Friday, February 18, 2011

“Life Lessons Learned from My Terminally Ill Dog (Dakota)”

Four months ago I was told by the vet that my 16 year old dog, Dakota was dying from liver and kidney failure. She basically handed over some pain pills, told me to keep him comfortable until the day he stops eating and drinking when I would be forced to put him to sleep. At first Ikota2011 accepted her dismal news and gave him the pain pills every 4 hours, religiously. The pills were way too strong and put him in such a stupor the poor thing could barely walk. So I stopped. Pain meds were just putting a bigger burden on his liver and according to the vet he wasn't really in pain just a tad uncomfortable. There had to be a better way.

Now anyone that knows me knows that I'm a big believer in holistic health and the power of herbs, and I don't give up on anything easily. I started doing research online. A lot of research. Wanting to find out everything I could on natural remedies for dogs suffering with kidney and liver failure. There are a number of herbs that strengthen the liver, and help to cleanse the toxins from the blood supply, a job usually done by healthy kidneys and liver. I needed to help my dog's body do the jobs it could no longer do on his own.

I started him on a daily regimen of multi-vitamins, Milk Thistle, Burdock,
Dandelion, Alfalfa, Sam E, Fish Oil, Vit C, and Vit E. The doses were spread
out throughout the day so as not to overload his system with everything all at the same time. When the vet first diagnosed him he was barelydakota22011 eating and I had been taking him to the vets 2 days a week or more for anti-nausea shots which seemed to help at first but eventually stopped. Once the herbs took hold he ate pretty well most of the time with only an occasional bout of vomiting and diareah. Upon more reading I found that baths were a good way to remove toxins from the body so I added weekly Epsom Salt Baths which also seemed to help with relaxation and sleeping.

Over the past few months we've had good days and bad days. On bad days we might have a lot of seizure activity and not much appetite. He would sometimes stare at his water bowl for 10 minutes but unable to drink from it. And on good days he ate a whole plate of food every few hours and looked for more. The liver controls sugar in the body, and with that no longer working properly, I had to offer food every 3 to 4 hours to keep the blood sugars levels up to avoid seizures which seemed to get worse when intervals between feedings went too long. Some days he'd be very weak and fall into his own feces when going to the bathroom. Baths became more frequent.

Lately when he's sleeping the waking intervals are growng longer and longer. Body temperature becomes hard to regulate, so I had to constanly check to make he was covered, or turn the heater on in front of his cage. To entice eating I became like the Galloping Gourmet. A variety of foods were given and depending on appetite what he'd eat one day, would not eat the next. Dog food was out of the question except for an occasional container of Beneful wet food which seemed to tickel his fancy from time to time. Sometimes he'd favor Mcdonalds, other times Arby's then he'd move on to only Pizza. Whatever it took to stimulate his appetite I did it.

Schedules had to be arranged so that someone was usually home as there were a few times he was left alone and fell down and could not get back up and was stuck in that postion for hours until we arrived. Through it all he only had an occasional accident in the house and still went to the door faithfully to be carried outside to do his business. He had to be carried as he could no longer navigate the steps on his own. Many cold winter nights he'd fall in the snow or on the ice and I'd run outside in my pajamas,dakota32011 barefoot to lift him to safety. Like an elderly old man balance on some days was not so good, especially on a heavy seizure day.

Years ago Dakota was attacked by the neighbor's dog, a 100lb Akita. Not once but twice. In both cases I stayed with him and nursed him back to health. He's come to rely on me as the caretaker, the Alpha dog. The nurturer who in the past could always make him feel better and restore health and vitality. He looks at me now as if I've failed him. He'll stare at me as if to say "Why aren't I getting better?". He knows if anyone could fix him, it's me. But this time I can't. I have failed him and will fail him. I am not God and there's nothing I can do outside of trying to make him as comfortable as possible with the short amount of time he has left.

Has all of this been a lot of work? Yes. Would I do it all over again? Yes. I love my dog and cherish the time we've been spending together. No matter if he's just lying by my side curled up in a blanket sleeping or my holding his head trying to soothe him out of a seizure. He's my son and I love him. He would do the same for me if he could. For all his years of faithfulness, this is the least I can do for him.

He's taught me so much about strength and fighting over the past few months. Life lessons I could not learn from another human being, only from a dog. This dog.

1) Don't give up on things. It "aint over till it's over".

2 Tomorrow's another day. Today may be a bad day but tomorrow might be great.

3) Even when it's tough and it hurts, believe in yourself. You can do more then you think you can.

4) Loyalty is hard to find. When you find it, hold onto it and don't let it go.

5) Don't believe what others say. They may say you're doomed, but you only are if you accept that diagnosis and give up. Fight everyday.

6) Take care of those you love and they'll take care of you.

7)  Spend more time together- You never know when it will be your last.

8) Sometimes "natural" is better then medicine. Always do research to see if there are holistic ways to treat any condition or disease.

