HERO PRODUCT – GRAIN FREE ALL LIFE STAGES

OCTOBER 13, 2016 | BY: JUDITH

HERO PRODUCT – GRAIN FREE ALL LIFE STAGES

 

Today’s Hero Product goes to……

Grain Free - All Life Stages Dog Food

Product benefits:

  • No Rendered Meats
  • No Soy, Dairy or Corn
  • No Artificial Flavours or Colours
  • No Ethoxyquin, BHT or BHA
  • Maintains healthy weight
  • Nourishes the digestive tract
  • Supports healthy skin & coat
  • Slow cooked at low temperature

 

INGREDIENTS:
Turkey meal, turkey meat, potato, pea, salmon meal, sunflower oil, yeast culture, sweet potato, salmon oil, dried kelp, chicory root extract (FOS), lecithin, yucca schidigera extract, pumpkin, cranberries, spinach, broccoli, green apple, blueberries, pears, bananas, rosemary extract, cinnamon, turmeric, capsicum, chamomile, dandelion, paprika. Vitamins: choline chloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin, L-ascorbyl (source of vitamin C), inositol, D-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, beta-carotene, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement. Minerals: calcium carbonate, zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, iron proteinate, zinc oxide, niacin, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite.

I recently received this fantastic product review from Tom in Yorkville, Toronto

“When it comes to my dog – nothing but the best will do. I have a beautiful Chow Chow named Princess. I know it may sound over the top but Princess is everything to me and when it came down to selecting a food for her I was very specific in what I wanted.

The food that I give her has to have meat and more meat as its first ingredient. Secondly, the food needs to have whole vegetables and whole fruits. It also cannot contain soy, corn, by products of any kind and definitely no artificial flavours or colours.

As you can imagine finding a food that has all of these qualifications can be very difficult and it took a long time to find the perfect food for her. But! Finally I found it – your Grain Free – All Life Stages Dog Food. My Princess loves the food and everything from her coat to her teeth are sparkling. I could not be happier.

Thank you for providing quality food.”

Thank you Tom – Princess is so lucky to have such a caring and considerate owner!

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Baking With Fido

OCTOBER 6, 2016 | BY: JENNA

If you read this blog regularly there is no doubt that you know about my dog Chebe. Chebe is my 4 year old, 16 pound, Coton De Tulear. This ball of fluff has brought so much love and joy to our household and especially to the life of my 13 year old son, Aiden, born with Autism.

Chebe even more special because he is Aiden’s therapy dog. He calms and quiets Aiden’s anxiety and lays on his chest when he is feeling agitated. Between Chebe’s amazing work ethic (haha) and his adorable round fluffy body he is impossible not to love.

One of Aiden and Chebe’s favourite things to do is wait patiently in the kitchen while my daughter bakes. She is an avid baker and is almost always covered in flour – my waist line may be suffering from her hobby. This season is everything apple! Apple cakes, apple pies, apple crumble, apple butter, apple jam ….the list goes on. I was so happy when my son Aiden asked his sister.

“Jenna!! You need to make Chebe something with apples too! It isn’t fair that he just gets to smell everything. You need to make him something that is just for him…and maybe me too.”

Fantastic! Let me tell you- I love my Holistic Blend pumpkin heart treats for Chebe but the idea of creating special treats for your fur babies to enjoy when you are feeling extra festive and I whole heartedly agreed with him. So I asked her to share with me her recipe and instructions to make some homemade dog treats featuring fall flavours.

Apples - a good source of fiber as well as vitamin A and

Cinnamon - nontoxic to dogs and cats and adds a lovely flavour.

Oatmeal - A great source of soluble fiber, which can be especially good for dogs with bowel irregularity issues. It is also a great alternate grain for dogs allergic to wheat.

 

Oat Cinnamon-Apple Doggie Treats

Ingredients

  • 2 cups oat flour
  • ½ cup whole oats
  • 1 cup minced apples
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 2 eggs

Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius. (375 degrees Fahrenheit). Prep your pans by lining them with parchment paper.

Baking with Fido Step 1

Combine oat flour, whole oats, cinnamon, baking powder in a large bowl and mix to combine.

Baking with Fido Step 2

Peel and core 3 medium apples. Mince apples.

In a separate bowl combine minced apples, coconut oil and eggs and whisk until smooth.

Create a well in the dry ingredients and pour wet ingredients into dry.

Baking with Fido Step 3

Gently fold until fully combined.

Transfer mixture onto a clean work surface lightly dusted with flour.

Roll out your mixture until ¼ inch thick and cut out with your choice of cookie cutter or cut into bite size pieces. (Depending on the size of your dog this will vary in size)

Baking with Fido Step 4

Place cut shapes onto parchment paper lined pans and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before transferring. Place in the container of your choice and let your dog enjoy.

Baking with Fido Step 5

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Back to School? Say it isn't so!

SEPTEMBER 14, 2016 | BY: JUDITH

September already?

At risk of sounding too cliche I will still say WOW, this year has sure gone by fast! I am sure everyone is like me and looking at their calendar wondering what happened to the summer season of fun, relaxation, picnics, camping, swimming, and hiking? And now September 6th and 7th marks that it is time to go back to school.

Parents you may take a moment to pause for quiet celebration. You deserve it!

In the last minute mad dash to get all the school supplies, new clothes, registration and all that hubbub it can become very easy to get sidetracked on other important members of your family. No, I don’t mean your spouse or even your Aunt Gertrude living in your spare room for an indeterminate amount of time. (We will talk about that next time) I am talking about your other baby -  your fur baby.

During the summer most likely the amount of excitement brewing in the home is at an all time high. More people are home and bustling about - and in most cases there is always someone there to entertain our four legged friends. Taking them on adventures, plenty of tummy rubs and special cuddle times is what your pet has known over this time and now all that changes.  Yes, fall schedules are starting up and this means a big change for your pet at home. To get a better understanding of what it was like in other homes, I reached out to a few friends and asked them what it would some of these changes would mean in their household?

Where there any suggestions that I could share with you?

 

MIKE & SAMMY

What did summer look like for you and your pet?

Summer for Sammy and I is all about trips to the cottage. Sammy loves to go on car rides and we especially love spending time in the outdoors. Sammy loves to swim and go for hikes -  but his favourite thing to do is climbing the mountain trails behind the cottage. We have so much outdoor fun.

How does this change when fall comes?

Unfortunately, we close the cottage early fall and prepare for the Canadian winter. This means less time spent outdoors and more time spent inside our apartment.

What can/do you do to make sure that your pet adjusts to their new schedule?

I know that the main thing missing from Sammy’s fall schedule is outdoor activity. I can tell he misses running around outside and can seem anxious after too many hours being stuck inside. This is why as soon as thing slow down I take Sammy to my local dog parks and agility classes multiple times a week. This gives him something to look forward to during the week and helps him stay active while easing some of his anxiety. Just book some extra play time is my suggestion for people in my situation.

 

GENEVIEVE & ROSCO

What did summer look like for you and your pet?

This summer was so eventful! I adopted Rosco in July - Rosco is 2 years old and was a rescue from my local shelter. I cannot even begin to tell you how amazing life is with Rosco. Our summer has been spent connecting with each other and getting him comfortable with his new family. To say that we are connected at the hip is no exaggeration.

How does this change when it comes to fall?

Even more than ever this fall is a huge change for Rosco and I. This will be our first time apart from each  other for more than an hour at a time. I am a teacher and I have the summers off but as soon as September starts it is work work work. This means 8 hours away from him!

Have you noticed your pet’s behavior has seemed impacted due to the change?

Over the last few days I have noticed some things when I get home. First thing was a few ‘Accidents” in the house, then I noticed the blinds on the windows looked like he tried to shred them, along with some very noticeable scratches on the door. I know that he is feeling anxious and this is his way of telling me that he is unhappy with the sudden change. I have hired a trainer to help me with this transition.

What can/do you do to make sure that your pet adjusts to their new schedule?

The first thing I have done through the transition is to slowly taken a few hours at a time away from Rosco to get him accustomed to me being gone for periods of time. I started at 1 hour and have made it all the way to 4! When it comes to my new best friend there is nothing that I won’t try to make sure he is adjusting well. My trainer suggested that I take Rosco for a morning walk and evening walk after dinner but in addition to that,  I have decided to hire a dog walker to come take Rosco for an hour long adventure at lunch time. This makes me feel so much better.

I am hoping that he will enjoy getting out of the house and getting some fresh air until I get home. Try it.

 

ISAAC & TIMBIT

What did summer look like for you and your pet?

We have a perfect routine going for Timbit and I. When I return from work promptly at 5:30 we always go straight to the park and play, followed by a doggie date and finally finished with a treat from Starbucks. This is our daily routine and during the week we never break it - Timbit is 8 years old and she loves looking forward to our daily adventure.

How does this change when it comes to fall?

Normally fall wouldn't bring any change to our routine but this fall I am starting a new job. For this job my schedule will be all over the place in the beginning. Sometimes I will be working nights and sometime I will be starting early. This means that our perfected routine will go up in flames.

What are you most worried about ?

Timbit of course! I am so worried that she won't understand what is happening. In her eyes she may still expect me to be home at 5:30 and whn I don’t show up she will be devastated. I want to make this transition as smooth as possible without disturbing my princess Timbit.

What can/do you do to make sure that your pet adjusts to their new schedule?

To make sure that Timbit adjusts to our new timeline I have found a local doggie daycares in my area to take Timbit to when I am working late. Believe it or not there are amazing people out there who can help you. This will allow her to play with other dogs and spend the time outside that she loves. Sometimes you just have to think outside of the box.

 

Here is my top 5 ways to help your pet adjust to Fall

  • Make sure to keep your pet’s exercise regular. If you are walking your child to the bus stop make sure you bring fido, and don't forget about those evening walks when you get home.
  • Keep alert for signs of stress and anxiety. These signs may be giant or barely noticeable but it is very important to detect any signs early in order to keep your pet happy and healthy.
  • Have a special toy that is only introduced when you leave for the day. This will give your pet something to look forward to when you are gone.
  • Make sure to tend to your pet’s needs as soon as you get home. Before you start prepping dinner or doing homework with the kids.
  • Give them some extra love when you get home. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

 

When in doubt - some extra Pumpkin Spice Hearts from Holistic Blend can make any situation better!

Everyone knows fall = pumpkin spice.

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The A Word

August 4, 2016 | By: Judith

The A Word

It is 6 o clock on a Monday evening. The skies are calm and the breeze is gently blowing. I can feel my stresses starting to dissipate. Life is good.

I am at my weekly volunteer session at the local community centre welcoming in the students one by one as they arrive. “Hey, Mort. Clara, your hair looks so pretty today.” Cars are pulling in slowly and the sound of children laughing and doors closing fill the air. This is one of the reasons why I love being a volunteer.

Our session has some new students this week and I hear a pair of new moms greeting each other in the parking lot.

 

(This is when things take a turn for the worse)

 

As I look over, one mom is in her car in the parking area right in front of the entrance to the centre. She has her beautiful mastiff beside her on the passenger seat. The window in rolled down while the other mother is standing next to the passenger window happily chatting, waving her arms in the air with animation. I smile as they exchange words and ask each other about their day. I took notice of the mastiff. The dog was really eye catching with tan and black hair that shone in the light.

Within a breath, the mastiff was out of the window with his teeth sunk deeply into the mother’s arm. I jerked forward, shutting the door as the woman ripped her arm away only to have the dog grab onto her thigh with its big jaws. This was a nightmare – the calm aura erupted around us into screams and children who were walking past started crying. There was blood everywhere as I rushed over to help. What was so shocking is that the dog owner was holding onto the dog with such shock and the quick aggression that the mastiff had shown, had been quickly replaced with fear and shock at all the commotion.

