Ruminations

Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Friday, June 29, 2012

Leading Ladies

Going backward in time, in social custom, back to another era entirely.  The people have chosen.  And women in Egypt now have an entirely new, yet very elderly tradition to inform their social norms.  Modesty certain does have its place, yet intelligent choices and logic also have their place.  What practical sense does it make for women living in intemperately warm climates to completely encase themselves in stifling dark-coloured fabrics?

Covering themselves in lengthy garments that do not provide for freedom of air passage, let alone physical movement; awkward, concealing and accepting of a pernicious demand of male-dominated societies that demand their women not be seen nor heard by any but themselves, and even then discreetly.  The Taliban in Afghanistan decreed that all women must wear the burqa, and even so, fully covered and concealed, forbidden to present themselves in public without a male family escort.

To exhibit the foolish and unacceptable effrontery to defy those edicts was to bring down the deserved wrath of young men wielding whips and batons, enforcing rules.  Egypt may not go quite that far as to institutionalize that totally demeaning unequal relationship between women and their modest garb, but since the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood is on the cusp of sharing ultimate power with the military, it will come to some vestige of female public constraints.

The Muslim Brotherhood plans to restore friendly relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran which were sundered by the signing of a peace treaty with Israel.  Whether that determination presages a break with Israel is yet to be determined; the Brotherhood has already announced that there are Judaic holy sites within Egypt that will hitherto be off limits to Jewish worshippers.

Egypt is a sovereign country and it may do whatever it wishes to do.  The women of Egypt who live liberated lives of equality and who dress in whatever manner personally suits them may find their choices somewhat curtailed in the near future.  If, as seems likely, the military and the Brotherhood reach an accord for joint administration, the military will opt to rule the country's foreign relations up to a point, along with its security.

While the Brotherhood will largely content itself with the social aspects of administering the country's fortunes, from finances, the budget and the economy to the social contract in acceptable social presentation that will affect women.  It is doubtful that women would be denied educational and workplace opportunities, but nothing is beyond the realm of possibility in the application of fundamentalism.

Naglaa Ali Mahmoud, wife of president-elect Mohammed Morsi, appears nothing like the wives of former Presidents Mubarak and Sadat.  She is sedately and almost-completely covered in a black all-encompassing robe, absent only the niqab.  To many more westernized Egyptians she exemplifies backwardness.  Yet she appears as well a woman who has involved herself in the social affairs of her people.

While her husband attended university in the United States she did volunteer work, helping women who wished to convert to Islam.  When on their return to Egypt he taught engineering, she instructed young women about marriage duties.  Even in that strictly patriarchal society, Mr. Morsi speaks glowingly of his wife, that having married his cousin eleven years his junior was "the biggest personal achievement of my life.

If that impression remains, despite his having achieved the presidency, there may be hope for Egyptian women, after all.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Insanely Deranged

Norway's poster boy for lunacy and mass murder in the name of saving civilization from the marauding hordes of religious fanatics has his country's psychiatric experts somewhat puzzled.  That he is certifiably insane most would agree, but not all.  The Norwegian psychiatric community appears to be split in their diagnoses, from concluding that he is a paranoid schizophrenic to other mental derangement measurements. 

As, for example, narcissistic personality disorder, autism-spectrum disorder, Tourette's syndrome and paranoid psychosis.  Why not, for the sake of conformity, simply accept them all?

Norway has a compassionate conscience on full display.  Slaughter 77 innocent Norwegians in the name of delusional championing of tradition being overtaken by an alien culture with a sinister intent, and you are logically assumed to be mad.  And mad certainly does describe the fantasies that have occupied the mind of Anders Breivik.  Although he denies, denies, denies that totally unwarranted and certainly unwanted designation.

For he is actually a knight in shining armour - at the very least a self-designed uniform to distinguish his reasoned mission to save European Christendom from its own near-sighted indifference to an organized, fanatic take-over by Muslim crusaders for Sharia and the long-lost-to-be-recaptured Caliphate.  And to bring the attention of Europeans and their politicians to the horrific reality of that gradual assimilation of European culture, history, heritage, religion into Islam's great, gaping maw, the solution is to slaughter young Norwegians.

