Friday, December 4, 2009

The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood

Out of the 250 stories of adopted dogs I've edited so far, I would estimate that at least a quarter of them involve a dog who had cancer. It is so common, and information about how to best care for a pet with cancer is so conflicting. Today I caught up with holistic pet care advocate, Nadine M. Rosin, to discuss cancer in pets and her book, The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood.

HTB: Tell us about The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood. Who should read your book? What do you expect he/she will take away from it?

NMR: The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood is a true story about the human-animal bond, healing cancer holistically, senior canine care, and an empowering new take on the grieving process when a beloved animal passes away. It reads like a novel and has an underlying 3-fold mission:

~Helping pet parents realize we may be unconsciously contributing to the skyrocketing increase of cancer in our pets by unknowingly creating highly toxic environments in our homes
~Providing comfort, camaraderie, and validation for pet parents experiencing the devastating loss of a beloved pet
~Helping to remove the words, “It’s just a dog/cat” from the lips of non pet parents everywhere

One of my favorite emails from a reader was a woman whose grown sons just couldn’t understand the grief she was going through after her beloved Bichon passed away. After reading my book, which she said gave her incredible comfort and insight, she had Amazon ship a copy to each of her sons. She told them that if they promised to read it, and still didn’t understand “why she wasn’t over it yet,” she’d never mention the dog again. Well, it turns out the boys loved the book AND apologized profusely to their mom for having been so insensitive. They ended up providing her great solace.

HTB: Buttons is the dog featured in your book. Did you have dogs before Buttons? What made Buttons so special?

NMR: I have had dogs all my life and have dearly loved them all. Buttons, was my heart-dog. When she was eight-years-old, she was diagnosed with cancer and given six weeks to live without chemo, radiation, and amputation. After much soul-searching (described in book), I decided to completely forgo the prescribed treatment and instead, implement a completely holistic approach: one of cleansing and strengthening the body so it could heal itself, rather than one of squelching the symptoms and fighting the cancer. Four months later, Buttons was cancer-free and she thrived for an additional 11 years. Hers was a story I had to share with other pet parents.

HTB: What is some advice you give to people who have pets that are faced with a severe illness, like cancer?

NMR: My advice is to educate yourself BEFORE getting the diagnosis of a serious disease. Our pets metabolize everything so much faster than we do, they are like the canaries in the coal mine. The household chemicals we expose them (and ourselves) to might take 30 years to show up as disease in our bodies but only five years in theirs. Just because something is sold in the grocery (or health food!) store doesn’t mean it’s safe after years of exposure. Do a little online research about the unbelievably toxic ingredients in major brands of fabric softener, dryer sheets, and air fresheners to name a few. I have some listings and safer alternatives on my blog.

HTB: What are the top three things people can eliminate from their homes to give themselves, and their pets, the best chance at a healthy life? Is there anything they should add to their homes?

NMR: A holistic approach means looking at everything: food, water, treats, chews, cleaning products, flea poisons, medications, etc. Since the book has been published, I have started offering holistic consultations to help people look at everything harmful they may be unknowingly exposing their sweet animals to. I do this on an offering basis so that no pet or pet parent is left behind because of inability to pay. That information can also be found on my blog. In addition, our pets are extremely sensitive to emotion, so eliminating any constant stress or negativity in one’s household is vital to a healthy environment.

HTB: What are your thoughts on adopted an older dog vs. a puppy?

NMR: What I know is that for every dog rescued, there is at least one human rescued in return. Older dogs have so much to teach us. Buttons lived to be 19. With a conscious approach to home environment and care, most dogs can live healthy lives into their 20’s.

To learn more about Nadine M. Rosin and The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood, visit

No comments:

Post a Comment