My Gordons & Me | The China Study

It was a fun and enlightening time this morning as I was feeding the dogs.

I’ve been reading The China Study and today as I looked at their bowls I was struck by how very different they are from us humans.

The animal products (meat, diary, eggs) that create the “diseases of affluence” (heart disease, cancer, diabetes) in humans do the exact opposite for our dogs. A raw meat (whole animal) diet as they’d eat in the wild creates health, vitality, longevity and a zestful life in our dogs.

It’s easy to forget they were once wild animals that we domesticated to bring into our lives and homes. They may love being part of our pack (family), find fulfillment in doing work for us, and depend on us to feed and care for them but we certainly haven’t bred their internal animal design out of them. Left on their own, dogs would revert to the wild. That really hit home today for me.

So why do we, as the general population, feel it’s okay, appropriate and even healthy, to feed them a dead diet filled with ‘by products’ and filler ingredients (beet pulp, grains…) they would never eat in the wild and their digestive system can’t even process? And what about a vegan diet? Seriously?! No matter they live with people, they are still carnivores, not herbivores (deer, cattle), and to me respect for life means we honor their amazing design by feeding a species specific diet.

It makes me sad ? to see otherwise.

Wolves don’t get cancer. It’s only a human and domestic animal disease. Hmmm….rather curious, don’t you think? ??

Cancer is not a mutant gene ? we need to eradicate, it’s our bodies way of telling us we are not in balance and we need to get stronger. Same for our dogs.

How do we bring back balance?

Food. Exercise. Rest. Love. Surrounding, us and our dogs, with life force energy.

So as I prepared the meal for my pack today I was grateful for the life force I was giving to them. You know how they say never cook when you’re angry as you’ll transfer the negative energy to those who eat the food you’ve prepared? And how Ayurvedic medicine says to only touch your food with love?

That was me. I may personally find it difficult to handle raw meats and the thought of non-meat eating me actually having to prepare and eat it myself….?…

But when I take “me” out of equation and change my perception I can look at this food, this meat, as LIFE and everything I want to give my dogs. ? So yes, handling it brings me JOY! Compartmentalizing is a beautiful skill my brain is becoming adept at. ?

I love how a simple diet change for Nicklas, to feed him more Gounding & Cooling meats, has made SUCH a difference in his energy, happiness and peace. Still high energy and don’t even think about skipping morning play time with the balls ?? but there is a feeling of Ease in him now. ??

So as I added pork heart, beef liver, chicken, pork, eggs, beef, green tripe and the toppers of blended apples, Turmeric powder and fresh chopped garlic to their bowls I was thankful and yes, I was feeling Joy.

I have more changes still to make as I bring harmony and greater health to my gang but I’m seeing progress and feeling well on my way!

My Gordons & Me Project – Quiet Mealtime

Ian Barn Hunting

Tonight, for whatever crazy reason, I decided I would tackle Ian’s out of control excitement, crying and anxiety when it comes to meal times.

I tried putting gates up so they were not underfoot by the food; I tried making him lay down; I tried a spray bottle; I tried saying “no”; I tried holding his face staring into his eyes to see if I could shake him out of it; I tried calmly praising him the brief moments when he was quiet; I ignored him; I put him in another room; I crated him; I tried to put snoods on before getting out the food bowls;…nothing worked.

Mealtime is clearly where Ian has challenges and his poor energy spills over to Larkin who growls at him, Nicklas who starts to copy him and Elly who wakes up from her nap and runs out excitedly barking causing them all to bark. A madhouse!

I’m so happy they all love their food now and have healthy appetites but OMG, the craziness needs to stop.

Tonight, I fed everyone else one at a time as they were all happily calm, having listened to me and received praise for patiently waiting, sitting nicely and putting on their snoods with good manners. After they each finished eating, I sent them outside leaving only Ian who was running around, spinning circles and being loudly vocal, knowing it was finally his turn as there was only one bowl left. ??‍♀️ (sigh…)

He finally quieted down a bit, although still anxiously breathing, but every time I reached for his snood he would lose it and start howling again.

Nothing I was doing was working, I was getting frustrated and that’s not helpful. At my wit’s end with how to help him, I walked away and sat down in the library to meditate. I did it for me. I know it’s not the right time for the dogs to expect them to participate in a meditation when it’s mealtime, playtime or bio break times but goodness, I had nothing else left to try so as a last resort I wanted to calm ME down.

