"The Peeing Post"
Newsletter for dog lovers who respect the dog's nature
Chief Editor: Mogens Eliasen
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Dear Dog Friend
It has been a long time...
I will not dwell on the past and the terrible time I have gone through with an illness I still do not understand the full nature of, but want to let you know that I'm now back to work again - after almost 6 months with extremely sporadic moments of worthy efforts. I'm working on getting caught up with things that have been left undone for far too long and will do my best to get things caught up as soon as possible. A very daunting task, but I am making progress. Although I am back at work, I am not back at full capacity yet, but I trust it will continue to go in the right direction, so everything can and will be done, as planned and promised, to the best of my abilities.
I apologize for the trouble it has caused some of you, and still will continue to cause, until I get through the entire backlog. If you have unfinished business with me that needs to be taken care of urgently, please remit it again, as it will take months before I get to the bottom of that pile...
The pet food recalls
Lately, we have experienced a whole swarm of pet food recalls. I am not going to repeat what other people already have said or written about it, but I will just refer to some of the sources that I feel are worth checking out, if you haven't already got enough of it:
The US Food and Drug Administration's official alerts - just for the purpose of getting the perspective of this, it might be healthy for your mind to compare to the Canadian government's similar alerts over the last year of so, regarding quality of human foods. You can find that page here - and you will see that not only is the case load significantly less, but the character of the cases are benign, to put it mildly, compared to the 35% mortality risk from eating those dangerous pet foods... in fact, the vast majority of cases are about manufacturers adding things to the product that did not go on the label too - which is a problem for people with allergies. I find it interesting to notice how adamant a government is about "small things" like those when we talk about human food!
Christie Keith's excellent overview and commentary - she is a reporter worth reading: does her homework and tells it in simple words, within pushing opinions. If you are not sure that you are up-to-date on this whole issue, you should definitely read her report.
Menu Food's press release in Canada - submitted over a month after the "affair" started, and their first sign of admitting to "something not being right"...
Associated Press' story, based on Wal-Mart's late press release - just one out of many that all illustrate the point, not only for Wal-Mart, but for all other outlets that have been affected.
California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System's warning to vets and pet owners (when on the site, click on the link "Pet food recall info" in the blue box to the right or go directly by using this link.)
Hill's letter offering reimbursement - you will need your laughter muscles in good shape in order to read this if you checked the other links above first...
You can find hundreds of similar publications.
Has anyone seen any apology from any of the manufacturers? Just asking.... because I have not. It just goes to show how much they are "committed to the welfare of their customers' pets". The only tangible commitment shown so far is to saving their own butt and confine their financial losses. It's amazing how they dare to actually rephrase their stupidifying verbiage about that commitment, even in a situation like this, where there would be lots and lots of tangible ways to prove that they meant what they said!
However, there are some important conclusions that are not drawn by the media. You need to draw them yourself, if you haven't done so already. Let me help you on the way...
As you notice, the recalls go right across "brands" and include even the most prestigious brands, the so-called "high-quality kibble", because the entire industry is so logistically interwoven and corrupt (they buy from each other and use the same subcontractors) that it truly is only the marketing and the dividends to the shareholders that make them different from each other. My point: it is NOT "just the cheap brands" that are subject to this. You have zero protection by trying to pay a premium price - it does NOT give you a premium product!
The poisons have all been related to poisonous chemicals that either occur naturally or as a result of human action, but all related to grain, grain storage, and grain production. Grain products constitute about 2/3 of just about any kibble product, yet they do not appear at all on the wolf's natural menu, so this discrepancy alone should make it come as no surprise to anyone that anything going wrong here will cause major trouble - and that the risk of it happening is much greater than the risk of things going wrong with what Mother Nature designed for the wolf and its modern descendants. In Menu Food's case, the poisons are the natural waste products from certain micro-organisms that sometimes infest grain products. Much like the "storage mite", whose poop gives 80% of all dogs in Europe "allergy" and skin irritations.
The poisons, when first discovered and finally tested in the manufacturer's laboratory resulted in a death toll of about 35% among the dogs in the test, in a matter of a few days. That should deserve being called "serious"! Nevertheless - this time, it took over a month to get all involved brands off the shelves, and nobody is truly sure if it has happened yet... And this still leaves the question about what happened to the recalls back in October - they basically were just ignored by just about everybody...
Another thing that is important to notice is that it took about a month from the first cases were presented to the manufacturer by the government, before this manufacturer took any serious action and gave the public any trustworthy information. During that month, sales continued.... nobody was warned.... even vets had no clue, and got no support from their organizations or from government, because each and every one of them worked in isolation - no reporting system is in place for cases like this. But the company's testing showed a mortality of 35% among the dogs that were fed the food, in a matter of a couple of days...
The pressing question is, "Could it happen again?"
