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From: Callie (
Subject:         Dandelion and 'listening' to her body and her needs
Date: October 18, 2008 at 9:24 am PST

In Reply to: Re: Kuranda posted by Saysfaa on October 17, 2008 at 9:48 pm:

Dandelion is HIGHLY medicinal. VERY very very edible and one of those mega good for you herbs/greens. One of the typical uses of it is for the digestive system -- the stomach in particular

This is a pretty good informatiion capsule about dandelion:

"Dandelion leaf is a very powerful diuretic, its action comparable to that of the drug Frusemide. The usual effect of a drug stimulating the kidney function is a loss of vital potassium from the body, which aggravates any cardio-vascular problem present. With Dandelion, however, we have one of the best natural sources of potassium.

It thus makes an ideally balanced diuretic that may be used safely wherever such an action is needed, including in cases of water retention due to heart problems.

As a hepatic & cholagogue Dandelion root may be used in inflammation and congestion of liver and gall-bladder."

She may be needing more potassium than she gets, or she may inately know she needs it. It's readily available at any health store -- I think it's something you might think about keeping on hand for her to supplement her diet with when she's a bit off.

A dab of this or that can be more upsetting than something making up their food. In other words, a dab of sweet potato -- is that from a casserole with brown sugar and butter or salt/pepper? or *just* plain sweet potato. (I use sweet potato as my 'base' for my food simply because it's usually extremely well tolerated and good for the kidneys.)

A bit of this or that can also excite some dogs to the point where they get over-stimulated.

String cheese is ... cheese. Well tolerated by most but SOME dogs are lactose intolerant -- and marrow bones can be extremely high in fat generally. So string cheese, marrow bones and even the sweet potato if it had butter could all also be fatty, which in some dogs could upset the stomach or upset the pancreas more specifically.

I'm not trying to micro-analyze here but yeah, I've had to do what you're doing as well.

We tend to give things as treats that are sweet or 'yummy' or even dairy/fatty. But then stuff like adding greens? We don't think of it cos WE don't like them as well.

Now, I understand your husband's point of view perfectly -- but I think he'll find there is a difference between being over-controlling, and simply CARING that is love-based.

Some people feel they have to *dominate* animals. Bend them to their will (I'm not veg*n as you know but I come from a family that is EXTREMELY domineering and controlling, so I tend to spot that fast).

So you can ... using the wrong word ... 'control' what they eat, but by simply providing in love the things that will HELP them (and specifically address a health problem ) is different than being regimented.

In particular -- trying to identify the things she needs (like her drive to supply potassium or whatever is in her inate need when she gets into dandelion) -- that's not controlling. THAT is love and trying to LISTEN to the dog tell you what IT needs. That's under the heading of "listening" -- not domineering.

Feeding a set schedule simply sets the stage for YOU to be able to listen to her more closely -- they DO communicate with us, but sometimes we have to shift the playing field a bit so we put it in better shape to communicate.

Noticing she eats an herb that is likely medicinal for her and then trying to answer that need is helping her. And setting up her mealtimes so you can then know *instantly* when she's off? That's not controlling her life to be domineering. That's simply making sure you know enough of what's going on in her life so you can **listen** to her.

For example (and one of big frustration for ME right now). Tink's going thru a "teenager phase" right now of poop-eating. She didn't do it when she came to us but man -- she is now and she's running ME ragged over it.

BUT by watching everything that drops out of 4 dog bottoms as much as I can, I'm now finding something strange.

It's ONLY BILLY'S SHE GOES FOR!!! And man -- she's standing there as he does it!!

Now he's on a ton of herbs still (some for his heart and I suspect the fish meal in his Cardiac Support blend may make his poop smell just love-er-ly (UGH).

However -- I owe it to Tink to try to figure out what the heck SHE thinks she's deficient in just in case her little body is trying to tell me something.

Sometimes the things that separate us from our parents are those basic "rights" issues. And one of the reasons I've always hung around here was because I've learned a LOT about animal welfare here. Learning to respect that an animal -- a dog n particular case in point -- is a sentient being and respecting their own decisions is a big huge deal.

BUT we also are their guardians and listening with our human intelligence to what the dog's BODY may be telling us, should enable us to help them reach more optimum health.

In that we have to balance it with not taking away their dignity. But I suspect she eats little because it may cause upset and she may not get all she needs if she's thin.

So hopefully your husband will see the difference between forcing the dog to bend to his will, and helping the dog feel better by setting things up so we can better draw conclusions from the little things she DOES tell you by her behavior.

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