Ian escalated his efforts, coming over to shrilly bark and cry right into my face, rattling my ears, all while I had my eyes closed and was “meditating”.

Determined to ignore him (that was certainly a challenge!) I persisted and after finally starting to feel more centered and able to be kind, I stopped meditating, opened my eyes, gently grabbed Ian’s cheeks and firmly said No.

He eventually laid down at my feet where I decided I was going to stay sitting and watch a documentary while I waited him out. He got quiet after some time passed but if I made a move to get up, he’d immediately start excitedly crying.

At some point, now over 2 hours since I’d first started prepping their dinner, he moved to the couch and curled up.

After a few minutes, I calmly and ever so slowly got up and walked to the kitchen, all the while not looking at him. He followed and calmly sat there looking at his food bowl on the counter. I looked at him then and when he looked back at me I wanted to jump for joy! My handsome boy was looking back at me, making a connection. The crazy man who was out of his mind was gone.

We had a few tiny hiccups with the snood but he quickly got it this time, that he had to be quiet ?. He kept eye contact with me the whole time as I smiled and praised him for being quiet. Snood was on!!!

I turned to grab the bowl, expecting the howling to start but though he followed the bowl, he kept his manners, was politely excited to see his bowl coming, sat down in ‘his spot’ and quietly waited for the “ok” after I had put the bowl down.

What a shift! Hallelujah ?

THIS was my handsome gentleman, Ian, that I love and the Ian I feel like I lose at every mealtime. A Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

It was such a joy I felt inside and such a beautiful moment.

2 1/2 hours later and dinner is finished! ?

Was is the meditation? Ignoring him? Leaving the kitchen? Him being alone with me? My not giving in or giving up? All of the above?? I don’t know. All I can say, I’m documenting this for posterity so I can remind myself and I hope we had a breakthrough tonight as I’m not ready for another marathon at breakfast. ?

Ian Eating Dinner

My Gordons & Me Project – Doggy Doshas

The wisdom of Ayurveda teaches that the highest levels of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being can be achieved through the application of ancient principles of healing to restore your body to it’s natural state of balance.
Bringing balance to my pack is what this project is all about!
How do you know if YOUR pack is balanced? Or maybe it’s you that is out of balance? Some questions for self/pack assessment can be found in this blog post.

We, along with all of nature, are made up of the 5 elements – Earth, Water, Air, Space and Fire. The combinations are expressed in energies, or Doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. This article goes into more detail.

What’s that got to do with my Gordons, you may be wondering? Dogs have Doshas too! The even cooler part is that you can bring balance to each type of dosha with nutrition.

I have dreams of Ian and Larkin being like this ⬇️ all the time when they are together.

To that end, I’m going to be testing out how their behavior is effected by adjusting their foods, based on what I learn about each of their doshas. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Identifying Doshas

First, I needed to identify the dosha combinations for each of my dogs and then looking into their imbalances and the associated foods I can feed them.

Using a Dog Quiz and Behavior Characteristics documents I got a copy of from animal relationship expert, Jamie Lee, I’ve arrived at these doshas:

Nicklas –  Vata / Pitta

Ian- Kapha / Pitta

Larkin – Kapha / Pitta

Elly – Vata / Pitta

4 dogs with the secondary dosha of the Fire 🔥 element. 😱 Which is where Ian’s intensity, Elly’s spunk, Nicklas’ determination and Larkin’s strength all come from. Also makes sense why they push each other’s button, lol, especially the 2 boys whose doshas match – Ian & Larkin.

I will probably look into this a little more to quadruple verify.😛 I get that first impressions are usually correct but this is all new to me so I want to be as sure as I can to know I can trust the results I get from my “experiment”. Up to this point it’s making a lot of sense but if anything changes, I’ll be sure to come back and update!

Imbalances

Because of having identified their doshas, I can next look at how each combination shows up with their characteristics and what those imbalanced behaviors look like. Here it is by dog:

Nicklas – anxiety, worry and over active mind

Ian – aggression and withdrawing when sad

Larkin – aggression, needy

Elly – Fear, confusion

Wow, yup this still makes sense. I could easily identify which was the imbalanced behavior they have simply by looking at a list of them organized by dosha. Very interesting!

