The Force MAY Be With You

Trust your feelings about your dog’s health, says a reader, and keep trying!


I wanted to write you and tell you of an extraordinary experience that I had using homeopathy for my dog.

Last summer our seven-year-old Shepherd-mix developed a hard lump near her shoulder. It grew to the size of a large marble. We took her to our vet, who performed a needle biopsy. It came back as reactive lymph tissue – baffling because there should be no lymph tissue in that area. To be safe, he recommended surgery, since a needle biopsy can only test a fragment of the lump. The surgery would have to go deep because the lump was imbedded in her muscle.

I took a deep breath, listened to my own inner calm and immediately decided to boost her immune system using the herb astragalus and a maitake mushroom tincture. I also boosted her vitamins.

We wasted no time and took her to two natural-oriented vets. One gave us more supplements and recommended surgery. The next immediately sent us to a surgeon. The surgeon, of course, wanted to do surgery, telling us if there were any lumps in her lungs that there was no point in trying, it would be a death sentence. I sat in our car and cried.

But before we took action, I took another deep breath and again trusted my inner voice. The lump was still there. We went back to our original vet who did another needle biopsy. He sent it to a pathologist and it came back the same, except this time, interestingly, it had macrophages surrounding it – the “killer” immune system cells that go in to remove foreign substances from the body, which is exactly what astragalus is supposed to do. It was great to have scientific proof that it does have an immune bolstering effect.

Then I went to a homeopathic pharmacy. I told the pharmacist the problem and he recommended a homeopathic remedy called Silicea, 30c, which is for the lymph system. I gave her three pills, three times a day on an empty stomach and guess what? Within two weeks the lump was gone, much to the shock of the four vets that we saw. It has been months with no sign of the lump and our girl is as happy and healthy as ever. This is the third time that we have avoided surgery by listening to our inner voices and going the natural route. The other two times were for recommended knee replacement surgery on two of our other dogs. They have both completely healed. I always tell other dog owners, “Listen to your Spirit and keep on trying.”

-Janet Katz
via email


From my experience, Doggie Dooleys (reviewed in the June 2000 issue of WDJ) are a great concept. What could be more convenient for disposing dog poo? No more bags, no more smell? Great! The only problem is they don’t always work. Their effectiveness is greatly influenced by the climate and soil type. When we lived in Tennessee, we had clay soil and it wouldn’t drain. In addition winters were cold enough to stop the biological processes necessary to break down the waste.

Now we live on the coast of Oregon (and I do mean on the coast, 300 yards from the beach). Our soil is very sandy, and summers and winters are mild. Now our soil is too sandy! In the summer, the pyramid-style Dooley drains too fast, so not enough water stays in to maintain the decomposition process even when I add five gallons of warm water each day. In the winter, our water table sometimes rises to the point where the water is standing in the yard for several days. Also the temperature still gets too cool in the winter and fall. So it still doesn’t work.

I have the larger model and only one dog. I also made the Dooley even deeper by adding a row of cinder blocks. Doggie Dooley suggested some “super start-up” enzymes to jump-start the process. I was adding water and enzymes each day as per their instructions. No luck. Very disappointing. Nine months after not adding any waste to the Dooley, there is still partially decomposed material in it.

While it is possible the “bucket type” (similar to the one we had in Tennessee and as opposed to the open bottom which we have now) might be more effective in our current location, I am reluctant to spend another $50 to try again.

-Patricia Riley
via email


We admit that the Doggie Dooley worked so well for US, that we didn’t consider how it would work in challenging soils like hard clay or extremely sandy soil. Readers? Any other ideas for environmentally friendlier poop disposal?


Lately I’ve been wondering how I could use my talents to perhaps raise money for animal causes. I would like to find some way to reach an animal-loving audience who might be interested in purchasing artwork, knowing that most of the proceeds would go to such a cause.Where would I start?

Just Friday I dropped off two paintings to a framer and asked if he would give me a break on the frames as I am donating the pictures to our local Humane Society. He said he would. Our Humane Society has built a new facility and put a notice in their newsletter asking for art for their new walls. I’ll be bringing these pictures to them when they’re framed and asking them for any ideas as well. I got my Shepherd-mix from them last August and am eager to do more but need ideas.

-Susan Mandl
Rochester, New York


Again, we put out a call to our readers: Who knows some creative ways to benefit their local shelters?