Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Since the Diagnosis

I regret not keeping up with this blog the way I planned, but I am finding this issue in more than one area of my life right now and am trying very hard to address and improve. I wasn’t prepared for Harley’s decline, even though it has been expected for some time, even though we were told we would have weeks and at this moment we are a few days shy of four months since the prognosis was give to us. The knot in your stomach never goes away. Each day his eyes get more cloudy and more distant, each day is one less we have with him, one day we will never get back and one more memory created and left for us to hold onto.

We fought this disease head on. We took on a completely natural and carbohydrate free lifestyle for Harley. We did a ton of research and found out what was good for him and what wasn’t. In most cases carbohydrates (which are completely unnatural to a dogs diet) and grains will feed the cancer, which will then rob the dog of nutrition, so in the end it usually isn’t the cancer that kills the dog, but rather malnutrition. I cooked for him several times a week, 75% proteins to 25% fruit and vegetables, mostly green vegetables are best. Kale, spinach, and other dark green leafy vegetables are a nutritional powerhouse for dogs and people with everything in them from vitamin C to Omega 3’s. I would puree the vegetable mixture that usually also contained apples and garlic, olive oil. Recipes varied and Harley has eaten like a king ever since. He became so excited about his meals he started to have terrible anxiety issues, just one more thing we had to medicate him for as when it got he thought it was getting close to meal time he was literally trying to plow whatever door he was behind down.

We had stopped buying store bought treats long before Harley’s diagnosis, but the recipe needed to change, since I had to eliminate grains and carbs from them. This did pose a challenge for a while, but I found recipes that would work for all of my dogs. When you have several cooking meals for one is manageable, but treats needed to be universal across the board for all the dogs. The internet was an invaluable resource for researching both recipes and the disease we were fighting. Harley has fought like a champion from the start and I know he will continue to until his last moments.

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