomach to the right side of his body.  In this way, he should never have a twist again.  At the vets I also learned that when a dog is being neutered, you can have them do the gastropexy at that time, saving potential damage and drama from this!  Great information to know when shopping for a new puppy!

 HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?As I noted earlier, we don’t know exactly what the cause is for the twisting or Volvulus when bloat occurs but I just had an epiphany on that one…thinking about this typically hitting the large chested pups, and how bloat presses and makes breathing a challenge, could it be possible that the dog, in trying to deeply breathe, suddenly twists the stomach?  What is known, however, is that once this occurs, the dog is prone to the condition and each time it is worse.  Hence doing a gastropexy when in surgery.  I thought I was doing everything right here.  I fed a varied diet, with fiber, probiotics, 2-3 smaller meals daily with a few snacks in between,  and I limited romping around just ahead of or after mealtime.  Additionally, I primarily feed Dr Harveys, but all of Rhett’s food is home cooked, it is not dry kibble or anything that generally expands once in the stomach.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES – While I feel that I am proof you cannot completely prevent this from happening, I do believe there are things that minimize the risks.
CHARCOAL – Firstly, there is activated charcoal, such as Natures Way.  If you feel your pup is gassy and uncomfortable, give him some charcoal.  This is not something you want to add to his meals because in the detoxification process that charcoal is brilliant for, it can also wipe out the vitamins in your pups food.  You can also provide a treat which may be easier to administer, such as Darford Naturals Charmint Dog Treats.
PROBIOTICS –  I like Primal Defense, to keep the gut healthy and working optimally. I also like that it comes in a capsule or powder with a scoop to just mix in food because our entire family takes this.
GINGER – Such as Dr. Wakde’s Ginger Powder, which can be sprinkled into food, both dog and human, aides in the prevention of gas buildup.
THYME – Fresh or Dried Thyme, such as Spicely Organic Thyme Powder,  sprinkled into food can also help.
PRE-PLANNING – You never want to be here where I was and am right now.  It is soul crushing to see your dog child in such misery and possible early demise.  Honestly, I was proud of the way I cared for Rhett and never saw this coming.  That stated, I read up on this condition because he is a barrel-chested dog and I looked for a vet that was open 24×7 nearby. It happens to be a great place (For those in the Dallas area, I highly recommend Hillside Vet Clinic, where we have been taking our pets for over 2 decades) and I was able to meet with the surgeon prior to kissing Rhett goodbye and leaving for the evening.  The next bit of pre-planning is sort of like a fire drill where you assemble and quietly make your way to the exits.  You want to stay calm for your family member.  Why introduce further trauma and drama?  So be calm.  When working with the folks who will potentially save your pets life, it isn’t their fault the prices are so jacked or that you are even there.  So be polite, patient and absorb the message. They have a stressful job to do.  They will be the ones on the other end of the phone either with grave news or telling you he made it and coaching you through next steps.  Either way, it’s not easy work.

