Discovering Reiki

So, the thing that’s been taking up my free time (outside of my full-time job) for the past several months has been the study of energy in the body. Less like how you get energy from proper nutrition, and more like how energy works in, around, and through the body. Plus, I’ve been meditating on the regular for months because: #personalgrowth

I don’t want to get too complicated or long-winded here, so I’ll just cut to the chase:

I am now a Level 2 Certified Reiki Practitioner (Woop! Woop!)

Say what?

Reiki (pronounced like the term of affection you have given your favorite garden utensil. Don’t lie. I know you’re all: Hey, rakey baby. You’re such a good little rakey. Let’s go clean the lawn) is a system of natural healing that utilizes the Universal Life Force Energy from which we all originate, of which we and all living things are all made, to balance the energy flow in the body.

When the energy body is balanced, you feel good. You’re in good health, you rest well, you’re not in pain. When the energy body is not balanced, various forms of “dis-ease” will manifest, whether they are physical, mental or emotional. If there is too much energy, not enough, or if the energy is clogged or stuck and not flowing up and down along the meridians and Chakras throughout the body the way it’s supposed to, you feel bad. Something hurts, or you feel sick, or tired, or drained, or sore, or tense.

The practitioner acts as a channel for Reiki energy to help move that stuck or excess energy in your body to balance the flow within the body. It’s more difficult to heal when you can’t relax, and Reiki promotes healing through deep relaxation. Reiki is not magic. It is not a miracle cure. But it is for the highest good. And when you are able to soothe the parasympathetic nervous system, that’s when real healing can begin.

You get the picture (and if not, just give me a shout. I’ll totes talk your ear off about it).

Why am I loading up the HOL Dog blog with talk of this energy healing modality? (They call it foreshadowing in literature class)

Gonna totally be giving Reiki to people AND their dogs!


My most regular recipients of Reiki across these many months as I’ve begun to develop my skill set have been my Pugs: Pearl, Truman and Evelyn, and the cat, Chester. They LOVE it. They are so responsive. They get just floppy relaxed whenever I start gently moving my hands from head to hiney shifting that energy they’ve absorbed. We have a habit of running energy early in the mornings after they’ve had their breakfast. It’s a wonderful, peaceful way to ease into the day. We also run energy at night before bed. It’s a great way to shake off the day’s stressors and prepare for a restful night’s sleep.

It has enhanced my bond with each of them, and increased the bond among the four. The whole house is a better place because they have really settled in with each other’s personalities, likes and dislikes.

I won’t lie. We used to have some issues. I’ve worked with trainers over the years, and they certainly helped. But we got to a whole new level of chill once I began practicing Reiki on them (and on me). You dog lovers know it’s true– our dogs are so attuned to our energy, and when we’re stressed, they are too. When our anxiety level climbs, so does theirs. Likewise, when we’re chill, they calm down. Sometimes, they don’t have a chance to shake our energy off. Or sometimes, if you’re dealing with a rescue, they’ve been carrying around excess anxiety for years. That excess continues to compound and they often have difficulty processing it. Reiki helps with that.

I’m so excited about this new chapter, and can’t wait to share it!

If you’re in the Birmingham area and want to give it a try, call me for appointments and pricing.


pugs & kisses,

Banana Patch

I’ve done it only once before. So when my initial efforts to treat Evelyn’s wart failed, I thought maybe I was crazy, or maybe my previous success was just a fluke.


Let me back up here a minute. Evelyn had a pretty big wart on the back left paw, far left toe, under the pad, for months. It caused her to limp slightly.

Last year, I had succeeded in ridding Pearl’s paw of a wart that emerged following a splinter extraction by using the inside of a banana peel. For Evelyn, I treated hers several times by the same method —  scraping out some of the inside of a banana peel, applying it directly on the wart, and wrapping her foot in self-sticking gauze. Voila! Banana patch!

This time, though, nothing happened.

No change. Zip. Nada. Nothing.

This wart was stubborn!

or so I thought…

After all we’ve been through, wart removal rested on the back burner for a long time. Other matters were much higher on the priority list. So I gave up for a while until we could deal with more pressing concerns. Once we got the incessant scratching under control, I decided to tackle the wart again. I was determined to get rid of it because the alternatives included letting it stay and continue to bother her, or cutting it off. And cutting in/on/around a paw pad is bad news in my book, even with a laser.

Finally, with multiple failed attempts under my belt, I discovered the error of my ways: I wasn’t getting deep enough into the banana peel to get to the good stuff. You really have to get into the deeper fibers of the interior of the peel, beyond the top couple of layers that sit between peel and banana. The fiber in that inside layer is a different, sort of juicy consistency than the banana itself or even those weird long thread things that sometimes stick on the banana after you peel it open. It’s almost like getting into the gel of an aloe plant, but it’s nowhere near that thick.