And the unpleasant answer is, "Absolutely! It will happen again, because we still have nothing in place and nothing suggested to be put in place in order to prevent this from repeating itself." Next time, possibly with some other poison, though, but still: it will be related to grains and grain products not being a natural ingredient of a healthy diet for Canis Lupus, nor for Canis Lupus Familiaris. The reason for this being so important is that these animals have never had a chance to develop any natural protection against those issues that can go wrong about grain products, particularly not when managed artificially by man. When we discuss other possible problems, related to natural food sources, then we will see that dogs have a series of excellent defense mechanisms in place against all those common problems that naturally can be associated with those foods. They have to. Those of them who didn't, are not the ones who gave birth to our modern dogs - the are now extinct....
What is the conclusion?
Very simple, plain logic: QUIT FEEDING SUCH UNNATURAL CRAP!
I don't care how many toes are going to be hurt by my hard boots here, but there is NO excuse for being so lazy that buying and feeding unnatural foods is all a pet owner can think of for his/her pet. It is irresponsibly ignorant. Ten years ago, I might have been a bit softer on this, but that was then, and this is now. Reality now is that raw natural food is available from so many sources that nobody can claim to not have any - or to not have any within an affordable price range. There are enough raw food suppliers all over the continent, in both North America, Europe, and Australia to make such a claim a blatant lie. I do not know about Asia, South America, and Africa - but I do know that even there, they still have food sources for people, and those food sources include meat products of all kinds, so, although the logistics might be different, the net result does not have to be.
And yet, there is a warning. It is not a matter of "just feeding some raw stuff". With some luck, it might be. But there are many known accounts of it not promoting the dog's health very well, if at all. The claim from the kibble-supporters that "a raw meat diet" often leads to malnourishment is most likely correct. Responsible feeding takes more than just throwing a few chicken wings to the dogs every day.
But it isn't science either. The trick is to be able to select what is worth buying - and to do so with balanced look to the wolf's natural diet. Just face it: you cannot BUY "dog food"! But you can buy all the ingredients you need...
You can't buy "human food" either, can you? Where are the bags in the supermarkets that have written on them, "This is all your family needs in terms of nourishment, for the rest of their lives"? For humans, we can see what a joke this is. The only difference to dogs is that dogs and human have different needs, but those needs are equally diversified and most definitely not covered by any single food source whatsoever.
If you want to help other people get out of this mess and get onto taking responsible charge for their dogs, then here are four resources you can recommend for them to educate themselves on what it takes:
The e-book for those who are "know-it-alls" and those who would like to come close (over 400 pages in total...): "Raw Food for Dogs - the Ultimate Reference for Dog Owners". This book goes in depth with the stuff and truly empowers you to make you own informed decisions, also in situations where the answers might not be simple.
The URL to pass on: http://k9joy.com/RawFoodForDogs.
The e-book with the scientific background and the complete rationale: "The Wolf's Natural Diet - a Feeding Guide for Your Dog?".
The URL to pass on: http://k9joy.com/TheWolfsNaturalDiet.
I know, you most likely have several of these titles already - but seriously: please help other people get this information too... I think the current scandal about "pet food" should be more than sufficient motivation for your friends to at least listen to what you have to say about this!
If it makes life easier for you, then you are more than welcome to simply forward this Peeing Post to the dog people you know.
And, just for the record: The scaremonger about bacteria in raw foods is exactly that: scaremonger! You need to use proper hygiene WHENEVER touching raw foods, whether they are meant for the dog or for the frying pan, the pot, or the grill. No exceptions. And that also means: control your children! There is no reason whatsoever for them sharing the dog's food - or crawling around on the floor where you fed your dog. It is a complete misperception that a carnivore should have food available all time, as if it were a cow or a horse grazing. Whatever dog food is not eaten right away simply disappears! That's Nature's rule - and it should be yours too. Particularly if you have small children that have not yet been properly obedience trained so they understand and respect your instructions...
Abuse of our freedom to choose
Geez, I feel the world has gone crazy, just because I have been off work for a few months. Here is another very serious chance for you to chose to support your own freedom - or let it die by "being too busy to bother": The FDA in the USA is returning to proposing legislation has already been turned down once, but obviously need another bunch of hard kicks in the kidney before it will die. The proposed ban on natural health products, homeopathic products, and anything else that is not prescribed by a licensed doctor and supplied by a multi-billion dollar drug company that can make money on its patents!
Here is what Dr. Rima E. Laibow, Medical Director of Natural Solutions Foundation (www.HealthFreedomUSA.org said in an open e-mail that was distributed on-line a few days ago: A couple of days ago The Natural Solutions Foundation sent out an Action Alert telling you that the FDA is at it again. Their "Proposed Guidance on CAM" (= "Complementary and Alternative Modalities") will classify all natural therapies as "Medical Practices" so only licensed physicians will be able to practice them. Then the supplements and products used in those practices become "untested drugs" which are, in the US and elsewhere, illegal. Not only that, I can tell you as a physician that deviations from "practice guidelines" or "treatment algorithms" are increasingly cause for doctors to have their licenses pulled so few doctors will offer those modalities.
