Tattered and Mended: The Art of Healing the Wounded Soul by Cynthia Ruchti My rating: 5 of 5 stars I have long been fascinated by the Japenese process of repairing pottery with gold. This process is called kintsugi which means “golden joinery” or “to patch with gold” and reading, “Tattered and Mended” I am reminded…
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Sometimes when we’re most in need, love can work miracles. That’s what happened when Zekey, an extremely ill puppy, was nursed back to health by her best friend – a kitten named Sapphire.
According to Love Meow, Stephanie Tiu found Sapphire, a small, ginger-colored kitten in a garbage can.
Dirty and just a few weeks old, the little kitten captured Tiu’s heart. She decided to keep him. “He was all muddy, but I fell in love with him,” Tiu told Love Meow.
A week later, Tiu adopted a month-old puppy she named Zekey. The two babies bonded immediately and became best friends.
Ever since I started this blog, and even moreso since writing All Dogs Go to Kevin, people write to tell me about their pets who are no longer with them.
They used to apologize for writing, or say they weren’t even sure why they were telling me about their pet, but most people don’t do that anymore. I think they know that they don’t need to explain.
As followers of the blog know, I love birthdays. Birthdays are fun, and I love love love that my birthday coincides with National Dog Day. I always celebrate. This year, though, I could barely be bothered. It was so bad that I got a card in the mail last week from a relative and it took me a full minute to figure out why, exactly, she was sending me one. It was more than not feeling like celebrating, it was as if my brain consciously turned it off.
Part of me wondered if it was because I was finally getting sick of getting older, if my rotten back and increasing-in-number doctor’s appointments were finally clueing me in that birthdays stink. I went about my routine for the day, ran some errands, and came home to scrounge up something to eat for lunch.
And then I understood.
I have never in my life spent my birthday day by myself. Mom never would have let that happen. With the kids in school and my husband at work, it would have been inconceivable to her that I would eat lunch by myself, and we would go out. Always. Today, however, I was alone, and in that moment all the little sadnesses that piled up just felt like more than I was ready to hold.
So when people asked me how my birthday was, I said, “meh,” because it was true, and then I said, “I really miss my mom.” It probably was not the answer they were expecting or really knew what to do with, but it was honest and I had to say it.
Because grief is like a hot potato burning in your hands. If you don’t toss it up in the air to give your hands a break every once in a while, they get burned, and then you drop it and then have to pick it up with blistered fingers. The need to let go of what you are holding onto, for just a second, is all that lets you continue to carry it around.
So when people write, I get it, I really do. Because while many people look at someone walking down the street tossing a hot potato in the air like they’re nuts, wondering why they can’t just put it down, I just nod. It is too terrible and precious to throw away; all you can do is wait for it to cool down. It will.
If someone told me that dogs of all ages in my house would go nuts for chunks of frozen broccoli as a treat, I would never have believed them! But I’ve made the wonderful discovery that I have three dogs crowding around me eagerly when I slide open the freezer compartment and reach in for frozen broccoli “cuts” or “florets.”
Handfuls of frozen broccoli have become my 80 lb. blue Weimaraner Maisie’s evening snack – they are nutritious, high fiber, vitamin-filled, inexpensive and incredibly satisfying to her. What has amazed me is that Wanda, my six-month-old Weimaraner, and Jazzy, my 12-year-old Collie-mix, each wait eagerly alongside Maisie for their own big scoop of the frozen broccoli. You’d think it was filet mignon!
It all started when my beautiful rescued Weimaraner Maisie was turning two a few months ago: she is a really big tall dog and her weight was creeping up on the vet’s scale. I had been taking her for weekly weigh-ins because I knew that a dog’s weight at two years old is usually considered her optimal or natural weight.
I knew this from Dr. Donna Spector – Halo’s Veterinary Advisor and my co-host on the Radio Pet Lady Network show “The Expert Vet” – because we’ve been running the Halo Healthy Weight Challenge on our show, where Dr. Donna is looking to help people return their dogs to their weight at two years old. Maisie was naturally an always-hungry, high-energy dog, but even with constant exercise she was packing on the pounds, along with some impressive musculature as she approached her second birthday.
When Dr. Donna guides our Halo Healthy Weight Challenge participants in keeping an eye on the calorie content of treats they are feeding she always recommends steamed or raw string beans as a low-cal filling snack – along with her determination of how much to feed of Halo’s Healthy Weight dry food and Spot’s Stew in a can (which they receive three months of for free).
But none of my dogs will touch a string bean – unless it’s fully boiled along with other vegetables and chicken to accompany their daily Halo kibble. One day I was getting out a bag of frozen broccoli cuts for their cooked vegetable stew and dropped it on the floor. To my amazement, all three dogs made a dash for it and could not have been happier gobbling down the frosty chunks!
Afterward, I expected some pretty nasty “air pollution” from taking in all that cruciferous vegetable matter, which is known to cause intestinal gas in people and dogs. However, there were no unwanted side effects! Dr. Donna told me their odorless digestion was fortunate and unusual, since broccoli can cause some intestinal “blow back” in many dogs, which is why she recommends using steamed string beans or zucchini as treats during the Halo Healthy Weight Challenge.
I will say that where training treats are concerned- to reward a sit at the door, or a fast recall when the dogs are out loose, I would never think of offering a frozen hunk of broccoli! Instead, I make sure they get a “just reward” for their obedience so I keep Halo Liv-a-Little freeze-dried meats in my goody bag, which are also low-cal being pure protein. I’m thrilled they enjoy the frozen broccoli so much (they will not touch it raw or lightly cooked) but I also know that to get good training results you need to have a treat that is up to the job, and that would be Liv-a-Littles.
Tracie Hotchner is the author of THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know.
She is also a renowned pet radio host and producer, having spent 7 years on the Martha Stewart Channel of Sirius/XM with CAT CHAT® and even longer with her award-winning NPR radio show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) that continues to broadcast in the Hamptons and the Berkshires. Her most recent accomplishment is the pet talk radio network she has created on the Internet called The Radio Pet Lady Network.
Today we bring to you our second Ear of the Week:
Yes, the kids are back to school this week, but why should they have all the fun? Just because a dog only has one ear doesn’t mean he can’t be fully functional.
Really, in many ways this ear surpasses the original one. His old ear didn’t have a pen holder, after all.
He’s already learned that the hat and the camera mean fun time and treats, so rest assured no one is more on board with this ear project that Brody himself.
Now if only I could teach him to make coffee…
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