EMERGENCY USE, Cannot Get to the VET immediately or you must stabilize your pup so he can make it to the vet:  The Canine Bloat Kit is something that, now I am aware of it, I will keep on hand!  The kit has everything you need to relieve the enormous pain your pup will be going through with this condition and allow you time to get him treatment. Below is a link to purchase.  https://naturesfarmacy.com/canine/bloat-kits-and-supplies/deluxe-bloat-kit.html
COSTLY SURGERY – This is not cheap and I was mandated actually to pay before they would even proceed although I had told them yes, proceed.  What I liked is that I was provided the best case and worst case scenarios and pricing accordingly.  I didn’t let grass grow, I got my boy to the vet asap.  It actually took them longer to prep and schedule him for his surgery than it took me to notice the signs, make a diagnosis, load him into the car and haul him to the vet! Because my actions were swift, the damage was greatly minimized so that made for the best surgical outcome and less money.  For numerous reasons, bloat is not anything you want to mess around with, get your pup to the vet and quickly.  It was more than 2 hours later when Rhett went into surgery so you want to allow time for the length of time everything takes once your pet is there.
RECOVERY – Rhett is home and healing, we were thankful that he was released the following day, just under 24 hours later.  He is in a lot of pain and is on meds for that.  He kept me up all night whining the first 2 nights home.  And he sure didn’t want to eat anything even though the vet wanted him to.  I have read that it’s tender inside the tummy as well as outside at the scar site and so pups may not feel like eating for a couple of days.  As I type this, Rhett is whining.  But he is eating a tiny amount of food, able to pee and poop on his own and noticed a squirrel on our walk this morning.  Apparently, there is no laparoscopy on this kind of situation.  This means a big ole cut to the gut.  Rhett’s incision site is clean but about 8 inches.  We equate the pain level to what my husband went through during his first hernia surgery where they did it ‘old style’ and he was in unbelievable pain while on the mend.  It took my husband 4 days to go number 2.  When he finally attempted it, he wound up passed out on the bathroom floor. I worked from home and held conference calls for work.  Folks would interrupt to ask ‘Excuse me, what is that moaning sad sound in the background?’ and I would explain my husband had recent hernia surgery and is feeling like death.  Conversely, his laparoscopy (short small opening and swifter healing with far less pain involved) a few years later to fix what never took the first time, was lightyears different.  Michael was up the same afternoon fixing himself lunch!  I have no other comparison to draw upon but assume Rhett feels much like my husband did and is suffering so great right now.  He will heal, however, and every day he does get better!  In hindsight, I would have done more of the above stuff I noted, the ginger, the charcoal treats.  I have all this on the roster moving forward now just in case, god forbid, even with the gastropexy, it somehow tries to happen again.   Rhett is a farter and while that sounds funny, maybe all of this pain (and expense) could have been prevented with a bit less gas. Well, it is time to walk my boy and see if I can get him to eat again.  I hope that this has helped you and yours.  Kindly leave a comment below, and sharing is appreciated.

PS.  We have had Trupanion since Rhett was a puppy, never once used the insurance, which kept creeping up annually.  With a $500.00 deductible and for whatever odd reasons, they will not cover an exam (apparently nobody ever needs to be examined prior to any remedial treatment, making this expenditure silly and unnecessary so oh gosh, why on earth do we examine, people, prior to just jumping right on in with meds, scissors, blades hooray!)  My personal take on this aside, they were super nice every time I called them and asked as if they really cared, how Rhett was doing and paid attention to what I said with comments in all the right spots, so, wow, I think really that they do care about our fur family members :).  The bill was paid at 90% less the aforementioned exam and deductible which you can select based upon your individual needs.  They have gone up each and every year.  I almost cancelled it a few times because it was just wasting money.  BUT…what if?  So right now, Trupanion is about 2k ahead of the game and they just raised the monthly rates again (grumble).  But, when you are in the midst of a dire emergency and the bill could be (and in this case was) thousands, it sure feels great to know that at least a fair portion of the invoice will get reimbursed…and quickly I might add again.  Trupanion, all kidding you aside, thank you.  Thank you for being there, for all the very nice people who listened to me and conversed pleasantly and, ok, thanks for taking my money all these many years.  🙂

Pupdate! Rhett has now fully healed judging by his sweet but oh so willful personality shining as it always has, hopping up and down, cornering us for walks, pulling on leash, grabbing up his squeaky beaver, Hedgehog and other stuffies, rolling on his belly for morning rubs,  hopping up on the sofa or bed in such a way as to take up as much room and all pillows possible (and yes, refuse to budge one iota) demand extra attention, extra treats and generally eat us out of house and home.  His 8-9 inch scar is healing nicely and his hair is beginning to grow back.  We’ll probably always see a scar, but the bitches at the dog park always think having a scar is hot.

 

Super Foods Supplement Comparisons

Supplements & Super Foods!

Everybody has their opinion on this topic but I believe in supplementation. Even if you are eating 100% raw, grow most of your own food, sprout sprouts and down 4 cups a day of them, and green juice daily – everything organic – doing everything right – we have polluted air, soil and water, soil erosion, produce that sits on trucks and loses potency by the time you eat it. Depending upon the organic soil used, the grower may care about truly supplementing the soil or not so much so the product is going to be varied.

