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Honey's story 
Why I started feeding Honey raw meat and 
bones (species-appropriate food) instead of store-bought, 
processed dog food (kibble).  

(taken from an internet interview in September 2007)
________________________________________________________

What year did you begin feeding raw? 
2004

Why did you begin feeding raw?
My dog, Honey, was exhibiting allergy-like symptoms: scratching his face raw, nibbling on his feet constantly, very angry looking red skin, inflamed ears, ear infections, no hair on his belly, rashes near his genitals, etc. 

The vet I took him to in Holland said basically, "Well, what do you expect - it's a Westie and they're prone to skin ailments". He suggested cortisone treatment or I could try an elimination diet to see what he  was reacting to. 

I also took Honey to a specialist who basically confirmed that he was allergic to some types of foods, didn't know why and had no course of treatment for him. 

I tried all the "best" dry dog food (kibbles) with different unique proteins and kept hunting on the internet for answers. I was not settling for the diagnosis or prognosis that standard veterinary medicine was giving me.... 

I just KNEW there had to be answers!

In my internet sleuthing I came upon information and a book called "Pets at Risk" by Dr. Alfred Plechner, DVM and I started to find answers - specifically that nutrition was KEY. 

I began by cooking ground lamb and goat and adding brown rice or potatoes as well as chelated minerals, Omega 3&6 oil, and a probiotic. Honey started getting some relief but not totally. 

It was then that I found out about the Natural Westies and Rawfeeding forums as well as a few other forums that I immediately joined. However, as a Westie owner I felt I was really on the verge of getting some real answers on the Natural Westies forum. I think I read the entire archive! I followed every link and read and read and read!

Because I was already feeding cooked meals it was an easy step to go raw. And Honey started to improve even more. His furry face started to fill in and his ears cleared up, the nibbling on his paws was
occasional.


What was the first raw meal and do you remember how you felt giving
that first raw meal?

Instead of cooking the ground lamb I gave it to him raw. I felt pensive but very hopeful. I was desperate and I knew I was on the right track.  It made sense to me.


Was there any person, book, article or website you attribute to
getting you started in raw feeding?

As I mentioned before, Dr. Plechner's book and the Natural Westies website and the wonderful people there. I was especially thankful that I could telephone a dog trainer from the forum, Jane, from my home in Holland and talk with her. Those phone calls were a lifeline of hope to me in a very distressing time.

Did you have to convince your spouse, significant other, friends,
family, vet, groomer, pet sitter, about your decision to feed raw?

I changed vets and thankfully found just the right one who respected my reasons for feeding raw and going chemical-free. He willingly does a rabies titer test each year (3 years now) instead of giving vaccinations. He respects my decision and has never forced medication. 
I also found a great classical homeopathic vet who is pro-RAW. 
My mother and sister have also seen the benefits of raw and asked me to get their dogs onto raw. 
My groomer is also pro-RAW and has seen a wonderful example of it's benefits in Honey's coat.


List the animals, breed or mix of, and ages you are currently feeding
raw:

Honey, WHWT, 4yrs / Benjamin, Bichon, 13 yrs / Bridget, BichonPoo, 7 mos.

Have you bred a raw fed litter or have you reared a puppy on raw?

I'm currently training my mom's new puppy and switched her to raw at 3mos. She switched immediately from one day to the next and is thriving.

How old was the oldest dog you have switched to raw?

My sister's Bichon Frise, Benjamin, is 13 yrs. old. and I switched him to raw 4 mos. ago. He switched quite easily.

What, if any, health changes have you noticed by feeding raw?

I think I've seen the most drastic changes in my dog, Honey and in Benjamin. Honey's "allergy issues" were basically brought on by vaccinosis (over-vaccination). His healthy, raw diet has given him a solid foundation of health. He is incredibly fit, very strong and muscular, beautiful teeth and breath and a full coat that is easy to care for. He rarely needs a bath, due to good health and a stripped, natural double coat.

Benjamin, the 13yr. old Bichon was a barrel on 4 legs! He had pancreatitis episodes, 2 knee surgeries, 2 kidney stone surgeries, rotting teeth and "dragon breath". He was about 21 lbs and should have been 16 or 17 lbs. 

That was 4 months ago. He has dropped the extra weight and is at 17lbs now, his teeth are clean and breath reasonably fresh for an old geezer. He has not had any pancreatitis episodes and he is walking better, even running and playing with the other 2 dogs now. A couple of his teeth had been loose (they were rotting!) and the gums have firmed up now and they are not loose any more.

Anything else you want to add?

I not only feed my dog raw, species-appropriate meat and bones, but I will try to convince any dog owner I meet that this is the way to health and happiness for their dogs. I'm a proud convert and feel I have an excellent testimony to share, first-hand, that dogs should eat meat!

Honey with allergies
"Prince Wagglebutt"
Starring:  Honey!
Why I don't VACCINATE Honey can be explained if you read this article called VACCINE DAMAGE by Catherine O'Driscoll in an article from the Jan.2009 issue of "Dogs Today" published in the UK.

