Saturday, July 8, 2023

Cash-a-rooni pure HAPPINESS

A wise ol’ Bear named Winnie the Pooh once said, “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” -AA. Milne There is something so incredibly magical about the unconditional love of a dog that when it is taken away from you it leaves a giant hole in your heart. Recently, my grandpuppy Cash, officially June Carter Cash aka, Cash-a-rooni, made her transition to the rainbow bridge after twelve + amazing years sharing time with her sweetheart. Cash was a rescue and typical Labrador with OVER exuberance. She pulled me right down on my belly trying to get to the lake when she was a puppy. She loved to swim more than life itself and got into trouble just as much, eating lily pads until she threw up. She stayed at this grandma's house as much as I could possibly steal her, which was very often. She was a bed hog and I would give anything to have to sleep diagonally or curl up in a ball again to make room for her, loud snoring and all. On a particular weekend when Cash was very young, my daughter was at our cottage. The railing on the balcony was a little lower than a standard one. It was only mid thigh high. We were watching the dogs out the window and chatting, just as my daughter Paige said, “Dogs won't jump off a balcony will they?” I said “No!!” No sooner was it out of my mouth, Cash leapt over the side of the balcony. We ran out the door just in time to see her land in a bush and keep right on running. She was one adorable, crazy energizer bunny. There was one evening I remember with a laugh. I was working in my studio room on one side of the basement. On the other side of the basement, I kept hearing Cash thump, thump, thumping and bounding all over the basement, which was not unusual for my over exuberant grand puppy. However, this went on for quite some time and caused me to poke my head out. I had a whole box full of tennis balls that I was gifted and I was going to deliver to the shelter. To my surprise I saw at least 50 tennis balls all over the basement. Cash had the happiest look on her face that I have ever seen. I definitely saw a word bubble pop over her head, that said, “Grandma, this is the best day ever, thank you for giving me all these wonderful presents. I am having the best time ever.” Thank goodness she was very gentle about removing each one individually, and celebrating with each ball. I will always get a good giggle when I think about how incredibly happy she was. I don't know why dogs always want to be with you in the bathroom and Cash was no exception. I have two doors to my bathroom, one to the living room and one to the bedroom. If you shut the one to the living room and the one to the bedroom was open even a crack, Cash would come running around and get into the bathroom wagging her tail with all the joy in the world, thinking how smart she was for finding her way in. I could actually count to three once the bathroom door was shut and know she would be popping her nose right through the other door like clockwork. Cash was one of those dogs that was kind, loyal and loving. I don't think she had a mean bone in her body. She was best friends to my dog Odin J. and they are now at the rainbow bridge together. When he passed away I did not want to be alone without a dog. I would steal her often and her and I mourned together. She could exude happiness. You would put your hand on her while she was laying on the bed and her tail would instantly go a million miles an hour. When you took your hand off it would stop, and as soon as you touched her again the motor boat tail would start once more. Cash was here the 1st day that I brought home my dog Olaf to foster and it was incredible how fast they became best friends. I am certain that Odin J, had a hand in this. Cash tried so hard to be friends with Raven Kitty even though Raven had to act like she was the boss. Cash gave her the utmost respect. She was so very kind and gentle and would ask Raven in animal language before she ever so slowly climbed on a bed or couch that Raven was residing on. Cash was a girl who knew what she wanted and was cute enough to get it. Cash liked to bark and talk ALOT. She was my best teacher in helping other dogs learn how to stop talking too much. Cash was very good at taking a toy when she got over exuberant. I also would tell her do her favorite “BAZINGA” which was a tote of balls I would throw treats in. That taught me how amazing redirection actually could be. If humans could share as much unconditional love and joy as Cash, the world we be even more amazing. She will be my role model and I will hold her lessons close to my heart, “Be kind and BE HAPPY no matter what the circumstance.” She has left a huge hole in this grandma's heart but it is comforting to know that her and Odin J are back in the lake together at the rainbow bridge. When I look back at the trick dog video we created together, all the photos and paw print art, it reminds me to encourage you to take those videos and take time to make those memories. There is never enough time. I'm so grateful for the time we had and for the moments we took to enjoy the presence of such a beautiful girl.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Furry friends need future leaders


Lexy Piehl from Critter Sitter in Gaylord MI

One of my heroes in life

My soul dog, Odin J., now at the rainbow bridge was my greatest teacher!


Odin was very afraid of children. He taught me much more than any other teacher I have had over the years. I believe he wanted me to continue to help others like him, live their best lives and educate in his honor. One of my biggest passions is to help children understand more about humane education and bite prevention. If more children and adults took the time to understand dogs like Odin, and approach with patience and kindness, more dogs would live happier lives and less children would be bitten.