Now what?

Next I need to read up on those dosha combinations and the foods associated with bringing balance. For example, I know that meats are known as cold, warm or neutral. Which is which and which is for which imbalance? Lol. I’ll share what I discover in a future blog!

The days of feeding 4 identical meals may be over….uh oh…

Ayurvedic Herbs

My Gordons and Me Project – Days 4 – 14

The days run together when I let too much time go by between posting, oh well, I’m not losing sleep over it. 😂😉 That would defeat the purpose now wouldn’t it? 😜

Here are some highlights:

•I’ve proven that meditating IS helping as the days I haven’t done so, everyone has been a little out of sorts, me included. Regardless of the time of day I do it, a simple 10 minute time out works wonders. And we’re only inconsistently just getting started. Imagine when I get good at it and the gang learns the routine?!

•I love the simplicity of the Joshin Kokyu Ho meditation but I’m ready to branch out and add a second one into my repertoire.

•Larkin’s pattern of going out of his way to growl at the other 2 boys after eating makes meditating then a challenge. It works, IF I can get everyone settled but trying to sit down, get comfy and relaxed myself while also holding onto a squirming Larkin’s collar to stop him running off to stir up trouble…🤦🏼‍♀️ is not setting us up for success. I decided to try something new.

Larkin most often (99.9% of the time) finishes eating first, though he gets his food after the two older boys. Always hopeful there is another bone or second helping waiting for them, as each boy finishes they race inside to the kitchen sink and lift their noses in the air – checking. Many times there IS indeed something else. 🙂

 As Larkin runs in first I quickly close the door behind him, wipe his face as I take off his snood and then I gently escort him over to the carpet, have him lay down and tell him to STAY.

My new plan is to have him stay there and as Nicklas and Ian each came in I’ll do the same and have them join Larkin one at a time.

The first time I lost track of how many times I returned Larkin to his spot, ugh! but nobody was perfect. They all “forgot” at least a few times and would try to go find another napping spot.

I remained calm and patient, after pausing a few times to remind myself. I finally released them a while later when they were chill, relaxed and staying in place. One by one they slowly moved away after my “ok” and found cozy places apart from each other where they all immediately curled up again and went to sleep. My plan worked! Peace, quiet and no growling.

I’m extremely pleased by the great response and plan to continue this new routine.

 

•Exercise has been lacking but I did manage to get Ian out on a little adventure to exercise his brain.

•Ball playing is now back on! I figure this is good practice for them too as it’s a ‘group’ play time. Well, except for Elly, as she doesn’t like to play ball. The boys get to experience lots of bodily contact and hopefully they will learn some manners and tolerance.

•Need to ramp up the exercise plan, especially while the weather is not hot, and set up a rotation for taking them out on walks and adventures. Solo trips for now.

Day 11 ~

•While out in the backyard, Nicklas started staring at Ian all wrong so right there and then I stopped what I was doing (working on my new veggie bed), corrected both, sat down between them and had them lay right there by me on the grass. Ian immediately relaxed into the meditation energy ⬇️ (hard to mistake the feeling in this face). Nicklas however was up and loudly protesting – “No mom, I don’t WANT to lay down. I want to play ball. Throw it for me, NOW!”

Tough to stay focused to meditate when you can’t hear yourself think 🙄 but it at least changed the vibe – Ian was soaking it up, Larkin came over to hang out and Nicklas was back to his demanding self. Crisis averted 👍🏼

•Manners update – sitting and having to hold it till released before going outside, one at a time, is in progress. Whew, more patience is needed on my part! It IS helping though. Nicklas is no longer harassing Ian when they first go out. Another win! 👍🏼

I think that’s everything.

Previous episodes can be found here:

My Gordons & Me Project – Days 1, 2, 3

It’s already the evening of Day 3 and things are starting to become blurry so I’m writing quickly to put something on “paper” before it blends in with the days that are ahead. ☺️

 

Day 1

  • EHT supplement – Gave the boys each a half pill and Elly a third, with dinner.
  • 10 minute Joshin Kokyu Ho meditation after feeding the gang breakfast.
  • Put snoods on ‘before’ getting the meat out as they are calmer then. Made everyone sit while putting on their snoods. Lots of “Shhhhh…ing” with my hand palm out in the “stop” sign, till everyone was relatively quiet. Lol.
  • Morning was busy with Kerwin and I both needing to leave the house together, so he was putting food together in the kitchen and I had still had wet hair. Larkin was doing his usual challenging growls after eating. I sat down anyway, said Let’s Meditate! and started deep breathing.

