Pictures of My Pets
Before moving to the Philippines, these are some pictures of the pets in my life and how they influenced and inspired me — each pet acting as a stepping stone leading me to the path I am on now.
Bentley — From The Day I Was Born
From the day I was born, Bentley was in my life. I don't remember much of Bentley but what I do remember was the day my mother and I drove to the vets, when I was about 5 years of age, to put Bentley down.
Bentley was my mother's dog and the breeder taught my mother a lot of about taking care of schnauzers. Most of the schnauzers in my home province of British Columbia are descendants of the breeder who gave Bentley to my mother.
I couldn't understand, at that age, what was happening. But what I knew was that the vet was going to kill Bentley. That's how I perceived it or understood it as a child of that age. In fact, I can remember writing in my diary that the vet was going to put a knife into Bentley — that's the only way I knew to kill. I couldn't understand or comprehend that he was going to sleep peacefully.
Nonetheless, this early experience formed the foundation of one of my beliefs which is that our pets should be able to
live and die on their own terms.
Of course, there are situations where a pet must be put down so the pet does not suffer. But there is nothing better than letting a dog or cat live and die on their own terms.
Tiger — I Loved This Cat
Tiger was a cat that entered my life when I was about 4 years old. He was a black Persian with a little white under his chin.
He's the only cat I know who fought a wolf and survived.
Tiger was a hunter. In fact, our backyard was littered with skulls of mice as Tiger would go to the farms near our house and hunt. I would leave the window open for him at night and he would come and go as he pleased. Of course, this was not always wise as numerous times I would wake up with a bird under my bed. When I closed the window though, Tiger would bring the bird in through the front door. I kept telling Tiger that he didn't have to share his food with me, but he wouldn't listen.
Tiger lived a good life and passed away in 1990. The sad thing I remember about Tiger is the day we took him to the vet because he was nothing but skin and bones. Although thin and weak, he still wanted to live and I will never forget the meow he made when I handed him to the vet for the last time. It breaks my heart even thinking about it. He wanted to live — he may have been weak and thin, but he wanted to live. This was another experience that built upon my belief that pets should live and diet on their own terms. Of couse, I don't want a pet to suffer no more than anyone else does. But what I realized was that a healthy dog or cat can live a wonderful life and die peacefully, but on their own terms.
Heidi — The Best Dog A Boy Could Ask For
After the passing of Bentley in 1975, we went ahead and got another dog but this time, from the local pound.
We called her Heidi because she was always hiding.
This dog was a great joy in my life but also the source of great sadness. Of course, Heidi herself would never create sadness — she was just the best dog I could ever ask for. But in 1983, we had to put Heidi down at, what I thought, was a very young age because she suffered from Cushing's Disease.
Heidi was in bad shape — she went from active to inactive — from lean to fat. The disease overtook her body and eventually, she lost all control of her muscles. She would be walking and then all of a sudden, do the splits on all four legs.
Our house was even broken into one night — and Heidi could do nothing.
The tragedy of her death and the way she died, well, it inspired me to better take care of my pets. But not at this time even though I still had both Tiger and another cat named Morris in my life.
It wasn't until 1993, when Katherine DeBarnes entered my life that I thought of feeding my pets a better diet.
Our still hold Heidi in my heart with as much love as I did when I was a boy.
Morris My Cat — I Gave Him The Gift and He Paid Me Back
Morris My Cat was born on April 1, 1978. Originally he was supposed to be for my brother because Tiger was my older brother's cat. However, the reality is both Morris and Tiger were closer to me.
Morris was named after the cat who was in the commercial, at that time, for
9 Lives commercial pet food. Ironic, don't you think?
Unlike Tiger, Morris tried to be a hunter but he just wasn't that good. Tiger tried to teach Morris a few things, but alas, Morris was more of a window shopper — he would sit on the window and watch the birds fly by while meowing.
By the time our family got Katherine DeBarnes in 1993, Morris was now 15 years old. By the time Morris turned 16, he was weak and could barely walk up the stairs. But at the same time, I just discovered the secrets of making a wholesome raw meat diet.
I did a ton of research to find this information. If you can imagine, this was before the days of the internet and so I was looking through magazines and books — looking for clues. I didn't know what I was looking for but I knew, I just knew there had to be a better way to feed my pets.
Bingo! One day I walked into a health food store and the lady told me of a book by Pat McKay entitled Reigning Cats and Dogs. The light buld went off and that was that — I began feeding a wholesome raw meat diet. It all made sense to me. To this day, I still owe Pat McKay many thanks for her helping me get started.
Ultimately, Morris began doing a lot better on the raw meat diet and he began running and jumping again. He lived until 16 and in 1994 he passed away — but on his own terms. He actually died in my arms. While this may seem tragic, it was the most peaceful and most loving moment I have ever experienced.
