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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Kaydee’s Story: It’s Time

February 8th, 2011 No comments

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post is a continuation of our guest author series. Kaydee’s Story follows Kaydee and her health as she switches to a raw food diet.

It was New Years Day I was in the kitchen bustling about making dinners for the coming up week and chocolate chip cookies (a surprise for hubby). Brent was napping as was Kaydee. I couldn’t find my recipe card for the cookies and hurriedly went into my office and back out again. By the time I got back to the kitchen I realized my mistake…. Kaydee was laying upon the bed in my office sleeping. Fear gripped at my heart as I rounded the corner of the kitchen ….. To only hear a “THUD” and see Kaydee’s body beginning to seize.

I kneeled down to my little girl cradling her and whispering to her it was okay. I checked her nose/mouth to feel for her breath and there was – RELIEF! She was whimpering I kept telling her over and over “Good girl, good girl…. Then I got mad – I got mad at this monster – All my primal motherly instincts/energy flowed through my body as I softly commanded “You are all done!

Maybe it’s just me…. but for a split second I felt Kaydee’s body relax…… then go rigid. Softly but firmly I repeated “All done.” I could sense Kaydee warring with this monster. Fighting to break it’s bond over her. She moved — wanting to get up. Still trembling and shaking she tried to take a couple of steps. I held my breathe as I feared she was going into another seizure. I jumped up and hurried to the kitchen and grabbed the honey. I gave her a dab and then another. Then she looked up at me and gave me that precious look as if to say “Mommy I’m okay now.” She looked at the jar of honey I was still holding and said “Hmm.” then looked at the jar again. I offered her another dab. The twinkles beginning to shine in her eyes again. “Hmm.” More,” I asked. “Hmm.” I chuckled as I gave her three more dabs of honey. My little girl was her happy self again!
NOTE: Kaydee has been tested for hypoglycemia several times and each time the result is negative. I don’t know why (neither does the vet) but the honey seems to give her a boost and she revives quicker when given.

About an hour later Brent awoke from his nap. I told him Kaydee had a visit from the “UGLY MONSTER” he said “its time, we need to have the dr. do what ever he needs to… an MRI.” IT’S TIME!

Two weeks later after scheduling an appointment, we drove to Purdue University Animal Hospital. I was afraid we were going to have to cancel our trip as we had a “ lake affect snow advisory” Brent was watching the weather on all 3 news stations, I called the hospital to find out what the weather was like and that we may be late in arriving. We decided to take the chance and headed out at 8:00 a.m. for our appt. at 11:30 a.m. The roads on the main highways were pretty good till we hit one patch of country road. THAT WAS PRETTY SCARY! You could feel the car glide across the icy wind blown road. I was very fortunate that my husband agreed to drive. Anyone who knows me, knows I do not drive in the winter time unless the roads are absolutely clear!

2 ½ hours later and 2 pit stops we finally arrived at the clinic. Within a few minutes of our arrival/check-in a man hurriedly came into the facility carrying his limp and what appeared to be a lifeless German Shepherd. I immediately began to pray! This beautiful dog we found out later was heavily sedated but was in grave danger of losing its life. The dog had wondered off. When the owner found him, took him to his office where the dog then keeled over. The dog had suffered neurological (seizures) problems since it was a puppy. I never found out if the dog survived or not…. During the span of time we were there we would see 5 other cases of dogs afflicted with seizures each stemming from a different trigger. My husband was astounded and could only ask the million dollar question “WHY?”

Knowing our appointment would be delayed we took turns taking Kaydee outside. When our name was called a student led us to a room where she took down Kaydee’s history. Once completed the student explained to us she would speak to the clinician (resident dr.) to go over the history and symptoms. Next she and the resident dr. would come back into the exam room and let us know what tests they would like to have done if any.

After waiting what seemed like an eternity and multiple trips outside for Brent and Kaydee. The student and resident dr. came back into the room. The dr. asked a few more questions and then wanted to take Kaydee in the back room for observations i.e., walking, running etc. No, I was not allowed to go into the back (not happy). Kaydee happily trotted off with her new found friend (the student) while Brent and I returned to the waiting room.

20 minutes had passed when Kaydee came through the double doors of the waiting room all wiggles and waggles happy to see mommy and daddy again. We were shown into another room where the resident dr. was waiting for us. She explained her findings stating that Kaydee was epileptic (idiopathic). She suggested we start Kaydee on a anti-epileptic medication for therapeutic treatment to minimize the frequency and the severity of the seizures using either; Keppra (Levetiracetam); KBr (Potassium bromide) and/or Phenobarbital. That’s when I brought up alternative methods; Gold bead implants, acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, the RAW diet. The resident dr. stated she was not familiar with these alternative methods and to go with what my vet suggested for treatment. But HER final recommendation was to start Kaydee on the anti-epileptic medications.

