Almost a decade ago, as I was grooming my Dancer for her next days show. I turned to her dam Heartsong's Rapscallion, aka Callie, to give her the grooming attention she so deserved and which highlighted her inherent beauty. As I trailed down her left front leg with my hand followed by the soft brush, my hand discovered a small warm lump. All Wolfhounders know that finding a lump is a terror we live in fear of! Osteosarcoma is one of the health challenges we in large breeds, and now in all breeds, face at some point along our lifetime with our beloved animals. I can only describe that moment as it happened to me.....I froze much like someone with blinders on, only able to focus on Callie.....what can I do? I knew what that lump was....it was CANCER. I didn't need an x ray, nor someone else to inform me. My mind immediately started counting off those things I had changed for the GOOD HEALTH of my dogs. We moved to a more rural area, to facilitate more exercise. We tested the water. We bought the premium kibble. We took our dogs to the vet whenever we felt it necessary. They were all current on their vaccines
My mind reeled..........the diet, that's the thing I can change! It was logical, diet and vaccines!! Those were the only things within my power to change in my dogs lives. My mind immediately went to what I had been hearing about some of the Newfoundland breeders. Some of the breeders in the Czech Republic had never fed kibble. If I could keep my dogs healthier, it was worth the investigation......it wasn't working, nor worth their lives, to keep them on "fast food", and their immune systems CONSTANTLY CHALLENGED BY VACCINES.
On the trail of a species appropriate diet, I purchased the following books and totally immersed myself in them....Kymythy Schultz's "Ultimate Diet" (with foreward by Dr. Steven Blake, my first holistic vet!) and "Give your Dog a Bone" by Ian Billinghurst.
That was 8 years ago, and I've not looked back since. Sadly for my Rapscallion, it was not in time.
But for her children, and their children, it has been a Godsend for us at Heartsong. Eating a species appropriate diet, and drastically reducing vaccines has allowed the wonderful DNA to shine thru without all of the negative affects of toxins in their bodies. Living holistically with animals is an ongoing process, one dedicated out of love for this magnificent breed, and the beauty
and athletic prowess of the particular family of dogs I had chosen almost 3 decades ago, to live with and love. Holistic living with Hounds has allowed me to have my dogs living a higher quality of life for a longer period of time. It has been a gift to Heartsong, as we covet our veterans. We don't claim that we have cured any of the DIS EASES, however I find my dogs living a lot longer on a "clean diet" and toxin free. We still face daily living, but now in a truly holistic way. My pups have gone out to like minded families who have been taught and who have embraced their Holistic Hounds, and reap the benefits daily. Truly an effort of love!!! After all, who among us does not want to keep their beloved ones with them as long as humanly possible? I have been able to answer that personal question!