I have had dogs all my life. I’ve owned Pugs for the past 20 years. I was blessed beyond measure when I first met Polly in November 1994. She was the light of my world. She suffered myriad health problems throughout her 9 years, culminating in kidney failure, which ultimately took her from me too soon. I learned from that experience. My Lulu came in 2000. She was so feisty and tough. And hilarious. And she lived until last September when she succumbed to a months long struggle with COPD and a collapsing trachea. She was a 13 and 3/4 years old. My grumble grew in 2005 when my sister’s family evacuated New Orleans in the hours preceding Hurricane Katrina. They brought their black Pugs, litter mates, Percy & Princess. Lulu & Princess did not get along well at all. AT ALL. I hired a trainer who trained me in pack mentality and helped me to get control of the situation so that everyone lived peacefully under the same roof. It was a challenge that took several months of focus. Princess had respiratory difficulties, which taxed her heart, and she died when there were no more beats left in it in 2010.
Lulu teamed up with Polly and Princess just 3 weeks after she crossed the Rainbow Bridge to send me Pearl. She kept Percy, my heart, company after Lulu’s departure, but it wasn’t quite enough for him. He missed his sisters, and he left me to rejoin them just after Christmas in 2013. Pearl had belonged to an older woman who’s health required her to surrender her pup to my vet, who thought I might be willing to take her. I was more than willing. She was 2 and a half, and in perfect health. She is an absolute joy. But after Percy died, we needed a brother! So I applied to adopt Truman through South Eastern Pug Rescue & Adoption. My application was accepted, and he came to live with us in May. He is 8 years old, and deaf, but that doesn’t bother him one bit.
He had bladder stones, and had surgery to remove them just before he came to me. But he required a special diet. Specially formulated food for urinary issues. Out of convenience, I switched Pearl to it as well. Shouldn’t hurt. Should keep bladder infections, crystals, stones, etc., at bay. However, by June, she had her first bladder infection. I was convinced it was the food. My vet disagreed. How could it be the food? It’s specially formulated for this condition. Can’t be the food. We’re just not completely eradicating the infection. More antibiotics. More antibiotics. Wash her bottom after she urinates. More antibiotics. She must need surgery to remove the skin flap that covers her vagina so that air can get to it. Infection has to be forming externally and traveling upstream. More antibiotics.
In my gut, I knew it was diet. To me, it had to be. Her physicality had not changed in the months I’d had her. But her diet had. And it had changed very recently before her first infection. And I had begun reading a text book on natural, holistic health care for pets, which had a very developed section on raw food. I decided to give it a try. It seems to be working. And this blog was born. We are on a journey toward better health. And I had to write it all down.
I am a practicing attorney in Birmingham, Alabama. I lived in France for 2 years after college, and worked on Capitol Hill in the House and Senate for 8 years in the early 90’s. I came home in 2001 to go to law school, earning my J.D. in 2004. I’ve been practicing employment defense for 10 years. But dogs are my passion. They say how you spend your free time, how you spend your money, reflects your priorities. My dogs are my top priority. They are my first thought in the morning, and my last thought at night. If my purpose in life is to care for them, I want to do it well. Exceptionally well.