Well, the gruesomely deliberate and well-orchestrated computer game modelled on the man's favourite sword-and-sorcery-themed World of Warcraft that patiently taught him to aim without wincing, murder without compassion, continue with no glances back, did gain him the attention he craved, although the notoriety his dreadful acts garnered him also highlighted not his vision and his noble sacrifice on behalf of the culture he loved, but his total mind-derangement.
"You do not believe that such things can happen.  I still don't quite believe it."  Breivik's mother

But happen they did.  Her son became hopelessly mired in a maelstrom of emotions gone awry, conclusions bearing little resemblance to reality, solutions that would forever ensure him a place in the history of his country as a monstrous anomaly within a nation of reasoned, sane and deliberate-minded people.  "To send a political activist to a mental hospital is more sadistic and evil than to kill him!  It is a fate worse than death", he declared.

And that, in fact, is the fate that awaits him, irrespective of how the court will finally rule.  History will identify him as a madman.  His incarceration for a life sentence will be subject to renewal after 21 years.  Nothing will obliterate from the nation's memory the horrors this man visited upon them.  And since, according to the experts who closely examined his sagging mind, should the man ever by some slender chance be freed back into society he would most certainly plan and stage another atrocity.


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Anders Behring Breivik confessed to a bombing and shooting massacre last summer that left 77 dead in Norway
Photo by Solum, Stian Lysberg/AFP/GettyImages
So the rational solution appears to be that he will remain forevermore within Oslo's Ila Prison.  Either the prison itself as one found to be sane while suffering a multitude of emotional and intelligent excesses causing him to become quite berserk, or within a newly-planned and yet-to-be-built wing of that prison.

For it appears that Norway's Health Directorate has hatched a solution of sorts to his incarceration; the building of a new psychiatric wing within the prison, purpose-built to house this infamous son of Norway.  There he will stay for posterity should he be found insane.

He will be kept in isolation for fear he may attack other prisoners, and they must be protected from him, while he must be protected from the possibility that other prisoners might consider attacking him.  That ruling is expected to be announced toward the end of August.  In anticipation of the designation, and the man's future within the specially-built psychiatric unit, compassionate plans to ensure that he is not too lonely and depressed at his plight have been considered.

Authorities have expressed concern that it is inhumane to restrict Breivik to solitary confinement ad infinitum.  Prison officials are considering introducing "friends" to him to alleviate his lonely future.  Those hired for that purpose will be assigned to play indoor hockey and chess with Anders Behring Breivik. 

For while he must most certainly be disciplined for the carnage he committed, he must not suffer mental anguish unduly.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Influencing Children's Diets

That old adage of "You can take a horse to water but you cannot make it drink", is as true of horses as it is of children.  In this instance, however, it is healthy, nutritious food choices offered to children that causes them to balk with disinterest at the offerings.  Children prefer what their mouths and their appetites find more appealing.  Commercially prepared and altered convenience food that is distinctly unhealthy in comparison to whole, unadulterated foods.

And school boards, making an earnest and well-meaning attempt to guide children toward better eating patterns are discovering, to their dismay, that the best laid plans of responsible school boards do often go astray.  Talking reasonably to children about the need to consume healthy whole foods rather than junk food simply doesn't work.  They know what their taste buds appreciate and that's what they're consumed with, as a matter of speaking.

The Ottawa-Carleton School board is facing a loss of revenues that will put them firmly in the red.  Cafeteria revenues are down substantially, with children deciding with great deliberation to pass by the healthy offerings in favour of going outside the school to pick up junk food available at nearby establishments that sell the heavily salted, larded and sugared food and drinks they far prefer.  Leaving the board faced with a $900,000 loss.

The Toronto District School Board has its own woes with respect to its own $1.2-million cafeteria food shortfall.  "We put a man on the moon 40 years ago.  don't tell me that we can't make healthy, delicious, tasty, attractive food for teenagers in the province of Ontario in 2012", said Premier Dalton McGuinty recently at a press conference.  It's not moon science, however, that teens will eat what appeals to them, not what their elders consider best for them.

Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and British Columbia have all undertaken the mission to regulate what their students can purchase at school cafeterias.  With varying levels of success.  A gradual change-over as has been the experience with the Halifax Regional School board, resulted in far more success; something that Edmonton has been able to emulate.

"We had to get ourselves up and running and determine what was an unhealthy choice.  Because french fries by themselves once in a while is not an unhealthy choice but eating every day it is", explained a spokesperson for the Edmonton Public Schools. 

Revenue loss is a serious matter, because it is linked to additional programming.  Cafeteria funds are used for field trips, academic tournaments, clubs and sport teams; in some places revenues support cafeteria infrastructure and maintenance.  School officials warn that the revenue losses will result in parents having to pay more for their children's school activities, and elsewhere cafeterias may be forced to close.

Closing cafeterias will be further inimical to the health of students in lost after-school activities, and growing obesity problems.  Life is complicated.

