A *Healthy* New Year … with some Golden assistance

A Happy & Healthy New Year from Goldens Teddy & Blythe

Here are Pat Lawson‘s resident Golden Retriever furkids. Teddy has been loving life these days since Mom brought home a female sweetie to be trained for Canine Companions for Independence. It is the first female she has trained, in fact, and honestly, there really is a difference between the sexes in Goldens. Surely, Teddy has explained that to her by now.

Pat is responsible for me having organic orange juice year round. I buy too many boxes to admit to as hubby Gary and I are addicted to these wonders from Arizona.

I have finished juicing and am now chilling my Arizona organic navel orange juice. Later, around midnight, I will be gently adding chilled champagne to create glorious mimosas. Yum!

PupStarts . . . finally Beginnings done Right

I recently learned about a loss in our Land of PureGold Foundation family, a loss for Marti Brown, one of our wonderful Board Members. Sadly, she lost her Golden Angel Carly girl to cancer on January 18, 2009. This is the new puppy in Marti’s life and she is committed to providing her an organic, chemical-free, eco-friendly environment.

Of course, I already helped by sending some of our favorite, healthy, moo tube chews from USDA & FDA approved free-ranging, grass-fed beef. There is NO irradiation; NO hormones, no antibiotics, no steroids to the beef; NO chemical processing; NO preservatives or nitrates; NO fillers, additives or added flavors; NO smoking or basting; and, NO colors or dye, so won’t stain carpet

Here at the Land of PureGold, I often come to meet people after life has gone wrong, their dogs diagnosed with major health conditions or cancer. It is a sad, sad time for sure, and I am sending out far more sympathy cards than you can imagine. But, just like with us 2-legged folks, Prevention is the Best Defense. Besides giving our dogs the healthy basics of life such as good food, clean filtered water, regular exercise and grooming, we can do many other things to keep them well. These include providing regular exams, scheduling biannual exams for dogs 8 years and older, having frequent oral exams, and paying close attention to changes in eating and bowel habits.

Surveys show that cancer is the leading cause of death in the Golden Retriever breed, Hemangiosarcoma and Lymphosarcoma leading the list. This has brought the Golden’s average lifespan down to 10½ years. While we believe they should be long-lived (12-16 years) and healthy and active during most of this time, no screening test for cancer is currently available. One approach is for breeders to select bitches from lines where more than 75% of the dogs in the pedigree lived to at least 11 (longer than the golden average). Breeders can also research the cause of death on as many dogs in the pedigree *and their siblings* as possible, and additionally breed to older males who have already reached the average age. Unfortunately, this is seldom done as many want to breed to today’s top-winning dogs. Rather, we need to be breeding to their sires.

Although there are no statistical studies that prove you can prevent cancer in at-risk dogs, “common sense and clinical experience make a strong case for avoiding anything that exposes an animal to known carcinogens or weakens the immune system,” says Stacey Hershman, DVM, a holistic house-call veterinarian in Rockland County, New York. Just like their human companions, dogs live longer, healthier lives when they eat organic foods, get enough exercise, breathe clean air, drink clean filtered water, and stay away from harmful substances. They also are helped by supplements, food-source antioxidants, and free-range, antibiotic-free, and chemical-free proteins.

We have selected our favorite must-have products and developed 3 fun and attractive collections to get folks off to the best start with new pups or adopted dogs.

  1. One collection is focused on keeping our chewers busy and satisfied: PupStarts Chews.
  2. A second collection stresses our need to reward desired behaviors: PupStarts Rewards.
  3. The final collection helps in boosting a healthy immune response in your dog: PupStarts Boosts.

We actually use EVERY ITEM that has been included in these collections. It surely impacts our daily lives and we could not imagine not having them help to create the best in health and training.

Each collection includes a SimplyFido Limited Edition 100% Organic & Dye-Free Character Plush Bone Toy. Our dogs are always chewing or sucking on something. From puppyhood, they, like babies, love to put things in their mouths. Given the prevalence of oral cancers, we wondered if their dog toys were safe and non-toxic. Do I want my dog chewing on toys that have PVC (polyvinyl chloride, a toxic chemical) in the plastic? Do I want him ingesting processed materials or those made using pesticides and growth hormones? I don’t think so. That is why the collections include this fabulous toy.

This 9 inch long toy’s fabric and stuffing are grown without pesticides or herbicides, preventing your dog from ingesting toxic materials. Organically grown, the fibers are unbleached, untreated, and unprocessed. The company uses their unique PureWaterWash™ process to achieve their charming colors. The untreated cotton is then woven and color-brightened through Mother Nature’s own plants and minerals. Beige comes from a Chestnut Bur, red from the Madder Root, yellow from a Gardenia Seed, and grey from the mineral Charcoal The fabric is then triple-washed in pure water to set the color. As a result, each toy has its own unique appearance and color variance.

