Sunday, May 31, 2009

To B.A.R.F Or Not To B.A.R.F

To B.A.R.F Or Not To B.A.R.F., that is the current question.

No, this is not just a crass headline intended to grab attention, it's actually a serious nutritional decision for pet owners who have animals with major illnesses.

B.A.R.F. stand for 'Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods' and from what I've researched online should consist of 75% meat and 25% fruit/veggies. Dingo has been getting about this ratio in his home cooked meals already, but I've begun wondering if it might be of some benefit to try the raw approach. The diet must be based on human grade whole foods including raw meat, finely ground bones, offal and other healthy ingredients. However, from what Dingo's vet has said, caution must be taken when purchasing meats. Most commercially raised animals in the US are loaded with chemicals and hormones that could do more harm than good. So I'm reluctant to go this route.

I discovered this site (I know BARF WORLD, what a name), and it has some great information. What I think I'll do is make a visit to my favorite health food store for pets Pets Naturally, and ask their opinion on the issue. The owner has lived through an experience with her dog having cancer and she's been very helpful so far.

Will report back with news in a later post.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dingo's Squirrel Trouble

Hello to all my friends across the 'inter-web thingy'. It's me, Dingo.

Sorry it's been so long since my last post. I've been having so much fun being a dog the last couple weeks, that there hasn't been time to sneak back onto the computer machine to write everyone a note.

Now that I've been given the good news that my canine lymphoma has gone into remission, I have gotten back to work. One of my daily jobs is protecting our yard from the pesky group of grey squirrels that like to play in our trees. I'd say we have what could classically be called, a serious 'squirrel problem'.

I wake up most mornings to find our backyard trees have been invaded by dozens the furry tailed critters the trees, chirping and making a serious racket. It wouldn't be so bad if was just one, but they seem to come from everywhere. Above the street there are some funny wires that these guys use to get around the neighborhood. This is the way they get into our yard.

I've included some video footage to show everyone just how troublesome these cutesy-faced creatures can be. Look closely at how they mock me with their bushy tails and deadpan stares.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dingo The Therapy Dog

About a year ago I was watching Animal Planet, or some similar station, and caught a television special on therapy dogs. These were very special pups who visited the sick, elderly and infirmed, bringing some good 'canine mojo' to their daily routine. Within minutes of watching the program, I knew this was just the thing for Dingo. He had the temperament required, loved people and really enjoyed being given important tasks.

I began doing research online and discovered TDI - Therapy Dogs International. From there I was given names two evaluators in Southern California. Remarkably, both these gals were the only ones remotely near Los Angeles, and each was over an hour away. I chose Joan up in Ventura as it was near the beach and I knew Dingo and I could make a day of it. He passed with flying colors, was issued a ribbon for his performance, got medical clearance from his vet and then his documents were filed with the State.

It was exactly a month later that our big plans as community servants got put on hold when Dingo became ill, and ultimately diagnosed with Lymphoma. Ironically his certification, ID and tags all arrived the same day he had his first chemo treatment, which was a dash of salt in the wound. At that time we really thought it might be close to over for our buddy, and the arrival of the package reminded Barry and I of all that might have been.

Now that Dingo has been responding well to chemotherapy and he's back on all four paws, we felt it important to move ahead as planned. TDI provided us with a list of hospitals and community groups in need of therapy dogs, and it's time to start making some calls. Now that his surgical scar has healed and his fur has begun to grow back he's presentable and ready for duty. I'm actually going to contact TDI next week to see if there are any children's cancer organizations that might be interested in having him come by once a week. I thought it might be helpful for the kids to get visits from a friend in the same situation as them, and hopefully get some inspiration from our lovable buddy.

So this post will hopefully be the first in a long series following Dingo on his quest for social outreach. Stay tuned for future reports.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Dog Cancer Ride Across America - Coming Summer 2009

Ted Schneck is one incredible guy! In 2007, his loving buddy Marty passed away from canine cancer, and like most of us, tried to find a way to channel his energies. The following year he devoted his efforts to the quest of trekking across America on his bicycle to raise funds for several charities. The Dog Cancer Ride was his vision to honor Marty, and to bring assistance to pet owners who's means couldn't afford them the care their pets deserved.

Ted also wrote a great digital book "Curing Canine Cancer" available for download. I don't want to come across as 'sales pitchy' here on Dingo's blog, but his book was truly helpful as Barry and I sifted through the mountains of data online. It really is an overwhelming task, and to find a publication, written by someone who had gone through it, was invaluable. I highly recommend the book to anyone who's been given the unfortunate news that his or her dog has cancer.

I've never met Ted, but he informed me via email that he's doing another Cancer Ride this summer. I wanted to take a moment make people aware of his efforts and the upcoming trek he'll be making.

Take 10 minutes out of your day and watch the footage from last year's ride, and if you have a little extra money make a donation to a worthy cause.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Another 'My Bad' Moment

Happy Saturday to all my two legged friends!

I just wanted to report in personally after the good news the doctor gave me Thursday. It was a relief to hear that my cancer may be going into remission. I've been feeling great the past week, much more like my usual self. So 'paws crossed' that the chemotherapy treatment is working.

I did unfortunately have another 'my bad' moment. If you read in my blog post from two weeks ago, one of my medications caused me to wee in my sleep. Very embarrassing since I'm no puppy. Well unfortunately, I did it once again, waking up to a wet spot on my parent's bed. I got up early and called Doctor Norman to explain what happened and he told me that it was probably due to my Prednisone pills and I should cut the dosage in half. Hopefully this will stop my bed wetting from happening again.

As a side note, would someone please create a phone that's more dog friendly! I tell you, it's really difficult for us to push these tiny buttons with our big paws. I misdialed three times and got a pizza place, the Liechtenstein Consulate, and something called Miss Kitty's Massage Parlor. The last one was the weirdest, I mean really, who'd want a cat giving them a massage? Yuck! And, what's a happy ending anyway? I don't get it.

Since I wanted to take care of the problem myself, and not wake anyone, I snuck the sheets off the bed and headed down to something called a 'Laundromat'. It took me forever to drag the bed spread to the car and even longer for a crash course in how to drive. I had watched Mark and Barry move this big metal box around the road countless times and always through, how difficult could it be. Boy was I mistaken. Just getting my paw down to the gas and brake pedal was a challenge let alone learning how to steer.

So, this is how I spent my early Saturday morning, staring at this funny machine waiting for the bedspread to dry. It gave me time to people watch as they shuffled through their morning routines. It made me wonder about what trials and tribulations each of them might be dealing with at this moment. So many people, so many stories.

Well I don't want to get to deep and philosophical so early in the morning. Just wanted to update you all and say thanks for your support.

You pal always,