Truthfully the bite was deep and within 15 minutes the poor injured woman was on route to the hospital in an ambulance.

After I settled all the students with the three teachers on duty and calmed the situation I asked the mastiff’s owner what possibly could have happened? It was a complete shock to me when she told me that her beloved dog has known the other woman for years and they were, in fact, good friends. He had never shown aggression before and is great around other dogs and children. This was a completely random attack and she was devastated. Her tears broke my heart. She sobbed for a while and then phoned the vet to ask if she could bring the dog in for a checkup, perhaps he could shed light on the situation

Two days later. I called both the moms to check up. The dog owner had found out that the medication that her dog was on, was the cause of the anxious behaviour and the vet thinks that it was the side effects that caused the attack. One of the many reasons we need to ask questions when our pets take medication. The mastiff is also enrolled in behaviour training sessions with a great dog trainer and they hope to see great results.

The mom who has the 4 stitches in her arm and the badge on her leg is amazing. She shocked me with her compassion and understanding of the situation, totally forgiving the dog and owner. “These things happen,” she said. “We just need to be understanding when they do.”

Brilliant ending to what could have been catastrophic to all involved.

Understanding Aggression in Dogs

We need to firstly understand that aggression is a normal response in all animals. Just like humans, it is a natural response to fear, frustration, surprise and anger. However, when it comes to dogs any signs of aggression can end in a death sentence. This is why it is so important to understand what belongs in the category of aggressive behaviours and how to prevent it from escalating.

Behaviour such as:

  • Barking
  • Growling
  • Bearing teeth
  • Snapping
  • Biting

 

“These various behaviours can seem commonplace in a dog’s lifetime and in many ways never escalate further than barking or growling at a stranger or an unfamiliar dog in their neighbourhood. However, they should not be taken for granted as many of these can be warning signs of escalating aggression and need to be recognised before it is too late”, says Marie, a dog trainer that I spoke to in my research.

 

Why is this happening?

In many cases, aggressive behaviour is most frequently caused by fear and stress. But can also be due to:

  • Lack of early socialisation
  • Lack of training
  • Traumatic experiences
  • Abuse at home
  • Neurological issues
  • Side effects of medication

It is important to understand that no dog is aggressive all the time. Aggression is in response to something in the dog's environment, whether it is the sudden appearance of another dog, action of a human, pain caused by injury or illness, and more.

How do I as a dog owner prevent this from happening?

Being able to predict the aggression from your dog is key in preventing an escalated event. It is incredibly rare that a dog’s aggression is random. Most of the time dogs will give subtle warnings that they are feeling stressed and anxious. When these signs are ignored sometimes the dog will begin to show signs that are more obvious - like growling or snapping.

Signs of anxiety and stress include:

  • Tense body
  • Slow movement
  • Avoiding eye contact with people and other dogs
  • Walking away or avoiding the situation
  • Tail tucked between its legs
  • Ears lowered and down

How do you stop the aggression?

The first thing to do is to remove your dog from the situation that is making them react in an aggressive manner. After that consulting a trainer on behaviour modification has proved to be very successful at decreasing your dog’s stress when they are presented with triggers.

For every dog what they can get out of this training depends on each case of aggression. Some dogs may be able to fully integrate and play with other dogs and some may only be able to tolerate them at a distance.

Some things to consider:

  • Aggression is not a quick fix - several sessions with a trainer will be needed to teach the necessary skills a dog needs in order to encounter dogs or people.
  • You have to be consistent – Pet owners will have to continue the work that trainers do at home and in all walks of life.
  • Understand that every situation is different – If the aggression is based on stranger interaction, dogs in a quiet household will have better success than dogs in a busy household with many guests coming and going.
  • Have realistic goals and expectations – Expecting your dog to go to a dog park in three weeks may not be realistic. Behaviour modification and dealing with stress and anxiety is an arduous process and will take time.

At the end of the day, please remember: No dog is a bad dog. Take care of your animals and create a safe and nurturing environment so they can thrive and live long happy and healthy lives.

Judith

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Who Spooked Sparky?

July 4, 2016 | By: Judith

Who Spooked Sparky?

This past weekend I attended a doggy play date with my girlfriend Sally and her new pup Sparky. Sparky is this adorable little schnauzer with black ears and big brown eyes. Saturday, was another gorgeous summer day and we all met at a local park and puppy splash pad near my house. My dog Chebe was so excited to visit with a new friend but after a few moment of greeting each other I observed that Sparky seemed noticeably frightened, timid and afraid.
Sally assured me that Sparky was fine and that he would get over the initial fear and I just watched from the sidelines. As the afternoon went on various people came by to coo at our beautiful pups and each time Sparky reacted, hiding behind Sally, shaking and whining.
He was spooked!
We went home immediately after and as I sat down at my computer with Chebe on my lap I started to wonder… who or what spooked Sparky?
Dogs can become fearful of people because of poor handling and socialization during the first few months of life. This can also be caused by previous unpleasant experiences with people, medical problems, or genetics. No matter what the cost - the ultimate goal is to teach your dog to be relaxed around people and to enjoy their company.
So want can we do?

Positive experiences the ultimate goal for any pet owner.

Controlling Social Situations

It is suggested by many pet trainers to instruct that new visitors to your home or with your pet, to take it slow. Try to make yourself less threatening by squatting down, avoiding direct eye contact, and keeping your hands by your sides. Just pause. A gentle and quiet tone of voice and slow body movements are also very important.
When going on walks it is common to bump into strangers and their dogs. Too much tension on the leash or holding your pet too tightly can likely make them more nervous. so you want to make sure you have enough control and keep enough distance between your pet and unfamiliar people. This will ensure your pet’s safety and help keep your dog calm at all times.
Your dog often takes cues from you, so if you are nervous or anxious you should avoid stressful situations until you're comfortable.

Help Them Out

It has been found very successful in helping lessen your pet’s anxiety to repeatedly associate something positive with the presence of people. Cheese loves dried meat. This is his special treat that helps him warm up to people. We only use this special treat when we are going to meet someone new. Remember, by selected treats or small pieces of food that are extra delicious- like freeze-dried liver, chicken meat, or cheese, you will really enhance the connection between food and overcoming fear.

Prevent the fear

In most cases, dogs will not become fearful if they have ample opportunities to socialize with people in the first few months of life. It is also important to frequently handle them in a gentle, soothing manner, and raise them without harsh techniques or physical punishments. There is never a right moment to hit your dog.
Try a new puppy / doggy class, this is a great way to introduce your dog to many different types of people and other dogs in a controlled environment.

What not to do

  • Try not to force your puppy into social situations, learning to feel comfortable with people is a gradual process and should not be rushed.
  • Do not force your dog to be pet and reached for by strangers - even though they may let people pet them it does not mean they enjoy it.
  • During the initial stages of training, try to keep your puppy away from situations that make them feel anxious or scared. For example: firework celebrations, very crowded places, parties.
  • If you have a new puppy or anxious animal take care this Summer to not expose them overly to loud fireworks or large celebrations. Remember, dogs cannot wear headphones or ask for time outs when they are stressed or suffering from anxiety.

    Judith

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Hero Product - Herbal Calmer

June 24, 2016 | By: Judith

Today’s Hero Product goes to……

HERBAL CALMER

The Natural Non-Drowsy Calmer that Works

Holistic Blend®’s Herbal Calmer helps to settle mental and physical nerves, and does not induce drowsiness. Created specifically for the needs of dogs 6 months of age and older and cats 5 months of age and older.

Safe to use daily for:

  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Travel
  • Thunder Storms
  • Grooming

Ingredients: Skullcap, passion flower, chamomile, lecithin, vegetable glycerin based.

I received this lovely message from Genevieve in Oshawa, ON and I wanted to share it with you.

“My name is Genevieve and I have a beautiful 2-year-old dog named Zack. I cannot tell you what a difference this product has made to both my German Shepard’s life and mine. Ever since Zack was a puppy he would experience bad separation anxiety and when we went for walks he would cry and whine and shake when he saw other dogs. I always thought he would grow out of it but eventually after a few weeks I told my vet. My vet told me that Zack was experiencing anxiety. She told me that this was different than a fear because anxiety is the anticipation of dangers. Sometimes from unknown sources or even imagined!

I felt so horrible for Zack because even though we took him for walks very early or late in the day to avoid other dogs he was still so nervous every time. During long weekends neighbors would light fireworks and he would be hiding in the bath tub!

We tried everything from weighted blankets and vests to soothing music and nothing worked. I was still very reluctant to put Zack on medication and I was looking for alternative options. That is when I found Holistic Blend’s Herbal Calmer. I was happy to find something that can be used daily or when needed and let me tell you - this works so well. Zack is noticeable calmer and much easier to walk and has even gotten more comfortable with sudden noises.

Thank you so much!

p.s. We still won’t be going anywhere near fireworks though...”

Thank you for sharing your success story with us!

Judith

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Paws Crossed

June 20, 2016 | By: Judith

To cross one's fingers is a hand gesture commonly used to wish for luck.

Fingers crossed that you get supportive parents, nurturing environments that allow you to grow and develop into a self-sufficient adult who can create their own destiny and make their own decisions.

To a dog, cat, bird, or any pet it is always a paws or claws crossed moment. Will my owners support me? Feed me? Nurture me? Love me and care for me forever and always? We know that sometimes the answers are not always pleasant. There is no opportunity for these animals to grow into being self-sustainable pets. They rely on us 100% to love and care for them always.

Knowing this, made me curious, what does it take to make a good pet owner?

Cathy was the first person I asked, she owns a large greyhound, beautiful coat of grey and white, with very distinctive features. She says, “Don’t buy a pet spontaneously, think about it, plan it, research the breed, talk to the family, find a vet, do all this before just randomly purchasing a pet. This is what makes you not only a good pet owner, but more importantly a responsible owner.”

Kiera, who has two furry babies, a Siamese cat and a Yorkshire Terrier named Chloe and Baba. She reminds us all of the importance of obedience training. “I honestly thought I could train Baba and for almost 2 years tried to teach him obedience, but his cuteness overthrew all my intentions. So I hired a trainer who helped me in so many ways. Now Baba is the best trained Yorkshire Terrier around the neighbourhood. And yes, they all applauded me!

ps: Chloe, the beautiful Siamese cat did not do so well with the trainer. She is strong willed and between you and me, she is just perfect the way she is. :)

Don, is an artist in the Halton region who still cares for his 19 year old Australian Shepard. Their relationship is amazing. Honestly I believe that they have the strongest bond I have ever seen. Wherever Don goes, Shawna is close behind. They are best buds.

He reminds me, “DIET, four letter word that means so much to both Shawna and myself. We both follow healthy diets and I believe that’s why Shawna has lived to such an old age.”

“What do I feed her? Holistic Blend. We love the brand and have used it for over 9 years. I wish I had found it when it first was launched to the public.

We still go for walks and play ball, and snuggle on the couch together while we watch TV.

This is probably the last year I have with Shawna, I know that. The vet has prepared us, but I wish she could have lived a little longer. So my message to all pet owners is please choose your food carefully - they deserve it!”

For Noah, the whole responsibility issue when it comes to pets, no matter how big or how small is LOVE. Love love love. “If you love something you will care for it, whether it is the food, the space, the vet, brushing and grooming, you will do it willingly because you love your pet dearly.

When I meet new pets, I always check to see how much they are loved by their owner. That is how I met my wife, Mary. We were in the park when her Shitsu, Moka came running over without a lead. This little 10 pound dog was brushed and happy, tail wagging little ball of fluff with a bright red collar and tags. Mary came running over and apologized, she was so busy patting her dog and soothing her that I could not help but think of how amazing we could be together, and BAM, just like that we were dating and now, it’s all history.”