She felt having an MRI done was unnecessary at this time. She stated if we really wanted to have one done she would and also recommend a spinal tap BUT she felt the results would come back negative and therefore unnecessary. Brent was relieved as he was apprehensive to have Kaydee sedated. He just had a feeling something might go wrong, so I agreed not to have the MRI done.

I did request to have blood work done to recheck her BUN and Creatinine levels which I am extremely happy to report her numbers were well within the normal range (happy dance). I also asked about having her hips/low back looked at as I still feel there is a connection between Kaydee abruptly waking up, jumping off the bed and then going into a seizure.

The resident and student took Kaydee with them again to the back (no I was not allowed back there this time either – Again not happy). But within 30 minutes, she came back to us happy go-lucky as ever. The resident dr. came out into the waiting area and let us know that the orthopedic dr. did notice a lameness with her right rear leg and that she is a little bow legged. Which most likely was present since birth, but other than that he did not notice any other abnormalities or effusion (hip dysplasia). If we wanted to be 100% sure he suggested to have our local vet perform an x-ray.

We were both relieved in hearing this news! It was 4:30 p.m. and Kaydee was more than READY to go home! She had been a real trooper throughout the day! One look at her and you could see she was at a point she had, had enough and wanted to go HOME.

The ride home was difficult for Kaydee to get comfortable. She was exhausted! It took her about an hour before she finally settled down, and laid on her blankie to try to sleep. Thankfully the trip home was a faster! We were ALL glad when we arrived HOME!

As I reflect upon this day I asked…….“God where do we go from here?”

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Jasper’s Story: Raw feeding – a switch for the BETTER!

February 3rd, 2011 1 comment

Hi everybody,

I am Kirsy, and I live in Australia. First of all I would like to say how grateful I am to have met Sandy through my research to find natural approaches to try to get my dog’s epilepsy under control. I think this website and the blogs are a fantastic way to help others and to “open some eyes”.

Now, here is our journey:

In July 2008, while we were shopping in the supermarket, my husband casually told me something that turned out to be life changing for me and my family. He said “tomorrow we will pick up a dog from the airport. I spent 2 months searching for the PERFECT breed for us. This dog that I choose doesn’t shed, so your Mom won’t get asthma from him. Please don’t be angry that the kids and I didn’t tell you before now!”

My reaction? I started crying in frustration. How could they do this to me? Until then I didn’t even like dogs, (whoa, how that has changed since!!!) plus we had just retired from 25 years of running our own businesses and the plan was for us to travel. Now a dog? I was furious!

The next day my hubby and our youngest daughter went to the airport to pick up the 8 week old pup – an Australian Labradoodle. I was told to stay home and to cook for him. I had to boil chicken and rice, per the breeder’s advice. You should have seen the ratio I prepared, as I had NO IDEA! I made about 10% meat to 90% rice. Well, I didn’t want that dog anyway.

Home they come and my daughter had this tiny little fluffy black “ball” in her hand. My heart just melted and I met the love of my life – JASPER for the first time.  I was TOTALLY  transformed within seconds! He ravenously indulged into my pathetic rice dish with hardly any meat in it. Oooh, but he was so cute!

The first weeks were not easy. Setting alarm clocks every 3 hours to let him out for “toilet”, (which he had usually done in his doggy bed already)…..

We were feeding him what the breeder had recommended. Cooked chicken, rice and some veggies with the addition of dry Eukanuba or Hill Science Diet kibble. Sometimes I added raw chicken necks. He often vomited and had numerous episodes of bad diarrhea in the house overnight. Our Vet suggested BARF, but those frozen patties were so expensive.

In September 2009 Jasper started having seizures, for no apparent reason. We were devastated. What was happening to our boy all of the sudden? It broke my heart to watch those Grand Mal seizures racking his little body and not being able to help him. Our Vet suggested that we wait before starting him on anti-epileptic drugs, as they can have dangerous side effects. Since Jasper did not have cluster seizures, recovered quickly after a seizure, and averaged no more than one seizure per month, we agreed to hold off on the drugs and look for other means to help him.

To make a very long story short, we discovered that Jasper had genetic inherited epilepsy, a condition known to his breeder for 4 years! We filed a complaint against the breeder and won! But not until after a very long fight for justice.

