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4-H Club Helping to Feed Unwanted Animals September 17, 2009

Posted by hollythenewfcom in 4-H Paws N Pals Club.
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4-H Paws N Pals Dog & Cat Food Drive

4-H Paws N Pals Dog & Cat Food Drive

I am so proud of my human kids. They are members of the 4-H Paws N Pals Dog Club. I’ve had loads of fun with the dog club. I even took Doggie Good Manner Classes with the 4-H’ers. My boy was recently concerned with all the unwanted shelter dogs in our area. He heard there sometimes wasn’t enough food to feed them. So he got his whole 4-H club to organize the 4-H Paws N Pals Dog and Cat Food Drive. To coincide with Responsible Pet Ownership Month, they will be collecting dog and cat food donations at various drop off points around our area. They will also be taking cash donations on their web site. For more information, visit http://www.4-HPawsNPals.com/DogFoodDrive.html and read about how you can help. What a great idea! Good going 4-H’ers. Let’s all help them out!

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Tail Waggin’ Tutor at Frostburg Library June 9, 2009

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Holly The Newf and friends at the Frostburg Library

Holly The Newf and friends at the Frostburg Library

I was lucky enough to be invited to be a Tail Waggin’ Tutor at the Frostburg Library last Saturday. I had several very nice children come to read to me. I heard a great Goosebumps book and a Froggy book and some poems. I was very quiet and sat still while my new friends read. When kids read out loud to a dog, it improves their reading skills and their self-confidence. Kim suggested to several of the children that they might want to try reading to their own dog. I’m sure any dog would love it. Next week I get to go to the LaVale Library. Hope to see you there.

4-H Paws N Pals Dog Club April 20, 2009

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4-H Paws N Pals Dog Club

4-H Paws N Pals Dog Club


I’m so excited! We are starting our very own dog 4-H club. My human, Kim, and her kids thought it would be fun to put together a 4-H club that specializes in dogs and technology. The dog side of our club will be doing all kinds of fun related activities like doggie drillteam, agility, canine freestyle, rally-o, and junior showmanship. There is also a fun competitive team sport for the kids called Dog Quiz Bowl that is played like Jeopardy. Since my human knows so much about computers, she is going to teach the kids how to run a web site and how to sell dog related products online. I can’t wait to meet some new doggie friends and start some new dog activities. It gets kind of boring being the only dog in the house. I’ve been a bit mopey lately and Kim thinks it’s because I need some more socialization with other dogs. I also heard they are going to be teaching puppy and adult dog good manners / obedience classes. You’re never too old for a brush up on good manners. Take a look at what we are doing on our club’s new web site at 4-HPawsNPals.com

Dr. Doug Knueven Weekend Part 3: Animal Chiropratic, Massage, Accupressure & Vaccinations April 5, 2009

Posted by hollythenewfcom in Natural Dog Health Care.
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Dr. Doug demonstrating accupressure points on Holly

Dr. Doug demonstrating accupressure points on Holly

My favorite part of Dr. Doug Knueven’s pet holistic care weekend was the accupressure demo. Since I’m a patient of Dr. Doug’s and our Aunt Jennifer helped put the whole weekend together, I was invited to be a demo dog. Dr. Doug started off with a talk on animal chiropractic. He suggested looking for a vet that has the AVCA certification. Dr. Doug believes in having chiropractic treatments even when your pet is well as a preventative to keeping good health. He told us that you should see an improvement in your ailment within 3 treatments or chiropractic may not really help. Dr. Doug uses x-rays as part of his treatment to tell him where not to adjust.

Dr. Knueven then moved on to pet massage. Massage has many benefits including relieving muscle spasms and pain, enhancing range of motion, reducing stress, helping with disease detection, stimulating circulation, and strengthening your bond with your pet. All good stuff! He told us to always stroke toward the heart. Do not massage an open wound, skin infections, insect bites, over a fracture, or if the pet has a fever or cancer.

The second day we spent on animal acupressure. Dr. Doug used me and several other dogs to demonstrate how to find acupressure points. Sometimes because of all my fur, it was a bit hard to find some of the points on me. It felt great.