Larkin needed lots of my attention but finally settled down and at the end he was sweetly kneading his toy at my feet. Nicklas eventually stopped barking at me and curled up in the chair next to me. Ian went to his space on the couch once he couldn’t get to me because Larkin was hogging my lap. Elly was back in the bedroom, in her usual place on the bed.

Coming home that night the gang was overall much calmer, it was strange as I’d expected them to be wound up since they’d been alone all day. Dinner was a simple affair and everyone chilled on their own afterwards. Hmmm….nice.

Day 2

  • EHT with breakfast as that was the boneless meal of the day and I mostly got away with hiding the pill in their food. 🙂
  • Probiotics – (This isn’t new but I’m calling it out for clarification purposes) I always split a packet of the same probiotics that Kerwin and I use between the 4 of them, once a day. They LOVE it and will gladly open their mouths as soon as they see me tear open a packet. But it’s much easier to sprinkle on their food as I’m sure you can imagine.
  • 10 minute Joshin Kokyu Ho meditation.
  • Nicklas got a 2 minute walk with me out to the mailbox. I had the other 3 out in the backyard but when Nicklas entered the house, his energy was good.
  • It was Saturday and my morning was clear so we had a slow time of it, late breakfast as the meat was still frozen and lots of backyard time as it was a gorgeous, windy day. I decided to meditate outdoors in the sunshine, only making sure they were all out there with me but let them do their own thing. It was lovely!

Here is Larkin afterwards – it’s become his thing to be sweetly playful after I meditate, more puppyish – Cuteness reappears. 🥰 Elly, Ian and Nicklas were all lounging on the grass, awake and sniffing in the breeze but grounded and calm.

Day 3

  • I’m already getting things confused! Lol
  • EHT & Probiotics at breakfast again.
  • No morning meditation. Unexpected garden soil delivery, from the fabulous Tomato Lady, used up my available time.
  • Need to get some new balls so we can play in the morning as has been our routine. Nobody likes their all time favorite balls to be half chewed up. Thanks, Ian!
  • Meditated an hour or so after dinner as Larkin started getting grouchy.

It’s challenging to focus on meditating when you have a dog in your lap with his toy that he’s constantly licking. (Larkin!) My friend and animal relationship expert Jamie Lee tells me that licking is a sign of accepting meditation energy. Better the toy than my face, which he was doing when I first started meditating!

Post Meditation

Always revved up and ready, Nicklas is looking mighty relaxed with those droopy eyes. 😍Woohooo!

During...

Notice where Larkin’s toy is in the picture….🤦🏼‍♀️ One guess how it got there.

If you missed my Introductory post with the details on this project, you can find it here!

My Gordons and Me Project

Part of my mission to be the healthiest I can be and live a vibrant, joyful life absolutely includes my dogs.

This new project is the next step in that journey. Organizing it as a Project helps me stay focused and documenting it for posterity allows it to help other dog owners and ensures I don’t forget.

On this path of health I recently drastically changed their diet, just as I’ve done mine, although in kind of the opposite way. 😋 I’ve stopped eating all meat, of all kinds, and now feed raw meat to my dogs. The change in their lives, brightness of eyes, energy, shiny coats….has been a joy to see! Nicklas has beaten the fatal diagnosis of Dilated Cardiomyopathy thanks to skilled emergency cardiology medicine AND the diet he now eats.