By February, 2010, Jasper had 2 seizures in only 5 days. I had to do something!  In desperation I contacted Dr. Jean Dodds of HEMOPET, in California. Anyone who may be interested in her full advice to us, email me @ [Editor’s note: Cory was also a patient of Dr. Jean Dodds! She monitored his thyroid levels every 6 months of his life, and she also provided excellent advice for him].

In May 2010 we switched Jasper to a raw grain-free homemade diet in combination with the supplements Epi-Still and Taurine. My Vet was so impressed with the improvement in Jasper! He said we didn’t have to supplement with anything else. However, I still do give him some supplements of fish oil 1000mg, Vitamin C 1000mg, Vit E 200iu. He also gets a raw knuckle bone every second day for calcium and strong, healthy teeth. Gnawing on a long bone is actually very good for a dog’s mental health, as it is relaxing. Jasper is now a very content yet active, but never hyperactive fellow. We love him to bits and couldn’t imagine a more perfect dog, except for the Epilepsy monster.

I am so happy that we made the switch to raw. They say you can tell by a dog’s pooh how healthy his gut is. Jasper’s stools changed from being runny, smelly and often jelly like, because his stomach lining was damaged from eating the wrong diet of cooked grains etc. to small, firm stools which have almost no odor. Since we started RAW feeding, Jasper never had another accident in the house and the only time he vomits is before a seizure, but never from food or stomach problems anymore. And most important of all – his seizure-free times have now gone from about every 3 weeks to over 8 weeks.

We will keep you all posted.

Kirsy & Epiboy Jasper from Australia

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Cory’s Story Wins “Best Dog Blog” and more…

January 28th, 2011 No comments

I’m thrilled to announce that has won four awards!

  • Best Dog Blog
  • Best Informational Web Site
  • Best Dog Product
  • Best Dog Web Site

We now get to proudly display our badges. Thanks to everyone for your awesome support!

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Mika’s Story: Our Raw Journey, Continued…

January 16th, 2011 No comments

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post is a continuation of our guest author series. Mika’s Story follows Mika and her health as she switches to a raw food diet.

So you have a dog and now you’ve heard about raw feeding, you’re curious, but no one you know feeds RAW, how can you trust these people that are saying RAW is best for your dog?

So many questions and those are just a few of the questions jumbling around in my mind when I first heard about feeding raw.
The answer to why RAW is a simple one, all you have to do is look over at your dog. When I look at Mika I see a dog who likes to chew, bite (objects and occasionaly will mouth my hand or arm), she is an animal yearning for stimulation and even a challenge, she has lovely strong teeth, shoulders and a neck made for tearing and pulling and paws to hold objects into place that she is trying catch, grip to bite or pull and dig.

Now look at that bowl of Kibble many of us are still feeding our dogs, the benefits to us are: the kibble fits in a bag and you can store it in a cupboard and you get a cute little cup to measure it and you basically throw it in a bowl and give it to your dog twice a day and plus the bag says everything your dog needs is in there, all the nutrients and lovely chicken/lamb/veggie stew and pasta flavour mmmmm just like human food, what more could your dog possibly need?

Once again I say look at your dog, they walk to their bowls smell it and in about 2 minutes all that kibble has been eaten. Looking at Mika before RAW she would need to be enticed into eating her Kibble. Which body parts did she actually use while eating kibble, uhm well she would lower her head to the bowl and eat it, she moved very little and then afterwards would need to drink about a litre of water because of the food being so dry.

Now look at her, her chicken carcasses first get sniffed, then licked, then picked up and taken to the spot she would like to eat them on (always a grassy patch) and then the fun begins, crunching the chicken carcass between those back molars, her neck moving from side to side, with larger pieces of meat often a paw gets placed on it to hold it steady as she tears pieces off. I can actually see the look of satisfaction, stimulation and concentration on her face as she feeds on food that she was designed to eat. The entire process of eating is now no longer just to fill her tummy, give her adequate nutrition (which is very questionable as we don’t really know what goes into the kibble) and to give her food so she can have energy… now eating is actually stimulating her, its actually helping her to focus and use her energy in a way that is both very beneficial to her and positive to me (she’s now biting her food and not the bumpers off our cars). Her teeth are being cleaned as she eats, because the eating process takes longer her mouth and teeth are being washed in a bath of rich anti bacterial saliva, her food is fresh, it leaves no bad smell, the high acidity level in her stomach is just dealing with flesh and bone so its easier to digest and out comes a lovely neat(and much smaller) amount of doggy doo- so much easier for me to clean and no need for her anal glands to be excreted by the groomer anymore.

With raw feeding a basic, mundane task you perform twice a day for your dog becomes an exciting and challenging experience for them, now which dog or cat for that matter owner wouldn’t love for their animals to feel that way.