What makes you a good pet owner? Such a simple question and such a wide variety of answers. All of them together makes the ideal owner and caregiver for any animal- and with all that combined our amazing furry babied don’t have to keep their paws and claws crossed.

No luck needed.

Judith

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Some like it Hot

June 7, 2016 | By: Judith

I love the weather! I say this happily, after spending a couple of yo yo kind of months with unusual weather alerts. My toes still remember the icy cold and sleet covered sidewalks.

So while I am out and about dressed in that summer dress that I had to wait almost half a year to wear, I decided to go and get an iced coffee. One of the things I love about downtown Toronto, is the action. This city is literally bubbling with creativity. People are vibrant in their ethnicity, clothing, language and art. Dogs attached to bright pink, leather collars and strong woven harnesses.

Today I had to visit a friend who stays in the city. I wanted to bring Chebe with me, but as I was going to take the Go Train there and back and I was not sure if Sarah’s apartment allowed pets, I decided against it.

Although with this weather, I am glad I chose to leave him indoors with cool air and plenty of water. Plus, I put on his favourite show, SPONGEBOB. Yes, I know it is strange, but when that music plays he runs over and sits on the couch, his little eyes trained on the tv screen. thinking about it makes me laugh.

It was just then that I noticed this cute little coffee shop with chairs and tables outside. The one I chose had an umbrella and lucky I sat down when I did because someone tried to scoop it up straight afterwards. This is downtown after all.

One Latte and coffee cake later. My body was sweating. Even under the shade of an outdoor umbrella I was soaked with sweat. It was while I was wiping my neck I looked down and saw a Retriever panting under the table of another couple. His tongue was hanging out and his eyes were trained on the floor. My heart stopped.

that forlorn face was honestly all I could think of.

I got up walked inside asked where the dog water dish was for all the furry patrons?

The hostess looked a little flustered when I started sharing facts about dogs not having sweat glands and if I was sweating like a piglet then I was sure that that dog under that table (all my pointing was causing a little staring) was overheating as we spoke. She filled a bowl and brought it out for the golden Retriever and I gave her a thumbs up!

YEAH!!

This got me thinking that everyone should know a few simple tips to make sure that their pets stay healthy and safe as the summer heats up.
Here they are:

  • Make sure to always have fresh water available at all times. If you are going on a walk or picnic make sure to pack extra water and a portable bowl for fido.
  • Give your dog a summer cut! Non shedding breeds will not shed their coat accordingly so you need to make sure that they do not overheat with a long coat. A lightweight summer cut will help prevent overheating but remember to keep at least an inch of protection to avoid getting sunburned.
  • Take a break from that workout. Restrict the amount of exercise and high amounts of physical activity in hot weather so that your pup does not exhaust themselves.
  • Hit the pool. Many dogs enjoy taking a dip or splashing in a wading pool on hot summer days. This is a great way to cool off and have some fun without overheating.
  • Avoid hot paws. When the sun is especially hot, surfaced like asphalt and cement can heat up quickly. A dog’s paws are very sensitive and can get burns so be careful.
  • Chill your treats. A great way to enjoy the summer heat is to make frozen treats just for your fido. Try freezing chicken or beef broth, or plain yogurt. This delicious summer snack will be a guaranteed hit.
  • NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET IN A PARKED CAR. Even if you are only gone a few minutes or parked in the shade. The inside of car can reach temperatures of over 60 degrees Celsius. Even if you plan to be quick – that errand could be fatal for your pet.

Judith

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Dog Wash Day

May 24, 2016 | By: Judith

Today is the day we take the dog for a new experience - A dog wash! You know what a car wash is? where you can drive through and wash your car? This is just like that except it is a wash for dogs! (kind of)
Our Coton de Tulear has so far only been washed at the groomers - but my son is exceptionally sensitive to advertising. So when he saw the ad for a dog wash at a local pet store he immediately felt that Chebe NEEDED this experience! So we grabbed our shampoo and brushes and we were out the door.
Having autism my son is usually not interested in the day to day running of life. However, this was something that he could not stop thinking about. I think in his mind it would be like a conveyor belt lined with dogs all ready to be washed by various robot arms and twirling brushes and copious amounts of bubbly suds.

In my mind- I am just hoping to come out with an inch of clothing that is still dry.

Off we go! With both child and dog are enjoying the breeze with their head leaning out the window.

Thank goodness there is no-one in the dog washing section of the store, at this point Aiden is jumping up and down with excitement and the store’s resident tortoise shell short hair cat was chasing the dog around the store.
After rescuing the dog and calming down the child we are finally ready to wash and roll. My son is fascinated with the neat collar that is attached to the bath that will hold Chebe in place without hurting him and allowing us to wash him without stress.
We have gotten into a groove with washing and scrubbing - I almost forget that there is a large cat staring the dog down. Large green eyes, filled with so much knowledge, power…
And then before you can say Jack Robinson, there is a change of dynamics, like those whirlwinds that you see in a cartoon - swoosh, and my son is on the counter with the cat in his arms.
Wow. Now the dog is truly upset at his young owner holding this majestic king of the dog wash. The Coton’s whining has risen in crescendo, and all I keep saying is HURRY HURRY.

 

Phew, we are done!


Wet dog is shaking off all the excess water and jumping up in the tub. this is when I notice that I am alone with the dog. The cat and my son are both gone and it is quiet….

 

So, taking a calming breath I pick up the wet dog wrapped in the towel and search. This part did not take long as there he was all five feet, eight inches laying on the floor in the middle of the store playing happily with the cat.

What an amazing experience.

I would honestly encourage anyone to give the self-serve dog wash a try, If not for the laughs and giggles, then for the clean pup.

ps: Yes, there is a professional dryer. Hint, do not put your mouth on it. I am not saying someone did this...

Judith

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Hero Product – Food Booster

May 16, 2016 | By: Judith

Today’s Hero Product goes to……

FOOD BOOSTER

The Ultimate Immune Booster

Known to boost the immune system and build antibodies. Holistic Blend®’s Food Booster is great for cats ↦ dogs of any age & activity level. By adding Holistic Blend®’s Food Booster to one of our dog or cat formulas, you can increase the fat and protein to a desired level.

Aids In:

  • Immune Booster
  • Build Antibodies
  • Weight Gain

Ingredients: Lactose free whole milk powder, whey protein, casein.

I Just received this testimonial from Sam in Georgetown, ON

Sam writes.

“Hi there my name is Sam and Recently I went to my local animal shelter and they had just received a kitten that was found in a dumpster. :( I couldn't help myself and I needed to take her home immediately. Her name is bumble and the vet estimated her to be about 6 months old but when I got her she was only two and a half pounds. She was so tiny I was scared that I might break her! The vet recommended finding a higher fat kitten food to help her gain weight but I found that I could not get her to eat enough to allow her to gain weight. That is when I found Holistic Blend’s food booster. This stuff is fantastic! I can add it to regular cat food increase the fat and the protein and she doesn't need to eat more than her usual amount. This works so well and she's already gained some weight. I am so happy that I found this and I would recommend it to anybody.”

Thank you for sharing your story Sam. Everyone at Holistic Blend is so happy to Hear that Bumble is getting healthier everyday.

Judith

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The Smiling Blue Skies® Cancer Fund

May 8, 2016 | By: Judith

I want to introduce you to another great charity that “Holistic Blend” supports, “Smiling Blue Skies.” I heard about this charity a while ago, when a friend was researching options for her Labrador who had been diagnosed with stomach cancer.

Today, I had a chance to talk to Debbie, the owner of “Holistic Blend,” and ask her why she chose this particular charity to support.
“Cancer is something that everyone knows and I have personally seen the harsh effects on many families, including my own. It is life changing. Now imagine what this would be like, going through with a pet?” she says.
“Support for cancer is very important to me and everyone at “Holistic Blend.” Both animals and humans are important to us. We love the warmth and compassion that Smiling Blue Skies offers. Money raised is used to support research at the University of Guelph, and to be honest, research is the only way we are going to be able to better understand how we can treat this devastating disease. They offer resources, nutritional support and awareness . . . all the things that I am looking for in a charity.”
“Why don’t you ask them personally?” she suggested, handing me their information card. I looked at the card and then at the powerful force behind “Holistic Blend,” and smiled at how wonderful it was to know that animals had this great guardian of protection in their lives.
Next, I reached out to Kayla, a volunteer for Smiling Blue Skies and asked for more information to share with everyone.

What is “Smiling Blue Skies?”

Since the spring of 2001, The Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund and The Smiling Blue Skies Fund for Innovative Research have supported the Ontario Veterinary College, at the University of Guelph Pet Trust’s quest, to find more and better ways to understand and treat the complex and devastating disease of cancer. Smiling Blue Skies also offers 24/7 support to “anyone” whose life has been touched by cancer, regardless of where you live.

When was “Smiling Blue Skies” founded?

March 27th, 2001, when founder, Suzi Beber, lost her Golden Retriever, Blue to Lymphoma.

What inspired you to make a difference?

I was inspired by my Golden Retriever, Kasey. He was diagnosed with nasal squamous cell carcinoma (a form of skin cancer growing in his nose) in October 2013. At the time, he was 10 years old. We were immediately referred to the Mona Campbell Centre for Animal Cancer in Guelph. His type of cancer was an aggressive growing tumour and the only recommended treatment was surgery. He would need to have a large portion of his nose and upper jaw removed. The oncology veterinarian thought he was in a good position for full recovery, if they could remove the entire tumour. Kasey had been a very healthy dog up until this point, so we decided to go through with it.

Throughout the ordeal, the group at the animal cancer center was wonderful! I received daily updates (morning and night) after his surgery, and even received a call from his surgeon when his surgery had just finished. With time, he recovered wonderfully, and was well on his way to recovery, when I found out about Guelph’s “First Annual Smiling Blue Skies Walk to End Canine Cancer.” It was going to be held in September of 2014. Kasey and I were going to walk in it as a “cancer survivor.” Sadly, in June of 2014, at his 6-month follow-up appointment, we found out that the cancer had returned and spread to his lungs. He passed away in July 2014, just a few days past his 11th birthday. It was from there, that I decided to get involved with the walk and volunteer my time.

I’ve always been a huge animal lover and I know so many dogs that have died of cancer so it just feels right that I would be involved in cause like this! This year is my first year organizing the walk. My 1 year old Bernese Mountain Dog, Willow, and I, will be there walking in memory of all the dogs that have lost their lives to cancer.

What kind of support is needed to keep “Smiling Blue Skies” a success?

MONEY… unfortunately, without money, these critical studies and grants cannot be funded. The 2015 report is located on the home page of The Smiling Blue Skies website, at www.smilingblueskies.com. It is through this report that you can see all of the things we have been involved in over the past year, and get a taste for our future goals. Without us, for example, there would be no clinical research coordinator. We have just extended the funding of this very critical position, for another three years. In addition, another key focus for us has been the creation of core communications tools and strategies, to promote clinical research studies and the Companion Animal Tumour Sample Bank. This focus is aimed to increase patient recruitment for clinical trials, promote collaborations and facilitate cancer research at OVC and the University of Guelph.

I was so happy that in addition to answering my questions, Kayla decided to share with me a personal story written by Doreen Houston. Doreen is a veterinary internist and now semi-retired. She is currently an OVC Pet Trust Board Member and for the last 5 years has been involved with “Smiling Blue Skies,” as a walker and fund raiser.

