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“Are you crazy about your dog? Then you’re at the right place!”
Lindsay C.“My girl Bailey quite simply saved my life.” See what other dog lover’s said about their dogs
January 2021 Winner
Home for Christmas
Just over a year ago my husband and I adopted our two rescue dogs, Hank and Caddy. They were a bonded pair of two-year-olds that had been in a shelter together for almost a year, and were both close to being euthanized. Hank had just been in the shelter too long, and Caddy had been shot in the side and no one was willing to help save her life. The pair was transferred from Florida to Ontario, Canada to save their lives and hopefully get them adopted. Their stories broke my heart, and the rescue was desperately trying to find them a home together by Christmas.
Hank and Caddy have changed my life. They are the most loving, cuddly and funny dogs that have given me more than I could ever give them. Due to my own health issues I have chosen not to have children, so these two are my fur babies and I love them more than anything. They now know they are in their forever home with their forever humans, and I think in the end we rescued each other. - Karen C.
A 'Desi Dog's' Second Chance
Chilgoza (Chilli) first found us on PetFinder. His beautiful foxy face and piercing eyes stared right into ours and let us know that he was meant to be part of our family. He came to us from India, a street 'Desi dog' with a horrible life experience that we will never fully understand. What we do know is that he survived distemper as a pup (and still has the muscle ticks to prove it), lived on the streets, was attacked at about two-years-of-age by other dogs and was left wandering with his back legs dragging and his tail broken and hanging by a thread. He survived on the streets injured like this for a week, cowering in an alley and unable to walk, until he was found by his wonderful rescuers. They amputated his tail, cleaned up the maggots that infested the massive wound, and rehabilitated him over the next year to teach him to walk again.
As a more mature dog (almost three by the time he arrived here) and with back leg issues related to his injury, Chilli was not as adoptable as younger healthier dogs. But when we saw him we knew he was meant to be part of our family. Chilli travelled from Delhi to Amsterdam, and then on to Los Angeles where he stayed overnight. He then continued his journey the next day to Seattle, and finally to Vancouver. After a long wait in cargo at the airport as the paperwork was settled, he was finally home!
Over the past year that we have welcomed Chilli into our home, he converted (immediately and very happily) from being vegetarian to a raw-fed dog, and he received the Fab4 Essentials from Dr. Dobias. With good food, the Essential supplements and a lot of exercise, he now walks, jumps, runs, and plays like the happiest dog he always wanted to be. This past year, he has made so much progress, both physically and emotionally, and he continues to improve every week. Chilli loves fetch in the yard, long walks with great sniffing time, running and chasing, couch cuddles, balls (of any kind), stuffy toys, full body hugs, and great food.
When Chilli first landed here, we lived in a hectic, touristy part of town and it was too much for him. To help him, we uprooted our lives and moved to a duplex in Richmond with a yard, and there he has blossomed. Our need to help him also helped us, as we love living in a quieter neighbourhood away from the hustle and bustle of inner city life. Chilli has changed us for the better and we are grateful to him every day. He has been the best COVID partner to me, as I work from home, and there is nothing more beautiful than to see him so happy and living his best life - ever. Grateful for this little Desi dog who never had a chance. - Irene. B
‘Share with us how much your dog means to you’. As I sit here and ponder this question, my 15 year-old lab-mix Reagan (my Skai) is curled up beside me. I shed a tear as I reflect on our journey and time together, knowing that sometime soon, a piece of my soul will cross the rainbow bridge with him. My vet commented last week that he has rarely seen a dog so "in love" with his human. The feeling is mutual! Reagan has always looked directly into my eyes (soul) and tried to communicate with me. ‘What do you need from me’? ‘What do you want from me’? I try to do the same for him. He has really taught me that human and animal relationships are unique. My dad always said that animals don't have souls...it crushed me as a child and I told him that he was wrong. I reflect on all the hikes, walks, swims, camping trips, cuddles, talks, and even the mishaps that led to the vet. Reagan has always trusted me to care for him. His complete faith to walk beside me all the way through his life has taught me so much; love exists everywhere, each day is a new day, take nothing for granted, see and smell everything, trust your instincts, always eat the good stuff first, find your real friend and hold them close, no matter what is going on around you, find your ground and focus on that. Reagan is that ground for me and I for him. It is love, undisputed. - Traci S.
Our Love Lucy
My 10 year old beagle Lucy is an inspiration to everyone who meets her. My daughter and I spent our COVID lockdown rescuing this beautiful little girl. In May, we donned our masks and drove from Nashville to South Carolina to pick her up. The first 10 years of her life were hell. She spent three years in animal testing labs, then she went to live with a family who abused her. She was found on a road by someone who kindly delivered her to the nearest shelter, then adopted by another family who did not treat her well, and finally, she was found in a dumpster. We were told the last family no longer wanted her because she was too old.
Upon getting Lucy safely back home with us we discovered she suffered from a multitude of serious problems and we were worried she would not be with us for long. When we were told by the shelter she took 4 hours to eat a meal, I knew something was gravely wrong. The next day she was at my vet's having all her rotten teeth removed and being treated for several abscesses including one in her nasal cavity.
Upon recovery, I offered her a raw diet of minced chicken and vegetables which she gobbled up immediately, and I slowly introduced her to Dr Dobias's supplements. After three weeks she was already starting to look so much better - a lovely shiny coat was growing in (when we picked her up she hardly had a coat) and she was skipping around when it was meal time. (It now takes her 5 minutes to eagerly eat her meal - much more like a beagle!) But she was not completely healed yet. A horrible smell coming from her ears was confirmed to be a yeast infection and we discovered our little girl was deaf, possibly as a result of untreated ear infections or from lab testing. Two weeks later her ear infections were healed, but her hearing was sadly not restored. On to the final stage of healing - the removal of three nasty lumps on her body including one on her front leg at the joint which was causing her pain when she walked.
Lucy is now fully recovered, healthy and happy. Our girl skips around, loves her new beagle brother (my other dog who we have had from a puppy, who seems to know what Lucy has been through) and she is loved immeasurably. Over the weeks we have watched this sweet dog slowly regain trust and her true personality has emerged. She is hilarious with her blankets, is a genuine threat to all squirrels who dare to cross her path and she has brought more joy to our lives than we could have possibly imagined. We vow to make the next 10 years of Lucy’s life full of fun, health and love. - Lynda J.
