My elderly Doberman finally got diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy (the dog version of MS) and breast malignancy, a couple of years after having hysterectomy due to acute pyometra. Her hind legs became progressively weaker, it looked as though her hind quarter paralysis might happen at any moment, at which point I’d have to end her life.
Over the years, I read plenty of diet books based on solid research such as Wheat Belly and Grain Brain. However, for the unrelenting love of one special stem tuber, I could not take the plunge; although I might have quite easily given up all other starchy high carb items, including my relationship with bread. Once I treated an Orthodox Jewish teen lass, she discovered bacon in one of her friends’ house at the tender age of 9. Since then, she would go around town, carrying a pound of bacon, begging one of her friends’ parents to let her cook and consume her salty, nitrate filled, smoked forbidden food away from her mother. “Life without bacon is not worth living for me, cancer and G_d not withstanding,” she declared in my office one day. I must admit, my desire for potatoes is perhaps comparable to her deep feelings towards bacon.
However, since my dog holds no such unhealthy obsession, in my last-ditch effort to provide her with the quality of life she deserves; the decision was made one day when she constantly tripped on her hind legs and couldn’t get up without help.
I purchased all organic grass fed beef, poultry, wild caught Canadian trout, a myriad of non-starchy veggies, loads of berries and nuts, just for my elderly companion. She happily consumed all without any hint that she was missing her fresh baked bread or stemed rice, nor a single bout of diarrhea, which she had been having on and off for over a year. She gained back a few pounds in the first week, could again take a walk for more than a couple of blocks without tripping on her hind legs. By the fourth week, she started behaving almost like her “normal” “annoying” self again – giving “glares” if I dared taste a tiny morsel of her organic meat and/or veggies, no longer sleeping most of the day and night, started playing and bullying my “chicken-ish” young wolf again, which she had not done for at least a couple of years.
I say “almost normal” only because her breast tumors are still there and perhaps the weakness of her hind legs have not disappeared completely. However, she does not seem to be terribly troubled by the existence of the tumors and her hind legs gained back much strength, which I contribute to the lack of inflammation due to her body’s reaction to carbs and/or hopefully some positive change on the genetic/DNA level as this brilliant vet posited.*
In any event, my elderly dog’s recovery had me convinced that eating an all organic high fat (as in nuts, avocado, chia seeds, and “good” oils), limited protein and extremely low carb diet really does provide one with better health.
Maybe love should not be “good enough” to keep the relationship going between me and my beloved potatoes.
Perhaps it is finally time to say goodbye to my favorite tuber and become bosom buddies with a better quality of life, both physically and mentally.
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