Dr. Doug Knueven demonstrating accupressure

Dr. Doug Knueven demonstrating accupressure

Dr. Doug wrapped up his pet holistic care weekend with some very interesting and alarming comments on animal vaccines. He told us that animals are having more immune system problems, cancer, chronic infections, and allergies. Many in the vet health care industry believe that over vaccination of pets is one cause of many of these problems. Dr. Doug stated specifically that vaccine doses are the same for a 5 lbs dog as a 150 lbs dog. Common sense would tell you this doesn’t make sense. Another problem is the number of antigens in the vaccine being given at one time. He recommended that you give rabies shots several weeks before or after any other vaccinations. He also told us that vaccines are only tested for duration of immunity for one year by vaccine producers. I’m sure it’s a great money maker for them if vaccines are given every year, but they really are not necessary that frequently. Dr. Doug recommended having titer tests to check for the body’s immunity levels. A titer test is a simple blood test that your vet can give your pet to help tell you if another round of vaccinations is really necessary or if your pet’s body has the immunity levels it needs to fight off a disease. Rabies vaccines still have to be given every 3 years by law. There is a titer for rabies but unfortunately our government won’t recognize it. Maybe the Obama’s new puppy can talk to someone about that. Dr. Doug also told us to only vaccinate a healthy pet. If your pet is sick or had an injury of some type, this is not the time to vaccinate, even if its convenient since you are at the vet. I had that problem myself when I had to have stitches for an injury. Kim didn’t know at that point to tell the vet I was seeing that we would come back after my injury healed. Instead they gave me vaccines that day.

Well, that wraps up my series on holistic pet care and Dr. Doug Knueven. If you are interested in more information, be sure and get a copy of Dr. Doug’s book,  The Holistic Health Guide: Natural Care for the Whole Dog (Terra-Nova Series) . I have other holistic care suggestions on my web site in my book section.

Dr. Doug Knueven Weekend Part 2: Herbal Medicine & Homeopathy for Pets March 29, 2009

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Dr. Doug Knueven & Holly The Newf

Dr. Doug Knueven & Holly The Newf

Dr. Doug Knueven’s talk on herbal medicine was quite interesting. Zoopharmacognosy is the study of how animals use herbs medicinally. The idea is that if an animal has a specific problem, the animal would chew on a specific plant to cure the problem instinctively. Herbal medicine has been used all over the world for thousands of years. Dr. Doug explained how to use Clark’s Rule to figure out the dosage for a pet. Take the weight of your pet divided by 150 (average weight of an adult human – 150 lbs.) and this equals the fraction of a human dose to use in herbal medicine. Certain herbs can be potentially toxic. Pennyroyal, tea tree oil, white willow bark, ma huang, comfrey, dandelion, parsley, motherwart, hawthorn, goldenscal, barberry, echinacca, reishi, maitake, and astragalus can all have varying degrees of toxicity in pets. Dr. Doug warned us to be careful if you have your dog on an herb that would promote bleeding before the dog has surgery. Then Dr. Doug went through a list of his favorite herbs for dealing with different kinds of problems. St. John’s Wort has a calming effect that can be used for separation anxiety or any kind of nerve injury. Chamomile can be used for excessive barking since it has a calming effect. You can use chamomile tea as an ear flush. If your animal has a hot spot, cook oatmeal in chamomile tea, put it on the animal’s hot spot for 10 to 15 minutes and then let the animal eat it. Chamomile can cause a skin irritation if your pet has a ragweed allergy. Licorice can be used as an anti-inflammatory for gi tract and respiratory. It can help with cough, dermatitis, ulcers, IBD, cancer, infections, and arthritis. Watch using Licorice in animals with liver, kidney or heart problems since long term use can cause sodium retention. Milk Thistle can be used as an antioxidant in protecting and restoring the liver. Oregon Grape is an antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and digestive aid that is good for infections and sluggish digestion. Use Oregon Grape with caution in a pet with liver disease.