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Banning Child Cancer Safety Measures

"Although school-based immunization delivery systems generally result in high numbers of students completing immunization, a school-based approach to vaccination sends a message that early sexual intercourse is allowed, as long as one uses 'protection'..."

That interpretation of the various levels of government within the provinces, allied with school boards, to provide free immunization protocols for young girls between Grades 5 and 9 to protect them from cervical cancer, was sent out by officiating Catholic bishops to families of students in the Catholic school board.

The human papillomavirus vaccine that prevents the four strains of the sexually transmitted virus that most commonly lead to deadly cervical cancer is seen to be a positive solution to a socially serious risk of contracting a dread disease.  In their medical wisdom scientists and health professionals have come to an agreement that attacking the problem head on to protect young girls from the potential of contracting human papillomavirus represents a public good.

Years ago, the controversy over the need to proceed with these vaccinations appeared to be settled when Ottawa provided a grant to enable school-aged girls to receive free vaccinations at school.  Other provinces decided to take the same protective route as Ontario.  In Alberta the Catholic School Board, guided by area bishops, have balked at taking this step.

A professor of pediatrics and a bioethicist with the University of Calgary explained that HPV Calgary attempted to make available to the  Catholic School Board, the latest evidence in support of the vaccine.  That overture was spectacularly unsuccessful.  "If you are an immigrant, if you are not so affluent, if you don't have a car, if you're very dependent on an hourly wage, it is very unlikely that you'll get immunization", said Dr. Ian Mitchell.

"So we saw this decision by the Catholic School Board as affecting all children, but really affecting the most vulnerable children."  Bishop Frederick Henry of Calgary, along with other Alberta bishops, have raised an effective resistance to immunization.  Catholic school students were given a copy of a letter from the six bishops advising their parents to protect their children from "counterproductive influences and potential abuse".

In contrast, the Edmonton Catholic board permitted the girls attending their schools to be vaccinated, and close to 70% of the girls accepted the opportunity to arm themselves against HPV.  The issue of promiscuity following immunization has been effectively put to rest by studies that find no correlation between the HPV vaccine and a growing incidence of casual sex.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Oh My, Another One

"Greed is a vice that makes normally rational people act irrationally.  It plays exceedingly well into the old maxim 'If it looks too good to be true it usually is'.  This case proves that both theories are alive and well."  Justice Harrison Arrell

The pastor/founder of Dominion World Outreach Ministries located in Toronto, and just incidentally also a founder of Fight for Justice, a group whose purpose is to improve the lives of the African-Canadian community has turned out not to be the fount of honest deliverance to his faithful followers he portayed himself as.  Pastor Marlon Gary Hibbert is obviously a man of many parts.

Held in very high esteem as a man of the cloth.  A man dedicated to battling racism and poverty of the spirit.  A busily involved man who looked to other avenues to support his passion for involvement in the lives of those who entrusted their spiritual well-being to him.  He obviously felt he could exploit their trust for the opportunity to manipulate their finances as well as their souls.  His ambitions encompassed both the spiritual and the material alike.

He hadn't, as it happened, to work too hard to persuade the faithful that as a "man of God", he would be good to his word.  And as his word would have it, he had the intellectual wherewithal and finance experience to wisely invest the savings of some of his notable parishioners.  Guaranteeing them a respectable return on their savings invested with him.  So from 2006 to 2008 millions of dollars were handed to him for investment.

Largely through word of mouth among the members of the church.  His own relatives were not spared, nor were fellow pastors, even one in his own church.  Who trusted him because he was a "man of God", like themselves.  All the victims, in fact, claimed they believed their money was in safe hands because Mr. Hibbert was a pastor.  Judge Arrell's response to that was a snort of "stupidity". 

Those who were taken by Pastor Hibbert wept as they testified at the Ontario court and the Ontario Securities Commission, speaking movingly of the difficulties they now face as a result of their lost savings.  In total Mr. Hibbert bilked those investors out of over $8.2-million.  Gone now, without much of a trace.  A moral victory came through on the judge's order that Mr. Hibbert pay his victims $100,000 in legal fees.

The Ontario Superior Court judge declared the pastor to be a liar, fraudster and a cheat.  Not much comfort to those who were trusting of him and who are now bereft of their life savings.  He was ordered previously to pay back the money invested - along with the 5% monthly in guaranteed interest.  "As a result of his actions the plaintiffs lost all they invested with him", stated Judge Arrell.