This is her story:

Rain-errr-shine, my all weather friend, Houston van Berkel the first (we just call her Rayner) lived to be 15 years of age. Truly remarkable given she was diagnosed with malignant melanoma 3-1/2 years prior to that birthday. It was March 17, 2011, I bent down to kiss Rayner's nose as I always do and there it was - a tiny lump beside her canine tooth on the right lower jaw. Within days, our veterinarian had a biopsy report and the news was not good, Rayner had Malignant Melanoma. We were devastated. I made an appointment at the Animal Cancer Centre at the Ontario Veterinary College and discussed all of the palliative care options; radiation, surgery and chemotherapy. Making a decision was not easy and through a flood of tears the decision was made to do all we could do for Rayner. The cancer was staged (blood work, lymph node biopsies, scans of chest/abdomen and jaw) and Rayner underwent surgery to remove part of her right lower jaw and all of the lymph nodes in her neck. She was a trooper and the gang at the Animal Cancer Centre were fantastic. Rayner came home and had to learn to eat without that part of her jaw. Not an easy thing when you consider that long border collie nose. She struggled and we struggled. About a week after surgery, I knew we were turning a corner. Kees, my husband, had barbequed chicken breasts for dinner and I was making a salad. Kees had left to go to the store. When he returned, I told him "I have good news and I have bad news". The good news is Rayner showed great interest in the chicken and, with hand feeding, ate it all!. The bad news is "you are having salad only" for dinner. From then on, it was a combination of hand feeding and Rayner eating on her own (home cooking, canned food and even kibble). As part of her therapy, she was on the melanoma vaccination - a unique form of therapy with a vaccine that targets the abnormal cells. Once through the initial program, Rayner went back to the cancer center about every 6 months for her checkup and vaccination. They were so good to her and the love and concern was obvious. I sat and chatted (and cried) with other pet "moms and dads" going through cancer diagnoses and treatments with their pets too. One thing was abundantly clear-we need to do more to stop cancer IN ALL SPECIES. I became a member of the OVC Pet Trust Board shortly after Rayner was diagnosed with cancer. I believe in the power of research and the difference it can make in the lives of our pets. I believe in improving the lives of the pets entrusted to our care. Rayner and I took part in our first Smiling Blue Skies Walk to End Canine Cancer in 2012 in Toronto. She was with me for the 2nd (Toronto 2013), and 3rd (2014 - the first time in Guelph). Rayner was euthanized shortly after the walk in 2014, having reached 15 years of age and developing a mass on her spleen and some other health issues. We decided it was time to say goodbye. I will keep on walking with her in my heart. This will be my 5th Smiling Blue Skies Walk to End Canine Cancer. What Suzi Beber (I should say Dr. Suzi Beber) has started in memory of her beloved "Blues" has been a phenomenal success. So many research projects into cancer detection and treatment have been made possible because of SBS. Rayner would not have lived 3-1/2 years post a diagnosis of Malignant Melanoma were it not for cancer research and the wonderful team at the Animal Cancer Centre. I know we are making a difference. Long live Smiling Blue Skies.

A big thank you to Debbie and “Holistic Blend” for supporting the pet community and thank you to Kayla, Doreen and all the amazing people involved with Smiling Blue Skies. I have learned so more about canine cancer and ways that we can work to treat the devastating disease that is cancer.

To learn more about Smiling Blue Skies Walk
Visit: http://uofg.convio.net/guelph2016

To learn more about Smiling Blue Skies and how you can get involved,
Visit: www.smilingblueskies.com

To learn more about OVC Pet Trust
Visit https://ovc.uoguelph.ca/pettrust/

Judith

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Hiking - For the Humans?

May 4, 2016 | By: Judith

I don't know about you, but during this beautiful weather my heart starts pounding to be outdoors. My skin screams for the warm rays of sun, vitamin D is my friend, and this is where I start to realize that I need to get outside and be a little bit more active. (Pause for laughter) Active is definitely not a word in my vocabulary, but a new swimsuit is... and I just received mine today in the mail. Black and white with a little tankini top and bikini bottoms, plus flabby winterized legs equals disaster!

A good friend of mine told me that her favourite thing to do in spring weather with her pup is hiking.

At first I thought hiking? Instant mental images of professional sports type people in their fancy glasses with their walking sticks and white smiles. Myself, in my too tight shorts, frizzy hair and ratty runners. Chebe, my little Coton De Tulear with his white hair all covered in brambles is what nightmares are made of. Yeah...no. I can't say that it left me enthusiastic.

However, instead of giving into my cynicism and another excuse to just watch Netflix on the weekend, I decided to start researching. The more I read, the more I learned and I started to realize that it did not have to be as extreme as I thought. I could hike on a day trip that wouldn't require me to pack a tent or bring extra clothes, food, and or sanity. Maybe just an early afternoon hike to get some fresh air and a little bit of exercise or a late evening sunset walk.

Now, being the genius that I am, I figured that I could make it even better if I planned all my adventures with Chebe! Yes - between you and me, everything in the world is better when I bring my fur baby.

This brought the whole hiking to whole new levels of research and this is what I found:

BEFORE YOU START HIKING

  1. Are they fit and active enough to hike?
  2. Find a trail that welcomes dogs. Not all nature trails or hiking trails are animal friendly.
  3. Does your dog need special gear like booties for rocky terrain or a vest to carry water or other necessities?

DURING YOUR HIKE

  1. Make sure you keep your dog leashed. Not only is this a law most areas but, it also prevents your dog straying from you in unfamiliar territory
  2. Avoid shared trail with mountain bikers or horses. You do not want to add extra stress on your dog.
  3. Do not let your dog drink water from just anywhere. They are just as susceptible to waterborne disease than we are.
  4. Make sure they get enough calories for the amount of effort they will exert. Depending on your breed of dog this can range.
  5. Make sure you clean up after them. Just like any other walk you are responsible for picking up after your dog.

AFTER YOUR HIKE

  1. Take a really good look at your dog. Inspect their body for burrs, bugs or ticks. In the wilderness they can run into and come across all numbers of things that can matte their fur or cause them discomfort.
  2. Make sure to give your dog a nice brush or even a bath. Not only do they deserve to relax after a hike but make sure you get rid of anything that could adhere to their fur.

Judith

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Hero Product – Fresh Licks

April 11, 2016 | By: Judith

Today’s Hero Product goes to……

FRESH LICKS

The breath freshener that works inside out!

Holistic Blend’s Fresh Licks is a homeopathic remedy for cats & dogs that provides quick, safe, & lasting relief from odours that are produced in the mouth or digestive tract.

Aids In:

  • Bad Breath
  • Poor Digestion
  • Gas
  • Bloating

Ingredients: Sage, rosemary, yucca, majoram, alfalfa, peppermint, ginger, parsley, chlorophyll.

Ok this one is a good one. I received this lovely message from Jackson in Mississauga, Ontario.

“Hi there, I wanted to contact someone at Holistic Blend to say a big THANK YOU!! I have started using one of your products for my cat Rickshaw Bob.

I found RB at a shelter when he was 1-year-old and I couldn’t help but take him home. Now we have been together for 4 years and life has never been better for the two of us. One thing that I have to confess that I didn’t care for was RB’s terrible breath. I am not exaggerating here – it was like fish mixed with vomit mixed with a pile of garbage. (I would never tell him this!)

I went straight to my vet and asked what could be the issue and she told me that he is clear from gum disease and his teeth are good so his bad breath is most likely caused by some build-up bacteria in his mouth. I was devastated that this may be a forever problem for us and after trying kitty tooth paste and treats to help his breath. I figured I was meant for a life of gross smelling cat breath.

Someone recommended to me to try a homeopathic remedy and that’s when I found the FRESH LICKS breath freshener online. I got it immediately and as soon as I got home I grabbed RB and gave him a couple drops. What a difference! This tiny bottle is a god send. I am so happy that I found this and I have even noticed that he does not need the drops as often as he did when we first started using them. And as a bonus my cat likes to take the drops as well, he is finicky about healthy stuff - just like me.☺”

Thank you Jackson and Rickshaw Bob for fresh story.

Judith

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Lending a Helping Paw

April 4, 2016 | By: Judith

As most of you know holistic blend does a wide variety of charity work. On this blog I've talked about different charities like Autism Dog Services, Taiwan Guide Dogs and Nevaeh's charity in West Lincoln.

I know what you're thinking; it makes sense for a company based on pet health and nutrition to do charity work that is related to pets or animals. However, did you know that holistic blend also does numerous amounts of charity work for non-pet related projects?

Today I want to talk about a very special project that is near and dear to my heart. I have talked about having a child with autism before and how his therapy dog aids his day to day life. When I heard that Debbie, the owner of Holistic Blend was donating space every week to an organization called Project Autism my heart swelled with pride.

April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day- the perfect time to tell you about this.

Project Autism is a Grassroots initiative that is focused on changing the perception and improving the lives of those affected by autism and all disabilities. Project Autism is made up a family, friends, and supporters dedicated to building positive acceptance and understanding through education and support.

Some of the work that Project Autism does are:

  • Over 72 skill focus classes for children with disabilities ranging from ages 3 - 25.
  • Early job training classes.
  • Monthly parent support events and social groups.
  • Online parental support 365 days a year.
  • Sport programs.
  • Gaming Club.
  • Anti Bullying Club.
  • Movie Club.

Sounds pretty amazing right?

But here is the kicker Project Autism does all these amazing things at 100% no cost to families.

Yes you heard it right 100% FREE!

This is why Debbie supports this program. She not only loves animals but kids too!

As a Grassroots organization, Project Autism has been created by and run by one amazing family who wanted to make a difference. Add to that some fantastic volunteers, supportive community and charitable companies like Holistic Blend who support these community endeavours and you have something truly amazing.

Thank you Debbie and thank you Holistic Blend, you're making the world a little better one paw at a time

-Judith

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Haircuts and Hardships?

March 28, 2016 | By: Judith

Haircuts - We love them and hate them. I cannot be the only one that feels this way. I always feel amazing after getting a fresh haircut but before said haircut I am almost always terrified. How will it look? Will it be good, or bad? Will I end up hating this new look?

But what if you were a dog, no better yet what if you were a kid with autism and your dog was getting a haircut? You are scared of change. It makes you anxious, afraid…

Chebe, our Coton de Tulear puppy has the most beautiful hair and if you ever petted him you would agree that it is soft to the touch, almost like silk. When he runs, his hair flows and ripples like a model for hair shampoo.

For my son Aiden, who has disabilities, Chebe’s hair is a sensory component, the touch, the smell, the emotion, it makes him happy. We often have to remind him to stop twirling the dog’s hair round and round when he is stressed. Like a soother he plays with the hair.

"It's calming and Chebe loves it," he argues when you ask him why he does it's done between you and me Chebe is a soother to the anxiety that Aiden suffers from. Plus, Chebe seems to just relax through the whole ordeal, which does not help the matter - BUT. The hair matts. It knots and starts to create these really cool dreads that symbolize time for a puppy cut.

Today is puppy cut day.

In an autism house this event is a big deal. We first talk about it, in the early morning. We show pictures, share memories, build a foundation for the change that is going to happen. We joke a lot at home, using humor to help Aiden deal with issues.

“Is he not going to look adorable?”
Now imagine that Chebe has been in our lives almost 3 years and we have to go through this process every 6-8 weeks, like clockwork…. Over and over…

“Cute dog alert!!”

Thank goodness everyone around us understands. This is one of the reasons why I love our groomer, they know my son and understand his anxieties. They care for their clients and develop a bond that ties them to the owners. As you can imagine, Aiden has to be a part of the process, he drops him off in the morning, first checking out the place, asking lots of questions, reassuring himself and the puppy that things are okay and everyone is going to be safe. I have to tell you, never once have these amazing people ever shown anything but acceptance and I am so thankful. So appreciative of their calm accepting natures.

Now that is what the world should be all about. We should all just chill out and accept each other.

Routine routine routine...