Then Dr. Doug moved into Kim’s favorite subject, homeopathy for pets. Homeopathy is based on the principle that “like cures like.” Symptoms of disease are the body’s natural defense mechanism (such as nasal discharge or a cough) and are not meant to be controlled, managed or eliminated since this suppresses the disease as opposed to allowing the body to cure itself. In homeopathy, the whole patient is treated as opposed to allopathic medicine where symptoms are treated. Dr. Doug recommended Arnica for trauma, crushing injuries, bruising, and after surgery. In our own home, we had great success with Arnica when my kitten, Mr. Kitten Britches, had to be spayed. Kim asked her local vet to put two pellets of Arnica 30C on Mr. K’s tongue immediately after surgery and every four hours after surgery until we picked him up. In a few hours after the surgery, Mr. K’s swelling was completely gone and his appetite and energy level had returned. In fact, Kim’s husband Jim had to have knee surgery several weeks later. Kim used Arnica 200C alternated with Hypernicum 200C every two hours after Jim’s surgery for 2 days. He didn’t have to take any of the nasty pain killers the hospital sent him home with. Dr. Doug also suggested Apis for insect bites and stings, Ledum for puncture wounds, Nux Vomica for hairballs, Aconitum for sudden fright and panic, Lachesis for jealousy, Caulophyllum for labor difficulties, and Thuja for symptoms resulting from vaccination. Dr. Doug recommended the best way to give a homeopathic treatment to a pet is to use the 30C potency in pellet form, give 2 to 10 pellets(the number is not important), dump them onto a folded piece of paper and then into the mouth, and don’t touch them with your hands.

In the next installment of my Dr. Doug Knueven Holistic Pet Care Seminar blog series, I’ll be talking about the benefits of animal chiropractic and pet massage.

Dr. Doug Knueven Weekend Part 1: Nutrition & Supplements March 23, 2009

Posted by hollythenewfcom in Natural Dog Health Care.
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Dr. Doug Knueven shows accupressure points on Holly The Newf

Dr. Doug Knueven shows accupressure points on Holly The Newf

I had the most marvelous time this weekend with my family at Dr. Doug Knueven’s Pet Holistic Health Care Seminar in Mebane, NC. Kim’s sister, Jenn, of Blue Dog K-9, helped arrange the seminar at the APS of Orange County. We learned so much, I can’t cover it all in one blog. So I decided to put together a series of blogs about our very informative weekend. Dr. Doug spent day one talking about homeopathy, accupuncture and accupressure, raw diets and natural nutrition, massage, herbal medicine, chiropractic, vaccinations, and other forms of holistic pet health care. Dr. Doug has been very successful at integrating Western medicine with Eastern practices and philosophies.

He started the day by going through information on the inadequacy of nutrition training in veterinary schools today and the inferior quality of continuing education on nutrition. He told us these programs and the resources they use are paid for by the big commercial pet food companies. Gee…do you think there is any biases in what they are teaching in nutrition class? He told us that many commercial pet foods are high in carbohydrates with can contribute to obesity and cancer. Many of the commercial pet foods are filled with ingredients that are inferior (dead, decaying or diseased meat sources when processed) and not of human grade for consumption, filled with artificial flavoring and coloring (what dog needs to eat red pieces of kibble that looks like meat?), and processed to the point of having the potency of the nutrients destroyed.

Jenn has told us many times of all the dogs she sees in her practice that have terrible behavior problems, of which many are due to poor diets where commercial pet food with corn is used. I myself used to eat a dog food with corn in it. (Before my humans knew better!)  I was very nervous, had skin problems and hot spots, and left very large piles around the yard.  Dr. Doug suggests a natural diet, like I eat now, that consists of raw meat, bones, shredded vegetables, and organ meat. My hot spots and skin problems have disappeared and I don’t litter up the yard as much.

Dr. Doug reminded us that in a natural diet, 2-14% would be grains vs. most commercial dog kibble which is 50-90% grain.  He also talked about how feeding a commercial kibble for the life of your dog and not adding variety to your dog’s diet can be a factor in your dog developing food allergies. Dr. Doug spoke about the fact that dogs evolved eating raw meat, bones, organs, and shredded veggies from the stomach of their kill. Commercial diets have only been popular in the past 50 years or so. You will not mimic the natural percentages of diet with commercial kibble.