As you can see Mika and I are passionate about this way of life and we welcome and urge all other humans who are owned by dogs or cats to find out more, there is a wealth of information out there.

Peace and love and bones raining from the heavens are our wishes for all of you.


Madi and Mika

Mika enjoying her food Mika enjoying her food
Mika enjoying her food Mika enjoying her food
Mika enjoying her food Mika enjoying her food
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Going on Vacation

January 14th, 2011 No comments

Hi everyone!

I wanted to give you a heads-up that we are taking a family vacation to Mexico, starting today, and we’ll be returning on January 22nd in the evening. So, all orders of the hardcopy of Cory’s Story won’t be shipped out until Monday, January 24th.

In the meantime, the next post in continuation of Mika’s Story is scheduled to publish on January 16th at 11:53 a.m., PST. Be sure to check back often for more updates to Mika’s Story, Kaydee’s Story and even more stories that are in the works as we speak…

If you need to get in touch with us for any reason, please use the Contact Us page and we’ll do our best to respond as soon as possible.

Thanks everyone, enjoy your week!

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Kaydee’s Story: Before and After [VIDEOS]

January 13th, 2011 1 comment

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post is a continuation of our guest author series. Kaydee’s story follows Kaydee and her health as she switches to a raw food diet.


I was going through all of Kaydee’s pictures one night and ran across this video of her eating behaviors. She had been placed on Science Diet k/d after being diagnosed with a high elevation in her Creatinine and Bun levels. At the beginning of the video she abruptly sits down looking around — like a fly or something was after her but there wasn‘t any. In order for her to feel safe she would lay down.….continually she looks away from her food like there was something after her. At other times (not shown in this video) she would stop eating, stand and then really swallow as if it was bothering her throat — that would always alarm me. Once she even actually gagged when I gave her the canned variety.

Every morning and evening it was a major chore to get her to eat. I tried warming it up, mixing it with water, I threw the kibble up in the air to play catch, I would toss it far away for her to run and “get it” (one kibble at a time). I did whatever I could to get her to eat this food. Cheating at times by adding a tiny bit of chicken on top. She never cleaned her plate, always leaving some food. Sometimes she would look at the plate then back away while staring at the food. Wanting to eat but something was holding her back. She did not want this food! I do not know if her behavior while she ate was an allergic reaction to the food or what.

I voiced these concerns repeatedly to my primary vet. She at first didn’t believe me until I showed her the video. I asked about other brands on the market – they only carried Science Diet. I called other local vets to see if they carried any other brands — No luck. I was told to let things go and see if in time if she would get better. I didn’t like the fact this was the ONLY choice Kaydee had and that she was stuck with this food for the REST OF HER LIFE. It was this or take the chance of further ruining her kidneys!

At times I wanted to just sit and cry! My heart was breaking each time I watched her eat this food that in one way was helping her but in another hurting her. I had no choice, Kaydee had no choice until…again God answered my prayers.



It was approximately 5 weeks ago I was at my holistic vets to pick up some meds for Kaydee. While waiting my turn I was looking at all the different foods they carried in their pharmacy area when I found one I had never heard of before, “Nature’s Variety.” I read the label looking at the ingredients and I liked what I read. When I got back home I got on my computer and went to their website. I got REALLY excited when I saw under “Who we are” was the heading “Our Experts” where I found the names of two women that were nutritionists! As I read the first bio; Susan Blake Davis — she had a link to her website.

I clicked on her link and Oh my stars… on her home page she went into detail about holistic remedies and a better way to treat kidney failure… this was what we had been praying for. I immediately decided to email her telling her about all of Kaydee’s health issues and if she thought she could help us.

The next day I called my holistic vet asking her about Nature’s Variety, The RAW diet and if she had ever spoken with any of the two “experts.“ We also discussed my concern about Kaydee’s Creatinine and Bun levels and if it was really necessary to stay on Science Diet k/d. So we had my primary vet’s office fax over the last 3 blood test results. After reviewing them the dr. felt that Kaydee was NOT in renal failure or the beginnings of renal failure! She felt that her kidneys were temporarily stressed only. She graciously emailed Susan Blake Davis with this and other vital information.

So I was given the OK to start the RAW diet for Kaydee!!! I was doing the happy dance!!

Well it’s been 5 weeks and I have a happier, healthier, more energetic & no longer obese little girl. She has lost approximately 5 lbs. and needs to lose 2 more for her goal weight of 70 lbs. Her coat is so soft, and her bald spots ( lower chest) are growing back in

What I noticed right off with the RAW diet and supplements was her nose quit dripping (allergies). It has almost been 7 weeks since Kaydee had an allergy shot!!! I am hopeful that when the seasons change her immunities will be built up enough to only need her supplements and not have to be re-tested (inhalant allergies) and go back on her shots. .

