Three things inform my life and work; the love of the earth and all her creatures,a profound sense of the spiritual, and the sense of calling to work with health, especially in nutrition and herbalism. I found my way to this role, as canine nutritionist and herbal healer, via a long and winding road. Many aspects of my early life led me here, beginning with early childhood when I accompanied my veterinarian father on his rounds and helped at his small but lively clinic. For as long as I can recall, dogs, cats,birds, horses and indeed, even insects fascinated me and felt like members of an extended family. Until I was about ten, I could never decide if I wanted to be a veterinarian or an entomologist – and saw no reason not to be both! But life had other things in mind for me. Through a couple of other eras, I studied nutrition (for my own fragile health) took the Tellington Touch practitioner’s training (which I have STILL not completed, after many years, but plan to!) and eventually, through the need to help my own precious dog deal with multiple health issues, I came to canine nutrition. Formal study followed years of personal investigation and research, and in 2002 I began consulting professionally. By 2005 I had the Possible Canine website, and from there I have remained immersed in the art and science of working with nutrition and herbs, for both human and canines.
Here, then, is the requisite list of Things I’ve Done – so far, at any rate.
– Diploma in Canine Nutrition and Fitness, Companion Animal Science Institute
– Chartered Herbalist Diploma, 600 hours, Dominion College
– currently enrolled in the Master Herbalist program also at Dominion, with my Thesis on herbal ( prevention and supportive) care for canine cancer patients
– currently enrolled at NAIMH (North American Institute of Medical Herbalism) in distance studies
– Susun Weed’s ABCs of Herbalism
– Introduction to Herbs ( certificate course from the Australasian College of Natural Therapies)
– short courses with Sean Donahue ( Herbal Nervines) Kiva Rose (Energetics) Lisa Ganora (Understanding Plant Constituents) and Patrick Fratellone (Cardiology and Herbs). I am a dedicated lifelong learner with interest in all aspects of plant medicine and healing.
I’m a Student Member of the American Herbalist Guild and a regular contributor to the Ottawa Herb Society Newsletter. In addition I have worked with animals (specifically dogs) since 2001 with both diet and herbal support, and teach three courses related to canines: Basic and Advanced Nutrition, and Applied Canine Herbalism. More information on all of these here: http://www.thepossiblecanine.com/ My articles on natural health for animals have been published in The Bark and Plant Healer Magazine.
– 5 of 6 Tellington Touch practitioner trainings completed- more to follow!
Since 2002 I have worked with close to two thousand cases, averaging around 200 per year. This includes proactive diets for healthy adult dogs; growth and senior diets; specialized dietary care for conditions including but not limited to cancer, allergy, IBD, liver disease, kidney disease, uroliths (oxalate, urate and struvite stones) osteo-arthritis, various forms of heart disease, Cushing’s disease, Addison’s disease, diabetes, pancreatitis and obesity, as well as specialized diets for performance dogs. I have been mentored by Dr. Eddie Beltran at Blair Animal Hospital as well as worked on cases with distinguished veterinarians around the world. My work is focused on diet but includes herbal and supplement support as indicated. I have a special interest in canine cancer, for personal as well as professional reasons.
During this time I set up and ran ThePossibleCanine yahoogroup, as well as donated many hours of time to the Canine Nutrition section of AllExperts. For one year I was a special guest once a month at CKCU’s morning show Special Blend, doing a two hour phone in and featured -topic spot.
In 2006 I set up my foundation course on canine nutrition, offering objective and factual information to a public often confused by dogfood company hype, veterinary bias and raw diet stridency. This has been a very successful and popular programme. In addition I teach Applied Canine Herbalism and Advanced Nutrition/Dietary Formulation for those students who complete the Foundation course and wish to learn more. In future I will be able to offer short courses dealing with dietary and herbal management of several common canine conditions.
I also hold seminars, short sessions and fullday courses, as time allows and interest indicates. I address breed groups and retailers as well as the general public, having spoken with Dr. Beltran, at Therapeutic Paws of Canada events, and privately. I am available for seminars, clinics and lectures if given long enough notice to arrange a dogsitter!
Although I have only been able to adopt two rescue dogs, and contribute a few articles as time allowed, to the Roster, I support the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Eastern Canada specifically and am always open to donating my knowledge to any rescue group who might need to consult with me.
I am deeply committed to bringing core knowledge to the general public, to assisting dog lovers in their quest for better health, , and to ensure people understand that there are options available to them. Education is key. My deepest truth is that health is multifactorial and often mysterious. We do the very best we can with what is available to us. I strive to empower people with options and knowledge. My ethic is to leave no stone unturned in helping the difficult cases I often deal with, and to enhance my own knowledge indefinitely.
This work is spiritual for me, as well as my day job. I am fortunate indeed to be able to do something I love, and to strive to help the creatures I cherish. This is my ethic; simply to help, not promote a diet, food or supplement, or in fact, any ideal save for holism and rational, precision- based dietary planning. And to that end – please enjoy the blog, comment as you wish and send me topics you would like to see addressed. I welcome it all.