Hi from guest blogger Shari:
I would like to start with an article from “Natural Health” magazine–1/2-13 issue. A Finnish study of nearly 400 children found that those living with a dog or cat tended to be healthier during the first year of life. Those with dogs had 31% lower respiratory issues, 44% lower ear issues and 29% less need of antibiotics. Results for those with cats, showed improvement, but was less dramatic. The researchers speculate that dirt brought into the house by pets could strengthen the immune system or it might be the pet itself.
After reading this I was interested to find out my early experience with dogs, as I have never had allergy issues with dogs–but I was the “allergy kid”–tests, shots and asthma constant well into my teens. I called my aunt, a former nurse(also gave me my allergy shots) and asked her my early experience with dogs. She said I was around a dog from my birth and then said– you are actually “here” due to a dog. My future dad was a photographer in WWII. During his service, his parents moved to the same town as my grandparents, my future mom and my aunt. When dad left service, he came home and started a photo studio. My aunt hired him to photograph my grandfather’s cocker spaniel-Star. Well, this is how my parents met and as they say –the rest is history!
So i was around Star and also my aunt’s dog. I got my first dog in second grade-poodle-spitz mix, a poodle from my aunt in high school, a cocker spaniel in college, and six dogs during my 40 year marriage. So maybe this early experience helped me not be allergic to dogs.
Now my first cat exposure was at age 16 and I had a serious response. To this day, I can not even go to a home where a cat is present.
All my dogs during my marriage have been a joy, but it is my current dog, Buddy, that has enhanced my health the most.
I first helped Buddy with digestive issues at 12 weeks and later at 6 months, a serious seizure. I got on the computer and started looking into factors that can contribute to seizure in dogs. I soon learned that bha, bht and tbhq are suspect preservatives that can contribute to seizure in dogs. This research got me going into looking at our food and “items” that might affect my “migraine” brain. I, too avoid the above chemicals and after recent searches during shopping, found there are a lot of products with these preservatives on the shelves.
I am happy to say that Buddy is on an all organic food, i make his treats all organic and also make him chicken jerky with chicken raised without chemicals and I make sure all his “chew” bones are from this country–and he has now experienced the longest time span since his last seizure.
In Part III, I will share the first time Buddy helped my health after catching a “flu bug”–2 years ago, that saw a serious return of my childhood asthma.
Thanks, with hearts, Shari

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