For those of you who don’t already know, Jasper is my best friend, partner in crime, travel buddy and the greatest little ( well I shouldn’t say little he’s 90 pounds) furry sidekick a girl could dream of. We have lived in New England, South Carolina, California and Hawaii. We are currently in Massachusetts but will be moving back to Hawaii in February, which is where he’ll retire and enjoy the rest of his golden years. :)
Here's a little backstory for you, and the video at the end of this post shows the regimen of TRUE LOVE that I've followed to heal Jasper's heart.
In the beginning of September, Jasper was diagnosed with a level 6 heart murmur and congestive heart disease. His body was giving out; he had a hacking cough, shortness of breath, shortened walks and exercise intolerance and was even beginning to have paralysis in his hind legs due to his heart's weakened ability to pump blood to his extremities. This all came on really fast, as in May 2016 his vet only found a slight heart murmur. I was heartbroken and felt lost on how to move forward. I did not believe that putting Jasper on pharmaceutical medication to artificially pump his heart was the best option. He is 12 years old, after all, and medication like this could cause his fragile body to go into liver or kidney failure. So I dug deep and stayed true to the philosophy I know best; “Food is thy medicine.” I’ve healed my own ailments with a plant-based diet, so why wouldn’t it work for the bear?
Throughout Jasper’s entire life he’s eaten holistic, grain-free food called Taste of the Wild, which I mixed with fish oil and steamed vegetables. It helped him thrive thus far, but it was time for a drastic boost for his immunities. After doing extensive research, I found a company called Five Leaf Pet Botanicals. The founder, Amanda Banting, is an herbalist and created the program for her dog, Tom, who was diagnosed with heart disease at the age of six. Tom was given six months to live, but after using herbal support and an organic home-cooked diet, Tom lived till age 17!
I am so damn grateful Amanda decided to share her tinctures and recipes with others and is continuing to give dog owners hope! Jasper has been on the cleanse for two months and I have my young stallion back again! It’s like I have a new dog! His cough has drastically improved; before he coughed about 10 times an hour and now he only hacks a few times a day! He is not only taking much longer walks, he is running again! I couldn’t believe my eyes! A couple of weeks ago I went for a run through an apple orchard. I told him to wait back for me at the house and when I turned around at the end of it he had almost caught up with me and proceeded to run the entire way home with me. He hasn’t ran in three years since he tore his ACL. (I caught part of this run on camera; I’m more winded than he was ;)) He also started sneaking up on couches and beds and even taught himself to open the sliding screen door?! He’s lost weight, his hair is shinier and he is the happiest of I’ve ever seen him.
Now, there is a reason that everyone doesn’t do this for their pups, it takes time and dedication. Sure, with conventional medicine you can pop a pill and pray for the best, but with this you have to be proactive in taking steps towards your pup’s recovery. Two to three times a week I make a giant pot of food for him consisting of local, organic veggies, berries, quinoa, chickpeas, black beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, hemp powder, chia seeds, dog greens, udo’s oil and soaked walnuts. When I can, I add wild caught fish. Along with this he is administered his herbal tinctures mixed in plain, organic yogurt, four times daily. He also gets lots of nature walks and hydrotherapy twice a day. So yeah, it’s a lot, but so worth it! It has shown me that when family members, humans and animals alike, are faced with disease, it’s not just their illness, it’s the whole family’s. I could not have done this without the help and support from my mom, brother and boyfriend. As family members we need to support our loved ones and change our outlook. It shouldn't be looked at as one person being victim to a disease, but a challenge that the whole family needs to put energy and effort into. Otherwise we relinquish control and let the disease take over. With the empowerment of a group effort it will give the person or animal the fighting chance they deserve. And guess what, health will trickle down onto the whole family. Since Jasper’s diagnosis, my family is eating only organic produce and we make it a priority to hit a local farmer's market at least once a week, we are getting out in nature more and enjoying the amazing foliage, I am finally remembering to take my daily vitamins and I have even started doing the hydrotherapy sessions with Jasper which is really helping my neck pain. There is a reason it is called holistic medicine; the approach is taken as whole, with every family member and daily habit working towards the same goal: health.
Where do Jasper and I go from here? We have about one more month left of his cleanse before we will re-evaluate with the vets. But I have no doubt that they will be astonished with his improvements and tell me to keep on this path. Jasper and I are gearing up for a big trip at the end of January. We will be spending a week in Denver, a week in Cali and then final destination; Hawaii. I cannot thank you all enough for your support and belief in natural medicine. Those of you who made such generous donations have really given Jasper his life back and me my best buddy back. I cannot thank you all enough!! We love you from the bottom of our healthy hearts!
We put together a video of a glimpse into the process we've followed! You can find information on the regimen at www.caninehearthealth.com