Now that revved up energy and happiness has changed the vibe in the house a bit, okay let’s be honest – a LOT. I’m feeling outnumbered by their pack energy. It’s time to step it up as Pack Leader and create some change, to ‘bring balance to the force’. 😉

Some of the things I want to address are:

  • The mad rush to get out the door, the first to go after the bird in the yard.
  • The jostling to be the first to make it through the bedroom door in the morning, even before me.
  • Craziness at meal times. Although it’s an incredible shift from when I had to beg and cajole Nicklas to even come sniff his bowl of kibble that he’d leave half-finished.
  • Larkin, the baby of the group, challenging Nicklas and Ian, especially Ian ALL THE TIME.
  • Nicklas and Ian able to walk peacefully together.
  • Dog(s) returning home are peacefully greeted by the pack so I’m able to take one dog out at a time for exercise and one on one time.
  • No jumping up, no matter how much they want to smell my lipstick or the day cream I’ve just put on.
  • Politely greeting guests that come over. Not bowling them over with their excitement to meet a new friend.
  • Ian’s intensity that destroyed the grass in the yard and my garden and his anxiety that sorely tests my patience.

Though it looks all like ‘dog’ items, I know it’s going to involve more of me and changes I make, then about them. I’ve created and enabled the energy in my pack and now it’s time to bring some grounding influences into my/our lives.

Why am I doing this?

Simple answer is – Peace. Harmony. Wellness. Love.

The longer answer is that stress, tension, uncontrolled energy, anxiety, jostling for position and power are all negative energy. Energy creates health or disease. I want, like I’m sure we all do, HEALTH. Our dogs die waaaay too young and I’m passionate to do what I can to change that. It’s not just the genes they were born with. Not by a long shot.

The Plan

I don’t even know all that I’ll be doing yet. I’m open for new ideas and learning from others. Please share in a comment what you’ve done or learned to do with your dog(s) that has been beneficial. I’m open!

Here are a few things I know I’m going to look into. If you’re a little skeptical of the Eastern Medicine items, no worries let me be the guinea pig for you. 😛

  • Ayurveda. Did you know dogs have doshas too? There are even are specific foods that support each of the doshas to bring balance and wellness.
  • Meditation. As much as it kills me to slow down and be still I’m going to tackle this head on!
  • Yoga. I’m learning that the poses are only 1 piece of the larger whole, that is how you live and go through life. Ashtanga yoga sounds surprisingly right up my alley.
  • Training. Simple positive training hacks and GAMES that I can incorporate into our routine.
  • Reiki. This healing ‘art’ that uses energy is fascinating. I may not understand it and certainly can’t SEE it but I’ve seen how responsive my dogs are to it and for me, that’s all the “seeing is believing” I need.
  • Exercise. No, this one is definitely NOT for me. Lol. I see them running free in the desert while I calmly stroll along. 😉
  • Essential Oils. Supportive diffuser blends and ways to use different oils topically on each dog based on their needs.
  • EHT – Brain supplement. Dogs experience neural degeneration and dementia too. Who knows, it may help their ‘moods’ too, like it does for people.

And I still want to have a life outside of this project! 😂 I am planning for a 60 day course and will tackle one item at a time, making adjustments as I go depending on the results I get. By the end of these next 2 months, I hope to have fine tuned a system for us that works. 🙂

It really feels like a lonely journey I’m beginning, with many even vehemently opposed. Actually, I’ve been on this lonely road since I started saying No to vaccines and even more so since starting to feed raw. I’m not looking for confrontation but that being said, I feel I owe it to the 4 amazing dogs my husband and I have the honor to have in our lives and care for, those that came before them 💕💕and to all the dog moms and dads out there (aka owners) who are open to asking questions and long to have dogs with a better quality and even extended length of life – to not be silent, to bravely move forward.

Be sure to subscribe to stay in the loop on my adventure!

Look Who Showed Up!

Do you see? Facing away from the camera, on purpose I’m sure, lol 🙄, Elly came to join us for our after dinner meditation tonight.

 

 

 

 

Elly is always off happily doing her own thing when I meditate, enjoying her time while the boys are leaving her alone. I heard her puttering about in the kitchen and then about dropped my jaw when she came into ‘our space’. She never, seriously never, hangs with me and the boys in the library. She’s Daddy’s Girl and when he is away at work in the evenings after dinner, you will find her on our bed chilling.

To top her entering our space, she came over and sat within reach of me. 😮 I was trying to stay focused on my meditation, but I was dying to grab my phone and snap a picture. Lol. After a few minutes she moved away and I thought she was leaving…nope. She goes over to the couch, The Boys couch mind you, jumps up and gets cozy. 😳

Here she is a while after I finished, still on the couch, asleep and looking even cozier. 🥰

It was an odd night all around.

