It all started with AGATHA. When I got the news that she had cancer, I was heart broken. As a dog health expert of many years, I knew there wasn't much hope.
IT ALL STARTED WITH AGATHA…
I’m not a scientist, but what I am is a dog breeder & fancier with many years of experience in the dog world. From working as a veterinary technician, raising and showing several breeds in AKC conformation classes, did obedience training. For 20 years, I owned a vastly popular Bed & Biscuit on a lovely sea island in South Carolina and handled literally hundreds of dogs every year. I even learned to groom dogs. To top it all off, I bred my first litter of puppies back in 1979, making me admittedly longer “in dogs” than I’d like to admit, but certainly I have worked with and been deeply involved with dogs for longer than most people you’ll meet. I recite this long list here to give you an idea of the amount of canine experience I’ve accumulated in my career.
I’ve always been very interested in nutrition and have researched and used supplements for myself for as long as I can remember. While I was quite convinced that I needed extra supplements to maintain my personal good health, I was also convinced that if I bought the best dog food money could buy, that I would be doing all that was necessary and prudent to maintain the health and longevity of my four-footed friends as well.
Sadly, after these many years in dogs and dog medicine, I’ve seen a pattern that alarms me, not only in my own dogs & cats, but also in the countless animal hospital patients, my boarding kennel patrons, seemingly most of the pets belonging to my friends and family. All seemed to be living for shorter and shorter periods of time.
Almost all these much loved and well cared for animals were at their veterinarians offices all too frequently for an entire laundry list of ills ranging from- chronic skin & ear problems to kidney & heart failure, allergies, arthritis and all too often, cancer was taking more and more of these beloved pets at younger and younger ages. I was spending a small fortune on the very best dog foods, on their veterinary care and still losing them heartrendingly too young
It all came to a screeching halt though, when my beautiful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Agatha, began having serious allergy issues.
It seemed she was constantly chewing, scratching, digging, rolling back and forth to reach each new spot that tormented her. Soon she was going the same route of cortisone injections for the skin issues and scratching, repeated courses of medication to treat the chronic & very painful ear infections.
Yet again I was to see another of my beloved dogs begin to go down that declining path of ill health and sometimes tormenting allergy issues. I knew that ahead the only tools at my disposal to help her were seemingly what her veterinarian would prescribe, prednisone injections, courses of antibiotics, smelly ointments and medicated baths that not only seemed entirely ineffective, meant hundreds of dollars for treatments that did little to help and often did much damage instead.
I began looking for answers again in the dog foods I used, I researched brands and claims for dozens of foods that promised the end of this particular issue. I bought dog foods with wolves on the bag, dog foods made of venison and others made with ducks & potatoes, I tried foods made of fish, just opening the bag was unpleasantly smelly. I was simply convinced that it was the food and that the food could fix her problems.
Unfortunately, nothing seemed to help and poor Agatha continued to drive herself & us crazy with her constant relentless painful scratching, Medications were next to useless, and she had more medicated baths than I care to remember,,, We were nearly at our wit’s end.
One day, I was giving Agatha her medicated bath, and as I lathered her long coat, reaching under her to spread the lather, my hand came across a large tumor about as large as a hen’s egg, back between her legs located in her mammary glands The earth seemed to stop for a moment,disbelieving, I felt anxiously, a large hard oblong growth had appeared on my dear of Agatha in the few weeks since I had last bathed her…
It just wasn’t possible; she wasn’t even 5 years old. She’d been on the very best foods that money can buy, had the best of veterinary care. And yet here suddenly we were at that same terrible path of losing another of my much loved dogs.
I’ve never been able to have children, suffered through the anguish of miscarriages, fertility treatments that brought false hope and repeated despair, I must admit that I have loved my pets with the love I perhaps would have given those lost children and have to tell you that I wept over this beautiful little dog, this little soul that has brought much joy to my life.
My veterinarian scheduled her for immediate surgery which revealed that her tumor was indeed malignant, and though she recovered quickly from it’s removal, my vet gave no comfort with his prognosis.
Frantically I began to research supplements and vitamins to support and heal her system. I had foolishly depended on commercial dog food to keep her healthy, finally realizing that my dogs simply needed more. I also began to pray, I’m a born-again believer and while my faith was shaken by this smallest of tragedies I believed with all my heart that God had a plan and that if I allowed Him, He would bring good out of Aggie’s problems.
With the help of a Naturopath, Joe Dimateo in Pennsylvania, I immediately put her on a course of Probiotics and other supplements.
I knew that probiotics are very healing and supportive of the human body, why not my little sick dog’s body as well? Within a short time I began to notice subtle improvements, Agatha wasn’t scratching as much, in fact, rather disbelieving, as the days went by, I realized that her coat had begun to grow more luxuriantly and incredibly, within a month, the dog who I had laughingly said made a career out of scratching, had completely stopped! Her ears which had been such a terrible problem cleared up too, and lost the yeasty smell I had never been able to cleanse away.
I grew more astonished as each day went by and none of her skin issues returned.
I began to work with other supplements to support Agatha’s health and replace the missing but absolutely necessary things that our dogs need for optimum health, to hopefully avoid future heartbreak for not only myself, but for the people who adopted our puppies.
I don’t know if it’s too late to save Agatha, I pray not, that the Lord will give me many more years with her, but I am somehow heartened by the thought that my little friend has been the inspiration for putting products into the hands of pet owners the supplements that will help their pets live longer, healthier lives.
The facts remain, the current methods of producing American dog foods, are creating a diet that has been produced under extremely high heat, a diet that is obviously lacking in basic life giving nutrition, a diet that no matter how expensive is sadly lacking in some of the basic nutrients needed to keep our pets healthy.
These are early days for our new endeavor, in honor of my little Cavalier, I’ve named our product line “Agatha’s Apothecary” and the desire of my heart is that people who love their pets like I love my dear Agatha, will finally have the tools necessaryto preserve the health & long-life of their four footed family members….
Kindest Puppy Regards,
Postscript: The above letter was written almost 7 years ago, my dear Agatha continues to do well, just this morning she raced me up the hill to get the morning mail, I am most grateful for these extra days with a dear little friend. I pray for many more.