Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Natural Approach to Flea Control

The Natural Approach to Flea Control
by Dr. Larry Siegler

As flea season is in full swing in many areas around the country, we are realizing that some of you may need a bit of guidance with the war you are waging in your households. There are so many products available for fighting the battle against fleas that a trip to the pet store or a little research online can leave you a bit overwhelmed and bewildered. At Only Natural Pet Store we carry only what works and only what is safe for your companions and everyone else in your household. We also do not carry anything damaging to the environment.

There are three stages, or areas to address, in the flea eviction process; the companion animal – internally and externally, the household environment, and the great outdoors (or at least "securing the perimeter"). But before we wage war, it is best to know the enemy.


To see the rest of this comprehensive article and to see several of the products that have been found to be effective, click the link below.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

What's on your cat's mind? Ask a pet whisperer

By Leanne Italie

updated 1:15 p.m. ET, Fri., June. 6, 2008
NEW YORK - Ears twitching wildly, Nikki and Lucy hovered near the telephone, aroused by the caller on the other end. He was their "whisperer," and the girls had something to tell me: "Their food tastes like sawdust." Nikki and Lucy are my 10-year-old cats. They were nice to each other up until a year or so. That's when the hissing started, and the bullying, and the sporadic indifference.

That's also when Nikki, shy and small-boned, began packing on the pounds and chronically licking her tummy until the fur was gone, opening up sore spots that compounded the problem.

Was it middle age? Our five-room apartment closing in? I decided to consult an animal communicator, aka whisperer, to get an alternative read on their well-being and their relationship.

I was skeptical about the trade, which is largely unregulated, with varied training and certifications. I was further puzzled by the notion that whisperers often do their thing by phone and e-mail as well as up close and personal, charging anywhere from $30 to $300 for their insights.

But could millions of viewers who made a star out of "The Pet Psychic" Sonya Fitzpatrick on Animal Planet be wrong? Whisperers even have their own magazine, "Species Link: The Journal of Interspecies Telepathic Communication," offering training opportunities, "plus prose and poetry transcribed directly from our non-human friends," according to its Web site.

Cathy Malkin-Currea, an editor of Species Link and whisperer herself in Martinez, Calif., said there is no clearninghouse on the number of animal communicators working today. But she estimated their ranks at about 2,000 worldwide. She said 50 to 60 books have been written on the subject after practitioners came out of the shadows about a decade ago.

My whisperer, Tim Link in suburban Atlanta, was a telecommunications company executive for 20 years before a "Dr. Dolittle" moment in 2004, when he attended a workshop on animal communication. Link, a lifelong animal lover and volunteer president of his local humane society, gave up his day job and said he has since whispered hundreds of dogs, cats, horses, amphibians, birds, reptiles and insects.

"It was like a large portal opening and animals saying, 'Hey, this guy can hear me and I have something to say and I'm going to say it,'" Link explained. "At first it was very shocking and I had to digest it. Animals have a lot to say to us. Every animal has a tale. We just need to open up and listen to them."

What's on your pet's mind?
Animals, he said, communicate using emotions, thoughts, images and feelings. Link and others work on behavioral problems (Yo, what's up with not using the litter box?), health issues and even finding lost pets.

So what's on the minds of our pets? After I submitted photos of the cats in advance, they hovered uncharacteristically near the telephone during our session.

"It's not an itching," Link said of Nikki's licking. "It's sort of a tingling that starts in her throat area and goes down to her stomach. I feel some blockage that starts at her throat and goes to her kidney area. She's got many years left, but you might want to get her kidneys checked, and keep an eye on her thyroid."

Nikki's last checkup revealed her kidneys were fine but she was in the high range of normal for thyroid function, along with a lot of cats her age.

"Lucy pesters the heck out of her," Link continued. "Lucy gets on her nerves but you know, she's not fearful of Lucy. It's a love-hate sister relationship."

It was Lucy's turn next. Link said he could see her "strong, healthy body" and that she took offense when I told him she and her sister spend a whole lot of time sleeping.

"Oh boy," he said. "She didn't like the fact that you said she just lays around all the time."

Lucy jumped off the computer table and turned her back on me at a nearby window at the remark. Link told me she wanted more one-on-one time.

Sadly, it's true that I've been marginalizing Lucy lately, primarily because she's been so grumpy and scaring Nikki away. I promised Lucy I'd do better.