There is not more to say about it, other than this: Whether you live in the USA or not, this affects ALL OF US! In Europe, this battle was lost two years ago, and now it is impossible in Europe to buy vitamin C in tablets bigger than 25 mg.... I cannot even send common health food supplements to my mother in Denmark, because the European authorities don't allow that stuff to be distributed to European consumers! It simply gets confiscated, as if it were narcotics.
More details are available here: http://tinyurl.com/2u7ghc.
Please, please, please - check that link, go to that page, and send your e-mail. It is already set up, so it almost goes automatically. You don't need to compose any prose. The e-mail that needs to be sent, is already there, ready for you to take action on. And, if you have more than one e-mail address, use them all, one at a time! I mean: this message has to be as massive as we can make it! So pass on that URL to as many people you possibly can send e-mails to! Dog people or not - doesn't matter.
When do these lobby-dependant politicians start to comprehend that our freedom is not for sale in order for them to be pampered by the big industries? Answer: When ENOUGH political weight (read: votes) is behind the message. NOT before.
Interesting genetic research
Anita found some interesting news through Google that I think is worth sharing:
There are several versions of the story, and you can pick and choose - they are all quite obviously based on the same fundamental press release.
The essence is this: For the first time, genes have been found in dogs that are not found in wolves! Those genes are those that are most likely responsible for dwarf-growth. ALL small dogs (9 pounds and less) have it. No bigger dogs have it. No wolves have it.
It is easy to understand why wolves don't have it: it would not lead to survival! Miniature wolves killing large ungulates? What a joke - and Mother Nature most likely agrees. If such genes have ever been or will ever appear in wild wolves, they won't live more than one generation.
But, for dogs, it is different, because man has uses for smaller dogs! So, they might survive, based on man's support.
The research concludes that there are two possibilities for this:
Our small dog breeds have wolf ancestors that are now extinct.
The genes for "small" have developed during domestication.
I beg to disagree with this. There is a third possibility, which I personally find far more likely: Wolves still experience these mutations, which once in a while might lead to dwarf-growth. Humans have this kind of genes pop up "out of the blue" too. For the wolf, those individuals just don't survive for long, so we have no records of it. Genetic mutation occurs like clockwork: they are the programming behind all features of the body and its development. But they also have inherited in them some kind of program for their own change! This has to be - otherwise we could not measure mutations occurring at such regular frequencies, as we do!
When we just rely on the facts: that mutations occur in some kind of pre-programmed way, but not predictable for man, then we also have enough to support the hypothesis that it actually might be possible to breed small wolves, if we tried to redo the domestication. It just takes 15,000 years, though... The current evidence does not exclude that it could be possible.
But there are some other conclusions which we cannot draw from this....
The new results do not indicate that any other species than the gray wolf are to be found among the ancestors of our dogs. All speculation that there might have been jackals or coyotes involved, for instance, are completely unsupported by this, and still so unlikely that you can ignore the option.
Again, you are welcome to simply forweard this Peeing post to people in your address book.
Plans for the future
I am very hesitant giving any solid promises about what I can do in the nearest future, other than keeping things rolling at a somewhat lesser speed than before I got sick. However, as it appears, still fast enough to allow more than just trivial things; I have been able to do a lot about the back-log that was created by my absence, and I have been able to actually reduce the number of things that had to be dealt with as important urgencies. So, even though I am still swimming up against the current, I am swimming faster than the current, so we do make progress.
My biggest concern is the DVD project, which has been lying dormant since November - not at all something I am happy about. It is just a kind of project that takes full concentration, for several hours a day, and many days in a row - something I have been unable to provide till now. I believe I will get there soon, though. Weeks, I hope - not months.
Also, in lieu of reality, we have moved the Creston Spring Camp Course to become a summer course. The dates are moved to June 17-23. I apologize to those that planned on participating in May, but it is just not realistic for me to do it that early. Fortunately, I have run this kind of course so many times that it does not take a lot of preparation on my side. And, by June, I am certain, I can be back to "full speed".
If you want to get more information on this course, then the page has been updated. It is http://k9joy.com/dogtraining/campcourses.php. I would love to see you there!
In continuation of our last tour in Europe, we are looking into the possibilities of doing some more in August, this summer. Some of the people we met want us to come back and give a bunch of seminars and a couple of camp courses. They already have people signed up for it - even without having the dates firmly in place! Those students just want to know when they are to take their vacation - they don't care about the dates, as long as they know at least 2 months in advance. But, it won't take that long before we can have the decisions ready on this. I expect a couple of weeks more, maximum. So, that will be a good reason for another Peeing Post... J
I actually have stuff for several more issues - but I don't want to make them much bigger than this, so I will call it "an issue" here.
Cheers and woof,
If you have any suggestions to contributions or contents of "The Peeing Post", or some comments or questions pertaining to this issue or about dogs in general, I will be happy to know about them. If I can find an answer for you, I will!
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