Monday, May 7, 2012

174th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,
A Couple of Hard Cases

How quickly a good meal can turn things around for people … and their very best friends. Six weeks ago Adam (left) and Molly were in a dire struggle with the food they ate. Now Adam barks because he feels so fine. And Molly? Well, his delight is nothing but sweet music to her ears.
When research scientists discover early on in an experiment that the remedy they are testing is working way beyond expectations, they stop the experiment and make the information public. This doesn’t happen very often but it does happen.

For the past 30 years, I have lived with a total of seven West Highland White Terriers (Westies). Of the seven, four had food allergies. It is an inherent trait of the breed. Consequently, I am very into reading food labels and researching dog food brands. Anything that doesn’t start with a protein is out.

I have tried most upscale brands at the OK Feed Store on Ft. Lowell and most other national brands such as Purina, Science Diet, etc. Some work for awhile until my pups loose their tolerance to the food. I even tried frozen and home cooked food. All of this attention to ingredients led me to the conclusion that it is the formula, not the ingredients or the amounts. Besides, I think feeding 100% of a dog’s or cat’s daily requirements at every single meal just can’t be that healthy. I don’t eat like that and most humans don’t eat like that so pet food allergies might have a greater chance to turn on when you feed them a diet packed to the gills with everything they supposedly need in life.

A year ago, Nature’s Variety introduced a Limited Ingredient diet with turkey or lamb as the single protein. (There are other limited ingredient brands but Nature’s Variety is truly limited. See Dog Advisor review.)

I put Adam and Molly on the diet six weeks ago right after I discovered the food. Immediately I could tell this may work because they did not increase their itching. Adam licks his chest and hind legs eliminating the hair and darkening the exposed skin. He also scratches lots of hair off his back. Molly mostly scratches her face and her back and her eyes are watery. (Can’t see any of that hair loss in the photos taken last Thursday because their hair is back with a vengeance.)

Adam soon stopped itching altogether and started to gain weight. He eats a little more than a cup a day which has always been his normal amount of daily intake. However, he had been skinny all of his life and his hair fine. At 19.8 lbs. now, not 17 lbs., he’s looking like a mature male Westie and his hair is coarse. Perfect.

Molly is eating exactly one cup a day (her normal) and she lost weight. She went form 22 lbs. down to 18.2 lbs. which is better for her arthritic limbs. She jumps up on the bed more easily now.

I’m writing about my pets’ food adventures this week, not mine, because I know a lot of pet owners have varying degrees of dietary problems with their pets and they are always concerned but do not know what to do. Like the delighted research scientists I mention above, I wanted to get this wonderful news out as soon as possible. To see Adam, the hardest hit of the two, doing so well, has brought more than a tear or two to my eyes over the past few weeks.

I suggest you try Nature’s Variety Turkey Limited Ingredient—or Lamb—because if my chronically sick pups recovered on this diet, imagine if you only have an overweight pup?

Nature’s Variety Limited Ingredients is sold at the OK Feed Store on Ft. Lowell near Palo Verde. Petco sells the brand also but they may have to special order the Limited Ingredients diet for you.

May all your furry best friends be as well as my Adam and Molly.

Heavier Than It Looks
When I use the Cabriolet to transport the food to the Community Food Bank I’m not sure of the total weight. The Taurus’ large trunk made it easier to quesstimate. But now that the Taurus is in car heaven, I fret every Monday morning that there’s not enough food.

Even on the push up the ramp to the warehouse door with the huge door jam, I’m thinking, “not enough.” But reality hits as I try to yank the front end of the cart up off the ground to clear the 3” hurdle. Two or three times I yank on the cart handle but to no avail. To save my back I go around to the front of the cart and lift it over the lip. It weighs a ton and I’m lovin’ it.

We collected a total of 192 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $6.00 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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