But best of all Kaydee LOVES her food — click on the video to see my HAPPY BABY GIRL!


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Mika’s Story: How it All Began

January 11th, 2011 8 comments

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post is a continuation of our guest author series. Mika’s Story follows Mika and her health as she switches to a raw food diet.

Mika at the annual SPCA wiggle waggle walk

Mika at the annual SPCA wiggle waggle walk

Our journey to Raw has been and still is an interesting one. Firstly when my husband first told me he was going to get me a puppy I started vigorously reading up on the special care she would need etc and looked at food especially as one of the most important needs. Each manufacturers site was different but all had one definate similarity: they all said never feed your dogs bones. So off I went and bought her what my vet and her parents owners had recommended, Hills Science Diet for large breed puppies. Mika ate that for a year (it cost me an absolute fortune) and I was having to mix cooked chicken breast with it as she got bored of the plain pellets.

While chatting on a topic in one of my facebook group a bunch of spirited Americans got very upset with me for feeding kibble, I got scared almost by their passion and was quite taken aback, I mean they were talking about feeding bones. My head was realing and I felt I didn’t know who to believe anymore. This was after all South Africa and I had never heard about feeding Raw before.

Mika in the water at Park Island

Mika in the water at Park Island

The subject was swept under a mat unti Mika reached 15 months and developed a rash (hot spot) on her hind leg, it took a while to heal and still looked inflammed. At this point I started reading up about the natural way of feeding Raw and looking for a supplier here in Cape town. Well we found one and started her off on their minced up free range chicken meals, they also told me I could give her whole chicken pieces. I can remember that first time, I offered Mika a chicken leg and she accepted it. I don’t know why but I expected her to daintily bite the meat off the bone, instead she crunched that whole leg between her molars, 3 chomped later and a gulp and there wasn’t a trace of that chicken bone to be seen. Believe me I checked, the shock made me actually open her mouth and check.

That was it, we were both hooked after that, the amazement and respect I had to see what her natural capabilities were still to this day baffles me. She is a carnivore and there’s no two ways about that.

That Hot spot healed right up on about a week after switching to a Raw organic diet. Her breath smelt great, her poop was firm and much less in volume, it didn’t stink anymore and turned into white little droppings and my Mika love love loved it!!

And that was the start for us.

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Introducing a New Guest Author and Story: Madenia and Mika!

January 10th, 2011 No comments

I’m thrilled to introduce another guest author who will be sharing her story of switching her dog to raw food: Madenia and her dog Mika!

Madenia and Mika are from Cape Town, South Africa. Mika, a female malamute, made the switch to raw food 10  months ago. Look for Mika’s Story, starting tomorrow, right here!

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Kaydee’s Story: Need to know – NOW!

January 7th, 2011 No comments

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post is a continuation of our guest author series. Kaydee’s story follows Kaydee and her health as she switches to a raw food diet.

Kaydee waking up

Kaydee waking up

Well I couldn’t wait any longer I called Purdue Small Animal Clinic today especially after Brent this morning bombarded me with ALL his questions ((LOL)). He also called up our holistic vet asked her if there was a closer place to have the MRI done, he wanted to know why a hospital would not perform the MRI (after all this is his daughter — not a dog). He was at the point of cancelling the MRI if we could not keep her with us overnight. Which as you all know was really BIG on my list too.

After the 4th time of calling the clinic – each time for a question Brent had, I fortunately got to speak with someone that had more knowledge. The initial visit (on Jan. 12th) the student technicians will gather pertinent information about Kaydee, draw blood AND then we can take her with us back to a hotel and keep her overnight then return her at 7:30 a.m. for the MRI. (mommy doing happy dance here).

The receptionist was very kind and directed me to their website which gave information regarding local hotels that accepted dogs or might accept dogs. I called the first two the receptionist stated were the closest to the clinic – NO DOGS allowed! Then I called my favorite hotel chain and voila! Comfort Inn & Suites not only do they accept dogs but gave us a big discount for going to the clinic!!!

What a relief! I thank you God. Now I just need to wait for the right moment to inform Brent that Kaydee has to be sedated for the 90 minute long MRI and that it will take approximately a total of 4-5 hours from admission to discharge.

My next concern will they give her something to alleviate nausea, hunger and the LONG car ride home (2 ½ hrs)! AND please pray for NO SNOW and clear roads. Thanks!


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