Friday, December 30, 2011


It’s dog flu season, so Xi Shi will be protecting her immune system, in part, by wearing her new coat and boots.  Don't be too quick to laugh at doggie boots because dogs lose heat through their feet so let's keep those little paws warm. 

Canine Influenza was identified by the Center for Disease Control in 2005.  So it is a relatively new influenza, a serious problem for dogs only, not transferable to their humans.

Although it is true that nobody catches a cold by being cold, the challenges to the body, like sustained cold and wet, can challenge the immune system.  Protecting the body’s first line of defense - the skin and temperature maintenance - is part of dog longevity.

If your dog displays any symptoms, don’t wait around.  You need a vet and the necessary antibiotic (Clavamox) to assist in dealing with this viral illness.

Things to look for are:  sleepiness, lack of appetite, a runny nose and, finally, a cough.  Short nosed dogs (like Shih Tzus) may never get to the cough because their passages are so small, so don’t “wait and see.”  The virus itself weakens the system allowing secondary bacterial infections to thrive, which is where the Clavamox comes in.  This seemingly mild respiratory problem can progress to pneumonia, so too much “wait and see” can be dangerous.

Zi Shi Quan and I want to wish everybody a happy, healthy New Year and lots of winter fun!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I love welcoming a new year.  It's one of  my favorite holidays.  The New Year means a new beginning for many people.  Resolutions are made and people commit to making their lives better in some way.

While a lot of people who make New Year's Resolutions do break them, research shows that making resolutions is useful.  People who make New Year's Resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don't explicitly make resolutions.  It doesn't have to be hard if we remember that a resolution is light-hearted, something you do for fun.  A guideline, rather than a hard-and-fast line.

Here are some ideas I have.  Please feel free to post your resolutions in the comments below!  I’d love to hear them.

<3 Make 3 new friends
Go out of your way to meet new people.  Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.

<3 Take a risk
Every day, if you can handle it!   I mean things like… tell people how you feel about them, do something you fear, or start your own business. Taking risks helps to keep you youthful, as well as preventing your life from becoming a yawn-inducing routine.

<3 Master a party trick
No one knows party tricks any more! In the 70s, it seemed like everyone had some strange skill that they could show off at parties — weird stomach contortion, juggling, complicated origami, and push-up demonstrations were all popular. But these days, you see nothing of the sort.  Decide to learn some strange skill that you can demonstrate at a moment’s notice.

<3 Start yoga or meditation
It doesn't have to cost money or even take a lot of time. You can download all kinds of yoga videos and borrow books on meditation from the library for nothing.  Both activities are really good for your body and mind.

<3 Learn something new
Have you vowed to make this year the year to learn something new?  Perhaps you are considering a career change, want to learn a new language, or just how to fix your computer?  Whether you take a course or read a book, you'll find education to be one of the easiest, most motivating New Year's resolutions to keep.

<3 Actively promote equality and civil rights
An important issue for all of us is the status of civic equality and civil rights.   We should commit ourselves to the pursuit of equal civil rights for all.  There must also be a moral component to this because in order to help improve society, we must promote a moral and just conception of our community.  Equality and full civil rights must be established for all citizens, whatever their faith or lack thereof.

<3 Develop an intellectual curiosity 
A healthy intellectual curiosity serves us well in many ways.  It stimulates your brain, exercises your research skills, and in the process, makes you a smarter and more interesting person.  It doesn’t matter what you decide to become curious about as long as you have some honest initial interest and a willingness to investigate.  In my opinion, participating in this little endeavor is a great wellness prescription for your life.  A healthy intellectual curiosity should be a regular mental exercise.  Just like physical fitness, it will create a healthier and more wellness-oriented life.  So, if you want to add a little spice to your life, I highly recommend you take action and nurture some healthy intellectual curiosity!

If you try to change everything all at once, you end up changing nothing. You spread yourself and your focus too thin. Think of the one thing that is the most important for you to change in your life, and make that your one resolution.

Good luck to you and Happy New Year.