Statistically over one million dogs are euthanized a year because of a biting incident.  Over 50% of those bites are face-to-face. What does that tell us?

 #1 We need to kindly educate, educate adults and children alike.

# 2 We especially need to educate children that are at face level.

Let’s save some lives by prevention!


I don't believe a pe should lose its life because we, as adults, have not talked with children about running up and shoving their face in the dog or cat’s face. I have heard many times, from people, “My dog would never do that”, or “Oh that dog better not bite, no matter what my child does, it shouldn't bite.”   I disagree, pets cannot verbalize when they are uncomfortable. What about the children? Shouldn't there be rules for them also? It is not fair to a dog to just let a child do as they wish. I believe, even the mildest of dogs, should not be left alone with small unpredictable children, that may fall or pull hair in sensitive areas and set our dog up to fail.


We should teach our kids, that every dog should be treated as a service dog. You, or your dog, do not, approach that dog without asking and then use our manners. Do not ride dogs like ponies, or do not use them as foot stools. It hurts my heart to see a photo of a child having their face right in a dog's face, when you can clearly see the dog is uncomfortable. I think it's important we tell the kids; stop running, but just like dogs, we also need to tell them what we would like them to do instead. Redirection is key. For example, instead of “Don't run when he the dog nips your pants”. Instead say, “Stop, hands up and ‘be a tree’.” Both dogs and children like to be told what they can do instead of constantly hearing Charlie Brown's teacher's voice no no no no.

I want to ensure our future leaders learn the respect they should have of the magnificent animals we are graced to have in our lives. I want them to experience the magic of working together with a dog, as team, with mutual respect and love and joy, playing fun sports or tricks and sharing the camaraderie with other dog parents, instead of always on their computer devices. I admire my friend Lexy at 17 (at the time this was written). She is not only competing but teaching agility. You can see the joy and the fun her and her dogs are having together. I hope our younger generation can experience the confidence and joy I believe goes hand and hand.  She takes in rescue kitties and bunnies and is supported by her family. Her dad built her, her own rescue room. I think the message her parents instilled in her of philanthropy should be taught to more of the younger generation. I would be happy to come share my message at local schools or through video to your schools. I also would be happy to chat with teachers or anyone else that wants to share that message around the world. One by one, we can make a difference. I urge you, in honor of Odin and all precious creatures of this earth to instill the magic, the compassion, and joy of working and caring for another living being. I hope we can bring awareness to look up from their devices and into the eyes of an animal.



Heart Journey, Food for thought


The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.” Jane Goodall


     I admire veterinarians. Sadly, at the current time there is a shortage of veterinarians in the industry and they have a very stressful job. In most cases, they are doing the best they can, and genuinely care. Now, more than ever, we need to be advocates for our pets. It is not humanly possible for Veterinarians to have the time to put into the research, that each animal deserves. Our pets cannot go on a computer or go to the library and do their own research. That it our job, as pet parents, to dig deeper.

I will give you examples of reasons to do this. A good friend of mine has an elderly dog with liver problems. The dog also has arthritis, so the vet prescribed a prescription for mobility. The label on the package for the prescription for mobility stated, “do not give to dogs with liver problems.” In busy times these things slip through the cracks, and we have to be hypervigilant.

     Recently I wrote about my dog Olaf’s journey with heartworm after being rescued and brought up from Louisiana. I just found out that heartworm preventatives, which contain ivermectin, are not always effective on the heartworm strain from down south. Guess what I had been using on Olaf?  I found this and other valuable information out because I did second and third opinions with different knowledgeable veterinarians, that had experience and integrative ideas. I did hours of research and am using a protocol from Canine Herbalist, Rita Hogan. I am doing this hand-in-hand with the slow kill Doxycycline and Advantage Multi. I have taken some knowledge from each professional, trying to be my dog's advocate to put together a protocol specialized for him, including green light baths, and infrared too. I have learned that a suggested dose for herbs may not be the right dose for your dog. With herbs you may have to experiment what the best dose is that works best with your pet. I suggest taking notes and journaling every day. Journal your doses, your pet’s diet, and all the details you notice, ie: did they have diarrhea, or are they extra sleepy?? For suggestions and a chart to do this and to help you detect little problems before they turn into big ones, we have designed, “ Dog Blessed Health Journal and Workbook.” It is available on and Must Love Dogs.

