We love our dogs; I will repeat… we LOVE our dogs! They are such a joy. They are very funny, devoted, smart, always willing to do… whatever.
They are getting older… well old. I make their food instead of buying food in a bag. I try to ensure they have the best nutrition available. I treat their various afflictions with various herbs and the like.
Bear has epilepsy and used to have grand-mal seizures. I give him valerian, skullcap, turmeric, passion flower, fermented cod liver oil, st john’s wort and vitamin B complex. This stabilizes and relaxes his nerves, preventing seizures. Finding the right combination and dosages was… daunting. Previously, he was on prescription medication with numerous side effects – horrible side effects. I knew that I would have to find an herbal solution, but finding that solution without endangering him took a lot out of me. Thankfully, he didn’t have an increase in seizures and the doses worked well, but it was stressful and unsettling. We say that Bear is a “Big Ole Iowan Farm Boy”. He has a heart of pure gold. His capacity for love knows no bounds. He is also our pack guardian. I have yet to see him back down. Wolf, coyote…? No problem. They all submit to Bear. It is in his presence, his confidence, his sense of self. The only one who does not is Bella, our furry pack leader (we are the pack leaders, but Bella is the furry pack leader). Bella taught Bear everything and out of respect, he completely submits to her, all 110 lbs of him compared to her 60 lbs. Dominance is definitely based upon a state-of-mind rather than a size.
Bella. Bella, Bella, Bella. What can I say? This old gal is a 1000% devoted to us and her pack. She doesn’t sleep at night to ensure everyone’s safety. She has taught every puppy within range on “how to be”: training and living correctly according to Bella. She has this air about her which radiates confidence. She is calm, obsessive, intense, direct, and requires perfection. She was potty-trained the first day, why? She requires perfection from herself and from those around her. All the other dogs didn’t have a chance to screw up; she wouldn’t let that happen. When she swims, she almost walks on water – intense. She has this crazy ability to smell – anything – anywhere. When we were training her for search and rescue we would toss a rock into the stream which had our scent (just from touching the rock). She would find that rock in the deep, rushing water amongst all those other rocks. After knee surgery, Bella is on turmeric, devil’s claw and fermented cod liver oil to help her with cancer prevention, joint pain, arthritis and digestion. These herbs and the like work wonders.
Gunner is our oldest. He is an old man. Gunner is independent, sweet, super smart, considerate, gentle and has an unheard of sense of pain tolerance. He once ran through a neighbor’s barbed-wire fence, ripping his chest open and didn’t make a peep. He ran into, and I do mean ran into, a porcupine in the brush a barely made a sound. Bella went to kill whatever hurt Gunner and she screamed like a banshee (which, by the way, was the reasonable thing to do)! Gunner has always been a skinny-mini coming in at 85 lbs while still being taller than Bear. This has made him an excellent swimmer, runner and a great all-around athlete. Gunner is on a slew of herbs to help with cancer prevention, joint pain, restlessness, arthritis and digestion. He takes turmeric, microlactin, boswellia, bromelain, devil’s claw, passion flower, valerian, st john’s wort and on occasion white willow. Handsome isn’t he?
And then there is Jouette. She is the little toy poodle which we have inherited. She so desperately wants to grow up into a large lab. We don’t have the heart to tell her that she never will. Her nickname is Jo-Jo. We have decided that other than her ability to get a little smelly by rolling in whatever smelly thing she wants to roll in, she isn’t French. Hahaha hahaha hahhaha! Sorry France… Instead, we have decided that she is a little Mexican jumping bean, which at first served no purpose. But now, we have discovered that she is a great watch dog. Her greatness ends there and otherwise is a little dog but we love her just the same. Jouette constantly gets into things she shouldn’t and thus gets fleas or lice. I cannot have that so she is routinely bathed in diatomaceous earth, neem oil, rosemary essential oil, clove essential oil and eucalyptus essential oil shampoo. She is a stinker…
Our Dog Food Recipe
2 lbs of Sweet Potato, Winter Squash or Carrots
3 c of Rolled Oats, Rice or Sprouted Barley
½ c Berries
2 tbsp Cinnamon
1 tbsp Kelp Meal
1 tsp Sea Salt
2 lbs of Beef, Venison, Duck, Chicken, Turkey or Fish meat
4 c Meat/Poultry/Fish Stock
¼ c of Fat drippings or skimmings
3-5 drops of Oregano essential oil
Boil or roast the sweet potato, squash or carrots until soft and mushy. Cook the rolled oats, rice or sprouted barley in the meat stock until just over cooked and slightly mushy. Mix all the ingredients together and return to heat until the meat is cooked. As a side note: it is okay if you decide to keep the meat raw as long as you processed all the meat and it is very fresh. If you buy any meat from the grocery store, butcher or the like – DO NOT – keep it raw. There are super-bacteria which are antibiotic resistant in much of the industrial/commercial meat supply. You are all set! Freeze the dog food for up to 6 months. Yes you can push this date, but please re-cook the food if you do extend it.