A Love Sweeter Than Candy
I was on my way to visit a friend and share a candy bar with her, but when I arrived, I noticed a German Shepherd mix lying on the ground near her home. Several neighbors had gathered around the dog and I ran over to see what was wrong. It was obvious that he was overheated and very distressed. We began putting water and cold, wet towels on him. After awhile he got up and started to walk away. I ran after him and could see he was hungry as he was eating out of the food dish that was left out for my neighbors dog. He continued to walk away but I stayed with him until I was able to lead him to my house. My husband and I took him into the safety of our home. I went door to door for several blocks looking for his owner. I found out that neighbors on the next street over had been taking turns feeding him for the past few weeks. I called all the vet clinics in our area and some farther away. No one claimed this sweet dog or had reported him missing.
A lady who worked as a volunteer at one of the shelters I had contacted said she wanted to adopt him. I told her that I would have to get to know her better to be sure she would be the right owner for this lovely boy. When she told me that she was gone from early morning until late evening every day, I did not feel very comfortable with her taking him. She became upset with me when I told her that I wanted her to meet the dog and see if they bonded. I knew that if she was not willing to set up this meeting that I did not want her to have him. We ended up keeping this precious, sweet boy and named him Rupert. He had a hurt knee when he first came to us so we put our mattress on the floor so he could sleep in bed with us. My husband also built wooden steps so he could get on the sofa without hurting his leg.
Rupert is one of the sweetest dogs I've ever known. He has been our boy for six years now! We love him so so much and would do anything for him. I get so sad thinking what could have happened to him and how he ended up without his family, how frightened he must have been to be outside night and day all by himself. Rupert makes our lives so happy! We are blessed to have him. I never knew meeting a friend to share a 'candy bar' could bring us so much love...it gave us Rupert! - Barbara L.
My Heart Is Full Again
My little Yorkie, Lola, succumbed to hepatic encephalopathy in 2016. When my husband suggested we get another Yorkie, I told him I couldn’t go through another heartbreak. I just wasn’t ready, I missed her so much.
Six months later, I saw a post about a four year-old Yorkie that was being fostered nearby and needed a home. I hesitated, but thought I’d just go see her. When I arrived at the foster home she immediately ran to me - it was like she was saying “please take me home!” When our eyes met, I immediately knew that I needed her and she needed me too.
The foster family gave me a bag of her food which was canned Alpo! Right then and there, I knew this Yorkie was not a healthy girl and I needed to save her. My Lola was raw fed, but I had only learned that kibble and over-vaccinating was not good for her when it was too late and she had already developed health issues.
So I picked up my new Yorkie and headed home. Later, I found out from the vet that had been previously treating my new girl, that she’d been kept outside, tried to dig her way out through a metal fence during a storm and had torn half her stomach open. The vet records also showed that she had burned the side of her tongue chewing on a lamp cord. While my girl had not been well taken care of, she was now in my hands and in my heart for good.
I have now had Aspen for three and a half years. She is thriving on a strictly raw diet and has beautiful hair again, is healthy and most of all, very happy. I feel like my Lola, who will always be in my heart, sent her to me. I am forever grateful to now have my Aspen to love. She is the sweetest, most affectionate girl who is by my side, exactly as Lola always was. My heart is full again. - Debbie V.
Lola's Never Lookin' Back!
I had no idea what I was getting into when I adopted my first dog Loretta in 2018. I saw her picture on a local rescue website. She had been found at a garbage dump in the dead of winter in Manitoba with three puppies. One had frozen to death beside her, but she had managed to keep two alive. Loretta had a rough start in life. She had worms, the fur above her tail was completely gone and bitten out due to an anal gland issue, and she was underweight. An all around mess. Despite this, I felt an immense connection to this dog. I was told how difficult this journey would be, considering she was my first dog. Before this, I’d only ever had cats. I knew better though! I knew Loretta and I were destined to be together.
I’m not going to lie, when I got Loretta home, I quickly realized I was struggling. Besides the fact she had frequent diarrhea, there was an episode where I couldn’t get her collar on to take her out for a walk. She was squirming and mouthing. I was out of my element and I was defeated. It sounds silly, but this one episode broke me. I burst into tears. I was worried I had to send her back to the rescue due to my lack of experience. After my breakdown, I persevered. The same immense connection I had felt in the beginning returned and Loretta and I continued our journey.
I really felt that Loretta and I were on the final steps of healing, however, her diarrhea continued long after her parasitic infection was gone. Her vet put her on a prescribed fibre response kibble plus two pills a day to firm her bowel movements up. This worked! Or so I thought. I decided I’d try to wean her off the pills slowly, and I did manage to get her down to half a pill a day, but once the pills stopped completely, the diarrhea would return. This is when I decided to research the ingredients in Loretta’s food. This was also the moment I decided I would never feed Loretta kibble again.
I researched home-cooked meals and I talked to various people and did a LOT of reading. I found recipes and learned about pet nutrition. I’ve never read so much about vitamins, minerals, muscle meats, and organs in my entire life! I gradually transitioned Loretta onto home-cooked meals. Her poops became better, but were still runny and soft. This is when I finally discovered the Fab4!
I was first introduced to GreenMin by a holistic vet therapist. She encouraged me not to give up on the home-cooked meals and to research “Dr. Dobias”. It honestly changed our lives. Loretta’s poops are now firm, never runny or soft, and the perfect colour. The difference I have seen in my girl is undeniable. She has more energy, a glossy coat and a smile.
As with all success stories, I knew Loretta had to leave her old life behind for good. I changed her name to LOLA and we have never looked back! THANK YOU DR. DOBIAS! - Natalie C.
From Unwanted To Forever Loved.
Ben arrived unexpectedly in our home on Labour Day 2018. My husband Jerry passed away 4 months earlier, after a 17-month battle with cancer, a battle we knew from the beginning he would not win. During the months after his passing I knew I was depressed and could feel myself getting lost as I began learning to go from “we” to “me”.