Haircuts are a huge deal if you are a fluffy puppy with a human who suffers from autism. First thing We do before Aiden gets home from school is show him a photograph of the dog and the groomer. Why you ask? Because of the change - the complete shock of how he will look? Reassure him that everything is okay.

Then we show him the dog.

New haircut!
"Are you sure this is our dog?"
Yes, 100%
"Looks different."
Yes, everyone looks different with a haircut. Are you excited to see him?
"Yes."

Okay!!! We are all okay!!!

note: Haircuts are getting easier and easier … until the next one!

-Judith

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Attack of the Piranha Puppies!

March 21, 2016 | By: Judith

Spring is here!

This week has been all about renewal. I decided it was time to see friends that I haven't seen over the winter and go for a nice cup of tea with Trish. Truly moments like these are so special and I encourage everyone to have a renewal week- reconnecting as it were.

Even though it has been almost six months since we had last seen each other, from the first ten minutes We were laughing and joking as we did the last time we spent time together. It was while I was enjoying a delicious kale salad and Trish sharing something really infectious, I couldn't help but notice that covering her arms were small bites and scratches.

When she saw me looking and pulled her arms under the table. I could tell she was selfconscious about it, but I felt as her friend I needed to ask…

“Are you still having problems? Is the puppy still biting you?”

Now, it is completely normal for a young puppy to use their mouth during play and when they are socially active, but it's definitely no fun having those sharp teeth in your arms. I know because when puppies are little they bite. It is a fact.

My own little ball of fluff would nip at my fingers and leave little bite marks that would take a couple of days to heal. He was a little rascal.

The problem is that Trish's puppy was at least one year old by now and that piranha should have learned how to control his tendencies.

“So how is Kali?”
She laughed happily and answered.
“Oh he is just great. Always causing trouble.”

I remember that her little pug was all teeth. His favorite pastime was chewing on Trish and it looked like he was still up to no good.

“Wow is his training going?“
“Training? Oh we did not need training for Kali. He is too old anyway!”

I sipped my tea and narrowed my eyes as she spoke about dogs being dogs and how certain behaviours were A part of the characteristic of the breed.

Come on, really! Who was she kidding?

I was starting to think she was the reason Kali still had bad behaviours.. We as dog owners have a sense of responsibility.

“Trish, you and I are friends and as much as you are trying to convince me that this; I pointed to her arms is normal... After a year it is not."
She nodded. I sighed in relief. At least she was open to suggestions.
Right.
"I am going to share with you the 7 rules that I learned when Chebe was a puppy.”

  1. Do not encourage your puppy’s biting.
    It may seem hard but try not to encourage your puppy’s playful nature but sometimes rough play, teasing, or a game of tugofwar can lead to biting. Try to avoid games that encourage your puppy to attack any part of your body.
  2. Do not reward biting.
    Many times puppies will try to get your attention by nipping or biting. If biting works to get your attention the behavior might continue. Many dog trainers insist that even reprimanding your puppy is a form of reward because your attention is being given. Instead try immediately stop and play and ignoring the puppy or walking away.
  3. Never hit or slap your pet!
    Avoid harsh punishment or physical corrections; I know it may be frustrating when your puppy is doing all the biting, but physical punishment could ruin your bond with your pet and lead to more serious problems like fear or aggression.
  4. Funnel that energy.
    If your puppy keeps demanding your attention by biting or is playing too rough, then you will need to provide other ways to keep their brain and body active. Make sure to have regular play and exercise throughout the day that do not involve biting such as walking, running, chasing a ball, or practicing training.
  5. Teach by example.
    Some experts suggest socializing your puppy with other friendly and fully trained dogs. They explain that when your puppy exhibits biting behavior with other dogs they will begin to understand that this is not acceptable behavior.
  6. Communicate with your puppy.
    It is very important for you and your puppy that you start socialization and training as soon as possible. By teaching her a few simple commands you can communicate with your puppy when they begin biting. The most important command to learn is “Stop” or “Enough”. If biting begins during play, it is very important that your puppy learn a command that allows them to know when they are showing undesirable behavior.
  7. Show them love.
    The most important step of all. once all the training, all of the battling, and all the tough love is done . It is very important to show your puppy all the love in the world so they know that all the training was worth it.

Now you are bite free and ready to give them all your love and attention.

-Judith

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Pets – Your own personal Nurse?

March 14, 2016 | By: Judith

Let me just tell you that looking at the weather network and seeing double digits gives me a personal joy I cannot even begin to explain. That being said, what is it with the weather warming up that sends all kinds of body devastating viruses and bugs into the air??

I don’t know about you – but it seems like everyone is sick. We have taken to calling this unknown devil the ‘zombie virus ‘in my household due to its ridiculously contagious nature.

“Arrggghhhhh Argghhhhhhh”
And yes. You guessed it.
I CAUGHT IT.

  • Blinding headaches? Check.
  • Sore throat? Check.
  • Cough? Check.
  • Chest congestion? Check.
  • Feel like you have been run over by an 18 wheeler? Double check. ✓ ✓

Being sick is no joke. Your list of things to do doesn’t just disappear and the longer you lie there the more your brain keeps reminding you of tasks – it’s a catch 22.

I digress.

So there I was in bed with ginger tea, Buckley’s and a heating pad. Tucked in and ready for someone to dig my grave. It was then, I started to hear an unusual sound. My first thought was that maybe a double dose of cough medicine was probably not the best idea if I was hallucinating. I soon realized that this was indeed happening on this physical plane. My physical plane!

What started off as skittering in the halls got closer and now was like scratching on the edge of my bed.

This is it! Death has come to take me! After a second of pity and more frantic scratching I decided was going to stare death in the face.

And there it was. Two big brown eyes…my 3-year-old Coton de Tulear.

It took all my strength to pull his 13 pound body up on the bed and I lay there wheezing in a pile of sweat and exhaustion; feeling like my lungs were going to explode right there. That is when Chebe ( my Coton) came right up to my chest and lay right on top snuggling my neck. He lay with me all day- licking the back of my hand, staying close to me. When I would start a vicious attack of coughing he would nudge me over with his nose almost telling me to turn over. When I was particularly weak and in need of assistance he would run off barking until he found someone to lead back to me.

It was amazing.

Like he was a mini nurse in his white costume all ready to go. This started me thinking…

Do all animals have this training?
Are they all in tune with us and our suffering?
Do they all go to mandatory nursing school when we aren’t around?

(The double dose of cough mixture might be helping with this train of thought)

I decided to research if this was common, do many animals react this way when their owners are sick?

I found millions of articles and blogs about people pets and their reaction to emotions and how in tune they could be. Cats staying by your side during stomach flu, dogs calling for help after a heart attack, pigs saving people from a burning building.

I have always known this this little white ball of fluff was amazing but NOW I AM CONVINCED!

Just then I heard a cough coming from my son’s room and off goes my nurse rushing to his next patient.

I think we found the cure to the zombie virus.
Animal healing.

-Judith

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Hero Product - Sea Heart Biscuits

March 7, 2016 | By: Judith

Today’s Hero Product goes to……

SEA HEART BISCUITS

Our treats are low in fat and high in flavour. Feel good giving them to your dog, knowing there are no artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives.

Features:

  • Controls plaque & tartar build-up
  • Promotes fresh breath, clean teeth & healthy gums
  • Wheat free & hypo allergenic
  • Excellent for dogs with allergies

Ingredients: Barley flour, Oat Flour, Spinach Puree, Honey, Salmon, Sunflower Oil (with Vitamin E and Rosemary as a preservative), Garlic Powder.

I Just received this testimonial from Clara in Victoria, B.C. and it makes me so happy!

Clara writes,

“I have a 2-year-old Dashund named Daisy. Daisy is perfect in every way- she is adorable, sweet, loving; but she would not eat any treats I tried to give her! I would always find them in a little pile on her bed, neatly tucked away so I couldn’t see them. That is why I was so overjoyed when I finally found your Sea Hearts- I was skeptical but I figured I’ve tried everything else. Reading the ingredients, I was happy to see that they were all whole ingredients and even the preservatives were natural!
When I gave her a half of a heart she took it straight to her bed and I thought “Oh no here we go again…” and just as I started to walk away I heard this crunching sound. She was eating it!! I’ll admit I did a little dance when this happened. She LOVES the Sea Hearts!
I wanted to make sure that I said thank you to the people that made her so happy – and me!”

Thank you so much Clara for sharing your HEARTwarming story
(A little sea heart pun there)

Judith

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How Much do you Love Your Dog?

February 29, 2016 | By: Judith

I have to share a story with you about my crazy friend that shoveled her backyard to find a dog toy. Not just any dog toy mind you, Asian dumplings that are just the cutest little things. They make these adorable squeaky noises when her dog Maggie chews on them.

Best find ever!

A couple of weeks ago we had a snow storm in Ontario and Maggie who is a Norfolk Terrier was playing outside with the dumplings as the white flakes came down. Happily chasing the dumplings around the back yard until she was called to come inside.

That day the weather was overwhelming and snow seemed to just keep falling from the sky. Everyone was preparing for the worse. Maggie sat at the window with one of her dumplings whining at the white snow. From the sounds of it, the little dog was crying something awful.

Only one dumpling lay on the carpet. This meant that the other one was outside, under 2 feet of snow.Everyone tried to console the little dog, No matter what toy or treat, she kept crying at the window, scratching the patio door with her paw.

Soulful cries filled the air with despair, so much so that my friend could not take it any more.

“You would have had to have had a heart of steel not to respond to her pain. It was awful.” She wrote. “I felt so helpless when she looked at me with her big eyes, begging me to help her find it.”

So together they put on jackets and boots, grabbed a shovel from the garage and went outside to search for the missing dumpling.

“One hour we shoveled. Searching for that missing dumpling. Maggie stayed by my side digging madly. When I wanted to give up she just barked and kept digging until I found the frozen little toy covered in mud and snow.”

Celebration and joy!

Judith

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Hero Product – Yucca Schidigera

February 16, 2016 | By: Judith

*Drum roll*
Today’s Hero Product goes to……

YUCCA SCHIDIGERA
The Internal Cleanser & Healer

Holistic Blend’s Yucca Schidigera is known to be effective for hip dysplasia, arthritis, bone/joint problems and inflammation. Known to reduce pain and increase mobility by production of the body’s own natural steroids. Known as a natural detoxifier for the liver.

Yucca Schidigera is known to aid in:

  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Joint Problems
  • Bone Problems
  • Inflammations
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Body Odour

I love when we get feedback from customers and fellow animal lovers about Holistic Blend. It reaffirms our beliefs in our brand and what we want people to take from Holistic Blend as a company. This week I got a letter from Stephanie in Oakville, Ontario.

Stephanie writes.

“My 10-year-old German Shepard, Chole has always been high energy and highly active. So when she started not wanting to go out for hikes I started getting concerned. My veterinarian told me that she might be suffering from arthritis and I immediately wanted to find something to alleviate any pain she might be having. That is when my friend told me about the Yucca Product from Holistic Blend. She started taking it daily and after 1 month it was like she was a brand new dog! My Chloe was bounding and jumping like she was a puppy ☺ I could not be happier!”

Thank you Stephanie for sharing your story.

Judith

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Dog-Stracted Driving??

February 8, 2016 | By: Judith

Disclaimer: We do not in any way support driving with the dog/cat on your lap. It is both dangerous for you and the dog.

Okay, are we are all on the same page here?
But what if…

Your dog goes with you everywhere, especially to drop off his little human partner at school. What if you are driving in a Fiat 500 (small little Italian car) that is just about big enough for two humans and a small White Coton De Tulear?

What if the dog has been trained to sit in the middle of the seats on a furry red cushion?
Just patiently waiting till it is time to walk the human to the place called school, drop him off. Perhaps the music is on and he can listen to the sounds while the car zooms about. Perhaps he can close his eyes and sleep through the journey. No matter which, this little Coton loves the drop off and pick up schedule.
He loves traveling by car.

