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February 14, 2014

Tails of Crate Escape; Harrison! One of Crate’s First Dogs! Herbal Remedies for your Pup


Ernestine, Rover Reporter

This month we are celebrating Harrison, a miniature schnauzer who was one of Raining Cats and Dog’s ( now, Crate Escape too) first dogs. His temperament  was polite and quiet, until you showed him some affection; then he was a total love bug.  He was totally content in daycare and when his mom,  Judy, came to pick him up at the end of the day, he was in heaven!! He danced around her, a bundle of joy.  Harry’s puppy picture is below and his handsome adult profile is the photo on the top of this page– left hand corner.


Judy shared what Crate Escape is to her.

Harrison,  by Judy Blotnik

“Harrison was my daughter, Emmy’s, 16th birthday present in 2004. We were going through a very rough time as my husband  was terminally ill and buying this very cute mini-schnauzer for her, one that she picked out, was supposed to help with the very sad times in our home.

He was barely 8 weeks old but having a backyard in Cambridge was very helpful in his training. Sort of. Emmy went to school and I had a job so when I saw that Raining Cats & Dogs opened on Huron Ave., Harrison was enrolled for a few hours and then full-time. Our relationship with Stephanie and Brad first and then with a whole bevvy of terrific caretakers like Barbara Stanley was one of family as they co-parented Harrison with us. But it wasn’t just us who loved this crew, it was Harrison’s second home, one he trotted off to happily every morning as if to school. Separation anxiety? Not ever.

When I traveled he stayed with the Hastings in their home and saw Ernie as his older sibling.
Harrison has a unique, calm disposition and is a delightful “person” to this day. I raise a glass 
to the crew at Crate for a great job on all fronts. In NY now, we miss you desperately.”
We miss you too, Judy and Harry!!


Below is part of an article on ‘Holistic Healing; from the Whole Dog Journal.  Many of you know about the publication;  it is very well written and highly respected in the dog world. Here is a brief intro to the article’ then I am inserting a couple of conditions that can be treated herbally each week.

drakes ernie on deck1

(I requested a summer photo, to remind us, there really IS good weather sometimes!)

Later, Ernestine

Herbal Remedies Common Canine Ailments

Check out these herbal remedies for a few common canine ailments.

By Susan Eskew

Good holistic health care fulfills the needs of the whole animal being, physically, mentally, and emotionally. A sound, well balanced diet (along with fresh, clean water), appropriate exercise, and proper behavioral education just about

covers the bases.Or does it? Health is individual. Many people consider their animals to be healthy as long as they aren’t sick, but to me, a healthy dog is happy and expressive, exuding resilience. Whether our animal companion denotes health with a gleaming eye, a flashing coat, and an athletic leap for a Frisbee, or a half cocked ear, sly grin, and thumping tail from the Barcalounger, we can best ascertain the level of our friends’ health by observing over time what’s normal for each unique individual.Healthy animals can and do get sick occasionally. Sometimes a “tincture of time” is the best remedy, as the dog’s body fights off an invading bacteria or virus and the “illness” resolves with the passing of time. Occasionally, you’ll need veterinary help for a pet’s acute or severe problem. But in other times, a minimal treatment provides a sufficient level of care to boost the healing response. That’s where herbal treatments shine.Why should dogs have herbs?Plants provide vital natural sources of vitamins minerals, and trace elements that many of today’s commercial diets just don’t provide, what with poor-quality and over-processed ingredients.


Just as in people, arthritis is probably the most common chronic health condition in older dogs. It is characterized by chronic inflammation and calcium deposits in the joints, leading to stiffness, swelling, and pain.

A classic herb tea for arthritis uses equal parts alfalfa, burdock, and white willow. The first two are excellent detoxifiers, and white willow is an effective anti-inflammatory and pain relieving agent. In addition, alfalfa is full of nutrients. This is best administered as a tea, mixed in with the dog’s food or water. The liquid has a pleasant taste, but if a dog refuses it, squirt a teaspoon of the mixture into his mouth two or three times a day.

Given that it is such a common condition, it’s a cinch that a number of herbal treatments have been recommended by veterinarians and herbalists. Dr. Richard Pitcairn, a well-known holistic veterinarian and author of “Natural Health for Dogs & Cats” suggests adding one to three tablespoons of alfalfa to the daily diet, or using the herb in a tea. Juliette de Bairacli Levy, author of “The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat,” suggests feeding raw comfrey and chopped parsley in the dog’s food, and rosemary or nettles tea.

Herbalist Diane Stein, author of “The Natural Remedy Book for Dogs & Cats,” recommends feeding garlic to reduce arthritic symptoms. She suggests other herbs can be used for specific properties, according to their role in the individual’s arthritis. Yucca can be used for its steroid and pain-relief properties. Licorice root can display anti-inflammatory action. Horsetail grass contains silica and aids calcium absorption.For pain relief, Stein recommends valerian root, skullcap, St. John’s Wort, chickweed, or feverfew.


Diarrhea is a symptom rather than a disease. Diarrhea with no other symptom in an adult dog can be safely allowed to continue for a day or two, as the process works to rid the body of causative agents. However,a dog with diarrhea accompanied by abdominal distention, projectile vomiting, dehydration, fever, or respiratory symptoms, should be seen by a veterinarian as quickly as possible. If the stool contains blood or is black and tarry, there may be intestinal tract bleeding; seek immediate veterinary attention. Puppies suffering from diarrhea also need expert attention – dehydration can quickly result in death to vulnerable pups.

Diarrhea can be caused by many agents or conditions. Toxins from flea collars or dips can cause diarrhea and vomiting. In this case, wash the dog with soap and water and remove the collar.

Sometimes animals eat plants that cause diarrhea to rid their bodies of wastes. Once the animal has removed the causative factor from its system, or toxin been removed, the diarrhea usually stops. Diarrhea is often the result of your dog eating something laden with bacteria, such as spoiled food or dead animals. If you know your dog has eaten something he shouldn’t have, and suspect that as the main cause of his diarrhea, your first treatment should be to withhold his regular food until the diarrhea has run its course. Then give him one half to one teaspoon of slippery elm syrup or powder mixed with honey or water,three times a day for three days.

Ear Infections

Head shaking, pawing, or scratching at the ears, a foul odor, brown discharge, and redness or swelling inside the ear flap all indicate infection. The causative agents may be a foreign body (tick, foxtail), bacterial or fungal infection, or even ear mites (these are usually not common to dogs, but are contagious to those dogs living closely with infected cats). A veterinarian’s inspection with an otoscope, and perhaps a slide prepared with a smear of the dog’s offending ear exudate will offer clues as to the source of his discomfort and subsequent treatment. Foreign bodies may require removal by your veterinarian.Many flap-eared dogs have hair growing in the ear canals. Trimming this hair will help air flow and facilitate drying after bathing or swimming.

A clothespin can be used periodically to hold back the ears of long-haired dogs (take care to close the pin on the long hair, not the tender ear flaps) to expose the insides of the ears to air and help heal infections.

To clean ears, make a solution of half witch hazel, half water, or half hydrogen peroxide and half water, wiping out the ear canal gently with cotton balls. Mullein and garlic ear oil, readily available from health food

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