I started looking at dogs thinking maybe it was time for another one in our home, yet not really sure if it was the right time. I came across a picture of Ben, a black lab mix who was 5 or 6 years old. Two ladies were trying to find a home for Ben because his present owner was trying to get rid of him for free on Kijiji. I don't know what kept bringing me back to his picture. Maybe it was the way he was sitting so nicely, not knowing, but trusting in the human that was planning to give him away.
I decided to contact the ladies that were trying to help Ben and in our conversation they told me that Ben's original owner had moved out. Her car was full and so, she left Ben behind. Her ex-boyfriend wanted nothing to do with Ben, and was planning to take him to the vet to be put down if he could not find a home for him. Ben’s rescuers made a decision to pick him up on Labour Day even though they had no idea where he was going to go. When they arrived, he had already been alone for 3 days with just a neighbour coming in to let him out and feed him. He had run out of food a day and a half ago. We planned a meet and greet, and although I was not sure about whether it was even a good time to be taking on another dog, we met.
After a three-hour visit, I decided I would act as a temporary foster for 3 days to give the ladies more time to find Ben a home. By the third day, I touched base to let them know that there was no rush - I would be happy to foster Ben for a while longer. After Ben arrived in our home I found myself coming back from the deep and emotional ocean I felt I was losing myself in after my husband had passed away. By day 10, I let the ladies know that Ben had found his FUREVER FOREVER HOME with me. Ben had become a FOSTER FAIL. I am not really sure who saved who, but we crossed paths at a time when we both needed each other. - Shirley C.
A Lucky Last Chance For Pedro
I volunteered at my local animal shelter for 5 years until a hoarding situation caused the director to put down over 35 dogs in one day. I was devastated. I worked with and loved those dogs and felt I didn’t even get a chance to help some of them. I cried for a month!
I decided that I needed a change and started to volunteer at another shelter where my friend was the adoption manager. I asked her if there were any dogs about to get put down that I could foster. She said she did have one that kept coming back and this was ‘it’ for him, this was his 4th and final time. One of the volunteers was just coming back from a walk with him. I turned around and I saw this little grey Scottie mix trotting back into his cage, all cocky and proud! I loved his confidence and couldn’t imagine why this cute little dog kept getting returned to the shelter. I mostly worked with Bully breeds so figured I could definitely handle a Scottie mix. I took him home.
Pedro was 2 1/2 when I got him. His stomach was bright red and his skin was inflamed. The first thing I did was change his diet from kibble to home cooked food. It was a long process of trial, elimination and error. He is a terrier and I know they can be prone to skin issues, but we finally got it under control.
Getting Pedro's behaviour under control was another thing, and it just about broke me. He was extremely reactive to anything that moved and he bit me multiple times! I’ve worked with and trained many dogs, and never have I had one I couldn’t get through to! When we started agility classes I knew this smart and energetic boy was destined for greatness. I also tried to teach Pedro how to surf, and we biked and we hiked. It took 5 years, many training manuals and videos, and finally a professional trainer to get him the help he needed. He was the toughest dog I had ever come across, but I was determined and did not give up on him!
Pedro is now 15! I just went to a new holistic vet and she thought he was around 7. I have him on homemade food along with Dr. Dobias’ SoulFood and GreenMin supplements and he still acts like a puppy! We walk for miles and he runs around the house like a maniac, but I can finally say that he has calmed down. I honestly have never met a dog like him. I thought he was going to break me at times, but we have both learned to trust and love each other and Pedro is the best thing that has ever happened to me! - Miranda V.
Dog Healed, Human Healed, Joy!
She was a ball of black and white fluff, dirty and matted, hiding in a blue blanket. That was my first look at Dolly back in June of 2019. She was one of 34 dogs rescued from a hoarding situation the previous month. I saw the notice a local rescue called WAG put out looking for dedicated volunteers to please come help with these frightened, unsocialized dogs. I was still grieving the passing of my Aussie dog Piper, my best friend for 17 years, and I thought if I could give some of the love in my heart to these needy dogs, maybe, just maybe, I could heal a dog, and in the process, heal my heart.
I chose to work with Dolly, one of the least socialized dogs who lived the first 8 months of her life in a dark enclosed shed. Her only companions were her mother, sister and another young female. The rescue team thinks that Dolly’s mom chewed a hole in the wall, and brought back mouthfuls of food for her pack. Water was only available via seeping rain water. I worked with Dolly several days a week for the next four months, and soon after Dolly joined our household as our first ever foster dog.
I realized as I was driving her home that first day that I had a dog that had never been hugged, had minimal trust in humans and I wasn’t even sure she was house trained. What I did know was that she was gentle, had the sweetest brown eyes, and probably knew me better than any other human. I had to give this girl a chance.
On Monday, February 10th, Dolly formally became a member of our family. What can I tell you, I love this dog. I love her with my whole heart. Dolly is absolutely the best dog! After only four months Dolly sleeps through the night, walks beautifully on her leash, plays with the kitties, and I get the pleasure of watching her confidence grow daily. I wake every morning with a 24-pound Border Collie/Aussie gently rubbing her face all over mine. It is as if she can’t wait for the next adventure. Dolly is also a great trail and beach dog. She spends much of her time walking off-leash beside me, and when the scent of something wonderful requires a romp, she returns to my side when called. Dog healed. Human healed. Joy! - Kate S.
A Brave Soul
I met my dog Alpine, while volunteering as a dog walker at our county shelter back in the summer of 2015. Alpine had been adopted and returned three times that summer, each time for attempting to run away or failing to bond with the new family.
In the shelter, Alpine was always well mannered, easy to walk on a leash and completely non-reactive to the other dogs, except he cried non stop. By the end of the summer, it was clear, he was unlikely to survive and would be scheduled for euthanasia. I took him home.
Despite being sweet and gentle, Alpine didn’t not bond with me or my family either, always looking for an opportunity to bolt and escaped twice by pushing out the window screen.
He was much more complicated than any other special needs dog I had ever encountered and I assumed he had separation anxiety. There were many times I was ready to give up but one day, I had an epiphany. After doing some research, I realized that Alpine didn’t have separation anxiety, his behaviour was more like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
That day I looked at Alpine and said “ It’s ok. Be you. You are enough.” It was as if he understood my words and intentions, suddenly he shifted. Our relationship was far from perfect, but he started to trust me and we became a team! I declined a vet’s suggestion to put him on Prozac and dove head first into researching nutrition, supplements and other holistic methods instead.
