Don’t Buy Blue Buffalo Dog Food

This post is a little off-topic but I feel it’s so important that I just had to let you know.

My precious little fur-baby just recently died so I got a new puppy to help with the grief and because I just hate to be without a dog – in fact we have always had 2 of them.   We already have a Japanese Chin but he is sick with an enlarged heart so it’s only a matter of time before he leaves us too.    It’s been 14 years since I dealt with a rambunctious, playful little puppy dog.  Boy, do I have a lot to learn.  New ways of feeding, training, housebreaking.  I tell you this so you might understand my ignorance.

I wanted to rescue a little dog, preferably a Pomeranian mix, and preferably a girl.  I thought it would be awhile since they are hard to come by and the area we live in is so sparsely populated that I didn’t expect to find one within days of losing my Chica.  But, I found her through a link that my daughter sent me so we headed off to McPherson, Kansas to pick her up.  That’s about a 4 hour drive from here.  She was/is well worth the drive because she is Papillion/Pomeranian, cute, smart, and such a sweetheart!  That’s been a month ago.

My Dog Roxy

My Dog Roxy

I wanted to start from the very beginning feeding her good food.  I want her to be around for a good long time!  The former owner sent her along a little of the food Roxy had been on (Rachel Ray’s Nutrish).  I didn’t even think about asking what variety it was.  So I began by doing a little research on the internet.   I wanted to find a good food that wasn’t too expensive and ready made since I don’t really have the time to make food for my dogs and I wanted to find one that was available in my area (I have very limited choices out here).  Was Nutrish the best?  What was the best I could afford?  I had been hearing that dog food should not have grain as the main ingredient.  My Giz (the Japanese Chin) has been on Iams wet and Beneful dry for years without any trouble.  He likes it, his coat is beautiful, he has no tummy troubles.   I had heard from my friends with dogs that Beneful wasn’t very healthy so now would be a good time to switch him to a healthier food, too. 

The first place I went was Dog Food Advisor .  Of course I had seen all of the advertising for Blue Buffalo, about how great and natural it is.  On Dog Food Advisor the food is rated 5 stars.  I know its available close by – I have limited choices:  Orscheln Farm and Home, Wal-mart, and the vet.  So, I checked further at various other websites and Blue Buffalo got pretty good recommendations.  Sounds good, I thought.  Great, healthy ingredients and fairly available around here.

I should have looked further but I didn’t.  That was my first big mistake.  We drove off to Goodland (40 miles) and picked up some from Orschen.  Alright, now I am going to feed my dog good food!

 That is when the trouble began.  I made the second big mistake.  I just switched them to the new food.  I should have switched them gradually I find out later.  Once the trouble began, I started looking for an answer.  Petsmart , VetInfo.  The 6 month old puppy began having loose bowel movements and then diarrhea; the older dog seemed fine at first.   I am also in the midst of housebreaking so you can imagine the trouble I was having getting the puppy regulated and on a schedule.  She was getting up and making messes 3 or 4 times a night even though I had her on a feeding regiment of early morning/late afternoon.  It helped a little when I began tethering her to me at night so I could get up and let her out.  I chalked it up to the new diet – they say when you switch them suddenly that it takes about 2 weeks to adapt to the new food.  No problem, I thought.  I’ll just put up with this until she gets adjusted.

That never happened!  3 weeks later and she is still having problems and then the older dog started having trouble, too.  What is going on?  What am I doing wrong?  Back to the internet to try and find some answers………

First place I check is Consumer Affairs .  Oh, my.  Do those complaints ever describe what is happening around here!  It became clear that the food was causing these problems:  Not the switch, the food.  There are all kinds of reports about dogs becoming sick after eating the latest batch of Blue Buffalo.  Cats are also getting sick.  Not just digestive problems, either.  It is causing urinary trouble and issues with energy levels.  They are getting seriously ill.  I didn’t look any further because the complaints described what was happening to my dogs to the T.

I immediately switched back to the Beneful because they were in danger of becoming gravely sick.  Overnight the little one became normal, the older one took a couple of days because the Blue Buffalo had killed his appetite.   Once he went back to his old food, he was cured, too.  The housebreaking is going much better now.  I can predict when she needs to go out.  She goes before bedtime and there are no issues at night so far.  It’s a big relief, I was becoming so frustrated.

I know Beneful is not the best food for them but it’s better than the Blue Buffalo until I can get new food for them.  Our vet recommends Iams or Hill’s Science Diet.  Since the Hill’s is a little expensive for us right now, I am going with the Iams.   I will be switching the right way:  gradually.

I feel so guilty that I was poisoning my dogs.  Please don’t make the same mistake.

Help for Diabetes Type 2

What Now? Type 2 Diabetes

What Now?
Type 2 Diabetes

I was shocked, absolutely shocked, when I went to the doctor for a routine check-up and they told me I had diabetes type 2. I cried for two days. All I could think about is how my life would now be ruled by food. What a depressing thought! What to eat? When to eat? How to eat? Now I have to take medicine every day: for me an awful thing. I have a hard enough time remembering to take my thyroid medicine even after 28 years (that’s another whole problem I will talk about in a later blog). How am I going to manage all of this stuff? Testing my glucose levels at least once a day; more often if problems arise? What am I looking at long term? What’s going to happen? All of these questions and more just overwhelmed me, hence the crying. Has this happened to you? What did you do?

Once the crying was over it was time to face diabetes head on. These are some things you can do to alleviate the worries you have when first diagnosed and desire to get your diabetes under control. This post contains affiliate links.

