Evelyn and The Uncooked Grain

Y’all, Evelyn is up from her starting weight of 11.8 lbs to 13.3 lbs!!

Yay! Get excited!

This weight is coming on her very slowly, but I think that’s a good thing. It’s real weight. I can see muscle tone in her belly, whereas before, there was just loose skin over bone. I can no longer count all of her ribs by just looking at her.

She eats with passion. Her poops are healthy, solid, black. And she sleeps soundly.

Photo on left is her first day  with us (9/5). Photo on right is Saturday (10/10). One and a half pounds is nearly 10% of her original body weight in a month.
Photo on left is her first day with us (9/5). Photo on right is Saturday (10/10). One and a half pounds is nearly 10% of her original body weight in a month.

She’s coming along beautifully, IMHO.

We have one small issue — I think it’s one issue — it has 2 symptoms.

Her coat is not improving, and she has been scratching excessively. So, I’ve put on my Sherlock Holmes hat and went on a mission to sleuth it out.

The ridiculously insane scratching began in earnest early in the week. She got her second dose of Sentinel on Monday, and finished her 30-day round of Doxycycline (part of the slow-kill method for heartworms) on Tuesday. By Wednesday, she was out of her mind biting and scratching herself by any means available.

I’ve never before seen a dog throw herself on the ground to scratch from nose to tail. 

Tuffy, the Alpha.
Tuffy, the Alpha.

I rubbed her with coconut oil mixed with a few drops of chamomile essential oil; I bathed her in lavender shampoo & conditioner; I sprayed her with itch-relief spray– all of which gave only a short reprieve.

When topical treatment fails, it has to be coming from the inside.

By Saturday afternoon, and by process of elimination, I’d narrowed it down to three things: oats, Sentinel, or a skin infection that the Doxy was keeping in check.

I can’t do anything about the Sentinel at this point. It’s part of the very essential heartworm elimination process. And if there is a skin infection, continuing with the raw diet should go a long way toward solving that problem. 

But the past couple of weeks, because it’s fall when grains are harvested and because I like to feed according to the seasons, I’ve been soaking whole, uncooked oats overnight in goat’s milk to soften them, and then pureeing them with apples or berries for her breakfast.


Simplifying her meals will make it easier to identify any other culprits.

Because she may still be anemic due to the heartworms, she’ll be eating beef to build iron in her blood. Because pumpkin is plentiful right now and is a great source of fiber, I’ll add freshly cooked, local, pureed pumpkin to her beef. I’ll hit it with turmeric for inflammation, and milk thistle seed to support her liver after a month of antibiotics.

For breakfast, she will have green veggie smoothies made with goat’s milk. Find recipes here.

All her treats will be grain-free (thanks to Cahabones!) smeared with coconut oil.

We’ll see how it goes. I’ll keep you posted!

pugs & kisses,

Happy Birthday to us! Meet Evelyn, the newest (foster) member of our pack!

After years of supporting from a distance, it finally came time for me to get more involved in the Alabama Pug Rescue & Adoption.  But, because I get so attached, I’ve never been able to commit to being a foster parent…

…until now…

Last week, I learned from APRA that a stray Pug had been brought to the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. She was heartworm positive. Translation: long-term (min. 5 mos. ) foster commitment. Was I willing to take her?

Of course! (duh)

But, will I be able to give her up in the end…??

A few days later, I learned she did not do well after her spay surgery. She was very frail, and things might end sadly, which could be difficult on a first-time foster parent. APRA would get her from the GBHS and take her to their vet for a more thorough assessment and let me know.

A day or two after that — Good news! In addition to heart worms, she’s just anemic, is extremely malnourished, has an ear infection, and may be deaf. She’ll be fine!

In celebration of The HOL Dog’s 1st Birthday (woot!), I picked her up on Monday while I was off work for the holiday. (Thank you, labor unions, for my last work holiday till November) (Thank you to my followers for an awesome 1st year).

Everybody, meet Evelyn!

Hey, can I come home with you?
Hey lady, can I come home with you?

She weighs a whopping 11 lbs.


Less than half what Pearl weighs.

Pearl is a hoss, but still.


This is what an underweight dog looks like. You can count her ribs without touching them.
You can count her ribs without touching them. Bless her heart.

Not sure how old she is. Tough to say for several reasons.

  • She’s had at least one litter of puppies, but the vet said she hasn’t had many.
  • She’s gray in the muzzle, but her teeth are very clean and it looks like she has a full set.
  • Her coat is a wreck. It’s thin, rough, and she has multiple bald patches.
  • Her ear is torn.
  • But, she is spry, energetic, loves to play, and clearly is happy to be in a home.

Maybe once she adds some weight, we’ll get a better idea.

Challenge accepted!

She loved the car ride.

She chirped like a little bird all the way home.
She chirped like a little bird all the way home.

She’s been around people, is not afraid of men, and has lived inside a home, possibly with a cat.

She blew past Chester like he wasn’t standing there, and let him come get a good sniff a little later sans reaction.

Once she explored the yard and the house, I fed her what is surely her first raw meal.

I mean, she is a little sack of bones. Why make her wait till 6pm?

Start slow.

2 ounces of Answers raw goat milk (aka, miracle food) #pouralittlelove in a bowl in the crate so she can drink it undisturbed by her always starving to death foster siblings.

They need to get a good look & recognize. IJS.

She lapped it up and wanted more.

2 hours later, 2 more ounces. Then, she found a comfy spot for a good nap.

She's finding her place in the house, and got a good nap a couple of hours after we came home.
Bad quality pic, but didn’t want to wake her.

3 hours later, dinner consisted of a whole raw farm egg (pasture raised chicken egg from a great local farm) mixed with 2 ounces of goat milk, a pinch of unrefined sea salt, and a bit of powdered kelp (for iodine & hair growth).

I’ve decided to stick with the egg & goat’s milk regimen for the next few days to see how she does. She needs easily digestible proteins right now, and probiotics.

Powerful antibiotic (heartworm eradication process) + ear drops + eye ointment AND abdominal surgery = gut in need of gentle repair.

I’ve never seen a dog this skinny in real life. Ever. We’ve got to take it easy.

My hopes are up, but I’m trying to remain realistic. I don’t want to get over-zealous in my desire to heal this sweet pup and end up doing more harm than good.

Big shout out to the GBHS for working with Pam Mayes and APRA so that we could give this starving, neglected little angel a fighting chance. I’m honored to have been chosen for the task.

I’ll keep you posted.

pugs & kisses,