Thanks to Alpine, I have learned so much about pet health and now all my pets benefit from what I know. Everyday, I tell Alpine how grateful I am and that he is the bravest boy I know. He is my hero.
Love at First Sight
My husband and I received a call from our local veterinary office about Iris, a special needs dog with epilepsy. She needed a home because her elderly owner had passed away. We were still grieving the recent loss of our dog Snoopy and we thought we needed more time. But during a meet and greet with Iris, I saw something in those dark brown Dalmatian eyes - I knew she needed me and I her.
The vet team told us that she had many health issues and a lot of time and money would need to be invested. But we knew we were up for the challenge and were excited to try holistic care to help her. Well, they were right! At the beginning, we were at the vet a few times a month, seizures, allergies, plugged anal glands, ear infections, you name it. We were exhausted. We cleaned up her diet by switching to raw and found a holistic vet to help us.
Iris has now been part of our family for a year and a half and has been seizure free for 7 months! So incredible! Iris has been through so much. I’m sure she thinks that we saved her, but I know she saved us. - Rhonda & Stan T.
My dog Cookie came into my life when I was just about ready to give up. I was an avid cyclist and hiker, but Lyme disease, arthritis and stress took a toll on my mind and body to a point that I didn't want to get out of bed.
Then I found and rescued Cookie, and she changed my life. I started cooking for her using only organic veggies and free-range grass-fed meats and it made me eat healthy too!
I started to exercise every day because Cookie needs her walks and I have learned to cope better because I know that stress and anxiety affect her adversely.
Cookie is now a certified therapy dog and we pay regular visits to two senior centres and a medical assisted living facility. We also visit the men and women who help to keep us safe at local police stations to help them de-stress.
I am so blessed to have such an incredible dog, who helps me spread the love and makes me feel so much better, both mentally and physically. - Jill C.
Luna's Journey To Health
Luna is my best friend, she is the most amazing, loving and caring dog you could ever wish to meet, but she hasn’t always been a healthy pup.
Just before her first birthday, my beautiful rescue dog began exhibiting signs of illness, awful and massive hotspots all over her body, nails so brittle that they would rip and fall off and a constant itch. We tried everything; so many different types of kibble, alternate proteins, all the vet diets and many harmful medications. I was against it all but felt pushed by my vet that it would make her better. None of it ever did.
Eventually, I decided it was up to me to save my girls life. She was losing weight and, I knew she was miserable even though she continued to love unconditionally and help me daily with my anxiety and stress. We switched to a raw diet against the advice of my vet, but I felt like we didn’t have any other choices left. The change in her was miraculous! The itch, the unhealthy skin and nails, the hotspots all went away. My vet continued to push medications for her, so we switched to a new vet too!
With a holistic vet and high-quality raw food, Luna is now thriving. My amazing rescue girl has transformed into a happy, healthy, therapy dog who brings joy and love to countless special needs children and seniors. She is an incredible mentor and foster mother to many puppies through the rescue we work with, as well as an ambassador for the rescues education program showing people that rescue dogs are amazing too! Luna is currently helping me to train the newest addition to our family to also be a therapy dog. Her little “brother” Bernie is learning from the best that’s for sure!
My life is full because of this beautiful dog, and I feel blessed that I get to spend every day with Luna. I’m thankful that I listened to my gut and brought her back to health naturally with the best possible food and supplements. - Carly R.
A new beginning for Sam!
I must begin my story by mentioning my first 2 dogs who I still carry very close to my heart. It took me a full year after they passed before I was ready to adopt again. But when I decided I was ready, I felt an urgency to have another dog in my life. I of course pictured a dog similar to my energetic and exuberant love of my life Farley. My excitement grew as I imagined running through the trails and playing with my new companion! But when my husband and I visited the rescue we saw a sad looking soul who was underweight, withdrawn, missing hair, very lame and scraped up. We both decided this poor boy definitely needed a chance at a good life.
We took him home for a trial few days, signed the paperwork and Sam officially became a part of our family. He started out wanting to spend most of his time curled up by himself on the floor away from us. He could only walk a short distance down the street to exercise and go to the bathroom. I couldn't bare forcing him to sleep wearing a cone after his neuter surgery, as his skin was itchy and unhappy and he just kept trying to scratch and trip over things. So I stayed up with him every night in the beginning so I could make him as comfortable as possible. I was exhausted and stressed and wondered what I got myself into. Definitely not my dream of running through the parks with my new best friend! However, time passed and Sam eventually healed and got stronger. He learned quickly that the couch and his own bed were much more comfortable than the cold floor. He even decided that the cat wasn't so bad and now they are friends who play with each other! He is not the ball of energy I pictured , but he now goes hiking with me and we take our time and smell the roses so to speak!
We move 3 times a year for work and travel to Canada to visit my parents. Sam was terrified to be in the car at first, but now travels like a champ and can't wait to jump in the car for our next adventure! I see his personality and zest for life growing stronger everyday. He is an old soul with a quirky personality and thinks toys and bones are useless items. He is my sweet, kind boy who follows me everywhere and looks at me with knowing eyes, and I wouldn't change him for the world! - Sarah D.
Coping With Grief
I think the hardest thing for me was to watch my beloved wife say good-bye to her service dog Charlie Jacob "BooBoo" and his buddy, our other dog, Enna Rene "Girlfriend".
Charlie was such a huge part of my wife's recovery and provided the protection and assistance she needed, especially when I wasn't at home. We both experienced such a deep and profound sense of loss and emptiness for both BooBoo and Girlfriend that our holistic veterinarians suggested we visit rescue shelters as part of the grieving process.
Each time we went to a shelter, I watched my wife interact with the sweet dogs, while whispering to herself, tears rolling down her face, "I miss you Charlie. How can I survive without you and your sister?" After awhile, she would politely say "I can't do this. We need to go.”