Morris gave me the gift I had always wanted — to let my pets live and die on their own terms.
Morris did not suffer. He died slowly but it was peaceful — in my arms. It's sad, but I felt his last breath leave his body but I also felt his love — and I still do.
Katherine DeBarnes Is In The House
After Heidi passed away in 1983, our family did not have another dog again until 1993, when Katherine DeBarnes entered our lives.
After the passing of Heidi, I was sad and there is no doubt her death from Cushing's Disease affected me. Luckily I still had Tiger and Morris. I spent a lot of time with Tiger and Morris but then came along Katherine DeBarnes.
When Katherine DeBarnes arrived, I still spent time with Morris as Tiger had passed away in 1990. But Katy, as we affectionately called her, was such a joy. I was like a kid again — remember the good ol' time with Heidi.
Katy was a character and because I remembered how Heidi died from Cushing's Disease, I set for to find answers. As mentioned already, I stumbled upon Pat's McKay's book Reigning Cats and Dogs. Katy was when year's old when I began feeding her a raw meat diet — better late than never.
However, what my family did not know was that Katy was weak. We knew, when we got her, that she wat the runt of the litter but we didn't care — this dog has spunk. We also knew she was born with a tumor on her foot but we didn't know what to do nor was there much help available. Sad to say, eventually Katy died from lymphoma in 1998.
I will never forget the last day I took her outside — I carried her down the stairs, put her on the ground — she barked really loud for one last time — I then carried her up the stairs, placed her on a cushing where she died with me by her side.
Katy's passing hit me hard. I tried so hard to help her be healthy but alas, it was not meant to be.
While Katy's passing was a tragedy, it did not slow me down. I began to realize how important healthy and wholesome nutrition is from an early age — and how the health of previous generations affects our current generations.
Katy's passing, while a tragedy, has actually helped me help thousands of other pets. While I was not able to save Katy, I have been lucky enough to help others save their pets — for which we all have Katy to thank for — because if it wasn't for Katy, I would never have begun studying and learning about holistic health and nutrition for pets in 1993.
Tamara DeBarnes — What A Character
Tamara DeBarnes, or as we called her, Tami, was quite the character. My family got Tami in 1995 from the same breeder as Katy. Katy and Tami became sisters and best friends.
After Katy passed away, Tami experienced some high levels of grief for about 6 weeks. I had to give her a homeopathic remedy for grief because she did not want to eat, play or walk. But one day, her grieving was over and she went running to the door and was ready for a walk.
Tami, as you can tell by the pictures, had quite the personality. She loved to run and when she ran, she was smiling — you could see the smile on her face. But nothing compared to the smile she had the day we play
hide and seek in the small forest behinds my parent's house. Essentially what happened was that Tami knew the trails inside and out. She would always either run ahead or stay behind to smell the bushes. But one day, when she was behind me, I ran ahead and climbed and old tree and positioned myself about 5 feet off the ground. Tami, realizing I was not around came running looking for me. Her nose was to the ground as she was tracking my scent. The scent took her to the tree I was hiding in, but she did not look up. She kept going around and around in circles looking for me. Finally she thought she had better go home — she knew the way. But then I called her and she saw me in the tree — she was laughing so hard that she nearly fell over with laughter. When I got to the ground, it was nothing but kisses for me. She loved the joke I played on her — she thought it was hilarious and to be honest, so did I.
Tami had her rituals. Whenever I took her to the park, she would always wait and hide behind a tree and jump out just as I walking by. Of course, I knew she was there but it's important to play the game. After jumping towards me, she would beckon me to chase after her — to chase her back to my parent's house and so I would oblige, but not right away — I would let the excitement build first. After there was excitement, I would run after her but I would stop at the main path until she came running back towards me with her encouragement to run after her. Eventually I did, but yet again, I would behing another bush near my parent's house. When Tami, who was already at my parent's door did not see me, she would come back looking for me — and of course, she knew where I was hiding — but it's all part of the fun. As she got close to me, I would jump at her and we would both run back to the house.
Tami was a navigator. She knew her way home from a mile or two away. This girl was a joy, a real treat. I sometimes think my current cat, Tiger, has a little bit of Tami's spirit in her — similar in character except one is a cat and the other was a dog.
Group Pictures of Katy, Tami and Morris
Hard to believe I was only 25 years old at the time, but this was the picture that was used when my article,
The Vigilante Guardian, appeared in a local holistic health magazine. Katy is on the left and Tami is on the right.
Later, another group picture but this time with Tami and Gretel, another schnauzer — circa 2004.
The above 3 pictures are of Katy, Tami and Morris.
The above 2 pictures are of Katy and Tami.
In my book, I mention that my book is dedicated to Morris My Cat. The reality is that my book is dedicated to all of my pets and all of yours.