People are People. You have the all in folks, who do everything to build their health and never vary or cheat from what they know is the very best, the folks that power vegan on week-ends and the junk food vegans, folks who are way too busy to step back, buy a great juicer (see my website/blog) and juice every day when there is work and family concerns. And you have the folks not yet ready to give up meat eating but perhaps want to be healthier or kinder to animals and the planet so they work on that issues one plate at a time.
It takes more time and thought to eat correctly and it takes a huge mind shift. This is significantly daunting at first. Like anything we do, it does become habit and it does get easier. I promise you! My favorite story from when I first went vegan was trying to fix something at home for my executive chef husband that didn’t have meat or dairy in it. He took one look at the kitchen island and said ‘Well, you got me (gesturing to the plethora of foodstuffs on the counter) I have zero clues as to what we are having for dinner.’ I had a really rough time at this. Eating vegan and healthy can certainly be done with diligence, but throw in travel, then it really gets complicated. This is WHY I rep for 3 product lines and when I locate a great cookbook, or a way to grow sprouts easier, I post about it.
Regardless of how you eat today, I believe we all need supplements based upon our individual body and lifestyle. Links are below but here’s a snapshot of the super greens Bioceutica, Essante and Miessence offer you:
www.bioceutica.com/puretemple – Bioceutica has superfood capsules with great greens in it. All you do is pop two capsules and *boom* done for the day.  This has great stuff in it, such as Resveratrol, from red grape skins, shown to be highly anti-aging, Spirulina, ginger and turmeric.  This is easy peasy to travel with.  There’s no muss or fuss with carrying around powders to mix into something.
www.EssanteOrganics.com/Puretemple – Offers a combo pack for $97.00 or you pay $50.00 for either their Earth Greens or $47.00 for Super Reds powders.  They also offer capsules specifically for the Earths Greens where you get 270 capsules per bottle for $72.54 which is 90 servings.  This line is a mix of both certified organic and wild crafted produce.
http://www.miessence.com/puretemple/en/category/1/skincare – This line is both USDA and ACO certified organic.  It doesn’t get cleaner.  Their superfoods are a trio of Probiotics (InLiven) Alkalizing (Deep Green) and Antioxidants (Berry Radical).  The Antioxidant one tastes like chocolate, there’s organic cacao in it, YUM!  These are

In Summary – Comparing the Miessence, Bioceutica & Essante:
Miessence:  
For $75.95 you can purchase their Probiotic, Alkalising or Antioxidant powders. These are their superfoods and they are excellent.  All 3 may be purchased for $204.95.  Micessence also does periodically offer a 30% off or, if your spend level is high enough they give you that.  Either power is 105g of product, about 30 days.

Essante :  Offers a combo pack for $97.00 or you pay $50.00 for either their Earth Greens or $47.00 for Super Reds powders.  They also offer capsules.

Bioceutica – Offers SuperPower3 in capsule form,  $40.95.  While there is no wheatgrass, there is spirulina, resveratrol from grapes, kelp, numerous botanicals and this would be a great on the go supplement if you are not inclined to make juices and smoothies or on days that you don’t, such as when traveling perhaps.

Miessence is 100% certified in their Super Foods and the green alkalizing food contains Chlorella and Spirulina and Wheatgrass, ALL HUGE with Hippocrates Health Institute where I took training.  Essante powders are a mix of both organic and wild crafted non GMO.  You get a lot more product, 200g and for less.  From my perspective, Miessence is a better superfood offering in quality.  But, some folks will want the savings and more product that is still a great product with Essante.  Or, speaking personally for what I do, I get the Miessence organics superfoods in powder form.  I scoop the Deep Green onto my raw salads and mix it into my salad and dressing and its delicious.  For the Berry Radical, I use that like a hot cocoa, mix that into some hot water at the office and …delightful.  For on the go I also use the capsules but I buy the Essante because for $72.54 I have a 90 rather than a 30 day supply.  Both products are great, it depends upon what greens you want.

This line is both USDA and ACO certified organic.  It doesn’t get cleaner.  Their superfoods are a trio of Probiotics (InLiven) Alkalizing (Deep Green) and Antioxidants (Berry Radical).  The Antioxidant one tastes like chocolate, there’s organic cacao in it, YUM!  These are

Feel free to comment and let me  know what your favorite products are and why.  Thanks for reading. ♥