On May 18, 2019, a friend suggested that we check out what we both thought was a regulated shelter in Indiana that had dogs with a similar mix to Charlie. We drove hours to this shelter and it was clear upon arrival that the owners were running a questionable “business” out of their home. My wife saw two pups huddled together under a rickety picnic table with green pus coming out of their noses. What was initially intended to be an exercise in coping with grief, became a mission to rescue these puppies. When my wife began asking basic questions about where the puppies came from and whether they had seen a veterinarian, the owners became very aggressive and defensive. At that point, my wife whispered to me "I'm not sure if I am ready for this, but we cannot leave these puppies here. They won't survive." It was almost as if the puppies knew that we were there to rescue them and they jumped into my wife's arms. We threw the adoption fee at the owner, grabbed the puppies, ran towards the car and never looked back.
Although, I often hear my wife talking to Charlie while tears run down her face, our two sweet puppies Hank and Harry have provided such comfort to both of us and have helped us through a painful grieving process.
It seems like Hank and Harry somehow knew their purpose in advance. Hank, who has the right temperament, personality and smarts, has started the two year service dog training journey, while Harry provides nonstop laughter with all his rascally antics. In the end it seems these sweet puppies saved us, more than we saved them. John C.
A Dream Come True!
It was in December of 2013 that my life-long dream of having a dog finally came true! I was sixteen, I knew I wanted to adopt so my parents took me to the pet store. There were dozens of pets around, big, small, all types of breeds, but the moment I saw my tiny, yellow two-month-old, I knew it was him, and he knew it was me! With a little frightening feeling, we both met. Iker was my first dog, I was his first owner; we didn't know how to do this but the way we looked at each other, we knew we would figure it out together.
Iker was rescued from a high-kill shelter when he was very young. He had six other siblings which were also rescued but sadly his mom was put down. We don't know much of what he has been through apart from that. We went home and being together was just natural, he was very nervous and always wanted to stay with me. I couldn't even leave his side while he ate (still can't five years later)! Iker taught me the biggest love I could ever feel! He has been there for me through my illness, my parents’ divorce and so much more, and he is still here stronger than ever and will be for many more years! A way for me to give back to Iker is to research more about dogs, how to understand them and how I can help him have a long and healthy life. - Sarah M
My Pia is a senior Coton de Tulear, who was eleven years young at the time I rescued her. I am not sure why her first mother had to give her up after nine years. Her second mother of only two years did not care for her health and wellness and kept her in their backyard.
After Ms. Pia ran away from her second home, she was picked up by a Good Samaritan and brought to the Humane Society of Westchester, NY. Because she was microchipped, Pia was reunited with her family, only to be returned to the shelter a short time later because they were going away and couldn't keep her in the yard. The Humane Society discovered Pia had Lyme disease, two types of large urinary stones taking up her entire bladder and severe dental disease that required the removal of most of her teeth. They gave her the love and life-saving surgeries she desperately needed.
I have always been a strong advocate of rescue and had been searching for Pia for years (my whole life really)! Angels put us together! Pia is a loving, kind and gentle beauty. My life partner and I love her with all our hearts. Pia is now thirteen and together we are a family of very socially blooming seniors. Ms. Pia is coddled and adored by everyone she meets, never alone and forever loved! - Debra R.
Never give up 'Hope'
I am 65 and after my dog passed away last July I decided I wasn't going to get another dog. And then a young husky mix appeared in my yard. I gasped when I first saw her! She was so skinny that all her ribs were protruding. I reported her to animal control, the police, our city manager, and even wrote a letter to the governor, all to no avail. I finally decided to approach her owner and he actually relinquished her to me! I named her Hope because she now has hope in her life after being starved, neglected and abused. She has been part of my life for seven months now and I have been blessed ever since! I am determined to keep her healthy, safe, and happy. - Dianne W.
I found Goliath on an animal adoption website and immediately fell in love! I went to the shelter right away to hopefully adopt him before anyone else could. Goliath was a fearful little guy weighing in at just 3.5 lbs. He proceeded to have an accident on the floor in the small room where we met but it didn't bother me. The volunteer at the shelter told me his sad story.
Goliath was one of fifty Chihuahuas that ranged in age from three weeks to ten years that had been rescued from a puppy mill. Goliath was six years old and had spent his life in a cage as a breeding dog. I knew I had to take him home! I signed a waiver to acknowledge that Goliath was very shy and not socialized at all to being outside, people, or even normal household noises. I was up for the challenge! The shelter gave me his blanket given to him to hide under in the bed in his kennel. I wrapped Goliath in it like a baby and took him home.
After a few hours, I introduced him to my ten-year-old border collie and our cat. He immediately bonded with my border collie and laid next to her chest and went to sleep. After a few weeks, I took Goliath to a behaviourist who helped him overcome resource guarding issues and gave me pointers on how to help him come out of his shell. Goliath has now also gone through training to become a service dog for my hearing disability. He goes everywhere with me and is famous at the medical centre I go to several times a month to receive treatment for cancer and other health issues. Goliath is a Godsend and I love him so much! My greatest wish is to keep him healthy so we can be together for many, many years to come! - Rosanne. C
A Mexican Miracle!
Our girl, Luna, was born on the streets of Mexico. She was found with a broken hind leg and several wounds thought to have been made by a machete. Miraculously, she was rescued by the amazing people at SayulitAnimals, nursed and loved back to health and then matched with our family. After the loss of our beloved golden retriever, Luna brought the joy and happiness (that only a dog can bring) back into our home. She seemed to know from the start that our two young sons needed her the most and she cuddles them and protects them in equal measure. Her favourite time of day is when the boys yell, "Tuck in time!" and she makes a beeline for their bedroom to make sure they are tucked safely in bed for the night. She is the sweetest girl you could imagine and truly makes our house a home. - Nicole C.
My beagle, Bruno, is my life! When he turned nine, he was overweight and not in good health; I took him to the vet and he was diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease. I didn’t even know what that was! He was put on medication, but I thought there had to be a natural way to improve Bruno’s health.
My search led me to Dr. Dobias’ website. After reading many articles on the site, I changed Bruno's diet to raw and started him on GreenMin, SoulFood and FeelGood Omega. Within a week, Bruno was a totally different dog! He had energy, his leg lameness resolved and he was happier. Unfortunately, Cushing’s does not have a cure but when I took him back to the vet, they also saw a totally different dog; his coat was shinier, his eyes were brighter and he had lost five pounds! Bruno has now lost a total of twelve pounds and is in awesome condition. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do with your products. They are amazing!! Thank you for helping Bruno! -Karla Q.
