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Two Heartwarming Emails I Received: Podge and Coco’s Stories

May 12th, 2011 No comments
Coco

Coco

Every now and then someone writes to me after reading “An Owner’s Guide to Canine Epilepsy” or “Cory’s Story”. I received two wonderful e-mails this week that I wanted to share with you. The first was from a woman named Terri who is the founder of American Cocker Spaniel Rescue in Spanaway, Washington. She told me about becoming a foster to a darling little chocolate cocker named Coco who had been found abandoned in the woods. She said, “Coco had the most violent seizures imaginable – he would wake me up, out of a dead sleep….it sounded as though someone was banging on the inside of his crate with a hammer. They were just awful. It broke my heart every time he had a seizure.”

Terri’s story about Coco had a surprising ending. Although Terri found a permanent home for him, she stayed in his life, babysitting him whenever his people went on vacation. Eventually Coco’s vet diagnosed him with a brain tumor, estimating that he might live only 6 to 9 months. Coco made it another 12 months before it was clear to everyone that his quality of life was no longer acceptable. He was senile, stumbled and fell down, was deaf and blind and he stopped eating and drinking for 2 days. The surprising ending is that Terri offered to have Coco put down while his family was away! She took him to the vet and held him in her arms as he was helped to cross to the Rainbow Bridge. She told me that she cried so hard she could not hold up her pounding head. She said, “Coco was such a great dog and it’s just not fair that he was plagued with seizures…..If I love to be 170 years old, I will never, ever forget dear Coco.”

Coco and Dad

Coco and Dad

Then Terri thanked me for writing Cory’s Story and making the Owner’s Guide available as a free download for anyone. She said “I know for a fact that it will be very helpful to many people.” I read those words with tears running down my face, having shared a sacred moment with another dog guardian who knows first hand just how scary and heart-breaking it is to live with and to love a dog with a seizure disorder. I was deeply moved by Terri’s offer to be the one to take Coco to the vet for his last earthly journey, when he wasn’t even her dog! Having gone through that experience of being with Cory when he crossed to the bridge, I can tell you that it is one of the most wrenching things a person can go through. I told Terri that I believe she is one of the rare Earth angels we hear about from time to time.

The next day I got an e-mail from Gail in North Wales. She told me about her border collie bitch “Podge” who started having seizures just 4 months ago, when Podge was 3 years old. She began her message to me by saying, “Can I thank you for taking the trouble to put Cory’s story on line, as it gives owners hope. Too many times in the past few weeks I speak to people whose dogs have been put down because of epilepsy.” She went on to tell me about how Podge’s seizures escalated to the point that even a trip to the vet and a valium injection didn’t help. Podge was having about 4 seizures a day and paced relentlessly. Gail said, “mentally I said goodbye, because I couldn’t watch her suffer.” “To take my mind off her discomfort I started to search the internet for clues and when I read the first chapter of Cory’s Story I realized I wasn’t alone in the sheer panic and the helplessness, just willing our lovely dog to survive and get better!”

Podge

Podge

Gail took action, realizing that there were things she could do for Podge! She came to terms with the fact that her dog had epilepsy, (not a blood sugar issue as she kept telling herself). She got Podge in to see a vet who put her on anti-epileptic drugs and she modified her diet so as to provide Podge with fresh cooked vegetable and meat casseroles, replacing her tinned dog food. Gail reported positive results and has hope that she may be able to get Podge off of the anti-epileptic drug eventually, if her new diet can control the seizures as well as it did for Cory.

I encouraged Gail to take a look at replacing the cooked meals with raw meaty bone meals eventually, which I believe will provide Podge with the maximum nutritional benefits. Gail said she will do that and promised to give me an update some day.

I cannot describe the pleasure I get when I hear from people like Terri and Gail, knowing that Cory’s Story has helped them in some way. Cory was a very special dog and it was his life’s purpose to share his experience, through my writing, so that other dogs would have the

Podge

Podge looking yonder

opportunity to live healthier (dare I even dream “seizure-free”?) lives.

WARNING FOR DOGS TAKING PHENOBARBITAL!

March 11th, 2011 No comments

The Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) has become aware of a human drug recall for Phenobarbital tablets. Phenobarbital is often prescribed by veterinarians for treating seizures in animals.

On February 5, 2011, Qualitest Pharmaceuticals voluntarily recalled several lots of Phenobarbital 32.4 mg and Hydrocodone Bitartrate and Acetaminophen Tablets 10 mg/500 mg due to a label mix-up between the two drug products. Hydrocodone Bitartrate and acetaminophen tablets were incorrectly labeled as Phenobarbital tablets 32.4 mg. As a result of this mix-up, pets may unintentionally be given Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen tablets instead of the intended drug, Phenobarbital.