BUT THEN
What if …

That morning everything changed -the boy was running about the car while the dog chased him. Both of them laughing happily while mom is trying to pack the car with school lunch bags and teaching items for afternoon schedule.

“Both of you in the car.”

“You can’t get me…”, round and round the car.

“Bark bark”.

“Get in the car guys.”

“But he started it.”

“Bark, bark."

Mom looked at them as only a mother can. She never says a word, just shakes her head and narrows her eyes and then BAM.

“Get in the car, both of you!”

Finally, they both are in, ready to get on the road. The boy in his seat, buckled and ready and the dog snuggled in the middle on his cushion. I am sure to the dog everything seemed so normal. Mom sat on the left and his boy on the right. He was in the middle. Everything was as it should be.
Car starts and they are on their way.

 

Music is on. Everyone is happy.

 

The boy is talking about a new game that he heard about, rattling off statistics.

 

And then Mom saw the officer. The boy saw the officer. The dog saw the officer. Everyone was on alert.

 

Mom stopped the car at the officers wave. The dog’s ears pricked up as the man walked closer. He sniffed the air and followed his progress with his eyes to mom’s side. The boy started humming with nervousness. Mom rolled down the window and smiled.

 

The little dog could not help seeing this human with his shiny badges and jumped on mom’s lap.

 

“Ma'am. Driving with a dog on your lap is considered as distracted driving.” He said.

“He was not on my lap officer.” Mom explains while the dog is growling at him through the window. The boy is now calling the dog and trying to pull it off mom’s lap. Everyone is making a noise.

The officer just looks pointedly at the dog and the boy struggling with each other. He does not say a word, just watches the commotion.

“I know it looks like he was on my lap. But he was on his seat when we were driving.” Mom says pointing to the red furry cushion in the middle.

“He always sits here when we drive.”

Says the boy.

“Maam, I am just letting you know. If you’re caught looking at your phone, texting or talking on your phone while driving, you will face a fine and demerit points. Dog’s on your lap while you are driving is also considered a distraction.”
He looks down at the dog at the window and my eyes follow his.

“I understand officer. But the dog was not on my lap.” (Now he is.)

“She does not have her cellphone either. She left it at home.” The boy informs the officer.

“Bark.” Says the dog, obviously adding to the conversation.

The officer was clearly not impressed. He shook his head.

“Consider this a warning.” The officer said pointedly and turn on his heel and walked back to his car.

The moral of the story? Let the dog drive next time.

Judith

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Meet Happy.

February 1, 2016 | By: Judith

Every year Holistic Blend increases their involvement in not only the local communities, but also non-profit charities around the world. It is this company’s methodology to give back, “create positive change,’ while encouraging pet owners to feed their pets good nutritious food that is socially conscious.

Today is an interview with the Taiwan Guide Dog Association. Anita is one of the recipients that receives her Holistic Blend food through the Guide dog program in Taiwan.

Hi there, can you tell me a little about yourself?

Hi, my name is Anita. I am currently living in Taiwan Taipei, I love outdoor activities, mountain climbing, boating, swimming, cycling, camping, and hiking.

I am also a Red Cross volunteer and have served more than 20 years. Every summer vacation or holiday, non-working time, I teach the general public swimming, water survival, rescue, first aid, water safety, self help and other concepts.

Anita, can you please tell us about your guide dog?

Happy, that’s her name. She is a black Labrador, 5 years of age.

I have known Happy since childhood and we do everything together. We travel up the mountain to the sea, along with hiking trails, canoeing together, swimming along the river, and to the beach.

She is my best friend.

There are times I stay up all night working at my desk and Happy can hear the tapping of the keys. She will come to me and use her nuzzle to pull my arm down. This tells me to stop typing on the keys and to go to bed. It is moments like this that make me feel so warm inside. I always respond immediately with a quick hug and then go straight to bed.

She is such a wonderful companion. Always happy, which is why her name suits her so much.

Is it important what you feed your guide dog?

Yes. 100% yes.

Because the guide dog has a special task, I pay extra attention to nutrition and physical health. It is important to remember this one simple rule. NO bad eating habits. This is very important to Happy, so that she is not distracted while working.

So I feed my dog Holistic Blend.

Have you noticed an improvement in Happy’s health and appearance?

Happy is very healthy, maintaining her weight of 27.6 KG. She has lots of energy and sleeps well. One thing I have noticed is that her coat has improved. She has very black shiny coat. Everyone asks me what she eats because of the shiny gloss.

I think it is because of the nutritional ingredients that she is so healthy. I am honestly so grateful to have such a high quality food that sponsors guide dogs like Happy.

We appreciate this amazing company and all the good work that they do around the world.

Thank you.

-Judith

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Travelling – without your fur babies?!

January 21, 2016 | By: Judith

Travelling is a must for me during the month of January, especially living in Canada.

Brrr.. But deciding on what to do with my furry baby is so difficult. Ideally I would smuggle them wherever I go. But I don’t want a repeat of the 2010 scandal. ☺ So, I can either leave them with a sitter, board them at a kennel, board them at a friend’s home and of course in our area the local Vet offers boarding as well.

What to do… What to do…

Vet is out of the equation - and this is purely for personal reasons. I know how I would feel if I spent a week at my doctor’s office. 5-year-old magazines? Sick people coming and going? The air freshened with disinfectant? No, thank you! Not for me- not for my fur baby!

Kennels and doggy spas - sounds like a good idea. But my baby is more human than animal (this was told to me very firmly by the trainer) and I don’t think that my poor Coton de Tulear would survive well in the pack order or the regime that is needed to run a kennel or doggy spa. Although, between you and me some of these kennels look absolutely amazing, like 5 star hotels that I could never afford anyhow.

Can’t my poor baby just stay at home with someone there to fill my place for the week? Imagine any stress that is caused by my absence can be lessened, routines stay familiar, environment is safe and comfortable, and best of all they can go for walks where the fire hydrants and grass is all familiar.

If you are anything like me then you feel that the best option is a sitter. Here are some of my best tips I’ve found:

  • If you don’t have someone in mind, try asking your veterinarian for a suggestion.
  • Do your research and look up reviews of companies and certified pet sitting associations that provide sitters.
  • Word of mouth! You know those furry friends at the dog park? Ask their humans for suggestions.
  • No matter what type of pet you have; (hamster, cat, dog, monkey, pig, or dragon…) It is important to find a sitter that specializes in taking care of your type of pet.
  • Ask this important question. What will happen if the pet sitter becomes ill or has car trouble. Do they have a back up?
  • If you have found someone and you need more validation, ask for references. Your pet sitter will have a list of regular clients that will vouch for them.
  • Meet the sitter before hand to have a one of one interview and watch how they interact with your pet.
  • Try to choose someone who can help balance and calm your fur baby if they are feeling anxious and stressed with you gone.
  • Select someone who is experienced and resourceful enough to take care of your furry baby as well as you would.
  • IMPORTANT note- If you have an older pet or one with special needs- the potential sitter should be comfortable with documenting medication, feeding and other health related cycles.

Once you have made up our mind to follow through with either a sitter that watches your fur babies, what are your responsibilities?

Ensure that you have all important tags affixed to the collar, including identification.

Leave all the vet information, emergency contacts and current vaccinations sheets – Don’t forget to have your sitter’s information as you can always keep communicating wherever you are in the world. Plus, having them send you pictures just make everything feel OKAY!

Food and snacks are important to anyone and our little or large furry babies need the right nutrition, and a little extra in case you are late. Of course I will always encourage you to leave Holistic blend food and snacks, the best for my baby.

Leave an extra key with a friend or a neighbour, just in case. This is one my rules that I have never had to use, but doing this makes me feel so much more relaxed.

Show your pet sitter the space, include the circuit breaker in the tour. Fully prepared is the key to having a great vacation.

BON VOYAGE!!

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New Year and new beginnings

December 31, 2015 | By: Judith

It is that time of year already- the ending of old and the beginning of new. For Holistic Blend, this is an exciting time that holds new hope and positive changes. We are always sharing our core values with our customers, and in return love to hear about your individual success stories. So please write and let us know 2016 promises to be another great year.

As the company owner and operator, I want to personally wish each and every one of you, including all our furry friends, happiness, health, and a prosperous new year. My wish this year is that every animal on this amazing planet of ours, be protected and treated with the respect they deserve. Let us all be kind to one another and only speak with positive intention. - Debbie

Here are a couple of great new year resolutions to add to your list.

  • Regular veterinary care is important and we cannot stress how important it is be proactive in your pet’s life.
  • Try a new activity with your pet, go hiking on new paths, play ball, or frisbee.
  • Incorporate more play into your daily routine. If you have children include them in all the activities.
  • Stimulate their brain. Yes, you can teach tricks, remember even old dogs can learn something new.
  • Good oral hygiene. Teaching a dog to brush their teeth can take some time, but with practice it is really easy and important to include into the routine.
  • Lastly. Give your pet/pets as much love and care as you would to those you love. Spend time celebrating your wonderful relationship.

Happy New Year to everyone around the globe from all of us at Holistic Blend!

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Something you cannot wrap

December 18, 2015 | by: Judith

Wrapping paper shreds….tape stuck to the end of the table...the sound of bells in my head…

What could this mean?? 7 more days- Yep, you heard right. That’s 1 week- till Christmas Day. If you are anything like me you have yet to get your shopping done, then you need to get a move on. But seriously who has time between balancing the kids, pets, jobs and laundry?

Tis the season to be jolly!

So, now here I am looking for gifts for those difficult people. You know the ones who have everything or those that say they don’t want anything and then are miffed that you forgot. Instead of going out to the malls that are filled with frantic people searching for the same things I am, I am going to use technology to help me locate the best gift I can get this Holiday for Matt. He is my secret Santa, one of those difficult family members, who has everything and hates most things I buy him. Yeah, talk about Murphy’s law.

Google – Most popular gifts for the season. Let’s see what we have on the list: Hoverboards, Iphones, tablets, cameras. No, no, no and no

What do you get the man who has everything? A gift that will make him value the holidays, even smile when he opens it. It was then that it came to me. Markus, Shiva and Meowth. Matt has a soft spot for his three cats, they are the true delight in his life. His babies. He loves working with felines and in our family we call him the cat whisperer for a reason.

Oh wow. Guys, I think I found the perfect gift.

What if we didn’t get the usual gifts for Christmas this year? What if instead we gave something that can't be wrapped or tied with a bow?

Remember that charity Holistic Blend supports? I just recently wrote about Neveah’s Charity of West Lincoln. It started as a small organization with only a few dedicated volunteers, and has transformed into a larger, growing group with constant needs. Desperately calling for help, especially over the holidays, when families go on vacation and do not know what to do with their cats. Or people are unable to care for their felines anymore. Allergies, kids, too small, too big, too weird. The reasons are plentiful.

Whether its volunteers for events, fosters, even doing other tasks such as transporting cats, or something as simple as passing out information or making a few phone calls can free up other volunteers with areas of specialization. This brilliant charity was the answer to the problem.

What if this year you gathered up your family and discussed helping out your local animal shelter or charity?

One of the most important things that NCWL needs is people to use their social media and share postings of cats in need of homes and helping get the word out and finding these cats their forever homes.

What if we all could make a difference?

This is perfect and I know Matt will love me even more once he sees what I am doing for him this Christmas season.

So, come on. Join us… Get on your Facebook, Instagram and twitter and let’s build awareness, spread the joy, share these photos around while confirming that it takes love and dedication to make a difference this Holiday Season!

“Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” -The Grinch, Dr. Suess

 

Neveah’s Charity of West Lincoln
www.ncwl.weebly.com
www.facebook.com/NcwlCatRescue

-Judith
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To Dog or not to Dog?

December 14, 2015 | By: Judith

Yesterday, I attended this informal forum that offered interactive, spontaneous communication. Groups where people were encouraged to talk, share and listen.

Sounds simple right?

My group offered both variety in age, culture, a unique group that was divided evenly in both male and female. Our topic. ‘Are animals important to the growth and development of youth? Do children who grow up with pets have an edge on children who have never owned a pet?’

I loved this subject <3

Last week I took a picture of my own child sleeping with his dog and then realized that I had exactly the same shot that was taken three years ago, when they were both so much younger. It was a real AHA moment. Dogs teach, my son who has a disability has learned nurturing skills, as well as empathy, patience and a more caring attitude. I know, because I witness it every day.

I was bouncing in my seat, like a child who wants the teacher to ask them to answer.. PICK ME PICK ME!

No they did not pick me to start the conversation. Actually they picked someone who had never owned a pet, not in their childhood or adult life. ‘NO. I believe that animals are animals and they need to be kept separated from humans.’

What? Really? I think my mouth must have dropped open like a fish out of water when I heard those words. Studies have shown that children with pets have a higher self-esteem, they learn social skills and develop a sense of caring and love.

I whipped out the picture on my phone.

Seeing is believing! Here in my hands was a shot that captured the concept of bonding and support between pets and their young owners. Three years later and my two favorite beings were still sleeping in the same position; their connection has only deepened with time. Now when my son is starting to stress or feel anxious the dog climbs on him and they cuddle, clear evidence of non-verbal communication.

Research shows families spend a lot more time interacting after the acquisition of a pet. You talk, laugh and play with this new little introduction into the family. We always include the dog in our family meetings; discussions are fun and interactive with lots of petting and giggles.

I mean let’s face it, pets provide a focus for fun activities and friendly conversation.

I was so lost in thought that the words, ‘Pets fill the home with bacteria.’ Was all it took to jumpstart my concentration. The conversation took a deeper twist when the group started discussing certain microbial classes that cause disease in humans.

I just stared back at the picture in my hands.

There is a certain amount of relaxation and relief from stress provided by animal companionship, especially when since we got our dog, our son slept through the night. SLEPT through the night. Yeah, you read it right. Who cares about the microbial classes of disease?

I was sleeping and that was AMAZING. I thought to myself. It is funny how simple something like sleep can mean to someone who has none for over 9 years.

All around me I heard snippets of conversations, the science and facts, weaving in and out between the pro’s and con’s of latest data and research.

I realized that first: Perhaps these informal forums are not my cup of tea.

Everyone had started downloading scientific papers on their phones and quoting statistics. Trying to outdo each other with quotes and direct connections. While all I wanted to do was show them this happy healthy relationship that is blooming between my son and his dog. A real life story of two best friends.

Second: The relationship between children and their pets is special and comforting, and brings with it many benefits for the child's development. YEAH, maybe children who grow up with pets do have an edge!

-Judith
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Anna

December 7, 2015 | By: Judith

Did you know that Holistic Blend donates food all around the world? Today we are talking about Taiwan Guide Dogs and specifically an adorable dog named Anna and her amazing owner Xie Hui Yu.

Anna, a Golden Labrador who lives in Taichung, Taiwan and works as a guide dog for Taiwan Guide Dogs. Anna is two and a half years old and weighs about 98 lbs. She is an active dog, going on long walks, swimming and playing tug of war.

Anna first met her human partner Xie Hui Yu in Taichung, Taiwan and has been her guide dog ever since.

When I spoke to Xie Hui Yu, she said that life changed drastically from the moment she met Anna. Everything was new and exciting, she was learning how to communicate, how to work with Anna and then only two short months later, Xie Hui Yu found out that she was expecting a baby. “It was the biggest surprise ever.”

“Anna stayed with me night and day.” Xie Hui Yu explained.
“She was my greatest support throughout the 38 weeks of pregnancy, always by my side helping me through all the changes in my life. She calmed me.”
I just love Anna.”

How was she with the baby? I asked curiously.

“Anna is the best nanny ever. She would wake up with me for every feeding, even during those long nights she always stayed with me. I never felt alone.”

“We are like best friends.” Xie Hui Yu says with pride.

Now the baby is around one year old and Anna plays like a gentle older sister, always being considerate and patient with the little one. She is my eyes, always watching over him and me, like an angel.

I was curious about the food as I heard that Anna came into Xie Hui Yu’s life already on the Holistic Blend diet. So I asked her a little about what she liked about the food?

She laughed at me and said that everyone knows that food is important, not just for humans, but cats and dogs too. But to her, dog food is everything because of her relationship with her guide dog Anna.

“Having a service dog is different.” Xie Hui Yu said. “They work with you, it is more that just a pet. It is a bond. A relationship. This requires more thought into what you feed your dog. Holistic Blend ensures that she gets all the nutrients and is a healthy and happy dog who has lots of energy to work long hours. Even her coat glows with health,” Xie Hui Yu says with a laugh. “People always ask us what food we feed Anna, because she looks so good. They say “She shines in the sun.”

I always answer “That is because she is my sunshine”

-Judith
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Ramses

November 27, 2015 | By: Judith

You know how you hear a story and it takes you on a journey? The story about Ramses will take you from tears to laughter, a rollercoaster terribly sad and an outcome of happiness and love.

This is the true story of Ramses the hero cat, by Sue a volunteer at Neveah’s Charity of West Lincon. This is a Charity that Holistic Blend has supported for years. One that is near and dear to Debbie’s heart. This charity is so important because it is run completely by volunteers and we love the work they do.

Get your tissues ready.

Ramses is a cat who once belonged to a family. A beautiful cat, a long-haired orange stunner, with the prettiest yellow eyes. Unfortunately, that family moved away and were unable to take him with, and as so many families do, put him outside to fend for himself.

This poor boy was lost, confused, and hungry, and began to get into the neighbours garbage. She was frustrated with this, and went to the local animal services to get a humane trap to catch him and turn him in. He did indeed step into the trap, but for whatever reason, this frustrated homeowner did not take him to the Brampton animal services right away (in fact leaving him in the trap for over 24 hours), and in his extreme terror and confusion, he badly injured himself trying to escape, tearing all the fur and skin from his face, and ruining his poor paws.

When he was taken into the local animal services, they were completely aghast, but in their concern for the cat, the homeowner left, and Brampton animal services went about the job of fixing Ramses up. They neutered him, healed his physical wounds, but they soon realized that they could not mend his broken spirit.

In his fear and frustration he had become aggressive, and they knew they were not capable of handling him in that environment. They did the best thing they could have ever done... they called the incredible woman who runs our rescue and explained the situation to her. She knew that this fellow had very little chance as it stood, but that we could definitely help. She contacted a volunteer who does a lot of work with traumatized and aggressive cats and asked if we could try to help him. The volunteer agreed to give it a try, and a short time later, Ramses arrived, terrified, and with only peach fuzz on his face where he had ripped the fur and skin off in his frantic madness to escape his trap.

At first, whenever his foster mother would enter the room, Ramses would literally pee himself.... then he let out the most heartbreaking, terrified wail you could ever imagine coming from an animal. He would then run and hide, trying to make himself as small as possible. Approaching him was completely out of the question, as any attempt to touch him would be met with aggression (which was entirely defensive but no less intimidating).

His foster mother understood that this cat had to completely re-learn how to trust humans, and how to be a "normal" cat. Months and months of spending quiet time in his presence, moving to reading books out loud in the room along with treats, and an entirely calm demeanor made a difference, and finally Ramses went from peeing himself and wailing when someone entered the room, to moving forward and attempting to get closer. The first time he brushed against his foster's leg, she cried, tears of full happiness, and once the barrier was broken, Ramses made progress in leaps and bounds!

Eventually he moved into a room where he had the chance to sleep on a bed with people, be around other cats, and play along with everyone else, and we knew he was ready for a home. He was listed on the website, and various other adoption listing platforms the rescue uses, but despite much interest, for some reason nobody was interested in this gorgeous boy who had come to love and seek out human affection. It almost felt like a lost cause.

Our rescue has adoption events frequently, and after determining that it was worth testing him, Ramses foster mother decided to take him along to one of these events. One of the most effective ways to find cats homes is for people to meet them, and maybe this would be the turning point Ramses needed to find his forever home! As soon as everyone arrived at the event, Ramses foster mother set down his carrier, and realized he had already peed himself from fear. Not a good start, but she hoped that he would calm down, and have the chance to show off who he really was. Once he was in the pen with the other cats he settled down, and even let strangers pet him.

Hopes were high for this handsome fellow...
Hours went by and although a lot of people asked about him...
nothing...

Then, a woman was sent from another one of the events happening to meet a specific cat at the store Ramses was at. She came in, met the cat she was referred to, and although she liked him, it was easy to tell she hadn't fallen in love. When she looked around at the other cats, her eyes fell on Ramses, and it was obvious to everyone that there were sparks there. She asked if she could come into the pen and visit him, to which we answered "OF COURSE!". She sat for well over an hour with Ramses in her arms, stroking him, covering herself in his fur... but it didn't matter.

The whole outside world ceased to exist for her as soon as Ramses curled up in the crook of her arm. His foster family had NEVER seen him so happy and comfortable with anyone! Hearts leaped and hopes soared... But the woman said she had to think about it, she had a senior cat at home and needed someone to be a fit with him. She wanted to think about it, so she took our information and left. We all hoped to hear back from her. We didn't have to wait long, and less than half an hour later, the woman was back! She came in the store and declared that she couldn't possibly leave and go home without Ramses! We were all crying, tears of absolute joy! She packed Ramses up and took him home to meet her senior. She was very quick to report back that not only did they get along, but that Ramses fit into her home PERFECTLY, and that he was the nicest cat she had ever known!

From the day he came into our program, it was 13 months... 13 months for this precious boy to find a home where he is loved, cherished, and adored. We still receive updates from her, and we are pleased to share that Ramses now has several other furry brothers and sisters, and is in complete bliss. We are so proud to have had a part of bringing this boy from death's doorstep into a loving home. He will never again know sadness, fear, hunger, or hurt. It's nothing less than they all deserve!

Wow.

No matter how many times I re read this story, my heart sings with happiness and it reminds me how important it is to be a responsible caregiver to animals that share our lives.

-Judith

For more information about Neveah’s Charity of West Lincon check out their website at:
www.ncwl.weebly.com

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Red Cups

November 25, 2015 | By: Judith

As I'm standing in the long line at the coffee shop this morning, this lady leans across me and whispers to her friend, "I cannot believe that they're still using those red cups. It is such a controversy." Truthfully it was more than a whisper, more like she was talking softly enough to share.

Red cups is a controversy. Seriously lady?

"I hear that they have lost billions of dollars?" She whispers again.

I turn and look at the long line of people behind me and grin. No, definitely not losing money. More like a brilliant marketing idea.

"You will never guess what my sister has done!”She says, changing the subject.

“Is it about the dog again? I swear she is always doing weird things. So come on tell me.”

I have to tell you that we're getting closer towards the counter now, so I'm really curious to hear about the dog. Everyone knows I love dogs. So I lean closer to hear more.

"I just found out that she lets that dog sleep with my niece. In the same bed!”

First red cups and now dogs sleeping in beds, this has to be the best lineup ever!

"No!"

"Yes. Plus, they let them sleep in the bed, it rides in the car, and yesterday my sister sent me this picture and said. ‘How cute are they cuddling on the couch? I sit on that couch! No, not cute at all.”

“Gross.”

“I know! Last week I sent her a video about the diseases that dogs carry. I mean really, animals are animals and they should be kept outside or in a crate. Never share personal space! She got upset. Can you believe that?”

