MR is 2!

On January 6, 2009…our MR was born. The story of how he entered our lives never gets stale…

The story goes that March 10, 2009, a day forever imprinted in my memory, was the day of my Master’s defense. In light of such an occasion it was important to boost my confidence by reviewing notes and analyses, preparing my presentation, practicing it, anticipating questions and the answers, and maintaining a state of calm during the stress.

On the Friday before, my thoughtful BF (who had endured more than his share of my trepidation and frustration during my graduate school experience) said,

I know whenever I have some kind of important and nerve-wrecking day I always feel better having a shower the morning of, putting on a new outfit, and feeling put together. It makes me feel more confident!

And so, off we went on Saturday morning to get myself a new shirt and get my mind off my preparations for a couple of hours.

Well, needless to say, I didn’t get a new shirt, but we did get our new friend and one of the biggest comforts and provider of laughs of my life!!

Riley, aka MR (Monster Riley), entered our lives and today he turns TWO…or 14 as the bf likes to say.

Last year he was spoiled with Banana Carrot Oatmeal Pupcakes and a Puploaf with Banana Carob and Cinnamon Frosting, and he was in pure Puppy Heaven.

This year, we have learned that he has puppy allergies (apparently hugely on the rise), and so, we have taken to eliminating gluten, chicken, and lamb from his diet. It seems that animals, like humans, can have environmental (inhalant) and/or food allergies. Their symptoms are quite similar as well, scratching due to skin irritation, wheezing, coughing, and inflammation and buildup in the ears, excessive chewing and licking of the paws are all common in dogs with allergies. Dogs have numerous glands in their external ear canals called ceruminous glands and sebaceous glands. Together these two sets of glands produce natural ear wax (cerumen). Micro-organisms live naturally in this wax and give the ears a slightly yeasty odor even when healthy, however, excessive sweating and moisture leads to buildup in the ears due hospitable conditions for yeast or bacteria flourish. The excessive licking and discolouration of the paws is due to the sweat (eccrine) glands found on a dog’s feet (and nose). Allergies increase sweating in dogs, and so, licking will increase as a response.

There are holistic doctors and allergists for dogs who can do blood tests to determine allergens, there are also numerous allergen-free foods or an elimination diet one can try (all similar to allergy remedies for humans). We’ve opted for an elimination diet, as some ‘allergen-free’ foods simply did not work. We found barley (i.e., gluten) in a lot of them, and we also found lots of chicken byproducts (e.g., fats, stock, and eggs), albeit in smaller quantities in the ingredient lists.

With all that in mind, I’m going to have to be more creative about what I make for his birthday treat…I do have a couple ideas up my sleeve…

After all, I want my pup to be healthy and happy!

~ kaia in balance ~

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