All it took was 3 days of application, and

POOF! No more wart!

I’ve done it twice now, on two different dogs.

It. Works.

So, before you go running to the vet for surgical wart removal, try a banana patch.

pugs & kisses!


Berry smoothie for dogs

You too can make your HOL dog a smoothie that he will LOVE.

Basically, any fruit will do, and the recipe is largely the same except for the fruit. You could drink it yourself, except that the Answers raw, fermented goats milk I use in all of them is not for human consumption b/c it’s not pasteurized. So, here’s you some options to get you started. All recipes are for a 50lb dog. Adjust according to your dog’s size.



  • 1 whole banana, peeled (duh) and broken into pieces
  • 5 strawberries, topped
  • 1 kiwi, peeled
  • small bunch of fresh mint leaves without the stems
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon or turmeric
  • 1 heaping Tbsp raw, local honey
  • 1/2 cup raw, fermented goats milk.

WHIRRRRR in the blender till smooth. Makes 8 oz.

Berry Blitz

  • 2 oz Blueberries
  • 2 oz Raspberries
  • 2 oz Strawberries
  • small bunch of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon or turmeric
  • 1 heaping Tbsp raw, local honey
  • 1/2 cup raw, fermented goats milk.

WHIRRRR in the blender till smooth. Makes 8 oz.

Orange Crush

  • 3-4 small carrots, chopped
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric or cinnamon
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 heaping Tbsp raw, local honey
  • 1/2 cup raw, fermented goats milk.

WHIRRRR in the blender till smooth. Makes 8 oz.

Green Goblin

  • 1 small avocado, pitted and peeled
  • small bunch of mint and basil, stems removed
  • 1 tsp dried kelp
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 heaping Tbsp raw, local honey
  • 1/2 cup raw, fermented goats milk

WHIRRRR in the blender till smooth. Makes 8oz.

I make an 8oz smoothie every morning and divide it between Pearl and Truman. That is their breakfast. They get their meat meal at night.

The goats milk provides them with protein, as well as probiotics to start their day. The cinnamon or turmeric act as natural anti-inflammatories, as well as digestive aids (among other things–enough to fill their own blog post). The garlic is for flea & tick avoidance. Such a small amount should not bother your dog, but some dogs may be hyper-sensitive to garlic. So try a little and see how your dog reacts. If he doesn’t have a reaction, go with it. If he does, please use your brain and quit giving it to him. The raw, local honey is an antimicrobial, contains wonderful phytonutrients, and helps keep seasonal allergies in check.

Give them a try! Simple as pie!

pugs & kisses,

HOLy Basil

I was going to title this post “HOLy Basil, Batman!”, but somebody beat me to it. Oh, well.

Basil is worshipped in some cultures. They even call it HOLy. Because it’s a blooming miracle plant, that’s why!

It contains vitamins K, C, and A, and trace amounts of iron, calcium, manganese, and magnesium.

Whoopty-do. Lots of plants have vitamins & minerals.

But more than that, basil has been studied (like for real scientific studies) for its positive effects on bacteria, respiratory ailments, blood sugar levels, and the digestive tract. It has a low glycemic index, and is an antioxidant (reduces free radicals). There’s a gajillion articles on how awesome it is. Just fire up the Google, and you’ll see.

I’ve been making a medicinal tea with basil since the weather turned cold, and it is delicious.

Liquid. Gold.

Just bring a pot of water (2-4 cups) to a boil, remove it from heat, and add a 3-4 tablespoons of fresh basil leaves, cover and let it steep.

That’s it. Simple.

I let mine sit overnight so it’s good and strong. I keep it in a glass jar with a tight lid in the fridge.

Recently, I bought some dried peppermint, and I added it to my decoction in a steel mesh tea ball. It brings a refreshing note to the taste, but really, you’ll be surprised at how delightful the basil is all by itself. Drink it warm with a teaspoon of raw honey, and you are golden. (You will feel golden. You will feel like a Buddhist monk on a Tibetan hillside. Gong optional). It will soothe your spirit and calm your nerves. I love to drink it before bedtime.

It finally dawned on me that I needed to be sharing this gift of the gods with my dogs. Duh. In fact, Truman about knocked my mug from my hands to get at it. So, I added it to the breakfast rotation.

Simply pour it over whatever is in the bowl. I have also begun to mince a couple of basil leaves to sprinkle atop their morning meal, and both dogs are coo-coo for it. (Truman more than Pearl. She’s got more of a sweet tooth, but she still enjoys it).

I keep a basil plant in my kitchen in a glass of water, and it keeps us supplied.

Trust me. Ancient cultures were more selective in their choice of objects of worship than our modern-American, Kardashian-infused culture is. They didn’t waste their reverence on b*llsh*t like we do. (I’m just guessing. I like to think they were too busy to fool with nonsense. I could be wrong). But this could change your world.

pugs & kisses,