  1. Educate yourself. This is the most important thing you can do! The doctor recommended that I go to my clinic’s diabetes education class. At that class I learned about the disease and how to get it under control. I researched diabetes type 2 on the internet. There are a lot of crazy things out there so be very careful about what they are saying. Here are a few of the best sites:
    American Diabetes Association
  2. Get Your Diet Under Control: This part was not too hard for me. It’s one of the reasons I was so shocked I had the disease. I didn’t eat all that bad, did I? I didn’t eat a lot of fried foods, bread, processed foods, fast food, pasta, etc. But, I do and did have a sweet tooth although I limited my sweets because of weight concerns. So, what was I doing wrong? I started reading labels and was dismayed at what I was really eating! I recommend that you start reading the labels of every food you buy and make eating decisions based on that information. You have to pay attention to calories, fat, and carbohydrates.
    The Best and Worst Foods
    22 Foods to Avoid
    American Diabetes Association
  3. Take Care of Yourself. Now you really have to pay attention to your eyes, oral health, skin, and your feet. One of the worst effects of diabetes is nerve damage, especially in your feet.
    Keep Your Feet Healthy
  4. Exercise. This is the hardest thing for me to do even though I feel better when I do it. I can always think of an excuse not to exercise: I’m too busy, I don’t feel like it, the weather is too hot or too cold, it’s too boring. Somehow you must motivate yourself to move. Not only will it help with your glucose levels but it will help with the depression that so often accompanies diabetes. So get up! Here are some suggestions:
    Walking – A Great Place to Start
    27 Habits
    Exercise Tips from WebMD
  5. Lose some WeightEven losing a little weight will help. I lost about 15 lbs at first, somehow I have to get rid of that stubborn last 10 lbs.
    Diabetes and Weight Loss
    Just for Women
    Start losing weight now!

It’s a lot to deal with. I sometimes still feel like a slave to this insidious thing. It takes constant monitoring and perseverance to keep it under control. If you do, you will avoid major trouble down the line. It’s imperative that you take control. You can do it! You’re over 50 and fine!!!!

Dealing With the Death of a Husband

You’re too young to be a widow.  You never expected to lose your husband so early.  So, what do you do now?

My best friend lost her husband to cancer.  He was 52, she was 48.  Way too young for both of them.  That was seven years ago and I have watched and participated in the way she has dealt with things.  She was so devastated when it first happened and she continues to deal with the aftermath to this day.  It has gotten much better for her but that hole in her heart is still there.  I’ve wanted to write about this for awhile because it is so heart wrenching.

Here are some tips I’ve learned:  Number One is the most important.

  1. Give yourself time and space.  If you can’t give it, take it.  Take time to grieve.   Allow yourself the space to do it.  Your husband will be missed terribly.  Not just because he was the love of your life but because of all the other things in your life that were wrapped up in your spouse.  You traveled together, you fixed up your home together, you had similar interests and desires – all of these things are now changed and it’s part of what grieves you.   Allow yourself time, lots of time.
  2. Try not to feel guilty.  What could you have done?  What should you have done?  Why am I angry?  You shouldn’t be crying all of the time… shouldn’t talk about him all of the time… should be coping better….you should be doing something….you shouldn’t, you should, you must.  These are guilt trips that you don’t need.  These are expectations you put on yourself and others inflict on you.  Don’t feel guilt for coping in your own way.
  3. Don’t be surprised when you have feelings like you want to die, too.    What are you going to do without him?  There’s nothing to live for.  These feelings are very common.  The answer is very simplistic sounding but oh, so true.  Wait it out and don’t do anything rash.  The feelings will gradually decrease as you find ways to cope in your own time.   Be patient with yourself.
  4. Wait until you’re ready to do a number of things like parting with possessions, socializing, finding new interests and activities.  As you progress through the process you’re motivation will improve.
  5. Get a pet.  No, really:  get a pet.  My friend already had 3 little dogs.  They were a god-send to her.  She credits them with getting her through the lonely times.  So, if you have a pet already, that’s good!  But, if you don’t, get one.  Pets help you focus your attention on something else beside your pain.  They take care and feeding and attention and give nothing but love and laughs in return.  Shelter animals are great because they sometimes need a little more attention, they are relatively inexpensive, and you are doing a good deed by taking them home and loving them.  It is something to feel really good about and this is the time you need that.
  6. Humor can heal.  Research has shown that being able to draw on happy memories of your husband helps you heal — those who are able to smile when describing their relationship to their husband six months after the loss were happier and healthier 14 months out than those who could only speak of the deceased with sadness, fear and anger. As hard as it might be, try to focus on good memories and feelings about your relationship, as it is the positive emotions that can protect your psyche and help you find serenity.
  7. You can say goodbye in your own way and time.  The present, with all its pain and sorrow, is the only reality you have. Memories are very important, but they cannot be used as a shield against the present. At some point in your grieving, you will be ready to try to say goodbye.
  8. You are going to have to deal with other people.  They might say and do dumb things because they don’t know what to do for you.  Forgive them for their stupidity.  They want to help but don’t know how.  Forgiveness is very big in the healing process.  Learn to forgive yourself, too.  It takes some work but it heals the heart.
  9. Get prepared mentally to deal with holidays and special occasions.  Birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving and other holidays bring a flood of memories.  Plan ahead for them and do what you want to do.  If you would rather spend them alone at first, that’s okay.  If you need your friends and family around you, that’s great but don’t let yourself be manipulated by family and friends into doing something your really don’t want to do.
  10. Travel might be a good idea.  Perhaps you could go visit family that lives in another state.  Maybe you could travel to a spa destination for relaxation and stress relief.  But traveling alone presents some problems and rewards that I will be covering in my travel category.
  11. Look to the future.  Your life will go on even though it’s doesn’t seem like it at first.  There is hope, hang on to that.

These tips and many others you might read about won’t bring “closure”.  What a hideous word.  If you have truly loved someone, you do not ever want to close off the memory of that love, the richness of that experience.