The Ontario Securities Commission gave the total loss for over 200 investors as $8.2-million in principle, over $13-million in promised interest.  "The defendant testified that he was simply a bad bookkeeper and businessman; that he had sloppy business and accounting practices; and that he was the victim of world-wide financial markets gone awry.  I disagree", wrote Judge Arrell.

Scant comfort to the afflicted, unfortunately.  Adding to their misery the fact that the pastor's wife sold their palatial home, the only remaining asset: "It is significant to this court that it learned after the trial that during it she listed and sold the home in question.  Such conduct is outrageous and worthy of sanction.  The fraudulent conveyance was a significant and important part of this litigation as the only remaining asset of the defendants would appear to be this house."

The plaintiffs remain disconsolate and bereft, residing in a shared metaphorical House of Misery.

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Guest writer:  Karen Rosenfeld - Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer

Tuesday, 12 June, 2012

Home Made, DIY Dog Food Recipes - Grain Free or Wholesome Grains, for the Health of Your Dog



Many commercially made dry dog food (kibble) is full of toxins, carcinogens, allergens and ingredients that provide your dog with poor source nutrition. Switching your dog from commercially made, highly processed dog kibble to homemade dog food can be of great benefit to your dog’s overall health. Below are a few very nutritious, simple to make dog food recipes I created for the health and well-being of my dogs. The ingredients used are selected to support your dog's overall health, boost his/her immune system, prevent cancer, support oral health, heart health and more. When purchasing the ingredients used in the recipes below, you can decide whether you want to go organic or not...even if you do not go organic you can be sure that the food you make - based on the recipes below, will be packed with good nutrition.


You can choose the recipe that suits your dog's requirements - grain free, or wholesome grain...

Grain Free Version…

Chicken, Sweet Potato, Chickpeas, Spinach, Lentils, Cottage Cheese…
  • 1.5 lb ground or finely chopped chicken (chicken breast or chicken back with legs or 1.5 lb ground beef, or turkey - don’t mix proteins, choose one per batch of food);
  • 2 cups sweet potato (or 1 cup sweet potato and 1 cup chickpeas);
  • 1 (10 ounce) package chopped frozen spinach, or fresh spinach;
  • 2 cups frozen chopped or fresh vegetables – use a combination of several or all of the following carrots, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli;
  • 1 (15 ounce) can lentils (yellow, brown or green) or the equivalent amount of lentils soaked overnight;
  • 4 cloves 1garlic, chopped or minced; 
  • 1 cup cottage cheese;
  • 1/8 cup olive oil;
  • 1/8 cup basil - dry or fresh chopped;
  • 1/8 cup rosemary - dry or fresh chopped;
  • 1/2  cup dried parsley or fresh chopped;
  • 1/8 cup turmeric;
  • 1 tsp dry, 2powdered eggshell (1/2 tsp/per every 1 lb of meat)
Optional Ingredients:
  • 2 eggs;
  • 2 tbs of cinnamon.
Put all ingredients in a pot and add just enough water to cover. Put on medium heat to cook for at least an half hour and then turn the heat down and just let the pot simmer for an hour or two. 

When you are ready to feed your dog the food...

Mix the following into the food in his/her bowl:
  • A pinch of ground vitamin C tablet – if your dogs don’t eat citrus fruit, berries or veggies that are high in vitamin C. My dogs get lots of vitamin C from fresh fruit and from lemon in tea so they do not require ground vitamin C.
  • 3Ground flax seeds or Chia seeds;
  • 4Brewers yeast or nutritional yeast (NOT Bakers yeast!)

Sprinkle the following on top of the food:
  • A few cubes or grated cheese - use cheddar cheese, mozzarella or Swiss cheese, or; Cottage cheese;
  • Option - once a day you can also sprinkle a little cinnamon powder on top of the food. Cinnamon helps dissolve food particles - good for your dog's dental health and also aids with the digestion of food.
You can keep this food in the refrigerator for up to one week. If you make more than you will use in a week just freeze the additional food.