*Sadly, Karla let us know that Bruno passed away on June 26, 2019. She said that during the years Bruno was on Dr. Dobias' supplements she saw such an incredible improvement in his health and truly believes it prolonged his life*
Rags to Riches
In March of 2017 I travelled to Cuba for what I thought would be a cheap holiday in the sun. I met ‘Millie’ and another dog who appeared to be her sister, on a beach a few kilometres from the resort where we were staying.
They bounded up to us like old friends, walked us back to the resort and quickly settled in. I instantly fell in love with both dogs and upon my return home, I immediately started researching "dog rescue Cuba".
Because there are no animal welfare laws in Cuba, I was certain that without help, their future could be short and grim. The rescue group I contacted in Havana wasn't able to capture the dogs and sadly Millie’s sister was fatally injured in traffic.
Heartbroken, I went back to Cuba 2 weeks later and found the remaining dog, Millie, sunning herself by the pool just as I had left her. She was waiting…
The joy this little ‘Cubana’ has brought to my life simply cannot be measured. Millie is my all weather companion, chasing sticks and swimming on the beach and snowshoeing with me in the mountains. She is whip smart and ready for any adventure. I now know those cliches about ‘who rescued who’ to be true. I didn't rescue her, she truly rescued me. - Angela S.
From Rescue to Rescuer
When I found my girl, Gaia, I thought she was a coyote that had been hit by a car. She was malnourished, could barely walk, looked as if she’d been attacked by other dogs and possibly been used for breeding in a puppy mill. Gaia also had terrible Demodex Mange.
Although I was struggling financially, I instantly knew that I had to adopt her. She and I have been through so much together, from rescuing cats to becoming crazy cat ladies, to losing everything except each other and living in a tent for a while.
Over the years Gaia has learned to know when I’m unwell. Despite being 85 pounds, she insists on laying in my lap until I feel better! Her vet said if I hadn't found her, she would have died of hunger within two days. Of course, if you ask her, she’ll still say she’s starving! LOL!
Gaia loves everyone, but I am her person and honestly believe fate brought us together. - Amy R.
A life-changing rescue
Our last dog Logan, who my husband and I raised from a puppy, died in June 2018. Our home felt empty without the love of a dog, so we decided we were ready to adopt.
This time we decided to open our hearts and home to a shelter dog. Although we were nervous and not sure what to expect, we were confident in our experience and felt we had the resources we needed. We rescued Ivy from a high kill shelter in Pensacola Florida. She was within hours of being put down.
Ivy was very scared and shutdown when we first met her, but we knew she was ours and vowed to teach her that not all humans are bad. Every day she relaxed and opened up more. I remember the first day she wagged her tail -what a milestone! From that moment we knew she would be ok. Ivy has come so far now and is the most loving and gentle dog.
Gaining the trust and love of a rescue dog is such a privilege and the experience has been life changing for us. It takes time and commitment but is incredibly rewarding. So many great dogs are waiting. - Jane K.
Our boys mean the world to us!
We rescued our two Pomeranian dogs, Loki and Tobi in 2012. In 2013, a pre-dental CBC (complete blood count) identified that Loki's ALT levels were elevated. Over the next four years, despite using multiple protocols to lower the ALT (Milk thistle, SAMe, Denamarin, etc.), Loki's ALT continued to climb but never reached what our vet considered "alarming" levels. The Liver Detox recommended by Dr. Dobias would bring the ALT down temporarily, but soon they would rise again. We had also been supplementing our boys' raw diet with SoulFood for some time.
However, in early 2018, we added GreenMin to our diet plan. Within two months of starting it, Loki's ALT was almost in the normal range, and by October 2018, his ALT was safely in the normal range. We couldn't be happier! These boys mean the world to us and we would do anything to keep them healthy and with us for as long as possible. We are so thankful for Dr. Dobias and his amazing products for giving our boys a vibrant, healthy life! - Michelle & Chris, Wyandotte, MI
Every day is a gift
I was a cat person all my life; I never planned to have a dog. Then one day in 2005 my life changed when I found an adorable litter of six puppies abandoned in a field; five of them were golden, and one was black. I brought them home and, unfortunately, the black one had parvovirus and almost didn't make it. While I was nursing him back to health, I managed to find good homes for the other puppies. Thankfully the black puppy survived, and I had planned to find him a good home too, but I was in love! I named him Pluto, and suddenly, I was now a dog owner. I consider Pluto as my soulmate, I love him so much, and he always makes me feel safe and happy.
A few months ago, at 13 years old, Pluto got very ill. He was clearly in pain, but it took a few weeks for the vet to figure out what the problem was. On August 25th an ultrasound showed a tumour on his spleen. Pluto had surgery the same day, and the spleen was removed. The biopsy report came back saying that it was aggressive cancer with a terrible prognosis. No treatment and no hope. I thought my soulmate would be dead by the end of September. I was devastated, and I cried and cried. And the more I cried, the more depressed Pluto got. Finally, I decided to get myself together and try to enjoy our last few weeks together as much as we could. I also decided to look into alternative remedies, since I figured I had nothing to lose.
A new world opened up to me! I suddenly understood that feeding Pluto dry dog food had not been good. I thought I had always done the best for him. I learned about supplements, real food and detoxing and I decided to go "all in." It was stressful as there were so many new things to learn, and I felt that we had so little time left together. I changed everything in his life. I have been a vegetarian for 33 years and didn't even like to touch meat, but now I cook meat twice a day for Pluto. I give him supplements, probiotics and CBD oil. It is now the beginning of November and Pluto is still alive. He has moments when he is not feeling great, but he has many more moments when he is enjoying life. He has a good appetite and loves the new food that I give him. I know that he will not live forever, but I will keep fighting against cancer as much as I can, and every extra day we get together is a wonderful gift. - Carolina
Dorothy means the world to me!
My dog Dorothy means the world to me! She helped reduce my blood pressure to normal without medication by forcing me to get outside, even on days I never would. We hike and swim together, and she sleeps in my bed.
My life has been enriched tenfold from the companionship she has given me, the games we play together, and through the many friends we've met at the dog parks we visit. She has friends all over town, and so do I!
