Saturday, November 10, 2012

Good girls get the cookies

I learned an expensive and good lesson from BeBe the other day. People don't give you cookies if you misbehave. Hmmm. For years I've been claiming it's no accident I rescue pit bulls.

I've never been one to back down over things that matter to me. There's an old saying, 'if you stop to fight with every barking dog, you'll never get to town.' That has come back around to bite me in the ass more than a couple of times. I guess the trick is to qualify what really matters.

Peanut sits for a cookie!
So how can I expect BeBe and the other dogs to behave, not bark, sit pretty and be nice without a reward? They all want a cookie. And...the nice girls get the cookies. A little secret, I call them all girls. Little Peanut from Alvin who was salvaged from the Spindletop raid had the hardest time learning a sit, but today he became a man. Today, Peanut offered his first sit for a cookie. Huge.

Peanut has the slim build of a habitual criminal. You know, the guys you see in prison, somebody's punk, like a Barney Fife who just fell in with the wrong crowd. Peanut came here very stressed out. He'd survived the high kill animal control in Alvin only to be pulled by Leah Purcell of Spindletop under Reunion Rescue's 501(c)(3). Slight problem, Reunion didn't even know until long after the raid and Peanut, then known as Feo, was being held at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds by the authorities.

Since I'd written the initial story about Feo, I felt responsible for him. After all, he was a Reunion dog. Full here with the defacto no kill shelter we had to set up with limited resources, Feo was placed in boarding.

Angel, now Hub, was adopted by a longtime Reunion adopter who has relocated to Minnesota which opened up a spot for Feo. When Feo arrived, he was a total mess. He vomited everything and has terrible diarrhea. This went on for a couple of months. After several recent horror stories with conventional vets, I was certainly reticent to subject poor Feo to a battery of tests and what I knew they'd prescribe, nasty ass Metronidazole (Flagyl) which would leave him certainly worse for wear in the long run.

I held true to what I've learned homeopathically and started Peanut on a quality kibble diet, even though all the rescued cats and dogs here at the sanctuary are fed organic raw. I knew the jump to raw diet would stress his system and patience would win in the end.

It took a few weeks and slowly Peanut was transitioned to raw. First he, like Nolan, started on chicken necks and a beef blend, but eventually, he was chomping down on a chicken quarter like the best of them. Little narrow-ass Peanut had won. I knew he was truly on the road to recovery.

I also knew that Peanut would be a hard sell on the sit. For weeks, I could only get one sit per session from him, truly a half-ass sit, if you get my drift, by use of the tennis ball. Peanut is a ball freak. Loves to fetch.

He was not food oriented for obvious reasons. Who knows what and when he was eating at Spindletop and his gastro-intestinal problems dogging him from place to place had been very hard on his little system. Food was not Peanut's friend. He needed time and good nourishment on a steady basis to learn that food was a good thing.

Also, and very importantly, Peanut had probably never even seen a cookie. I had to remember this. Here is a poor boy whose system has been ravaged by bad food and some crazy lady waving more of it in his face saying, 'sit' which sounds like something in German. Poor baby.

But, today, he made the final step. Peanut sat for a cookie. And sat for another cookie. And again and again and again. I was ecstatic. I had to stop, because I knew I'd give him an upset stomach if I kept it up. Peaunut is a winner. He is going to be a wonderful pet someday when he learns he can trust people. I don't blame him for being a little slow to believe. I'm still trying to learn to trust people.

I'm also learning to be a good girl since good girls get the cookies in life. It works on people, too.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fu Manchu and Martha

I was speaking with a fellow rescuer yesterday who shared a horrible experience with me. He had saved a little bulldog from a certain death. Her ears were consumed with growths, what looked like polyps gone insane. He raised a chip in to administer the surgery and the little dog died during the surgery.

Beautiful Fu
He still owes $1500 for the bill. I hear this story over and over. How many animals are being subjected to high priced vet treatment never to see the light of day again? Hearing this one story reminded me of Fu Manchu, my beautiful black chow chow saved from the mean streets of Dallas, Texas only to die at the hands of a careless vet.

The opening chapter of my book Pit Bull Nation is the story of Fu. It was some 20 plus years ago and I'd not even begun to entertain the idea of rescuing, especially not pit bulls.

Fu was a bedraggled street dog who roamed the neighborhood we lived in. The story was he'd been turned out by a crack dealer and was surviving on whatever scraps the neighbors threw out for him to eat. Fu decided to belong to Scott. That's how it always has been with us. We didn't pick out a rescue. They seemed to always find us.