 Wholesome Grains Version…




Chicken, Oats, Rice, Spinach, Lentils, Cottage Cheese…
  • 1.5 lb ground or finely chopped chicken (chicken breast or chicken back with legs or 1.5 lb ground beef, or turkey - don’t mix proteins, choose one per batch of food);
  • 1 cup brown rice;
  • 1 cup rolled oats (or pot barley, not pearled barley);
  • 1 (10 ounce) package chopped frozen spinach, or fresh spinach;
  • 2 cups frozen chopped or fresh vegetables – use a combination of several or all of the following carrots, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli;
  • 1 (15 ounce) can lentils (yellow, brown or green) or the equivalent amount of lentils soaked overnight;
  • 4 cloves 1garlic, chopped or minced; 
  • 1 cup cottage cheese;
  • 1/8 cup olive oil;
  • 1/8 cup basil - dry or fresh chopped;
  • 1/8 cup rosemary - dry or fresh chopped;
  • 1/2  cup dried parsley or fresh chopped;
  • 1/8 cup turmeric;
  • 1 tsp dry, 2powdered eggshell (1/2 tsp/per every 1 lb of meat)

Optional Ingredients:
  • 2 eggs;
  • 2 tbs of cinnamon.
Put all ingredients in a pot and add just enough water to cover. Put on medium heat to cook for at least an half hour and then turn the heat down and just let the pot simmer for an hour or two. 

When you are ready to feed your dog the food...

Mix the following into the food in his/her bowl:
  • A pinch of ground vitamin C tablet – if your dogs don’t eat citrus fruit, berries or veggies that are high in vitamin C. My dogs get lots of vitamin C from fresh fruit and from lemon in tea so they do not require ground vitamin C.
  • 3Ground flax seeds or Chia seeds;
  • 4Brewers yeast or nutritional yeast (NOT Bakers yeast!)

Sprinkle the following on top of the food:
  • A few cubes or grated cheese - use cheddar cheese, mozzarella or Swiss cheese, or; Cottage cheese;
  • Option - once a day you can also sprinkle a little cinnamon powder on top of the food. Cinnamon helps dissolve food particles - good for your dog's dental health and also aids with the digestion of food.
You can keep this food in the refrigerator for up to one week. If you make more than you will use in a week just freeze the additional food.
Notes

1 Garlic - my dogs get fresh garlic on a daily basis. Garlic (unlike onion which is toxic for your dog) has many health benefits for your dog. Before cooking the garlic, chop, mince or crush the garlic and let it sit for 15 minutes at room temperature - this triggers a reaction that boosts the healthy enzymes in garlic to maximum output.
2 Powdered Eggshell is high in calcium, magnesium, boron, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, sulphur, silicon and zinc, and a few other (actually 27) vital elements for dogs. ½ tsp equals about 400 milligrams of absorbable calcium.

To make powdered eggshell:
Wash empty eggshells in a little warm water;
Place the shells on a dish or paper towel and let them air dry completely (i.e. for 24 hrs);
When dry, break the shells into pieces and then grind them using a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder;
Store the powdered eggshell in an airtight container.
3Flax seed must be ground not whole, Chia seeds can be whole or ground.

Daily dosage of Flax or Chia:
Tiny Dogs (4 lbs to 10 lbs) - ½ tbs  
Small Dogs (+10 lbs to 30 lbs) - 1 tbs  
Medium Dogs  (+30 lbs to 75 lbs)  - 1.5 tbs
Large Dogs (+75 lbs to 100 lbs) - 2 tbs
Extra Large Dogs (+100) - 2 to 3 tbs
4Nutritional brewer's yeast or nutritional yeast (not baker’s yeast) is high in B complex vitamins. B complex vitamins are very important for a dog's overall health, oral health and are also a natural flea repellent.  

Daily Dosage of Brewer’s or Nutritional Yeast:
1 teaspoon per 30 pounds of body weight 
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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sovereign Privilege/Diplomatic Immunity

Members of the international diplomatic community have immunity from prosecution in the countries to which they are assigned as diplomatic delegates of their country.  Usually diplomatic staff pick up nasty little citations for traffic offences, mostly for parking where they should not.  Sometimes the embassies to which they are attached pay the fines, and often enough they do not.  And the municipalities where the embassies are located really can do nothing about it, since they have diplomatic immunity.

Diplomatic immunity, by and large, is a good thing.  Remember that old adage: don't shoot the messenger?  Well, that 'messenger' referred to was usually a foreign national representing his/her country abroad.  And, in long-gone days, royalty was known to commit to death emissaries of a foreign country with which they might have become right royally displeased.  For example, at times of conflict. Until such time as a code was invoked to spare the lives of such emissaries.

The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations ensures the safety and well-bring of foreign emissaries.  Those foreign emissaries, on the other hand, are expected to obey the laws of any country they happen to be posted to.  Very serious crimes merit special attention; usually the host country looks to the foreign country of which the diplomat is a citizen for guidance in prosecuting their own.  Breaking off relations usually results in an expulsion of a diplomat.