She had some issues with allergies, but no more! The Thuja Dr. Dobias recommended, and his nutritional supplements have solved the problem. Now I share my story with others hoping the dietary information and the nutrients change their dogs lives as well! - Susan, Denver CO
Zai my guiding light
If I tell you how much my dog, Zai, means to me, I would sound like a crazy person to most people. I met her when she was brought to the Utah Humane Society, where I used to work.
For the first two years of her life, all was good. I fed her a raw diet, spent much time in the Utah mountains and fostered herding dogs “together.”
But everything changed when we moved to the East Coast in 2015. First, she had hot spots and then contracted Lyme Disease from a tick bite in the woods.
Zai has suffered from lameness, urinary tract infections, bone spurs, arthritis and ringworm and it breaks my heart to see her in discomfort. She is not even 6, yet she has been through so much!
But despite all of this, I am amazed at how positive and happy she remains! She always wants to play, hike, or go running. She has an innate talent to be an emotional support dog and loves to be around kids and adults who suffer from sickness and mental disease.
It seems she understands how much I worry about her but remains strong and loving. Her positivity and smile are reassuring as if she acknowledges the work I do for her and I do everything in my power to make her feel better.
I have made a few mistakes in life, but I definitely didn’t make one adopting Zai. She's the biggest blessing I have ever received.
She gave me the push to start my own business to spend more time with her; she’s the reason I exercise, stopped drinking and went back to school to become a herbalist. I am not sure I would even BE HERE without her.
Zai is my best friend who inspires me to be a better person. I love taking care of her and fight to improve her health. She is the guiding light on my path through life.
A rescue that rescued me!
I rescued Chloe two years ago. When she first came to me, she was skinny and shy. They told me she wasn't a very affectionate dog, and very reactive around all animals.
From the moment she walked through my door I could see she just needed some love. Within a month she gained 10 pounds, simply from eating the right food.
From day one I decided she was going to be part of my pack, and my family. I let her sleep in my bed, chill out on the furniture, and hang like she was my best friend - because that is what she is.
She is an angel. She is now the most affectionate, fun loving dog you would ever meet. She loves giving kisses and cuddling and loves playing! I swear she laughs and smiles from all the fun we have together.
I rescued her after losing both my mom to cancer and my best friend to pneumonia - both way too early and way too young. I didn't realize how broken I was until I had Chloe in my life. She healed me.
I always say that she might be the rescue dog, but she rescued me. I can't imagine a day without her!
Mr. Cleetus - the trooper
I am a foster mom for Big Dogs Huge Paws. I first heard about Mr. Cleetus in February of 2017; he was a 9-year-old Mastiff with emotional and physical ailments. He didn't get along with the other foster siblings and needed a forever home. I took just one look at him and knew I had to adopt him.
The first time he walked into my house, he knew it was his home. As for his health, he could barely walk and was practically bald from allergies. I slowly transitioned him to a fresh food diet, but he continued to have problems.
His allergy test came back with 69 known allergies, and after I switched his foods, his whole demeanor changed. He was happier, he stopped tearing himself apart, all hotspots went away, his lick granulomas healed, and best of all he was running around like a five-year-old! He was finally happy.
Unfortunately, a few months later, I found a hard tumor the size of a large marble on his right flank, and we also found another tumor tumour in his left lung. The doctors gave him six months to live, and I was crushed. We were just starting a life together. It’s NOT fair!
I have always been interested in research on dog nutrition and cancer prevention, but until I adopted Cleetus, I didn’t really know I had been learning for him.
I re-watched the Dog Cancer Series over and over again, I put Cleetus on a ketogenic diet and started with cancer-fighting supplements immediately.
Fast forward, it's been six months since his diagnosis, and I just had his x-rays done again. The pulmonary tumor has not been growing, his flank lump decreased to the size of a pea and all lab work is normal. Cleetus still comes along for 2-mile walks, his allergies are nonexistent, and he is happier and in better shape than he has ever been.
A sweet rescue story
I first saw Stanley’s sweet, sad face in late April, on the Facebook page of Diasozo Animal Rescue in Greece. There was nothing to him, just a skeleton with the saddest dog eyes I had ever seen.
When Diasozo found him, he was just a baby, alone and abandoned in a junkyard using two old car seats placed on top of each other as a shelter. He smelled of rotting skin and disease and couldn’t be touched because he was in so much pain.
Without hesitation, we contacted the shelter and asked if we could adopt him. It took four months of loving care from the Diasozo angels before Stanley was finally ready for his big journey to us in Canada.
Luckily my sister traveled to Greece on holidays and offered to bring Stanley back. However, there was a huge hurdle as temperatures in Greece were unrelentingly high and on most days pets were not allowed to fly.
I confess I spent most my time on weather apps monitoring the soaring temperatures. But, the stars were aligned on the morning of the flight. We had a half degree Celsius to spare, and on that day Stanley was allowed to fly!
We welcomed “our boy” at the Vancouver Airport on August 14, 2018, where he joined us and his big brother Nelson at his forever home.
Aliki S. , Vancouver, BC
A pack of 11 amazing dogs
My story is a little different as I love eleven dogs. My husband and I rescue the ones that are older or ill and are unlikely to find homes. We have one Dachshund that is paralyzed, another couple of “Wieners" who were returned to the shelter more than once and another older “Dachsie” that came from a hoarding case and fear-bites when distressed.
We also have two “ancient” Pomeranians plus two middle aged Springer Spaniels full of zest and energy. Every one of the eleven dogs is precious, they fill our retirement with purpose and we can make them feel loved and healthier at the end of their lives.
When the whole pack gets in bed with us to take a nap, my heart overflows with peace and love I see on their little faces.
Chaya was my saving grace...
I rescued Chaya on Valentines Day 8 years ago, and shortly after, my beloved three-legged older dog Oz died of pancreatic cancer. Chaya was with me at the vet when Oz passed, and it seemed like she knew that her new job was to take care of me.
Despite being a pup, she was the most intuitive and compassionate dog I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. At the time I was in a relationship with an alcoholic who was physically and verbally abusive and Chaya was my saving grace.
When I cried, she climbed onto my chest and wiped away my tears with fervent licking. Chaya went everywhere with me. We learned to stand up paddle board on whitewater together; we road-tripped across the US where she bounded through snow banks in Colorado. Because of her support, I was able to leave the relationship, and she helped me choose a wonderful husband who also adores her.