     Remember, no one knows your pet like you do. Every pet is an individual and their diet should be too. I like to compare most over processed, carcinogenic kibble to our dry cereal. Could we live on just cereal? Possibly, but would we thrive? No! Our body needs whole food. Preservatives cause inflammation. Inflammation causes disease in the body. I, passionately, believe in whole food diets. If you want to research, a suggestion would be to head to Grand Haven to Must Love Dogs and talk to the knowledgeable Tonya Christiansen and/or to purchase the “Forever Dog” book. As stated in that book, pet food was originated from an electrician that was also a salesman looking to make money from the rich and the elite. He was a salesman with no nutritional knowledge. Education is KEY. Make sure you read or consult a pet nutritionist or take a nutrition course. You pets will lack the vitamins and minerals they need if you don’t cook with the proper nutrients added in. I honestly can say that since I have put Olaf on an all raw, whole food diet, his coat is fuller and sheds less and I feel better giving him nutrients to support his heart. I combine a diet from Dr. Judy Morgan’s Yin and Yang cookbook and wonderful whole foods from Must Love Dogs and add-ins I learned about from the book, “The Forever Dog.”

I just read an article about the oldest dog in the world. He was a 30+ years old mid-size dog. The owner stated he ate table scraps. Whole food table scraps. Coincidence? Food for thought.


As Dr. Jane Goodall says, “It is our job to speak for them.”


Tuesday, April 5, 2022





     April is Pet First Aid Awareness month. As a Pet First Aid CPR Instructor, I encourage you to educate yourself and be prepared with a plan of action.

     Did you know only ONE out of every ten pets won’t have some sort of minor or major emergency in their lifetime? I want to help change those odds by sharing education.

  • Do you know by just doing ONE First Aid procedure 25% more  animals can be saved?

  • Do you have a Pet First Aid kit?
  • Do you even have a first aid kit for yourself?    

        Having a dog or a cat is like having a toddler, we need to baby or   pet-proof the house and the yard. I encourage you to get down on all fours and see what your pet can get into.

  • What is poisonous and dangerous?
  •  Do you know one lick of automatic dishwashing powder can poison your pet?

  •  Do you know if you should make them vomit or would you give them yogurt if they swallow a caustic substance?

  • Do you know how to make them vomit if necessary?
  • Do you know how you would transport your pet if they were unconscious in an emergency?

  •  Do you have an emergency vet’s number handy?

     If you are prepared and think about these things BEFORE they happen, you will stay calm during that emergency and be able to handle whatever happens more efficiently.

     I always knew that fertilizer and sidewalk salt were dangerous to our pets, but I did not know quite how dangerous until I became a first aid instructor.

     According to Dr. Karen Becker, “A recently published study conducted over a six year period by the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University showed that exposure to lawn pesticides, specifically those applied by professional lawn care companies, raised the risk of canine malignant lymphoma – a progressive, fatal disease -- by as much as 70 percent.”

      Educate yourself on what is used in your community for sidewalks to prevent ice, better yet get booties.

     If you feel your pet was exposed to ANY chemical, sidewalk salt, etc, wash your dog's feet and rinse, rinse, rinse! If they lick their feet, they can become very ill. Take the proper precautions and use pet safe products in your home and yard.

     Why not make April (or even better, right now) your month to childproof or pet-proof the house!

  •  Have you taken an obedience class and taught your dog or cat to  “leave it” so they don’t swallow something poisonous to them      like a pill or raisins?

  • Write down a plan of action and have your tools ready. Start   purchasing items on sale for your first aid kit so you are prepared.

     During these times of limited veterinary care, I know of one dog that had to wait 6 hours to be seen at an emergency vet while the owner tried to keep bleeding under control. Another, the nearest emergency vet was too far, she did not know how to slow down the bleeding and sadly lost her pet’s life.  I tell you these accounts, not to scare you but to encourage you to be proactive.

     If you would like to go one step further, we will be having ongoing CPR First Aid zoom and in person classes or obedience classes, quite often. Keep posted at:  I can also schedule privately for your group. CPR and First aid is a 4.5 hour course. We learn what we would do to stop or slow down bleeding in these times of limited veterinarian care, until one might be available. Also, what to do if your pet stops breathing, has heat stroke or swallowed something they weren't supposed to, and so much more. I would love to help empower you to be even more prepared.

As Confucius said, “A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.”

Regardless of what steps you take, just take the first step. You can prevent accidents and be prepared to save a life.


NEW: For more furry tips and how to’s see Dog Blessed Show weekly on The Muskegon Channel also on Roku and Firestick TV.