People with diplomatic immunity as a result of their appointed political position as an emissary are expected by their country to behave in an exemplary manner following the customs of the country they are posted to, respecting their laws, and furthering the interests of their own country within the alien one. Given human nature it is natural enough for people to occasionally overlook their obligations and feel themselves to be entitled to behaviour otherwise not acceptable.

As a Commonwealth country it is customary for Canada to appoint a state representative to act in lieu of the English Monarch who is Canada's formal head of state.  There are appointments made on the federal and provincial levels for those individuals to act in ceremonial roles on behalf of the Queen of England who happens also to be Queen of Canada and all other Commonwealth countries.

In Quebec a lieutenant-governor was appointed who has been identified post-appointment as having illegally claimed expenses to the tune of $700,000 entirely unrelated to her posting mandate.  Former lieutenant-governor for Quebec, Lise Thibault, has been found guilty on two counts each of breach of trust, fraud and creating false or counterfeit documents.


She has invoked the privilege of immunity as an ex-viceroy.  Claiming that as the Queen's former representative in Canada she should be immune from prosecution on fraud charges, through sovereign privilege.  The Monarchist League of Canada has decided not to intervene, but to remain neutral, believing that no one is above the law, including royalty and its representatives.


Rather a refreshing take on the matter.  Clearly, the provincial appointment hardly anticipated that this would result in someone taking criminal advantage of a royally privileged role.  And clearly, the queen, were she to hear of this, would certainly not be amused.

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Guest writer: Karen Rosenfeld - Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer

Garlic for Dogs - Health Benefits, Preparation and Use, Safe Dosage



You may have heard that garlic is bad for dogs. Well, garlic has been used for many years by holistic veterinarians. The debate about whether garlic is good or bad seems to have arisen from confusion with its close cousin, the onion. Both garlic and onion contain thiosulphate, the substance responsible for causing ‘Heinx Factor’ anemia in dogs. However the amount of thiosulphate found in garlic is much lower than in onions, in fact the amount in garlic is barely traceable!  The fear of garlic is a new one - propagated by rumor on the internet and not proven by any facts or study. To see an extensive list of foods that dogs should not eat you can click here.
Garlic is a powerful, natural broad-spectrum antibiotic. Garlic is also an antioxidant, anti-allergen, and anti-carcinogen - garlic contains germanium, an anti-cancer agent. Garlic can also be used topically to treat specific ailments - for example ear mite infestation and ear infections.
When garlic is ingested in reasonable amounts there are no harmful results - only benefits, and no, it won’t make your dog smell like garlic! 

  
History
Garlic is an ancient food crop - harvested and cultivated by mankind for thousands of years. The word garlic comes from the Old English word garleac - ‘spear leek’. Chives, leeks, shallots and onions are toxic for your dog…but the benefits of garlic are many…
 Health Benefits
  • Anti-bacterial;
  • Anti-biotic (broad spectrum);
  • Anti-carcinogen, garlic contains germanium - an anti-cancer agent;
  • Garlic helps to regulate blood pressure;
  • Helps strengthen the body's defences against allergies;
  • Helps regulate blood sugar levels;
  • Garlic is high in vitamins, minerals and nutrients:
  • Calcium, Potassium, Zinc;
  • Protein;
  • Vitamin A, B, B2, C;
  • Garlic is an aid to fighting and treating:
    • Diabetes;
    • Liver, heart and kidney disease;
    • Ear infections and ear mite infestations;
  • Garlic is a natural flea, tick, mosquito repellent and de-wormer.


Active Ingredients in Garlic
Garlic contains multiple sulphur-inclusive compounds. Allinn and another enzyme ‘alliinase’, both present in garlic, but contained in separate cells gain the opportunity to combine and create a new enzyme called ‘allicin’ when garlic is chopped, crushed, minced or chewed. Allicin (an anti-biotic, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer, heart healthy enzyme) is the most beneficial of the healthful enzymes in garlic.
Preparation for Use - Triggering Optimal Benefits
Do not add garlic in a mixed form to your dogs diet (i.e. garlic steak spice - this is not pure garlic and can make your dog very ill). When I refer to ‘garlic’ I mean garlic in its pure, fresh form - garlic cloves.
Whether you are using the garlic as an ingredient in homemade dog food, or using it fresh to mix into your dog’s food you should prepare the garlic as follows to further increase its beneficial potency…
Chop, mince, crush or press the garlic and allow it to sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking it or consuming the fresh cloves. This gives the allinn and alliinase sufficient time to undergo the enzymic reaction that creates allicin.
How to Include Garlic in Your Dog’s Diet
On a daily basis I give my dogs’ fresh garlic - I chop the garlic, let it sit for 15 minutes and then mix-it into their food. I also use a small amount of garlic when making their homemade-cooked dog food.
Daily Dosage for Dogs

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Guest writer:  Karen Rosenfeld - Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer

Friday, 8 June, 2012

Rooibos Tea for Dogs - Immune System Health, Cancer Inhibitor, Allergy Mediator

Aspalathus Linearis, common name Rooibos, also known as Red Bush or African Red Tea is an indigenous plant of South Africa - found in the Cedarburg region, north-west of Capetown. 