As for the unfavorable review of their cuisine — it's hard to argue, but also hard to imagine that the cats know what sawdust is.

"Oh yes," Link said. "Animals have normal vocabularies, like you and me."

Claims can't be verified
Animal whispering, it seems, is one of those things you're either open to or you're not. Link himself urges those interested to check references and choose carefully. People often involve themselves with whisperers at vulnerable times, seeking to communicate with a dead pet or looking for guidance on when to euthanize.

Stephanie Shain, the outreach director for companion animals for the Humane Society of the United States in Washington, D.C., hired an animal communicator for a phone consultation about five years ago when she was dealing with her extremely ill cat, Thomas.

"She started by saying `First you should know that he loves you so much, and that he isn't ready to die yet,'" Shain said. "Maybe she starts all her calls like that but it had me sobbing instantly. I was amazed by what she told me, not only about the health stuff but about his relationships with the other cats in my house."

The whisperer led Shain in the direction of a pet allergist, and Thomas is alive today.

But Dr. Bonnie Beaver, a professor of veterinary medicine at Texas A&M University and past president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, likened animal communicators to "fortune tellers," adding: "It's never been studied scientifically and so there are a lot of people who make claims that cannot be verified."

As for our girls, it's hard to believe, but after one session, Nikki stopped her compulsive licking, and her fur is growing back. We've given Lucy more one-on-one time and reminded her to stay away from Nikki's food and water bowl and favorite chair.

We haven't had a single hissing incident, and Lucy has stopped pinning Nikki under the futon or digging her face into Nikki's rear end.

So far, it's a success. But it's not clear what was more important — Link's talk with the cats, or his talk with us.

Dr. Bernadine Cruz, a veterinarian in Laguna Hills, Calif., said animal owners sometimes seek to center themselves through their pets, and whisperers make it easy.

"There are truly people who have this special empathy, that have a connection that we'll never be able to understand," she said. "The animal communicator gives you and your pet peace."

Alleviating your pet's itchy skin

Read this great article by Only Natural Pet Store to help determine the cause of your dog's itchy skin!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Gator & Storm #2

With the first huge storm of the season, Gator kept me up most of the night trying to drive back a panic attack.

Last Friday afternoon we had another good strong gust of a storm with some thunder and lightning. This time, however, Gator decided he wasn't going to take that crap. He ran upstairs and barked at the ceiling. He sure told that storm where it could go. I'd say where the sun doesn't shine, but it wasn't shining anyway.

Now we're in storm 3 and he's taking it all in stride so far. Maybe he figures he made it go away last time, so it's not so scary?

Stairs? No Problem!

I am so proud of brave little Alvin. I was proud of him when he mastered the back deck stairs, but it takes a lot longer for them to be brave enough to come down the inside narrow stairs.

Last week when Ellie went up the stairs, Alvin decided he was brave enough to go up, too. He paused a few times and looked down, but decided it was safer to keep going up than to attempt going down. And we had to carry him down because it was way too scary to do it on his own. But on his third trip up, when I was carrying Ellie down, intending to come back for Alvin, the little trooper marched right down the stairs, his nose practically touching my leg. He was a VERY brave little boy! And now he goes up and down with ease. His mother, however, still requires carrying. So occassionally she gets left up there for a while to discourage her from going up in the first place. But she eventually gives someone her pouty Ren & Stimpy face and someone carries her back down.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Amber D's Advice Column

Amber D is an outspoken donkey who lives on an animal sanctuary co-founded by an animal communicator. So Amber D fortunately has many avenues available to her for expressing herself. She barged in on the newsletter making process and answered a couple of cute questions in her sassy manner, but then started a question and answer column with very thought-provoking and heart opening responses. Here is an excerpt with permission from the folks at Spring Farm Cares and more can be found on the Spring Farm Cares website :

Here is one of her fun and spirited answers.


Dear Amber D: Do humans really hear us? --Crazed Cat.

Dear Crazed:

This has been a question that has perplexed all animals for a very long time. We know from long-time research by dogs, that if you stare at them long enough, they do seem to get it. At least something seems to register that you are trying to tell them something. Some of them start guessing and will try feeding you, taking you outside, petting you, and even singing to you, when all you were trying to say to them is “hello.”

My personal opinion is that the human brain is so large that it blocks out their hearts so they don’t listen well. My advice to you is to try the staring technique and, by process of elimination, you may actually get them to do what you want.