Vaccine_Damage_Driscoll.docx
Vaccine_Damage_Driscoll.docx

King of the mountain!
Call of the Wild!
I love snow in the summer!
Me and Belinda singing
I just don't like the sun in my eyes... so, I borrowed a hat!
I'm on the top of the world!
Lots of new smells up here!
Belinda and me enjoying the view
I got to ride in a gondola lift way up to the top!
Yep, that's us - wandering around in the clouds
Taking a break in the mountains
That is a long way DOWN!
Me, with my handy cooling jacket
I always let Belinda take the lead... and I guard her from behind
​May 2016
Hello dear Honey friends,

Last fall a long time family friend, Karl, began courting me. My companion of 12+ years, Honey, kept a very close eye on this development and we made special effort to assure him that everything was fine and good. He eventually relaxed and trusted Karl with me. 

In early March Honey seemed a bit lame and tender, refusing to go on our daily walks or to jump up on the sofa. I thought he may have injured his back from jumping off my bed, even though there were steps for him to use. It was really hard to put a finger on what exactly the problem was because sometimes he seemed perfectly fine, playing with our 2 yr. old Scottie, Ebony, or chasing after a squirrel. But I knew something was wrong and it wasn't going away.... and it was becoming more pronounced. 

In mid March I suspected either a back injury or perhaps Lyme's so I started homeopathic treatment based upon his symptoms. At times it seemed he responded well, but less and less. I took him to a nearby (expensive) holistic vet for an xray and possible acupuncture... but they didn't see any indication of structural damage in his bones. Meanwhile, Honey was having increased difficulty to walk and his rear end would be wobbly. Another vet, and a SNAP test (negative for TBD, tick born disease), and a prescription of prednisone and pain meds. There seemed to be something very wrong internally, more than a painful back.  The pain meds gave some relief initially and gave us some hope that he might heal with rest and this course of treatment.  

Alas, this too was short lived and his condition deteriorated rapidly. We discussed the option of surgery but I knew in my heart that I could not put him through this and it offered no guarantees, either.

I've always been able to "hear" Honey and during these first few weeks he kept saying "I'm trying", even though a fear began to grow in my heart that I may be losing him. During this same period my fiancé, Karl, surprised me by saying that Honey had told him that Honey told him he was trusting Karl to take over for him in caring for me. I thought it was very sweet of Karl to think that, but I refused to really accept this.  

It was now just the week before our wedding, with all sorts of guests coming in for the celebration and a lot of coming and going for me. The morning of our wedding, April 9th, I went to check on Honey and to carry him out to go potty. He was no longer able to walk and had difficulty to go potty. He ate just a little food and when I looked him in the eye he said clearly to me, "I'm tired"; and I knew we were saying goodbye.  

He tried to stand but fell over on his side and his pupils were dilated. I laid next to him and told him how much fun we'd had and how I loved all the adventures we'd had all over the world. I told him he'd done such a wonderful job of taking care of me and had been a great companion.  

Whenever I would leave him with a dog-sitting friend I would tell him to go to that person and be a blessing, then I'd turn and walk out the door. So I told him now, "Honey, go to Jesus and be a blessing to Him now as you have been to me". 

This was 2 hours before our wedding ceremony and so my happiest day was also my saddest day because Honey went to be with Jesus.  I know he is being a blessing to Jesus as he was such a blessing to me. Karl has been wonderful and comforting and he has taken over the baton well from my trusted friend, Honey. We were married on Saturday, April 9th; Honey's 13th birthday was on April 10th and he celebrated it in heaven.

Thanks to each of you who have rejoiced with me in our adventures through the years. Some of you were able to meet my Honey (AKC: "Milkin Honey Promises") and I'm sure many of you felt as if you knew him through our stories.  I learned so much from him and the connection we shared was one of those unique bonds that we as humans are privileged to share with a furry friend.  

Thank you for bearing with me as I write all this - I put it off until we returned from "honey-moon" and I wasn't sure how I'd feel about coming home to a half-empty house. Ebony has taken her place fully now and is a joy and blessing, following in Honey's pawprints.  In time we hope to add another westie to our hearts and home.

God is good all the time.

Blessings,
Belinda

PS - On October 4th, 2016 Karl and I went to pick up MacGuyver, a 6 month old westie rescue.  And, as God ordained it, our new westie "MacGuyver 'bit 'O Honey'" was born on the day after Honey's birthday, April 11th... I truly feel and believe that my dear Honey whispered into Jesus' ear exactly what kind of westie needed to come to our home.  MacGuyver (used to be "Murphy") came to our home at 6 months after being in 5 different homes.  He is our joy and has been a blessing to us and to our very precious Scottie dog, Ebony. 
Honey was born on April 10th, 2002, MacGuyver on April 11th. 2016, and Ebony on April 12th, 2014.  God knows every detail!