Rooibos is actually an herbal plant. The needle-like leaves and stems are harvested, crushed, fermented and dried. The plant has been used to make tea for hundreds of years.  Rooibos became a commercially grown crop in the 1930’s.



When the dried leaves are steeped they result in a rich red-colour tea that has numerous, proven health benefits. The USDA (US Department of Agriculture) has confirmed that red rooibus tea can reduce cancer, heart disease, slows aging as well as possessing other health benefits…I will provide an extensive list of benefits below.

Rooibus tea is just as beneficial for dogs as it is for humans. The tea is naturally caffeine free (caffeine is not good for dogs) and is low in tannin and free of oxalic acid - so unless your dog is suffering from iron deficiency (rooibos may slow down the absorption of iron) it is safe for your dog.
 
Below we will look at:
  1. The nutritional value of rooibos tea;
  2. The Health Benefits;
  3. How to add rooibos to your dog's daily diet;
  4. How combining the tea with a little cinnamon can help with your dog's oral care;
  5. How to use the tea topically to treat skin disorders due to allergies.


Nutritional Value


Rooibos tea is:
  • Rich in minerals - calcium, copper, fluoride, iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc;
  • Rich in rare minerals - bioflavanoid and quercetin;
  • Rich in vitamin C;
  • Rich in alpha hydroxy acids (AHA);
  • Rich in antioxidants, having about 37 types of antioxidants and packing about 50% more antioxidants than green tea!

Health Benefits

Rooibos tea offers an impressive list of health benefits: 
  • Allergy fighting - the tea contains anti-allergy properties and can be real aid in treating allergies and related skin problems, asthma, etc.;
  • Anti-inflammatory;
  • Anti-viral;
  • Anxiety calming - naturally calming and relaxing the tea can help relieve anxiety and relax your dog; 
  • Anti-spasmodic - as the tea is rich in anti-spasmodic agents it can help ease a sore stomach; 
  • Bone health promoting - as it is rich in the bone building minerals calcium, manganese and fluoride; 
  • Cancer fighting - anti-mutagenic; 
  • Circulation enhancing - promotes good blood circulation and works to prevent haemorrhaging;  
  • Good for skin - the AHA facilitates the healthy growth and maintenance of skin:
    •  If your dog suffers from aliments of the skin such as itchiness and hotspots due to allergies the tea can really help to alleviant both discomfort and the inflammation of the skin; 
  • Heart health supporting - helps prevents heart disease; 
  • Immune System boosting - the antioxidents  also give the immune system a healthy boost; 
  • Slows Aging - the abundant antioxidants slow down the aging process;

How To Add Rooibos to Your Dog’s Daily Diet


Once a day I add the tea to each of my dogs' meals. You can brew the tea fresh on a daily basis or brew it and store in the refrigerator for use of the span of a couple of days. 
 I always add the juice of one freshly squeezed lemon to the rooibos tea. Lemon is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-viral, immune-system boosting, a digestive aid and liver cleanser. Lemons contain bioflavonoids, calcium, citric acid, limonene, magnesium and vitamin C as well as other health promoting substances. Combined with rooibos tea the health benefits are multiplied.

You can fill a bowl with rooibos tea and leave it next to your dog’s water bowl.

Your dog can choose when he/she wants to have a sip! You can leave the tea plain, or add some cinnamon (instructions and benefits noted below) or add fresh squeezed lemon and/or a drop or two of Manuka Honey, or other organic honey.


Just make sure that your dog always has fresh, plain water as well. Although I add rooibus tea to my dogs' evening meal they also have a bowl of he tea beside their water bowl.

Daily Dosage Based On Dog’s Weight

  • 1-10 lbs - less than 1/4 cup, 1-3 times per day
  • 10-20 lbs - 1/4 cup, 1-3 times per day
  • 20-50 lbs - 1/4-1/2 cup, 1-3 times per day
  • 50-100 lbs - 1/2-1 cup, 1-3 times per day
  • Over 100 lbs - up to 1 cup 3 times per day

By adding a little cinnamon to the rooibos tea you increase the health benefit...