But grab your kleenex for this profound understanding of unconditional love.

Question: There is one thing I always have trouble with and that's the notion of unconditional love. I think humans (myself not excluded) are mostly so narcissistic, that the thought of being loved by animals no matter what a huge egomaniac one is, might not necessarily be a healthy concept. (If I use an extreme example - Hitler was very fond of his dog, but I find it difficult to imagine that the dog found Hitler to be a wonderful person? if the dog had any idea what was going on because of his/her human, which I assume he/she had.) I think it often is absolutely OK and necessary to judge - when values and ethics are involved. What do you think? Do animals judge? Do they judge AND love - and could you explain what animals think about this.

Amber Donkey: This is probably the most popular question I, and other animals at Spring Farm, are asked by people coming to the farm to learn from us. We don't always understand why this is such a difficult thing for humans to grasp or understand. But I think it is because you have become separated from the notion, the ideal, the principle, and the understanding of unconditional love and forgiveness. To think that unconditional love could be "unhealthy" speaks volumes for why so many of our human friends are sick all of the time. Unconditional love is pure health and vitality and oneness and it is nothing short of being universal truth. I have asked Dawn to share a story that she experienced first hand with an animal and a human who did less than right by them. This story is a prime example of how animals operate within the understanding of forgiveness and unconditional love. I will tell you that this same principle applies to the example you used above regarding Hitler. But that example is so heavily charged by the magnitude of the atrocities that this entails, that the human heart and mind cannot wrap itself around the understanding of it. This is why I asked Dawn to share her experience as it will be easier to understand where we are coming from.

From Dawn: I often have the privilege of working with my colleague Lillie Goodrich, Animal Communicator and Co-Founder of Glen Highland Farm, a Border Collie rescue, quite a bit on more challenging cases. We have learned a ton of information from animals who we have worked with together. One of the most outstanding and memorable topics is about unconditional love and being nonjudgmental. This is an exact real life example of what Amber Donkey refers to above.

Lillie contacted me to help work with a dog she had just brought into her rescue. The history on this dog provided all the answers as to why she was very skittish. She was relinquished to a humane society by a person who arrived drunk and told the shelter personnel that he routinely punched her in the face when she annoyed him. A couple of days later, after sobering up, he tried to adopt her back from the shelter. Instead, she was already on her way to a new life at Glen Highland Farm and to find a person who would adopt her and love her forever. Lillie excels at helping Border Collies who have come through some of the most extreme and sad situations you can imagine. The farm is very healing for them and they get to experience life as a Border Collie. But this dog needed a little extra help. I had worked with Lillie on several occasions with this dog and she was gradually improving in her self-confidence. Dogs give so much to humans and it is beyond sad to see that life force dimmed by things humans do to them. This dog was one such case. Within a few months, Lillie was contacted by the humane society who sent her this dog with some interesting news. It seems that the man who had abused and then dumped her had found himself another dog from someplace else. He had just been found dead in his home and his dog had been eating on his corpse. Our reaction, of course, was probably the same as some of yours. He got his just desserts. But then, as quickly as the thought came in, the dog came through for a message for Lillie and for me. Both Lillie and the dog have given permission to use this story and for you to hear what the dog had to say about the fate of this person who tormented and abused her.

From the dog: If you find yourselves feeling that justice was served, then you are not looking from your heart. This is a story of a life....lost. A mission.... incomplete. A heart.... still closed. A soul....still playing out this troubling aspect of itself. It is also the story of two healers whose missions were not effective. It is of a hope lost. Of a rescue never fulfilled. You know the feeling.... when you just have to console yourself with the realization that you can't save them all.

This was a man whose heart was so closed that he lost his own sense of direction and purpose. Instead of love and joy.... he could only feel pain. Instead of knowing success... he could only realize failure. Only one thing could change that for him and that was for him to open his heart. But he forgot that in his pain and his entire focus became one of hiding from the light at all costs. Yet his soul knew its journey. His soul yearned for the love from his heart. And his soul asked for help and help was granted.... as it always is for all who ask. Again, the quickest way to his heart was chosen. A being who could love him in spite of all the darkness he could muster. A being who would still welcome him home although he brought nothing but pain. Because that being was guided by the one truth that all living beings are born with into the physical realm - that all hearts can open, no one is truly lost, and nothing is ever hopeless. I arrived.

