A week after Shadrach’s passing, my friend Kim asked me if she could gift me with one of her upcoming litter’s puppies. At that time, she was breeding Great Danes in partnership with her sister. I was stunned and excited, because Great Danes have been my favorite breed of dog since the age of eighteen. She told me to pray about it and talk it over with Donnie. Donnie was not interested in having another giant breed dog, being still so raw from losing Shadrach. It took about a week for me to convince him. I knew that it would be four months before the puppy arrived so we had time to grieve, adjust and prepare.
Meshach arrived with most of his littermates at our door one hot August morning. The breeder who whelped the litter, Barbie, was on her way back to Arizona with all the puppies, dropping off some of the puppies with their new owners on her way. They had been in Oklahoma to meet with my friend Kim and her sister Zee – to get weights, ears done, and decide which puppy best suited each person. I knew Meshach, the puppy we wanted and already named, was a show quality puppy. I didn’t think he was going to be given to us. I was very surprised they chose him for me, because in my heart I had chosen him already from the regular weekly photos being shared. I know it was a match made in heaven. The outcome eventually came to feel like a match made in hell.
He was the cutest and yet quietest puppy I’d ever had. I noticed when his siblings were here with him, that he wasn’t running all over my yard investigating everything or try to lick me to death! He sat back, quietly sniffing things. When the food was served, he didn’t fight to get in the midst; he just got whatever he could. One of the reasons he was picked for me was because of his easy going and quiet nature. After the breeder and other puppies left, he was frantically going around the yard and house to find them. It saddened me to see him so upset, so I held him. We gave him a bath because after all, a bunch of puppies traveling in an SUV are going to make messes. So he got a bath, and then I wrapped him in a towel and lay down with him on Shadrach’s big couch. Meshach fell fast asleep, and when he woke up, he had become my instant sidekick for the rest of his short days here on earth.
Meshach’s litter is what natural rearing breeders call first generation naturally reared. This means the first generation reared on a species appropriate raw diet, no chemicals, and no vaccines. I was excited about this, because I thought it was almost like a guarantee of having a healthy, long-lived dog, even though I knew it could take several generations before the damage is cleared. For some reason, I wasn’t thinking that could apply to Meshach or my life. I was about to find out how very wrong I was.
Refer back to my statement about getting familiar with the term epigenetics, and again to Dr. Jordan’s comment about genetics in general. What we do to each generation is cumulative to each subsequent generation. Natural rearing breeders know this, but they have to start somewhere. It is also why Meshach’s story must be included in this book, even though proving his problems were caused by generations of vaccinated, kibble-fed dogs isn’t something I can do. I simply know it was Meshach’s fate to be one of those that is a gross representation of the generational damage caused by vaccines in particular.
There were several things we noted that were very different about Meshach right away. He was very difficult to housetrain. I’d never had such trouble with a puppy before. It took twice as long with Meshach as with any other puppy I’d ever had. We went above and beyond the call of duty with him, but it was just as if he wasn’t grasping the concept. When he finally did, he received SUCH praise for his efforts! I loved him so very much. This boy challenged me in every part of my being. He was funny and cute, and I could not be angry at a dog that reacted to nothing.
He also had to have the same routine, which at the time I just thought was because dogs do like a routine. But Meshach had a pattern that was specific all the time. He’d enter the house from the backyard and go around the kitchen (we have an open floor plan) and then into the living room rather than make a straight shot for the living room. He had to be outside in the morning to see the neighborhood children off to school (He could see them all from our back yard since we have horse fencing.) If he couldn’t get outside to see them off, he’d get frantic prancing around making whining noises.
Another thing we noticed was his exceptional intelligence. We didn’t feel as if we lived with a dog but with a little boy – and I am not into anthropomorphizing. We caught him watching the neighborhood boys playing ball one afternoon. We quietly watched through the window so he wouldn’t see us. He had a big ball in the yard to play with. He was watching the children, and then tossing the ball in his canine attempt to mimic them. It was fascinating to watch.
Meshach and I went on long walks every day. He learned to come to a whistle. No matter where in the desert brush he was, he’d come sailing through to me when I did that whistle. He was rewarded in the beginning, but after a while it only took the whistle sans reward. He’d jump up like a little boy to catch the hanging bushes in his mouth every time we walked past them. It always struck me as such a human boy thing to do, and I was always bemused by it.
He had little issues, like an ear infection that never seemed to heal. One day he fell ill, just sleeping for three days. He started not liking to eat certain raw foods, mostly organ meats – he had never had an issue prior. This all started with the onset of puberty.
I know many are going to ask why I didn’t do certain things, but I believe in whole health. That means leaving the animal whole, in my opinion. Contrary to popular myth and opinion, animals aren’t born with spare parts. However, that is another topic for another book. I thought these were normal issues growing up, as the immune system is challenged and then enhanced. I am certain they were, but for the generational damage Meshach was harboring in his body, it wasn’t good.
