December is a month where we give and receive love in the form of presents, time spent together, eating foods and carrying on family traditions for Christmas and the Holiday Season.
Growing up Italian, my family had a traditional 7 Fishes dinner on Christmas Eve at my great Grandfather Nunzio’s house in Waterbury, Connecticut. He lived there with my Uncle Robert and Aunt Monica and my Uncle Tony with his beloved dogs lived next door with Aunt Rose. The house on Christmas Eve was filled with all of my aunts and uncles and cousins. Many rectangular tables were set up end-to-end in the living room for the adults and the kids ate at a card table in the spare bedroom off of the kitchen. We loved it. The tables were full of fish dishes like fried smelts, cod stew, cold cod salad, spaghetti and clams, calamari and a few others to total 7 different fishes. The house smelled of cigarettes and my great grandfather’s cigar and it sounded like a roar with music playing, many conversations going on and the playing of cards by the adults. This traditional Catholic Italian time spent with my huge family was a place of comfort and joy for me. Presently, every Christmas and the weeks leading up to it, the memory is very vivid. I still carry on the tradition of the 7 Fishes with my children and loved ones while my mind relives its Christmas Eve memories from many years past at my great grandfather’s.
In October, I went to Connecticut to be with family for several days. While I was out there, our home in Arizona changed because a dog moved in! How did that happen? It happened because this dog is loved…
My children had Elbie for about 6 years at their dad’s house. She was a chihuahua mix rescue and a scared dog with a lot of anxiety who calmed down some and was loved by my children. Now, the dog had to find a new home and a dog pound was one of the options. So, my youngest daughter kept asking me if I would take the dog into our home. We have two cats and an occasional third cat who is the mother of the two cats, so, how could I take the dog in? The answer was no. Every time my daughter asked, the answer was always, “no” because I couldn’t see how the dog and cats would get along. I felt pretty bad for this little canine; it needed to be rescued twice. The whole situation was awful. I felt like this dog was being discarded and that bothered me.
So, when I returned from Connecticut, the dog was at the house. She and my female cat would both sleep in my daughter’s room; the dog on her bed and the cat on the table at the end of her bed. I was really surprised. I spent a full day with the dog to get to know her. She was so happy to go here and there with me in the car and I loved being able to do so. You can’t do that with a cat…
Elbie is now a member of our home. She and the cats get along… pretty much. I gave Elbie my own name for her: Foxy Lady, like the Jimmie Hendrix song. I play the song for her at times. She loves to eat Romaine lettuce and gets a leaf and shakes it around before she eats it. Hearing her crunch it up makes us laugh.
When a human pets a dog, the “feel good” hormone, oxytocin is released in both the human and the dog. Oxytocin is the hormone that makes us feel bonded to one another. It helps us to feel safe. Petting a dog also helps the heart by lowering blood pressure and needing to take the dog for a walk keeps the body moving which is also good for the heart and mind. Having a dog can be a prescription for improved health in both the human and canine. (The same effect happens when you pet a cat).
What changed my mind to adopt her? Love. And her smile.
Elbie – Foxy Lady and using CBD for her anxiety:
Sometimes dogs can be anxious, especially with noises either outside or inside the house. The anxiety can be there for many reasons. Dogs can also have arthritis and pains in their joints. I give Elbie-Foxy Lady hemp derived CBD oil directly into her mouth to help calm her and I have seen its positive effect.
Several companies make hemp oil containing CBD specifically for dogs and cats. The amount to give the animal is based upon its body weight. CBD oil is a safe and effective way to treat your loved pets.
Enjoy this holiday season. Peace
Dr. Kimberly Landino has been practicing Naturopathic Medicine in Arizona since 2001. She certifies patients for their MMJ card at All Greens Clinic in Sun City, AZ. Click here for more from Kimberly Landino.