Saturday, February 19, 2011

Teaching Moments

    Your companion animal is probably your child's best friend.  Whether they grew up together or one came first, there is no doubt of the special love between child and animal.  When the animal is ill or dying, it is tempting to keep the child away or sugarcoat the experience, but in doing so we miss a very big opportunity to teach our children about caring for those in need, healthy grieving, and recovering from a loss.

     We may be so overwhelmed with our own struggles, the physical demands of caring for an ill pet, the mental strain of making tough decisions and being well-informed, or our own grief that it is hard to think about this as a Teaching Moment for our children.

     Keep in mind that most things that happen as an animal is terminally ill or dying are not an emergency.  Yes, there is on-going often intensive care and there can be crisis moments, but most of the day to day progression of the illness or age happens slowly, or slow enough, for us to take a break and catch our breath.  Make sure you do this at least once a day.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Favorite Things

  We have put together a list of some of our favorite things, stores and sources.  We welcome your thoughts, ideas, feedback, suggestions, additions and reviews.  Let's make it easier for us to each find the good stuff!

     Here's where you can find the beginnings of our list.  We will be adding more as time goes on.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Quote for the Day


There are no good-byes for us...Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart

- Ghandi

      Thank you to Renee Wood of the Comfort Company for bringing this wonderful quote from Ghandi to our attention.  Renee has incorporated this quote into a beautiful wind chime that makes a lovely sympathy gift.  You can see it here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Quote for the Day

Thanks again to Debra Lynn Dadd for this wonderful quote (just perfect for Valentine's Day!):

The meaning of life is creative love. Not love as an inner feeling, as a private sentimental emotion, but love as a dynamic power moving out into the world and doing something original.

~ Tom Morris       


Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Visit to Eddie's Wheels - WOW!

     OK, let me just say that I was blown away by my visit today.  Leslie, Hana, Hayley and Eddie all welcomed me to the shop and let me tag along while they had a very busy morning fitting 5 different dogs with wheels for a variety of issues.  After a great lunch at a local pub, Eddie and Leslie showed me all around the shop where they build the wheels, custom for every dog.

Sweet Pea in the rear wheel design
     Over the past 13 years, Leslie, an artist and potter, and Eddie, an engineer, have come up with a wonderful product for dogs and cats with a variety of mobility issues - from degenerative conditions, injuries, tumors, aging, disc damage and surgery - and more, of course.   The key piece to the design is the pelvic saddle, which supports the animal from the skeleton, rather than soft tissue.  The animal's legs go through the saddle, but are able to move freely without friction or chaffing.  Depending on the needs of the dog, the cart may lightly rest on the shoulders (not the neck) or be supported from below, putting no additional weight on the front end.  Another design works for animals with front leg problems, allowing the animal to propel himself from behind, while still being able to sit down and reach the ground without fear of toppling over.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Quote for the Day

Thank you to Dr. Alice Villalobos, DVM, DPNAP, President of the Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics, Animal Oncology Consultation Service and Pawspice ( for this beautiful quote:

Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Pragmatist’s View of Complementary and Alternative Medicine

     I have a confession: I am a nerd. I like to study, read, investigate and analyze. I like things that are logical and make sense. I want to understand the world around me and how things work.

     Because of this, complementary and alternative medicine (commonly referred to as “CAM”) poses a quandary for me. On the one hand, most of these practices have been used for thousands of years in one culture or another and almost none of them do harm. I like that they are something positive we can do, rather than filling ourselves or our companions with medicines that almost always have some negative side effect. I rebel against the idea that the man in the white jacket has all the answers and I appreciate that some things work and we just don’t understand why.

     On the other hand, I do believe there is a reason why something works or doesn’t and I am driven to understand that. Frankly, some of the explanations CAM practitioners give as to why their modality works just don’t ring true for me and I have a hard time buying in.

     I find myself intellectually skeptical and yet emotionally drawn at the same time.

     Ultimately, I come down as a pragmatist (pragmatism: "a straightforward practical way of thinking about things or dealing with problems, concerned with results rather than with theories and principles").  I recognize that there are many, many things in this world that we do not yet understand, and that if people and creatures for centuries before us have tapped into something that works, we should not eschew it simply because we do not understand it.