Sunday, July 29, 2012

What I Do

In addition to offering behavioral consults for rescue dogs, I also work with dog wellness. At the recommendation of a friend, Emmy Vadnais, I call myself a "holistic dog consultant." Since 2008, I've been studying muscle testing (aka applied kinesiology) and EFT (aka Emotional Freedom Technique or tapping), and this past weekend, I was lucky enough to visit my local Vitamin Shoppe to visit with customers about health and dogs. (The folks at that Vitamin Shoppe, by the way are both incredibly friendly and super knowledgeable.)

I love that we're moving toward a model that includes both humans and dogs. In fact, I feed my dogs supplements every single day, and I've been thrilled with the results. They've never been healthier.

So today I'm going to write about one small component of dog wellness that affects a huge percentage of dogs (and people, for that matter): Yeast. You heard it, yeast.

Did you know that dogs can take human supplements? In fact, I've always been a little startled that people package these supplements separately for dogs. My two favorite yeast remedies for dogs are Vitamin Shoppe Acidophilus with Apple Pectin and Probiotic 8, which also comes in a vegetarian formula. In fact, I keep both of them in my refrigerator at all times. After all, yeast is something that so many of us deal with. (And I think it's closely related to the processed, sugary food we eat.) Whenever possible, I muscle test my dogs for the type of acidophillus they need, the quantity, and the duration. Then I break the capsules open on their food. (For the record, most dogs require 2-3 pills per day--in 8-12 hour intervals--for 2-3 weeks.)

If you don't know muscle testing, bring your dogs to someone who does. But you can usually tell if your dog has excess yeast by sniffing her ears. Do they have a sharp pungent odor? I've also noticed that dogs with excess yeast often have dark skin on their belly, kind of like they've been lying on rich, black soil.

So anyhow, why not give it a try? Not only will a dog with a balanced system feel better, he will smell better, too.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A love letter to Lola

Usually, I write my posts, but when Louise sent me the following letter that she wrote in the days before she euthanized Lola, a former foster of mine, I had to share it. Louise's letter so completely captures the agony of letting go--but also the tremendous love she and Lola shared during their time together. It simultaneously breaks my heart and fills me with such peace. Lola was in a beautiful home. Thank you, Louise and family, for loving Lola completely and unconditionally. I am grateful.

Dear Lola~

"Second Chance Rescue's" vet estimated you to be about age 4; that was about 11 years ago when you joined our family. You were found abandoned at a pet hospital in the Battle Creek area of St. Paul. You had animal print collar around your neck connected to a matching leash ..A stranger said your were discovered, walking aimlessly outside the clinic.

Cheryl, Second Chance foster mom, was your first and only respite from an unknown former life. Her time with you was short; her love was abundant. She chose us to be your newfamily.

I think I know why you might have been relinquished..All that endeared me to you might have been too much for your first family...

You are one feisty, strong willed girl. Always have been and continue to your ripe age of 15. You are the alpha; I have given my place in the alphabet to you. And have taken a beta or, better yet, a zeta!..Your charm and sweetness provoked my vulnerability...Like an innocent child with a bouncy, perky, demanding disposition; you have barked the shots...

Forcefully to that of your first family, perhaps. Probably,leaving teeth marks, too. And maybe that is what led you to the place where you were found.

I saw evidence through the years... But never complained. That was you in true form, my little warrior!

I have made excuses for you...defended you, my furry daughter... You did wrong but I could not acknowledge! No training, behavior mod ever made a dent...i accepted you as you were and loved you for the goodness I recognized.

How you tormented your non-biological siblings. especially pudgy Pauline. Maybe not torment...but took total control...stalked, bit, confronted, terrorized Pauline; your stamina was uncontested....always. Pauline out of your control has caused you angst...

I turned you over on your tummy so many times. "Stop it," I repeatedly declared.. You continued your operatic-like growl and gurgle, with continued resistance and focus on Pauline, your loving nemesis...

You don't give up easily my little angel in devil's uniform. Despite your mania, you were a marvelous, loving little companion; always by my side and vigilant in your protection...through the many years that we shared our lives.

Which makes it all the harder...and more painful.

The challenges of old age are upon you, my dear one...Each day is an effort. Neverthess your tail wags. You are strong. Stronger than I.

It's time.
Yet, who knows when it is time?

The live love we have, dog child and mom will soon vanish... I, though, endowed with human attribute of emotion and memory, will keep you tucked safely in my mind and heart.

Rest in peace, my little loved one.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

More big news:

On June 1st, I officially opened up shop with Melissa from Doggie Prodigy, and I couldn't be more pleased. Our shop (978 Front Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55103), the first interactive dog toy store in the country--to my knowledge, is a lovely, welcoming space where dogs and their people can come try out the games in a no-pressure environment. What's more, I'll be there to offer consults and classes. Right now, we're working out the schedule, but it looks like I'll be offering bonding and confidence-building classes along with socialization classes.

Now that we've finished unpacking and setting up--for the most part--I plan to spend more time updating my blog with a schedule. In the meantime, please feel free to drop me a line at:

Thanks for your patience, and I look forward to seeing you at the shop soon!

By the way, our hour are 6:00-9:00 on Mondays and 10:00-2:00 on Saturdays, but we'd love to come down and meet you there anytime. Just give me a call to schedule an appointment: 651 644 1232.