At our wedding, as if on cue, when we were pronounced husband and wife, she stood between us, happily looking back and forth, and then walked between us down the aisle. She is now more playful and relaxed because I have someone else looking out for me. I never need a leash for Chaya because she is never more than an arm's length away, always looking at me, always focused on me. She has such an incredible capacity for love.
Christine, North Carolina
I met my dog “Monkey” at the Maui Humane Society shelter.
I met my dog “Monkey” at the Maui Humane Society shelter. He was admitted together with five other dogs who were rescued from a house fire. The owners simply could not look after them after losing their home and he was obviously traumatized by losing his home and his family.
The first time I saw Monkey was in the “adoption kennel” where I volunteered as a dog walker. Every kennel had a sign to mark if a dog was walked or not. When I first saw Monkey, he was so cute, sitting in the kennel and I remember being disappointed that someone had already walked him. I went on walking other dogs, but when I returned, I went to say hi, and he licked my face all over.
Originally, I thought I would adopt a chocolate lab but when I saw Monkey that was it. Yes, it is true that he peed on the dining table leg when we got home, but since then, he has been an absolute angel! In fact, he is the gentlest and best behaved dog I have ever known.
It feels like he is a part of me, It feels like I have known Monkey all my life. As you can see from the picture, he also loves his “dad.”
My Maddee is 15 years old. She’s a chihuahua/manchester terrier mix. When she has about one year old she was given to me by a friend who could not keep her. She was newly adopted from a rescue of over 50 dogs (animal hoarding).
Maddee was emaciated and had such bad heart worm that she was dying. Rather than treat her the hoarders simply placed her on an ant pile so that when she died the ants would eat her carcass. She was rescued from the ant pile and put on the news. Eventually, she found her way to me two months later. She was scared and she was shy. I waited months for her to come around and she finally did.
She has a full and loving life now. She’s taught me what love really is. To have this completely trusting animal depend on me and look to me for comfort, care, play and love totally changed who I am as a person. I never knew how to really love unselfishly until my Maddee. She is turning 16 in April and because of raw food, supplements and good probiotics (GutSense!) She seems much younger than her years and is in excellent health.
Maggie Bear has filled a hole in my life that I thought would be there forever.
Four years ago I lost a rescue dog who my family had taken in 3 years prior. Her name was Mika and she was a magnificent Alaskan Malamute. Her owners had abandoned her and I loved her so much. She was gentle, loving, intelligent, cunning and beautiful.
She saved the life of my uncle and also stopped a toddler from disappearing from his mother. She would always walk on the side closest to the road and put herself between me and anything she considered dangerous.
Mika passed away when I wasn’t there. I came home from a holiday with my husband only to learn that she’d crossed the rainbow bridge the night before. My parents didn't have the heart to tell me before I was about to get on a plane. I was broken. I laid next to her grave and wept for her. I felt as though I’d failed her. She was sick, and I didn’t know.
Later on, my husband and I bought a house together and moved in. But the house didn’t feel like home, and we both knew why. I just couldn’t bring myself to "betray" my big Meeky-moo by replacing her with another dog.
As time went on, we decided to expand our family, but I still felt guilty at the very thought. I also didn’t want to go through the pain of losing another dog, which is why I researched dog breeds that have a long lifespan. Eventually, we found Maggie, a big, black and tan, fluffy, Tibetan Mastiff.
Maggie couldn’t look more different from Mika, but otherwise, she reminds me of Mika so much. She looks at me the same way as if she thought she was more than just a dog. She is smart, she can be cheeky and plays just like Mika used to.
But the biggest thing the two dogs have in common is that they have in common is that they both filled my life with so much love and joy.
Austyn Saved My Life
My beautiful Boston Terrier Austyn was diagnosed with stomach cancer in August and within two weeks he was gone. I spent those two weeks sharing his last adventures using the hashtag #mydyingdogslastadventures. Sharing my boy's last adventures with all of my friends and family has been very therapeutic for me during the last few weeks.
Austyn the Boston saved my life. I had to do everything that I could to save his and that's exactly what I did. I rest easy knowing that I made the right choice. Austyn came to me at a time in my life where I had no hope for the future. I was a week shy of my 18th birthday and after trying to adapt to my new life as a quadriplegic for a year already - I really didn't want to do it anymore. My friends had all gone off to college and I was alone and feeling very hopeless. Then I found my boy. My whole entire world changed.
Even on my hardest days when I wanted to give up, I had my boy beside me licking my tears. He became my strength. He has been my strength many times over the years when I needed a little push to get through tough times. He laid in bed with me and kept me sane through each of my three miserable pregnancies. He became the best big brother to his three little humans. They lovingly dubbed him "Puppa". He was the most gentle, patient and sweet pup to those boys. Even in his last days when he was uncomfortable, he was still so loving towards them. Austyn, you are already missed beyond measure.
The house is eerily empty without the sound of your paws on the hardwood, the sound of you barking at the neighbour dogs in the yard or even just the sound of your snoring at night. I know that you will forever walk beside me, reminding me of my strength in times of doubt. Thank you, my love! Thank you for showing me how vital dogs are in my life. We just got a new little guy and I'm determined to give him the best holistic lifestyle possible!
Dragon & Pandora
I was at a low point with my health and depression following a traumatic event. I didn’t know what to do to heal and meanwhile I couldn’t force myself out of bed many days and was so resigned to the depression that I often couldn’t even muster brushing my teeth.
When I got my dogs, Dragon and Pandora, I fell in love. I needed them and they needed me to be their provider. It was what I needed to motivate me and eventually learn how to take care of myself.
Even today, my health improves because I am motivated to do the right thing for my dogs. One of them needs a great deal of exercise outdoors, so that means I get to take them to the local dog park for socializing and fun every day.
Dragon and Pandora continue to inspire me and help make my transition back to being productive every day. They are the light of my life. I am so grateful to have them and I appreciate something new about each of them every single day.
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Dr. Peter Dobias has 28 years of experience as a veterinarian. His love of dogs and passion for natural healing and nutrition led him to writing, teaching and helping people create health naturally without drugs, chemicals and processed food. Through his work and the all-natural supplement line, he helps dog lovers get the gift of extra time with their dogs. He lives in Vancouver, Canada.