Ian came over to me for some attention. Second time he’s done this. Then he went to what is already becoming His Spot.

Larkin needed LOTS of hands on attention. He was even on my lap – and you try staying focused and meditating when your dogs face is so close to you his whiskers are touching your lips! For a time he was on the floor next to me and with my hands on him he would periodically change to position where he wanted me to touch him. Then I could somehow tell he was good and had gotten what he needed. He moved away, said a sweet hi to Elly and came back to sleep at my feet the rest of the time.

Not to be left out of the unusualness, Nicklas didn’t just sleep, he snored. 😝

I had intended to spend this time in February planning out what I was going to start implementing on my 6o day plan beginning March 1st to address the next thing I want to work on with the dogs.

Some of the big things I’ve accomplished:

•I transitioned them to a Raw 🥩🍖🦴foods, species specific diet, and they’ve been doing excellent!

•Grooming 💇‍♀️, brushing , nail trimming 💅🏼and baths 🛁 are now on track for all of them. 🧖🏼‍♂️

•Project to improve Nicklas’ back leg strength was a success. 🏃🏼‍♀️🏋🏼‍♀️🧗🏼‍♂️

Now the upcoming new project is about Manners, Energy, Health and Longevity. We could all benefit from that, huh? 😉😜

I will do a blog post sharing the details and goals of what I want to do as part of #MyGordonsProject and why, but for now, suffice it to say one of the items I knew I was going to add back in to our daily routine in March was meditation. Once I had the idea though, I couldn’t just wait for the day on the calendar to be “right” to move forward. 🤷🏼‍♀️ Seeing their open response, acceptance and enjoyment of the brief time I spend meditating, now I feel like how could I NOT do this for them?

I’m new to meditating, have always struggled with it, the idea of it, the stillness, does it really work, how do you ever know, am I doing it right, why am I even doing it….and so the never ending thoughts go. Can you relate?

But I’m open to things I don’t understand, I still don’t get how planes ✈️ get off the ground but I love to ride in them. 😁 I do believe there is energy all around us, science has proven that. I don’t get Quantum Physics but somehow science has proven that magic happens and is basically what life is made up of, how crazy is that?!

Side note 📝- have you read the book, A Happy Pocket Full of Money? If you’re curious on the science behind The Law of Attraction or The Secret, it’s well worth a read. It’s not techy, or woo-wooy. It’s mind blowing.

My friend Jamie taught me this Japanese method of meditation and one of them, the Joshin Kokyu Ho, is what I’m doing now.

Still not sure I’m doing it right or what I’m supposed to feel but I know my dogs and seeing the changes in their behavior tells me without a doubt that “something” is happening. And something good at that. I.am.grateful.

So let’s see if I get ‘good’ at this meditating. I’ll continue to post on the journey as we go. And if you want to know more about this ancient Japanese practice of meditation and how it can help your animals, you can connect with Jamie Lee here, or drop me a note and I’d be happy to introduce you. 😊

🐶🐾 🐶 🐾🐶 🐾🐶

The Helmet Comes Off

Already in his jammies* for the night, Ian is soooo happy

to be feeling better and to NOT be wearing his “helmet” he’s doing spins and roo’ing at me to let him back outside. 😃I had to hold the “take photo” button down to snap continuous pics trying to get one of this whirlwind 🐶 that was in focus.

Larkin doesn’t get why Ian is being so crazy but he is game for whatever the adventure. 🤦🏼‍♀️ Nicklas is loudly protesting that Ian is being too loud and needs to stop creating a scene but…it looks like fun so if it works out that Ian gets something for his trouble, he wants in on it too. 😂 Elly is nowhere in sight, she’s staying well away from the ruckus and those silly boys.🤓

*Jammies are the genius idea I had to stop his tail from poking out of short sleeve arm holes at night. The long sleeves are perfect for sleeping but not for daytime activities. Another favorite, colored shirt of mine bites the dust. 😮 We also have 3 daytime pants we rotate between – pink, orange and purple, with purple being the favorite. Looks great on him, matches the color of the wrap on his tail and everything just goes smoother for some reason when that’s the color he’s wearing.

Note to fellow dog owners – NEVER throw away a sock or t-shirt. They are life saving and useful in so many ways. Right up there with Vetrap.

