I want to give a shout-out to Demi and her dog King. Demi wrote to ask me if I’d share King’s story, and you can bet I will because it goes to show just how much a dog’s life can change for the better.
King is a 12 year old GSD with some gastrointestinal challenges that were brought under control during a dietary consultation about two years ago. Once that was done, we had one other glitch to get through and that was a bigger problem – arthritis. Not your typical aches and pains, but rather, a dog that had to be held up when he went to potty outside. It was that bad. In fact, some people thought that King should be put down because there seemed to be no hope. Demi proved them wrong. We started adding Joint Complex twice daily, and although I’d usually add wild salmon oil, King’s diet was based on fish, so this wasn’t necessary.
King had become overweight because he simply couldn’t move well enough any more. And he seemed depressed (who wouldn’t be?) Gently getting him up a ramp to put him in the car, Demi started taking him to water therapy classes. At first it was all King could do to manage even this, but it didn’t take too long before his movements improved just enough to get one pound of body weight off his groaning skeleton. I was so excited about it that I started working on a bigger plan. Baked treats were replaced with fruits high in antioxidants, not only because antioxidants can be very beneficial, but fewer calories would help King to lose weight a bit faster. We added turmeric (thank you King for tolerating this), and talked about adding acupuncture to King’s routine. The acupuncture helped a little, but not as much as I’d expected. Still, every little bit matters! I suggested heated bed, and King thought he was in heaven. He chose to lie on it whenever he needed to rest and that told us a lot. Given a choice of cushions, blankets and carpets, the heated bed was his favorite.
Roughly eight weeks later (and weight loss of 4 pounds), a miracle happened. King went to the door and asked to go outside. Demi prepared herself to hold him up as always, but King walked away as if wanting his privacy. He walked with barely a limp, squatted, and did his bathroom duty without help. Today, King enjoys slow walks on leash, can lower his head to his food bowl without fuss, goes potty by himself and even chases a ball. Well…he noses the ball and walks toward it before nosing it in the other direction to repeat the playing, but still! He can climb his doggy stairs to get on the bed with Demi and chooses his heated bed much less often, From not being able to stand long enough to potty, to having a life again is quite remarkable. Obviously, a devoted owner combined with the right diet, supplements and exercise becomes a powerful example of determination at its best.