Fu began to sleep on our front porch and we began to feed him. This was back in the day when I knew nothing and was at the mercy of vets. The first time Fu and I visited the vet, I actually believed the Science Diet which lined the walls was a healthy choice for nutrition. This vet was actually a kind hearted soul who was honest about not keeping up with the latest trends in pet care.

Fu was diagnosed with heartworm, cherry eye, a horrible skin condition and, of course, needed neutering. We began the old-style heartworm treatment which at the time, entailed a shot of arsenic and a 50/50 chance of survival. During the next several months, Fu underwent his treatment like  a champ. He even made it through the invasive, painful and dangerous heartworm treatment.

Back in those days, I fed what was recommended and Fu at store brand kibble. He was vaccinated and given all of the toxic drugs for fleas and parasite prevention. I didn't know any better. Now, I cringe at the thought of all those nasty things I subjected my dog to.

I was working part time at another vet to save up money to move to California and discovered employees could have their pets' teeth cleaned at a reduced rate. The day before Fu's appointment, I gave him a three and a half hour spa treatment. His former bald, scaly and oozing patches had cleared up and he sported a lustrous coat of shiny black fur. He truly looked like the majestic chow chows who'd once been bred to guard ancient Chinese emperors.

I remember being in the middle of learning how to prepare a stool sample when I heard the frantic announcement the next morning at the vet office. It was one of those moments in your life when you know something horrible has happened and you keep doing some mundane chore in hopes that it will just go away.

They came to get me from surgery and took me upstairs to see my dog lying dead on the table. The vet had given Fu a huge shot of sodium pentothal to prep him for surgery. It immediately killed him. There was no bringing him back. He was dead and gone.

What happened that day started me on a long hard path which eventually led to rescuing pit bulls. Over the years, I've looked for alternative and healthy answers. I have been most pleasantly surprised and have been able to give some animals a much better life.

Today, if we acquire a heartworm positive animal, that animal is fed a healthy organic raw diet and treated for the heartworm herbally. An animal with tumors or growths is treated with a gentle detox, quality organic raw diet and homeopathy to deal with the tumors and/or growths. Amazingly, most of the tumors and growths encountered have been related to over-vaccination. A good detox is the first step toward regaining good health.

Misha living a healthy cancer free life
Misha is a poster girl for clearing the system of tumor causing vaccination residue. Misha continued to grow a nasty 'meatball' looking tumor on her face. The vet actually removed it twice and finally threw his hands up in surrender. After re-vaccinating her one more time for the road, the vet gave up.

Misha was treated homeopathically and given a thorough Waiora detox. That was nearly three years ago and guess what? Misha is 'meatball' free...the tumor has never returned. Misha is lucky enough to live in a part of the country which defers rabies and other vaccinations for sick and old animals. This should be the standard everywhere. It is criminal to force loving pet owners to kill their pets just to abide by an unnatural law.

Martha on a happy day
Some of the animals, we can't save due to years of over-vaccination and toxic drugs. I saw Martha at PetSmart five years ago. She was sitting in the corner of her cubicle and her eyes were a mess, inflamed and crusty. According to the notes, she had been diagnosed as allergic to corn.

When I met Martha that day, I thought based on some vet's notes, we could help her transition out of those problems with homeopathy and a healthy raw meat diet...what cats are supposed to eat. What began was a five year long battle. Over the years, Martha saw five different conventional vets, each armed with toxic antibiotics and drugs. She'd already been vaccinated at least five times and the true source of her issues.

Over the years, her problems escalated to ear issues and then a tumor. One vet even had me bring her in weekly to manually dig the tumor out, removing subjugated pus which had gathered. She sent me to a big money 'specialist' who wanted to remove Martha's ear canal to the tune of $5K along with biopsies and sonograms. Vet 'specialists' like this are big money businesses Martha and I were finding out.

Crawling back to my regular homeopath where I should have taken Martha originally, Martha began treatment which would have cured any animal not beleaguered with years of vaccinations and drugs.

Sadly it was too late. He treated Martha for the next four months, but we lost the battle yesterday morning when Martha left this life.

Today, I'm taking Martha to be cremated. Her ashes will be placed next to Fu Manchu and the others who are resting and happy in a beautiful place...a place without pharmaceutical companies, veterinarians and cash registers, nasty kibble for food.

There is a better world for our animals. It's a crime that they must die to get there.