So so so grateful this boy is healing. It’s been a wild ride this past month. I don’t know what we’d have done if I had to leave the house for a day job. Even working from home, I have put so much on hold to take care of Ian. 
Now let’s keep this happy, healing going! 🤗🙏🏻💕

Thank you, rat?!

Who knew I’d ever be thankful to a critter invading my garden? I sure didn’t.

Ian tells me that the rat that he chased out of our yard a couple of months ago after numerous rounds of garden destruction, is back. I still haven’t seen him but my most amazing hunter’s nose doesn’t lie.

After a month-long process (saga?) of dealing with a frustrating and painful injury on the end of Ian’s tail, one day he simply told me he was done. Done with wearing his helmet, done with wearing his pants, completely over the wrap (Vetwrap) that he has always hated and he needed FREEDOM. Ugh. His tail wasn’t healed enough for that. It was the next challenge in a month-long series of never-ending challenges. What to do??

Good news was his tail was finally making some measurable progress, FANTASTIC news actually, and I was at this point feeling confident he was no longer in danger of losing part of his tail. Down side was though that it was still not nearly healed enough to give Ian what he wanted. No way were we having any more setbacks. No. I refused. Period. Not that my ‘refusing’ has ever worked over this entire past month. lol.

Enter Rat 🐀.

Once Ian discovered the scent it was GAME ON. He was a dog on a mission. Laser focused. He made it through the garden fence 3 times before I sat and watched him do it and discovered the weak point in my fence. I shored up the defenses and they’ve been holding strong. 🤞🏻Poor tomato plants! Talk about a rough year for my tomatoes. Sheesh! I was however able to harvest (pick up off the ground is more like it) a huge crop of green Juliet tomatoes that I’m letting ripen on the kitchen table. At first I was like Oh No! Not the rat again. But then I started watching Ian and how he couldn’t have cared less about his tail. Hmmmm….could this rat be a good thing after all? The wheels start turning…

I started giving Ian some monitored time outside ‘without’ his helmet, although tail still wrapped and wearing his pants. Absolutely awesome! He was excitedly wound so far up there that as long as he could be outside he didn’t even care about his helmet either. But I cared. He would run so fast around the yard it was too risky that he’d clip the helmet on the corner of something, like a tree trunk, fencing, wood stack or perhaps the straw bales and break his neck.

It’s now been 5 days since “The🐀 Returns”. Ian has spent most of his days outside patrolling and monitoring the back yard on high alert. Today I’m celebrating as he even got a few hours completely naked. Holy cow! Is this what a normal day in our house is like? I almost couldn’t believe it. He was so happy and I was so happy too!

I have refused to take pictures of his tail so I can’t show progress. I don’t need any more memories, it’s all stamped pretty clearly in my brain. I can update though to say his tail is very tender, no hair on the end for any wagging protection and still with a few fragile scabs. It was a challenge to maneuver and corral him in the house so he didn’t wack it hard enough on anything to cause it to split open again. All the while he is trying to excitedly wag and tell rat stories. He does have a minor wound on his front paw he’s re-aggravated from the licking he did to distract himself from his tail, but we are so close, I can clearly see the light! 😀

We have grown closer, Ian and I, this month and I love this brave boy to pieces. 😍 He has taught me so much, as have all of our dogs. Two of the lessons I’ve learned from this most recent experience (1. Stop trying to fix the impossible and 2. Inherent Whys) I’ll be sharing about in upcoming blog posts so stay tuned.

I’d love to know what lessons you’ve learned from your dog(s), please share! I’m also looking into writing a collaborative book compiling these stories, so if you have one you’d like to share in this book, be sure to let me know! I’ll keep you on my list as I start collecting all the stories.

Here is Ian, crashed out after a night 🐀 patrolling. Still wearing his pants, he finally called it quits for the night and came inside but now no longer focused on rats, he started licking his paw again. Sad to have to put his helmet back on again, while sporting a cheery face and telling Ian how great he is….instead I grabbed a blanket and covered him up, paw included, gave him lots of love 😘 and kisses, hoping if he couldn’t see his paw he would forget about it and realize he was exhausted and take a nap. It worked!!

Tired boy finally calls it quits for the night. Rat patrol will have to wait till the morning.