“Never” the friend says in agreement.

NEVER is such a strong word, I think to myself. I am sure my mouth is hanging open now, because I can feel my cheeks heating up.

Hmmm…
I mean dogs offer so much to our society. Assistance dogs, Autism Service dogs, guide dogs, mobility assistance, medical service dogs, mental health service dogs. I even heard that they are training these amazing dogs to drive cars.

Sleeping in the same bed sounds so trivial now, right?

I am so wrapped in my thoughts that I did not even realize that the pair had moved off to get their coffees on the other side of the counter. So I quickly ordered and stood behind the two ladies again.
Yeah I know…

"So I told her that I was not going to visit her at home and sit on the same couch as her dog. Imagine all the germs. I would be sick constantly.”

“I think that is a great idea.” The friend replied.

“Yeah! I think it is a.. FANTASTIC idea too!” Nobody needs that stress in their lives, especially such a wonderful family and their innocent dog.

OH NO. I realized that I had said it out loud!!

The looks…
The silence…

“YAY red cups.” I said lifting my coffee cup into the air while shrugging innocently.

-Judith
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Did You Know

November 13, 2015 | By: Judith

Did you know that Holistic Blend donates food to many companies and individuals in need?

One of these companies is called Autism Dog Services. It is a grassroots charity that started in 2007, that serves South Western Ontario. They help train and place service dogs to families with children ages 3-18 on the Autism Spectrum and are now considering other developmental disabilities. To date they have provided 110 service dogs to children and families.

You can see why Holistic Blend decided to support such an amazing cause. Holistic Blend donated food for over 30 dogs and pups for over a year! That’s on average 45880.5 cups of Holistic Blend food a year!!

Interesting Fact: Did you know that the most commonly used breed of dog for service animals is the black lab? Due to their affectionate, friendly and loyal temperament!

I had chance to interview Wade Beattie, founder and director of programs at Autism Service Dogs and he told us “Health is key for the success of our dogs and that starts with a good diet.”

And from Holistic Blend’s perspective we know that Food is the key to healthy, happy well-adjusted dogs!

Now this is a BUSY man, he is always on the go. From visiting schools where a few of the service dogs are now being trained to participate with their partners, training, giving talks and speeches, to visiting new families who are getting a service dog, Wade does it all. I was impressed at how much this association does in the community. As you can imagine running a not for profit association has lots of other elements that demand his time and attention. So actually seeing Wade for this interview was almost impossible.

But nothing keeps me from getting what I need!!

I emailed him, phoned him, and texted him. Between you and me, I think he was rather overwhelmed, because when he answered the phone he would say, “Oh (pause) Judith, it is you again – so nice!”

Question number one. I understand that the dogs did very well on Holistic blend food. What would you say was one of the things you noticed after using Holistic Blend for over a year?

First let me say that Holistic Blend is a VERY good food that the dogs adjusted to well, with balanced diet with good wholesome ingredients, very few of our dogs experienced diarrhea or other problems on Holistic Blend. This is why we encourage our families to continue with the food once the service dogs are in their family unit, because of the great results.

Would you say that the children and young adults who work with Autism Dog Services benefit from having a service dog in their lives?

Yes, 100% yes. These dogs make a huge difference to support children and young adults on the Autism spectrum. They offer a bond, a consistency that is safe and secure, a companionship that helps with anxiety and stress relief. We also train our dogs to work with the specific needs of each unique human partner, this means that our dogs know and understand their partner and this connection develops with time.

Can you answer one more question before you go…
What makes your service dogs so successful in their families?

Love. 100% Love and good food too.

-Judith
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Boo-tiful Dogs - This holiday's trends

October 29, 2015 | By: Judith

Does your pooch need a cute new coat; but, nothing in stores is catching your eye? Or maybe you're looking for a fun and easy sewing project as the weather gets a bit chillier?

‘Doggy Coat' is a great project to use up odds and ends of fabric that you're not sure what to do with or you can just be like me and spend $2.00 on a cheap table cloth and create it.

I found this great tutorial on Martha Stewart's website (love you Martha!) to make an adorable winter jacket for a small dog. (Coat measures about 13 inches long finished) You can increase the size to fit your own dog!

I used the template to make the always patient Chebe two cute coats in time for Halloween.

The first is a kicky water resistant green halloween coat with some amiable spiders! To be honest, the fabric is actually a tablecloth from the dollar store that was so cheap. It's lined in purple fleece... also from the dollar store! Yeah this outfit costs $3.00 to make and… I have enough tablecloth for my small table.

DOUBLE WIN!

The second is an adorable zebra print with a fabulous green trim. This was a leftover half yard of fabric from a coat project. Now we can have matching coats! (Yes, we're those people - don’t judge!)

The instructions are fairly straightforward though I did tweak them a little bit and here is my 10 cents.

Martha suggests using bias binding to edge the coat. Personally, I think it's a bit of a cruel trick to tell a beginner that bias binding is easy – it's totally not. However, if you go slow and pin everything you should be fine!

The simpler method for a beginner is:

  • Place the undercoat and the overcoat together – with the RIGHT side of the fabric (the one you want on the outside at the end) facing each other.
  • Stitch around the pattern leaving a hole about 2 inches across(near the strap is best).
  • Then turn the whole project inside out, and iron it flat, and sew around the perimeter again, tucking the edge of the hole under so it's stitched in.

TADA!

How will you personalize your pet's coat? OH the choices! APPLIQUE NAMES???

Share your photos and comments on our facebook page!

-Judith
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Picture This

October 16, 2015 | By: Judith

Early morning. The sun is shining through the window. I can feel it’s warmth heating up my fur on my back. I am stretched out on the couch arm.

Nothing can move me from this spot.
Someone at the door – no way! – The mailman at the door – no way!
I can’t think of one thing that will make me leave my spot.
EVER

Ever? As your delicious nutritious food I know what will move you. (Muahaha)

What’s that…. I feel my ears picking up a sound.
I listen. My muscles bunch together.
I feel drool starting.
A crinkling of a bag…
COULD IT BE??
My head is up, my eyes drawn towards the kitchen.

I have no control.
My legs are moving.
Bounding through the hallway,
the images on the wall zooming by me.
My feet slip slide. My heart is thumping.
I have to beat my sister. slide, slip.

Mommy’s standing at the counter something in her hand.

YEAH!
IT’S BREAKFAST TIME

“HA… and you said nothing would move you! I am kibble, hear me and COME!’

Crunch… crunch… chew.. chew.

My strong teeth love the crunchy texture.
My stomach loves this food.
No one is safe from the delicious crunchy Holistic Blend.

Today we are lucky enough to meet the creator of Holistic Blend and perhaps ask her a few questions. Bentley and Lexi are her bulldogs and they greet me at the door with happy tails and bright eyes. They are both adorable.

Meeting with Debbie from Holistic Blend made me realize how wonderful the people are behind wonderful products. Her smile is engaging and she is honest and humble, both strong points. Sitting in her home I got to look at everything around me and I tried to think of one word that described the feelings that I got from my surroundings, a word that would capture the tranquility and positive energies.

BALANCE

Everything was in it’s place. I cannot describe it better than that. You know how sometimes you meet someone and they just seem right and then you get invited to their place and you are shocked at how crazy things are. This was not the case. I met her dogs first and then her and BAM her space was like just perfection. Made me want to go home and throw out half my junk.

Okay, so let me ask you a few questions Debbie.

What was your inspiration to create and develop Holistic Blend as founder and President?

As a child growing up Dogs were my life, they taught me how to be Loving, sensitive, accepting, forgiving, and most important compassionate. This is my way of giving back, to the pack that gave me the best days of my life. I believe that ultimately it is up to us, their humans, as their caregivers, to make the choices for them, from diet to the veterinarians we choose. Just like for our children – we are the advocates. I want to be part of the solution that contributes to the longevity of all pets lives.

Is it important for the food to contain natural/organic ingredients?

Yes, it is important that food contains natural and organic ingredients. The more natural and pure the ingredients, the more the product will fortify their skin, fur, joints, bones and overall health. All natural and organic ingredients will also not contribute to increased toxins in your pet's system. We need to start not only taking care of ourselves, pets, but also our amazing earth.

Why it is important for you to be 100% Canadian?

I am Canadian 100%. She says this with a little laugh that is so contagious that I end up laughing too. Seriously though it is incredibly important where the ingredients are sourced from? We need to support our local economy, be proud of our ingredients. Keeping it local always means minimal process, higher inspection standards, and less chance of contamination or diseases.

How many Countries does Holistic Blend reach?

You will not believe it. I know I almost fell on Bentley when she told me that Holistic Blend is now in 17 countries globally, including USA and Canada. We are reaching out, connecting with pets and families around the world. Masking a difference in everyone’s lives and that is what is important to me.

-Judith

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Meet Aiden & Chebe

October 5, 2015 | By: Judith

Together they are always getting up to mischief, working on anxiety and stress reduction. Their cuteness will surprise you, especially since they want me to bring a video camera as they will show me their puppy tricks.

First thing I find when I walk in and sit in the family room is a boy and his dog sharing ‘Pumpkin Hearts’ treats.

NO WAY!

You ate the treats? Why would you eat the treats that are made for dogs?

What does she mean why did he eat the treats? All of the Holistic blend treats are delicious and Pumpkin Hearts are yummy. I was dumbfounded that anyone did not take a bite of those delicious morsels, humans included. Come on, we have no artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives!

What did it taste like? I ask this rambunctious big kid with the sweetest smile. His legs are all over the place and in his arms is the cutest dog you will ever meet. Together they look adorable.

“Good it tasted really good.” This coming from Aiden, a 11 year boy with Autism and ADHD His face is creased in that happy smile that stretches ear to ear. In his hands he holds a 13 pound white, Coton de Tulear who is calmly waiting for his human to share those delicious treats. His big brown eyes are so calm and peaceful.

“Yum” he takes a bite and hands a piece to his puppy, “see, Chebe says it is delicious too.”

“Okay. What are you guys going to show me? “ I ask.

He definitely is passionate about life and food. These two simple pleasures seem to be the go hand in hand as he tells me about his school for exceptional kids and all his hobbies.

“So you love your puppy a lot?” I ask him as he kisses the dog on the face.

Aiden squeezes his puppy and laughs with a little giggle. “We are the bestest of friends. He helps me sleep and keep calm. Plus, I am training Chebe to do tricks. Do you want me to show you how he listens to me and the treats.”

The treats?

“Yes, the treats are magical. They make my dog Chebe do all the tricks. He listens to the treats. They talk doggy language.”

Told you. As the kibble I agree with the kid. We do talk doggy language as well…. our creator ensures that the treats are produced in a facility that is top notch, human quality.

So are you going to show me what you can do Aiden?

YEAH

“Just watch and then you need to go home. Okay?”

 

 

-Judith

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A Boy and his Dog

October 1, 2015 | By: Judith

What would your dog food say about you and your dog?

‘A boy and his dog’, is a blog that shares stories from the food up, and as tasty kibble there are some interesting stories to share and wonderful people to meet. We will have the opportunity to see life from a new perspective. Learn about the wonderful pets and humans that benefit from the many charity programs that Holistic Blend supports.

Holistic Blend is based on a delicious recipe that is not only filled with healthy ingredients, nutrition and wholesome goodness, but most of all it is made with lots of love and respect. Every element in the food is balanced, and I am proud to say that it is 100% Canadian. Yes, this amazing company has a deep connection in communities all around the world and through the blog we will have the opportunity to share in their unique experiences.

The food is the key factor in this blog that unlocks the potential of all the amazing animals, their people friends and the business that makes it all possible.

Be excited. I know you are going to love each and every post.

-Judith

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