One evening I was getting ready for bed. I heard noise at the foot of the bed where Meshach slept. I thought he was just being his silly self, as he often would grab one of his many toys, and begin wrestling with it and making funny sounds. What I saw brought me to my knees. Meshach was in a full-blown grand mal seizure. It lasted a good two minutes. I was in complete shock. I hadn’t witnessed a grand mal since my days working in veterinary medicine. I was always horrified for the owners. It is VERY different when it is your own dog going through it. He was only eight months old.
The only thing I had ever noticed when I began journaling Meshach’s seizures was that he at times he would overheat when playing with his two Labrador buddies, which lived a couple of doors down from us. It was only March, but we had an abnormally warm early spring that year. I thought I better start letting them play earlier in the day. Yet neither of the other dogs was overheating, and they were both black Labs.
Meshach never had any vaccines. He was weaned to raw food. He never had a chemical of any kind used on him. I had already been living a very natural lifestyle by the time he came to live with us, as we don’t use any toxic household cleaners, yard products or personal care products. (Most of those products contain toxins as ingredients.) Before he came to us, Meshach was raised in the same kind of home. His siblings had some minor issues, but they overcame those issues. However, Meshach’s parents came from vaccinated lines; his dam had been vaccinated when she was younger. Remember, he was first generation naturally reared. Damage becomes cumulative. It IS cumulative in all generations that are vaccinated. Meshach paid the ultimate price.
Over the following seven months I tried a very natural approach. I even began the use of the drugs when he began having cluster seizures (grand mal cluster seizures). Meshach would walk around in a daze after the seizures (think tornado in the brain). A horrible smell emanated from him. He would walk into walls and cry. Each seizure was worse and lasted longer. Sometimes, he didn’t know who we were, and would growl at us. Sometimes he became hypersexual. Other times he would go to sleep almost right away, only to awaken with another worse seizure an hour or so later.
After a long bout on the drugs where he was only a zombie, he came back to us as his former self (we managed it all using the drugs minimally and natural remedies as well to support his liver among other things) for only a short six weeks. But then, the seizures began again, and were worse than ever.
The last day of his life was the worst day by far. He had his first seizure at 11:00 P.M. the night before. By 4:00 P.M. the following day, he was tortured with ongoing seizures that were causing him to flip and bounce around the room like someone being electrocuted. We could not bear to allow him to suffer any longer. Nothing we used was helping him any more – not any remedies, acupressure, high doses of the drugs, nothing. He was whining and pawing at his head when he was awake. In between seizures he’d sleep if he could.
When we took him out to get him in the car, he wagged his tail even in all his pain. We finally managed to get him into the car, and he began almost immediately having another seizure. We had called ahead to the veterinary clinic. They were waiting for us with a gurney. I wish I could say that Meshach went gently to sleep, that it was done and he was out of his pain. But that wasn’t the case. He went in the room and was pacing back and forth. I was beside myself with grief. I felt so guilty that I could not help him. Meshach kept coming back to us so we could pet him, but then he would begin to pace through the room again.
The technician finally came, and gave him a deep sedative. That allowed him to to sleep and rest. However, Meshach’s heart was so strong that it took twenty minutes to be euthanized by the veterinarian. He said he’d never seen such a healthy, beautiful Dane as Meshach. We walked into the clinic with the sweetest, kindest Dane boy you’d ever meet. We walked out with a collar, leash and the heaviest hearts ever.
You can say it was genetic or a disease if you want, but I know better. Please do your research into epigenetics and vaccines. Don’t allow the status quo to dictate what to believe. Do your homework. I did a ton of research looking for solutions for Meshach before he died. I have since continued my research looking for solutions, and I have found some good ones. I would now do a lot differently, but hindsight is always twenty/twenty. If you will allow my experience to aid you in avoiding my mistakes, then Meshach’s life will not be in vain. Research vaccines in connection with epigenetics, and I think you’ll be surprised at what you discover.
I implore you to not allow the destruction of one of the most amazing species on the planet to continue to happen because we are all stuck believing a lie.
Visit Meshach’s Memorial Page HERE
Until next time,
Have a pawsitively tail waggin’, NATURAL IMMUNITY, healthy day!
About the Author:
Copyright 2015 Aspenbloom, Dr. Kim Bloomer, All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the Author/Publisher. This article is intended to be educational. However, it is not intended to be a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a qualified animal health professional. Dr. Kim Bloomer and Aspenbloom Pet Care, do not assume any legal responsibility for misuse of any products that may have been discussed in this article.
Dr. Kim Bloomer is an animal naturopath, a proficient blogger, writer, speaker, podcaster and presenter on natural pet care as well as the Co-Founder of the American Council of Animal Naturopathy. She is the author/co-author of three books Whole Health for Happy Dogs, Animals Taught Me That, and Essential Oils in Animal Care: A Naturopathic Approach with a fourth in writing at the time of this post. Dr. Kim’s articles have been featured in various publications in both print and online.