As of March 10, 2011, the Center for Veterinary Medicine had received 3 serious adverse event reports involving dogs treated with Phenobarbital tablets manufactured by Qualitest Pharmaceuticals. One report cited two of the three affected lot numbers for the recalled product. The remaining two reports did not provide the lot numbers.

http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm246624.htm

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Basic Guide to Canine Epilepsy Now Available Right Here!

February 24th, 2011 No comments

When my dog, Cory, had his first seizure, almost 11 years ago, I was terrified. When the vet told me that it was not good practice to put a dog on anti epileptic drugs after only one seizure, I started my research to get all the information I could find about canine epilepsy. At that time, there were not many resources available, and I spent a good portion of many days looking for help.

Along the way I started writing articles about what I learned about canine epilepsy based upon notes that I made as I learned about the causes and treatments for it, and as I saw how my own dog’s seizures were affected by the information I learned as I applied it.

My beloved Cory passed away in September of 2010. I wanted to share what I learned at his side during the 10 years we journeyed though the quagmire of canine epilepsy, so that Cory would be known as a dog whose life experiences helped other dogs and their humans. With that in mind, I have organized my articles into a little book about canine epilepsy which is a guide for someone who, like me 11 years ago, is looking for basic information. I have made this available for free to everyone, with the hope that it will offer helpful information from someone who has finished the journey.

You can download it by entering your name and email address in the box over on the right sidebar. I would love to know what you think of it! Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Sandra DeMers

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Goodbye to Novia

February 9th, 2011 No comments

It is with extreme sadness that I tell you of the passing of Cory’s beloved kitty, Novia today. She was born in June of 1993 and came into our hearts and home in July of that year. She was a pure bred Ragdoll and one of the most beautiful cats ever created. You can see her photo at the beginning of Chapter 5 of Cory’s Story. She was 4 years old when we brought the Cory puppy home, and she loved him more than she loved her humans. Although she has been suffering from renal disease for the past 3 years, she was maintaining just fine until Cory passed away last September. Since then she gradually started to withdraw and finally she stopped eating a few weeks ago and became so weak she could not walk without her little legs giving out from under her. So, it is a very sad day for us at Cory’s Story. For those of you who have fur-babies, please give them an extra hug today for us. We loved our sweet baby, who lived up to her name — “Novia” means “sweetheart” or “girlfriend” in Spanish. Rest in peace little one.
Novia — June 7, 1993 to February 9, 2011

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Do You Believe In Magic?

November 24th, 2010 1 comment

“Magic,” unless you live in Harry Potter’s world,  is actually nothing more than a clever magician’s ability to manipulate what you think you see,  in order to make the audience believe in something that is not true.  What I am about to tell you,  however,  is true,  although you will be tempted to think that it is nothing short of magical.

Since the release of “Cory’s Story” less than two months ago,  I have received e-mails from people all over the world.  One person,  Kirsy in Australia,  wrote to me about her dog who has epilepsy,  and how she was working with her vet to try some of the natural treatments to manage the disease.  She was interested in purchasing a copy of Cory’s Story, but thought it might be a good book for her library to have,  to provide the information it contains to everyone in her community.  In late October she wrote to me to let me know that she had contacted her local librarian,  so that I could expect to be hearing from her.  Sure enough,  within a few days I received an order for Cory’s Story from a lady named Susan in Australia.  I sent the book off and let Kirsy know that her book was on its way to her library,  and I gave her Susan’s full name.  Kirsy checked with her librarian and sent me an e-mail to let me know they had not actually placed any order for my book yet.

On November 18th I received an e-mail from Kirsy (in Australia),  to share the astounding news that she had been out walking on the beach with her dog,  and she struck up a conversation with two women who were walking a cute poodle.  The lady who owns the poodle said to Kirsy,  “I just read this great book called Cory’s Story.”  Kirsy told me that she got goosebumps and she asked the woman if she was the Susan who had purchased my book.  Imagine Susan’s surprise at how a complete stranger knew her name!

About this time I’m thinking that there are probably only 2 people in the entire country of Australia,  but a quick google search assures me that the country still has over 22 million residents.  Susan actually lives in Brisbane, Australia, which is several hours from where she met Kirsy.  She had only happened to be on the coast for a holiday visit.  Susan had only received and read my book a few days before her meeting on the beach with Kirsy.  The two women were completely amazed and talked for another hour.  Kirsy wondered if it is destiny for like-minded people to just “run into each other.”