Dr. Doug then recommended his five essential supplements that he feels every dog should have: a natural multi-vitamin, fish oil, digestive enzymes, and glucosamine/chondroitin. He also recommends a probiotic for 2 to 3 weeks at the change of the seasons or if the dog has had diaherria or been on any antibiotics. Dr. Doug prefers natural sources vs synthetic in the supplements he uses. When we were informed of all the really bad things that can be in commercial pet food such as aflatoxin (a toxin created by mold that grows on grain),  Pentobartbital (a drug used to uthenize dogs), melamine, or even bone meal from other dogs and cats (yikes!)…it just makes good sense to do your home work about what your pet is eating.

There are good commercial dog foods available if you are not in a position to feed a totally natural diet. The Whole Dog Journal rates the 10 best every year. I use Flint River Ranch when I’m traveling. I know that Solid Gold and Wellness are high on the list. Dr. Doug told us that even if you can’t do a totally natural diet, any step that you can make to improve your dog’s diet or add natural components to it is better than 100% commerical kibble.

In the next installment of my Dr. Doug Knueven Weekend blog report, I’ll be talking about herbal medicine and homeopathy.

Therapy Dog Visit to the YMCA Family Center March 12, 2009

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Holly The Newf with friends at the YMCA Family Center

Holly The Newf with friends at the YMCA Family Center

What a great morning I had at the YMCA Family Center. I was invited on a therapy dog visit to meet a group of preschoolers and babies and their moms. I got to sit in the middle of a huge gym floor. All the kids sat around me and took turns coming up to pet me. Kim told them all about me. They were surprised that I weigh 120 lbs! We had dog safety handouts for them to color. They really liked that. Kim told them about how to meet a new dog, how to approach a dog you don’t know, and how not to pet a stray dog. She also played a game with them where they all pretended a stray dog was approaching them and they stood still like a tree. It was quite fun to see all of them standing perfectly still. Kim’s kids gave each of the preschoolers a special “Holly The Newf Dog Safety Award” certificate to take home. I really like going out on these therapy dog visits with kids. Little people are so much fun to meet and visit with!

Holly The Newf meets new friends Kim Marker and son Noah

Holly The Newf meets new friends Kim Marker and son Noah

Holly The Newf and friends at the YMCA family center. From left to right: Noah, Destiny and her mom Rebecca, Ava and her mom Courtney, Conner and his mom Courtney, and Stewart and his mom Page.

Holly The Newf and friends at the YMCA family center. From left to right: Noah, Destiny and her mom Rebecca, Ava and her mom Courtney, Conner and his mom Courtney, and Stewart and his mom Page.

Social Networking has Gone to the Dogs February 24, 2009

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Holly TheNewf's Facebook profile
I really have been having quite a lot of fun with this thing the humans call “Social Networking”. Facebook, My Space, YouTube, and Twitter are all sites where you can share pictures, videos, comments and news about the latest bone you chewed, how you are feeling after you and the cat got in a rumble, and thoughts you may be having about why drool hanging out of your mouth gets a negative response from people. It’s a great way to keep in touch with a large group of friends, all at the same time. You can look up friends that you may know from long walks or trips to the dog park and search for new friends who have similar interests, like pulling sleds and swimming regardless of what the outside temperature is. Now you might be thinking, “Are you kidding…what is a dog going to do on Facebook?” Well, I joined several groups about Newfoundlands and the Therapy Dogs International Group. I posted some pictures and videos so my friends could see me pulling my sled in the snow or the Williamsburg Christmas Parade I marched in. My Christmas Parade video got 5 stars on YouTube! I started to meet some wonderful new Newfie friends. Then I checked out some of my new friends blogs and web sites. There’s Nanook and Pooka, Ayla the Newfie, Bella and Gabe, and the dogs at the Newfie Nuthouse. Some of my friends are international! I discovered there are many fascinating sites about Newfs out on the web. I learned about new food, new toys, ideas for training, and breeders that have fabulous Newfies like me.As I looked further I found Dogs With Blogs, Doggyspace, and Dogbook on Facebook.  So what is the point you may ask. Well, with all these new friends I have a place to go to ask questions about a problem I may be having..like how do I talk my humans into another Newfie for our house, or to share information I have on how to become a therapy dog, or products like my Kong that I may want to share that I really liked. Plus, its great having friends who understand you. In my neighborhood, there are no other big dogs like me. But online, I’ve found tons of Newfie friends that I can really talk to. So if you are barking out there in cyberspace, be sure to look me up.