9) Before you leave the house kiss those you love goodbye.

Remember, dogs are considered seniors at the age of 7 and should have annual exams starting at that age to catch any disease progression early on. Something I didn't know. Now I wish I had.

Through it all people have had their "opinions" on what I'm doing for my dog. The one thing I hear the most is "Is he in pain?". Well, I'm not sure let me ask him. Most believe that as soon as a dog is diagnosed with a terminal illness they should be put down. Well, my grandfather has been in a nursing home for the past few years sticken with numerous medical and mental problems and no one considers putting him down. Why should a dog matter any less.

If your child were ill would you try to take care of him or her? or would you put them out of their "misery". Dakota is a member of my family and my responsibility to take care of.  I do not choose to take the easy way out.

Like a dog I will be faithful until the end. Humans could learn a lot from dogs and I'm lucky enough to have had one of the best teachers.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

“For Bloggers,By Bloggers”

Blogs are big business online. There are blogs on all kinds of topics and something to suit everyone’s tastes. Wordpress is by far the most popular blogging software,and Blogger would be the most popular third party hosted site. valentine_fun No matter how you host it, like a dog, it needs to be fed every day to stay healthy and grow.

If you have a blog you know it’s not easy coming up with daily content. Sure, there’s plenty of PLR content out there you can use, but if you want to be original your blog needs a voice. Your voice. So what to do?

That’s where this site comes into play ”For Bloggers, By Bloggers”. It contains some of the best tips to help you with your needs as a blogger. Contributing experts of the site include

Topics they cover include deciding on a niche, how often to post, where to find content, tips and more. If you’re trying to be successful in this field this site is sure to help. Check it out at

Be sure to subscribe by email and be notified of the newest posts.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

“Life's Little Goodies: Everyone is Dealing with Something”

When I first started online a hundred yeas ago my favorite Internet personality was a guy named “Boogie Jack”. He taught me a lot about building websites in his informative newsletter, but he also has taught me a lot about life with his philosophy. Each issue of his ezine covers a little gem like the one I’ve posted below. Find out more about Booj at his website . He’s written a few books so he really knows his stuff, and he’s an all around great guy.gia_glasses08

-----------------------------------------Everyone is dealing with something. Yes, that includes me. It's a recurring theme in our lives. We all have our secret (or not so secret) trials and tribulations.

Yet, when we look at other people we often think they don't have life struggles like we do because there are no visible signs. We humans seem to be masters of disguise!

In spite of what we see, many people aren't as happy as the face they put on for us would indicate. That's truly a shame, because much of the time they could be.

What does the following line say:


Did you read that as my happiness is nowhere, or my happiness is now here?

Very often, happiness depends on where we place our attention. Studies have shown that those who are happiest live in the moment. Those who dwell too much on the past or future are missing the only moment it is possible to be happy ... now.

You can't become happy, for that places happiness in the future. You can only be happy now. As simplistic as it may sound, Bobby McFerrin had it right—don't worry, be happy.

But, what is happiness? One definition the dictionary gives is this:

A pleasurable or satisfying experience.

These are the feel-good emotions that most people associate happiness with, such as love, elation, and passion. But emotions are fleeting. So we keep chasing after those feel-good moments to get another happiness fix.

This endless chase is one of the chief causes of unhappiness! It becomes like an addiction. We feel good when we get a fix, and don't feel right when we need one.

The dictionary also describes happiness as:

A state of well-being and contentment.

A state of well-being and contentment isn't a fleeting emotion, it's a lasting, long term state of being. It comes from inside of us rather than coming from external emotional fixes.

It comes from having a purpose (goals) and making steady progress toward that purpose. It comes from the satisfaction in knowing we are growing in maturity, wisdom, and our capacity to love. It comes from serving others as well as taking care of ourselves. It comes from accepting life as it is while working to make it better. And, it comes from being kind to ourselves and forgiving our own faults, as well as being kind and forgiving to others.

Maybe we confuse emotional highs with lasting happiness. Perhaps we're happier than we think we are. Advertisers are always trying to tell us what we need to buy to be happy, but happiness doesn't come from without, it comes from within.

All happiness is self-generated. If it were external events that bring us happiness, the same event would make everyone happy. That is clearly not the case. It's not the events that make us happy, but our belief and expectation of happiness as the outcome that makes it so.

Happiness comes most often when we aren't trying to cage it, so rather than seeking happiness today, try to spread happiness around. You may be delighted to discover that happiness finds you.

Here's something you can do today: Turn off any distractions and sit quietly. Close your eyes. Think to yourself, "I choose to be happy today." Then smile. Dwell in that moment for next 30 seconds.

See if that doesn't make you feel just a little bit happier.

Happiness doesn't depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude.
- Dale Carnegie

Happiness consists in activity. It is running steam, not a stagnant pool.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes

If you want to be happy, be.
- Leo Tolstoy

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
- Mark Twain

We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.
- Frederick Keonig