Cinnamon has quite an extensive list of beneficial properties for oral care…it is an:
  • Anti-inflammatory;
  • Anti-microbial (fights bacteria, fungi, etc.)
  • Anti-septic;
  • Mild anesthetic;
  • Helps dissolve food particles and aids in the digestion of food. 
 By adding a little cinnamon to the tea your dogs receives the benefits of rooibos as well as an oral rinse!

Maximum dosage of Cinnamon per Day
  • Large Dogs - ½ tsp a day;
  • Medium Dogs - ¼ tsp a day;
  • Small Dogs - 1/8 tsp a day.

 

Use Rooibos Tea Topically to Treat Itching, Rashes and Hot Spots due to Allergies

As Roobois tea contains anti-allergy properties it is excellent for topical use in treating skin problems due to allergies. In addition the AHA fin the tea facilitates the healthy growth and maintenance of skin. Below you will find a recipe for:
  1. A soothing rinse;
  2. A foot soak for itchy and or irritated paws;
  3. A simple salve for irritated skin.

Soothing Rinse

You will need the following:
  • 2 tea bags of Rooibos Tea (also known as Red Bush Tea)

Place the tea bags in hot water and allow to steep for 15 minutes;
  • Remove the tea bags and allow the resulting ‘tea’ to cool;
  • Then use the tea as a conditioning, soothing rinse…you do not have to rinse the ‘tea’ off of your dog after application.

Foot Soak for Sore, Irritated Paws

If your dog or cat is suffering from allergies and/or resulting yeast infections of the paw (i.e. candida), or has come into contact with poisonous and/or toxic substances - giving your dog or cat a foot soak is very important to reduce discomfort, help treat the symptoms, remove harmful residue and stop your dog’s or cat’s need to lick and chew his/her paws. Toxins left on the paws can migrate into the dogs blood stream, and over time increase your dog's toxic load, compromise his/her immune system and trigger the development of cancer.
The most affective way to remove toxins (road salt, herbicides, fertilizers or pesticides) from your dog’s paws is to provide your dog with a 30 second foot soak. Depending on the size of your dog, you can do afoot soak in the bowl or basin, sink, bathtub, shower or in a small children’s pool. If you would like to see additional recipes for herbal foot soaks to alleviate sore, irritated paws you can read this article 'Natural, Herbal Remedies for Dogs, Cats with Sore, Irritated Paws'.

You will need the following:
  • Rooibos Tea  - one or more bags of tea depending on the size of the tub;
Place the tea bags in hot water and allow to steep for 15 minutes;
  • Remove the tea bags and allow the resulting ‘tea’ to cool then add to the water in the soaking tub, or you can use the tea to warm the water in the tub - just always make sure that the resulting liquid for the soak is only warm or room temperature - never hot.
  • Now you can soak your dog's or cat's paws... 
    • It is important to note that dunking/placing your dog’s or cat’s paws in the soaking solution is not as affective as soaking the paw for 30 seconds. After the soak just pat your dog’s or cat’s paws dry - do not rub them dry as rubbing can cause irritation.

Soothing Salve

You can apply the dry rooibos tea powder to the spots directly using one of these options:
  • Open the tea bag and remove the tea powder, mix with a little 100% aloe vera juice or gel, apply;
  • Soak the tea bag in hot water, allow to cool and place the cooled tea bag against the irritated skin;
  • Soak the tea bag in hot water, allow to cool, open the tea bag and place the damp tea powder directly on the irritated skin. 

Related Articles


When a Dog is Constantly Scratching 

Fatty Acids For Dogs - Omega 3, Omega 6, Health Benefits, Best Sources, Dosage
Not having enough of and/or quality fatty acids in the right ratio can cause your dog to have: allergies, be more susceptible to allergies and suffer greater affects from allergies - i.e. skin rashes, fur loss, etc.

How To Choose A Good Dog Kibble For Your Dog Allergies in dogs are often caused by the ingredients in commercially made dog kibble.

Home Made, DIY Dog Food Recipes - Grain Free or Wholesome Grain, for the Health of Your Dog

Natural, Herbal Remedies for Dogs, Cats with Sore, Irritated Paws
 
and can help reduce susceptibility and affects of allergies.
Fresh Food is Good For Your Dog's Health Feeding your dog quality fresh foods and reducing the amount of processed foods (i.e. dog kibble, dog cookies) reduces toxins in your dog's system, boost his/her immune system - supporting the bodies natural ability to fight allergies and self-heal.


Herbs and Spices are Good for Your Dog's Health


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