I tried to open his heart the easy way -with love. But he couldn't accept it. I never gave up. Until out of a last attempt to save him from himself, I tried to take some of his darkness away. This dimmed my own light by giving up my own trust in my own life. I knew he needed strength.... so I gave him mine.... the ultimate sacrifice. Now I am left to find my own strength once again - for which I will because I am willing to receive.

Sadly, the man did not find that strength I left him, yet he knew something was there and he tried to find it again. A second friend entered the fray. This friend too, could not reach the depths of the emptiness in this man's heart. We ask you now to give light to his soul. The task he came here to complete, went unfulfilled and uncompleted. He will need to try it again. With help, we can all send him light, love, and strength.... exactly what I and the second dog tried to do, so that our missions to help him were not in vain. Our thoughts for his journey to find the light of an open heart - like you so richly have in your own lives - will ease his journey the next time. No one is ever left behind without help.

Also understand that the second dog meant no revenge, had no anger, no false motives other than to help this lost person find his way. Send your thoughts to this dog who is feeling the remorse of a lost mission, and whose only thoughts in chewing on this human's body was first to wake him up, and then as a last attempt at survival for its own body. Revenge was never part of the plot. Send that dog the comfort of knowing it did all it could do and did not fail. Send that dog the light it will need for itself, as it also chose to give up some of its own light as a last attempt to bring the man to his own heart. And last..... remember that your own soul evolved through darkness just like this man. Your journey to your own open heart was not always filled with the light you now have. You too once took baby steps in darkness..... and made mistakes. Someone was there for you .... to show you the way. Because of your willingness to live in your heart, and truly feel your feelings... you have been chosen to teach with the teachers. We can't save them all ..... but we can send them love and light to ease them through their journeys the next time around. You are blessed.

From Dawn: This is not an isolated communication. I have received many just like this from animals who have suffered untold pain and abuse at the hands of humans. Yet I have seen them move on with forgiveness, non-judgement, and unconditional love. Unhealthy? I think that judgment is one of the biggest man made illnesses to plague us.

From Amber Donkey: Thanks Dawn. To further add to the last part of the question: Do animals judge and love? I will say that you can not do both at the same time. To love unconditionally is to do so without judgment. It is to understand that we are all one. To understand that the "dark" side you see and judge in others is also a part of yourself. That no one is beyond loving. No one is beyond forgiveness. And no one has the right to take away someone else's hope. That is what we are trying to say.

The only pig in the world scared of mud

Holistic Vet Advocates Alternative Pet Care

Holistic vet advocates alternative pet care
Category: Pets and Animals

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Thunderstorms & Gator

Last night Ohio was hit hard by one of the biggest storms we've had in years. Hour after hour of rolling thunder, lightning lit up the sky, and huge thunderclaps woke us up several times. Many areas were under tornado watches and warnings.

Most of the dogs handled it pretty well, but around the time the electricity went off at 3am, I woke up to Gator starting to panic. He tried to put on a calm front, but the storm brought back memories of his time in Louisiana and Texas during hurricane Katrina. He abandoned his post at the foot of the bed and backed his hiney up into my armpit so he had the security of me behind him and could still keep an eye on the windows to see all that was going on. He obsessively licked any part of my arms or feet that popped out from under the blanket. He watched the storm with his radar ears following its every nuance, and although he was stiffly awaiting the thunderclaps, they still managed to take him by surprise as he jumped up off the bed.

So we were up together from 3am to 7am when the worst of the storms finally passed. After all my sweet boy has done to protect me and the other females in the house, it was the least I could do for him.

McD’s at midnight = BACON


So we had this tractor show at the Village. This means lots of work and preparation. And even though everyone's been working on it for a week, the day before still ends up with lots still left to be done.

With things looking like they might drag out till 1 or 2 in the morning, I finally go on a burger run at 11:30 pm, even though no one has eaten supper around here till then. McDonald's is about the only thing open, but the girl at the counter LOVED dogs and Petunia and Rizzo made a huge hit.

You know, I like Tim Horton's and they're sweet when they hand out a timbit for the kids when we go through for coffee, but the dogs know what real food is. And they usually take it out of kindness and dump it somewhere on the floor or in the car seat for me to find weeks later. But not the lady at McDonald's. Maybe it's because there weren't any managers there that late at night, or maybe they had some extra food already made that they probably weren't going to be able to sell, but whatever the reason, that girl comes back to the window with BACON!!!

Oh yeh... it was a good errand run for the girls!