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The difference Helen's 'Big Batch Recipe' made for Shadow & Licorice (Labrador Retrievers) -- and their humans!
Nancy's pals, Shadow & Licorice
NANCY A. KAISER
Spiritual Liaison for Animals & Their People
nakasier @ bellsouth . net [omit spaces when emailing]
I was introduced to Helen McKinnon and her fresh food diet when my 2 labs were 4 years old. My black lab, Licorice, was gaining weight in spite of getting hardly anything to eat. We had his thyroid tested, and everything was within normal limits. I couldnít feed him any less as we lived on a horse farm, and he had plenty of other ďoptionsĒ scattered about the farm.
I knew it had to be the diet, but wasnít sure what the alternative was. Just before I met Helen, my then husband and I went to the American Holistic Veterinary meeting in Colorado. My husband was an equine practitioner. At the meeting, there was a lot of information available about feeding fresh food. I came home armed with lots of information, but didnít have a clue how to go about making it.
The Universe stepped in. Helen called to get chiropractic care for her animals from my husband and told me about her ďcookbook.Ē We went to her house, so my husband could adjust her horses, and she made her recipe for me. She even sent me home with some of the mix and her book. Her book was detailed in every way as to how to go about actually making a fresh food diet. There is no way you canít do it if youíre following Helenís book.
At first glance, I was overwhelmed with the concept of making dog food. I had work enough on the farm for 3 people, everyday. I had pretty much decided on the way home that I really didnít have time in the day for any more responsibilities. Lucky for my dogs that Helen sent some home with me. I mixed Helenís food with their normal diet in order to use it up. I couldnít help but notice the change in both their behavior within a couple of days, and they were only getting half of her mix, remember. These were happy, healthy dogs before, but I was seeing dogs that were even happier. They simply danced around the farm. I just felt, in my heart, that I had to do this for them, whatever it took.
Within a few weeks, Licorice had lost so much weight; I had to readjust his diet away from the reducing diet Helen had suggested. I had been feeding them a supplement for their coats. I stopped that when I used up the bottle. Their coats looked better than when they were getting the supplement. Shadow, my yellow lab, although being a littermate of Licoriceís, had a much rougher coat, which I never could understand, genetically. On Helenís recipe, within a few weeks both their coats were soft and shiny. Obviously, Shadow had been missing something that he needed. I thought I had been feeding them high quality commercial food, but the proof was in the dogs.
A month ago, they celebrated their 14th birthday. Over the years, I canít tell you how many comments I have gotten on how great the dogs look. Everyone thinks they are much younger than they are. I, of course, can see the aging. They are the oldest dogs Iíve ever had. Last week, I was at the vetís with them. The Universe stepped in once more. There was a man waiting in the office with an older dog. When I came in he asked me how old mine were, and I said 14. He told me his dog was too. I didnít think too much of it until he got up to leave. His dog was so thin and ancient looking. I remember thinking if his was 14, mine looked half that age. So, I was given the gift of comparison. I was shown how much ďyoungerĒ my 14 year olds are.
My animals are my family. They are as important to me as anyoneís children are to them. I will be forever grateful for being inspired by Licoriceís weight issue to look for a solution. I truly believe I have been given extra time with my boys that I wouldnít have had if I had not changed to Helenís fresh food diet. When it came down to it, I donít think it really cost that much more in time or money, when you compare it to the benefits your animals will receive from it.
I donít know how much longer my boys will be with me, but I do know, because of the way that Iíve fed them for the past 10 years; theyíve had a wonderful, healthy life. My reward has been the added time in their presence. My life would have been so much less complete without them. They have been my teachers, my friends, my constant companions.
So, if youíre trying to make the same decision that I was 10 years ago, please look into your heart. I know with certainty that you will be told the same thing that I was. If there is one thing Iíve learned in all my years is that if we follow our hearts, we wonít be misled. So, donít think too much about whatís right for you and your animal friend(s), just feel whatís right. Youíll be amazed at how all the excuses that you have for not doing it will simply disappear. Youíll be left with one glaring fact; a fresh food diet is the best that you can do for your animal friend(s). You will be rewarded with their good health just like I have been. Canít ask for anymore than that, can we? GOOD ďCOOKING!Ē
"Took these a week or so before they turned 14!
In case you want some proof of what 10 years on fresh food diet will do." --- Nancy
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