Am I Poisoning My Dogs?

image003_495This morning, it just hit me. I was fixing their food and as usual, I had a concert of whining because I am never fast enough! Sorry guys, but it takes a few minutes for Honest Kitchen dehydrated food to become REAL FOOD that you can swallow in 1 minute and 2 seconds. Each meal I fix for them makes me laugh…. It’s like Thanksgiving for humans. I spend so much time in the kitchen, and then half an hour later, it’s all done and gone…

Right now, they are all sleeping in my office because that’s what they do, they follow me all over the house. This is their mission in life: giving me as much love, and company they could think of. If I take too long of a shower, I start hearing them getting annoyed on the other side of the door, because, yes, sometimes there is a door between them and I, and I can tell you one thing: they don’t like it. The only time where all the doors within the house stayed open, it was after George’s death. That death hit us all pretty bad. One day, he was there, playful, loving, funny George, the next day, I came back empty handed. September 2012 was the month where I had to take showers with my six labs in the bathroom with me or they were howling at the door and freezing my blood which was already not that warm with George’s death.

There is always a before and after in every story. There is a “before George” and “after George”. During that Labor Day weekend, that Sunday, I had friends over, and they were all over George saying how beautiful he was, how shiny his coat was, how all of them were so healthy and beautiful. Yeah, right, the next day, George was at the emergency, and the day after, I had to put to sleep my sweet boy, so telling me, vets or friends, that my dogs are beautiful, healthy, shiny coats, etc., doesn’t do anything for me now.

George’s death, I tried to understand it. He was diagnosed with Lyme Nephritis. The day after his death, my whole bunch went to my vet for blood tests, and the whole nine yards. They were some off values related to kidneys. My vet suggested I test the well water, and sure enough they were some bacteria in the water. As the well guys explained to me, it’s nothing bad if you are healthy, but if you are not, let’s just say that it’s not going to improve your health. So, since that September 2012, my pack has only bottled water, thanks to Deer Park for that one! I was so paranoid with the water that the summer 2012 was the last time I had their kiddie pool outside.

That water was the enemy. I had to find someone to be guilty for my boy, right, so I took it on the water. It’s an old well with bacteria which go with the fact that it’s old, and there is not much I can do since I don’t own the house. That water is funny, you see, because it’s clear, it’s odorless but in my book it’s the enemy!

George’s death hit me hard, not only because he was only 3 years old, but also because I am so paranoid about what they eat. They had a grain free kibbles which was supposed to be real good, and the treats come out of my dehydrator or my oven. Dogs are like kids, and you get them accustomed to healthy treats. They will get as nuts as if you were giving them dog “fast food”. If I say the word “carrots”, I have 6 labs rushing to the fridge to get one, and when I say one, this is not totally true because Sophie anticipates, and is never satisfied with one. She has to grab at least two or three, you know, just in case of bad days ahead of her! That’s my Sophie. She is the only dog I know who doesn’t live in the present moment but thinks ahead. My tomboy, my love bug, my hunter girl who catches squirrels on a weekly basis. Basically, the squirrels that come to my backyard have to have a death wish!

Every year, they have their annual checkup with blood tests, urine, fecal. You name it, they have it. Last year again, in all six labs, the kidney values were all normal except one: the creatinine. My vet told me not to worry about it. It was probably coming from the food which was a great food. Gosh, I never heard that one before: each time something is off, blame it on the quality of the food you are giving them. It’s too good of a food. Besides the labs, I also have a Cairn terrier, who is without any doubt, the alpha of the bunch. His name is Sammie. I do believe that Sammie in another life was a sheep dog of some sort. When my pack is outside, and I call them in, he goes after each of them to make them go faster by barking at them and maybe chewing a bit on their hind legs if they are not fast enough! So, despite of his exercise, Sammie needs to lose two or three pounds. I started to reduce his calories intake but he doesn’t lose an ounce, Okay maybe one or two. Here again, my vet blamed it on the food which is too good. He gets less than 400 calories a day. How can he not lose any weight?

Six months ago or so, I asked the opinion of a holistic veterinarian to see what I can improve in my pack (it was basically to ask her what I could do for two of my girls who had a high Ph in their urine, and I did not want to give them the meds they were taking for it, and were useless anyway: Methio-Form). That’s another story.

She suggested the raw diet or the best after that would be “The Honest Kitchen”. The raw diet won’t be happening anytime soon. With 6 labs, I would go bankrupt in no time, and then you would see me at the corner of a big intersection with a sign: “Homeless and I need food for my dogs!” Just kidding. So I went for Honest Kitchen “Force” which would be the least processed food. Kibbles are still very much processed, so I was feeling good, and I was not the only one. Gosh THEY LOVE THAT FOOD! I know they are labs, and love any food, but the constant whining, drooling while I fix it is just too funny. The food is organic and human range, and my dogs look so good. Go back, scratch that one!

Anyway, this month was checkup time again, and again the creatinine value is far too high. Most of them are the higher end of normal, but Jackson is not even in the normal range. It’s just high. All the other kidney values are normal, so my vet gave me his explanation: there are 5% of dogs with high creatinine numbers but there is nothing wrong about it. Sorry, but this time, I don’t take it. I don’t like statistics anyway, and yes he blames the food again.

So today, I was in the kitchen, fixing their meals, and thinking: “what if I am the one to poison them?

Instead of the whole nine yards, we are going to the next step “the whole ten yards” thanks to Bruce Willis for this step ahead! The next step is going to be an internist, as a matter of fact, George’s internist at the Life Center in Leesburg, because the 5% is not a good enough answer for me. I am also writing this to see if anyone (who was patient enough to read everything until the last lines) had any similar experience with grain free food? Am I doing something wrong by doing something too good? This morning I am lost, but I know one thing though I am looking for a real answer, not statistics.

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