I will tell you this – I believe that there is some force in the universe that is aware that what we found to cure Cory’s seizures can help other dogs.  That force seems to be determined to make its presence known in using “Cory’s Story” to bring two people together on a beach in Australia.  It would be one thing if “Cory’s Story” was well known,  but so far it has not been sold through any store other than this web-site.  I have not even listed on Amazon.com yet!

The most logical conclusion is that what happened is an unlikely coincidence.  The most inspirational conclusion is that Cory’s spirit cares about sharing the information we learned with owners of dogs who are still living,  in order to help them live healthier lives.  What are the chances of the only two people in Australia who have heard of Cory’s Story to meet each other?

What do you think?

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Cory’s Story Gets Another 5-Star Review!

November 9th, 2010 No comments

The following review of Cory’s Story was written by Darilee Bednar, owner of Third St. Books, Marysville, WA:
“I met Jay DeMers at the PNBA Convention in Portland and he promised me I would like his wife’s book… and he was wrong… I LOVED it.

I don’t DO books that make me sad unless they are non-fiction and then it’s not a usual occurrence… Cory’s Story had me totally teary-eyed NOT because it was written to be sad but because it triggered memories of our family dogs and their unconditional love.

It’s a memoir of Cory, a very smart/generally well-behaved/CGC trained yellow lab, and the three humans he adopted. Cory developed epilepsy around 3 years old… and the last half of the book is about the different treatments the family used that prolonged his life and allowed him to continue the richness of that life he and his family wanted him to live.

Cory, the boy scout. Cory, the best friend. Cory, the brother.
Dang! Suddenly… I miss my best friend… my companion… my fellow soul searcher.

Quick read… done in just a few hours.

Got a book club… got a 9 year old… got an RV…

I give it 5 stars.”

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Reviews of “Cory’s Story” Are Coming In!

November 2nd, 2010 No comments

In addition to what people have posted as comments on this web-site and on Cory’s facebook profile, I have received comments from people on my private e-mail and on my personal facebook profile who have read Cory’s Story.  You can see a sampling of those comments here:  read reviews.    I am delighted that people’s lives have been touched by our beloved Cory.  Every time someone reads it I know that Cory is alive again in the reader’s mind’s eye for as long as it takes to read the book, and in that short time Cory is once again running joyfully, being naughty, fighting to overcome a dreadful disease, and finally achieving seizure-free, “great-dog” status.

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A Sense of Joy Today!

October 21st, 2010 2 comments

Today is the first day I have experienced the emotion of joy since Cory passed away last month.  That is not to say I have stopped grieving, because I still am.  But Cory’s Story the book  got its first review today, and it was a 5 star review which just rocked my world.  The reviewer, Penny Eims of the Examiner has a following of devoted fans who in turn told their friends and family about her uplifting review.  One of them, Lorie in Canada, who lost her beloved dog “Blaze” to epilepsy, had this to say:
 
 

“Amazing story, Cory is now for ever in my heart! I’m thrilled to have found you and thank you for speaking and writing on such a diesase as K9 epilepsy, it’s more common than many know.”

 
 
I welcome everyone who stops to read here, and I thank those of you who have been so supportive of me, and those of you who have purchased my book.  I have made lots of trips to the post office lately to mail the books out.  I send each book with a little prayer that the reader will enjoy it and that information in it will be helpful in some way.  I really appreciate your feedback once you have read the book.

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Cory’s Story is Now Available!

October 15th, 2010 No comments

It is with great pleasure that I announce the release of Cory’s Story.  At this time, it is available exclusively through our website @ corysstory.com.  You can get it as an e-book or in hardback.  For all of Cory’s fans who have been waiting patiently, today is your day!  I wrote the book with the hopes of helping dogs live better, healthier lives.  I look forward to your feedback once you have read the book.

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Cory’s Story coming to The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association

September 29th, 2010 2 comments

It has been almost two weeks since we said our final farewell to Cory.  We have spent this time doing our best to recover from the grief that comes with the loss of any beloved family member.  But life goes on.   I received word from my publisher yesterday that she will have books in time for the Pacific NW Booksellers (PNBA.org) fall trade show, to be held in Portland, Oregon on October 8 & 9, where “Cory’s Story” will be featured.  I have made reservations to be there!  In attendance will be 300 – 500 bookstore owners, buyers, managers and librarians.   I’m told it will take several weeks from the time we get the books until they get distributed to the book stores.  In the meantime, once we get them we will be selling Cory’s Story through this website (also as an e-book!)   I will personally mail all of the books ordered through this website and I will sign them for anyone who would like me to.   Thanks to all of Cory’s fans who have stayed with us, waiting patiently, as well as a huge welcome to all of the new fans who have just joined us!  This blog will continue with information about the release of the book, as well as articles that may be helpful or informative about the well being of our dogs.

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