Diarrhea..Not so pretty in a Big Dog! February 22, 2009

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Homeopathic Remedies for Dogs by Geoffrey Llewellyn

Homeopathic Remedies for Dogs by Geoffrey Llewellyn

Diarrhea is not a word that anyone likes to associate with their dog, particularly a big dog. Last week we had a very bad wind storm where I live. In fact, I’ve never heard the wind so loud. It really made me nervous and I spent most of the night panting on the bathroom floor. The next morning I woke up with diarrhea. Yuck! Kim had a feeling I was upset from the wind the night before (she’s so smart). Since I had not had a change in what I was eating that day, she decided a homeopathic treatment was in order. Kim uses homeopathy on our whole family..humans, dog, cat..even the guinea pigs. She got out one of her favorite books for dogs, Homeopathic Remedies for Dogs (Gb-046). Kim says this is an easy book to understand for people just starting out in homeopathy for dogs. The kids love all the amusing cartoon images of dogs found throughout the book. Kim looked for a homeopathic remedy for diarrhea that was caused by fear. She found Gelsemium Sempervirens 30C, which is to be used when diarrhea is associated with fear or excitement. She gave me a human dose of 30c. She also fed me about a cup of plain white rice at my next meal. She repeated the dose of Gelsemium the next day. Diarrhea gone! There are many homeopathic remedies for diarrhea, depending on what symptoms your dog is exhibiting. Diarrhea can be very serious and if it continues, a trip to the vet may be necessary. For health matters that are not life threatening, Kim usually likes to try homeopathy first. Another great book for homeopathy with dogs is Dr. Pitcairn’s New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. For beginning homeopathy kits, check out the ones I have listed on my web site’s Holistic Pet Treatments page. We have a kit at home like the HomeoFamily Kit By Boiron [1 Kit (32 single medicine tubes in 30c potency)] which is a great way to get started in homeopathy. Remember all the remedies can be used on your humans too! My humans haven’t had the flu in three years thanks to their homeopathic flu treatment. The great thing about homeopathy is there are no side effects and it can be used with a conventional treatment from your vet. You can’t take too much of it, so there is no chance you’ll accidently overdose your pet. All the remedies are natural. I’m just glad there’s no more diarrhea!

How to Become a Therapy Dog February 14, 2009

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Holly The Newf and the Tail Waggin Tutors Program

Holly The Newf and the Tail Waggin Tutors Program

I recently received an email from my new friend Roosevelt, a Newfoundland in TN.  He is interested in becoming a therapy dog and was wondering how to get started. I am a therapy dog registered through Therapy Dogs International (TDI). On the TDI Getting Started Page is information on the registration requirements, upcoming tests, and the testing requirements.  I had to take the TDI test which included a temperment evaluation, an evaluation of my behavior around people and other dogs, and the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Test (CGC).  Each year you must renew your certification by filling out a health form and sending in a check for $30.  My human Kim and I can visit nursing homes, hospitals, and shelters. We developed several programs to tell adults and kids All About Newfoundlands and about responsible Dog Ownership .  One of my favorite programs is the Tail Waggin Tutors where children who are having difficulty learning to read use me as practice and they read out loud to me. There are other therapy dog programs in the United States including the Delta Society, and Angel on a Leash. I have a whole page on my web site devoted to information and resources on therapy dogs. I am always amazed how excited people are to meet me, pet me, and ask questions about me. Being a therapy dog is a great experience and is very worthwhile.