The collections also include your choice of a gorgeous Pawprints Scrapbook or Pawprints Journal to capture your furkid’s many special moments. Collecting your dog’s most expressive and fun photos and sticking them in a scrapbook is a wonderful way to celebrate your special bond. You can also use special embellishments to make your Pawprints scrapbook or journal attractive, adorning it with ribbons, first collars, baby teeth, and more. You can note progress in dog training classes, note accomplishments, and record difficulties as well. You would otherwise forget about these over time, but scrapbooking your dog will keep these memories for a lifetime.

Our 3 theme assortments are each arranged in a whimsical bone-shaped wire basket that measures 10″ L x 6″ W x 3″ H and includes a useful handle. This elegant shiny basket is simply perfect for holding dog wares and is a true keepsake storage container. This gift can be bought to treat yourself right (which is really important) or to present to a fellow dog lover—a special gift note card provided if requested with your order.

All of these collections are beautifully shrink wrapped and topped with a bow. A detailed brochure additionally accompanies each collection, providing insightful information about the contents and why each item was included.

These collections are great for yourself or to give as a gift. They are equally fabulous for a young pup or a newly adopted adult dog coming into your family.

Why Puppies Do That: A Collection of Curious Puppy Behaviors
Why do puppies sometimes lie on their backs when approached? Why do they sleep in a pile? Why do puppies have that special “puppy smell”? Why are some puppies runts? Few things can cause as much head scratching as the peculiar behavior and characteristics of a new puppy, and this book aims to answer all of the questions new dog owners wonder about their new little charge.

Illustrated with pencil drawings, Why Puppies Do That is lighthearted, informative, and as fun as a new puppy. The author, Tom Davis, has been living with and writing about dogs for 30 years. He has written several Golden books and is an editor for several magazines including Sporting Classics and Pointing Dog Journal. Regular Price: $13.95 but only $10 with a PupStarts Basket purchase!

Come check them out here.

USDA & FDA approved

Yea, an organic garden at the White House

I originally posted below almost 2 months ago about the Obama family planting an organic garden at the White House. We signed various petitions and today it has been confirmed. There will be a garden!!

First Family To Plant White House Veggie Garden

ABC News’ Brian Hartman Reports: President Obama’s latest shovel-ready project is close to home — in fact, right in his own yard. In an effort to promote healthy eating, the first family will be planting a vegetable garden right on the White House grounds. ABC News’ Ann Compton and Sunlen Miller report that the new White House vegetable garden will be dug up and planted on the South grounds of the White House — near the fountain but out of view of the main house.

Though the 16-acre complex is maintained by the National Park Service, one worker who preferred to remain anonymous assured ABC News that National Park Service staff won’t do the sowing and planting. The White House residence staff will handle that.

As first reported online by food writer Eddie Gehman Kohan, who reports on food issues related to the Obamas, First Lady Michelle Obama told Oprah Winfrey’s “O” magazine, “We’re … working on a wonderful new garden project.”

In the April issue of the magazine, Mrs. Obama tells Winfrey, “We want to use it as a point of education, to talk about health and how delicious it is to eat fresh food, and how you can take that food and make it part of a healthy diet.”

A variety of organic food and sustainable agriculture advocates have been pressing the Obamas to plant such a garden.

___________________________________________________________________________________

1792: Construction on the White House – known first as the ‘President’s House” – begins on what had been a tobacco plantation.
1800: Construction is completed. President John Adams and First Lady Abigail Adams move into the White House as its first residents. Adams plants the first “First Vegetables” but is soon after voted out of office.
1801: Thomas Jefferson takes office, reaps where Adams sowed, and redesigns the garden plan adding a number of ornamental and fruit trees. It is worth noting that some of the first White House gardens, including Jefferson’s, were dug and tended by slaves.
1814: British troops set fire to the house, destroying its interior. Three years of reconstruction and renovations take place which include building the portico and painting the President’s House white.
1825: President John Quincy Adams plants fruit trees, herbs and vegetables to help support his own household.
1835: President Andrew Jackson builds an “orangery” for growing tropical fruit.
1857: Orangery is demolished and a full-scale greenhouse is built.
1902: Greenhouse is demolished and replaced by West Wing.
1918: President Wilson and First Lady Edith Wilson recruit a flock of sheep to mow and fertilize the First Lawn at a time when the country was trying to conserve resources – human, financial and fuel – for the war effort.
1943: First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt plants a large Victory Garden on White House lawn over the objections of the US Department of Agriculture inspiring millions of Americans by her example.

1954: President Dwight Eisenhower installs a putting green on White House lawn.
1979: President Jimmy Carter installs solar panels on the White House roof and tends an herb garden.

1981: President Ronald Reagan removes the solar panels and proposes that ketchup be considered a vegetable for public school lunches, a proposal that is lambasted by health officials and the media and quickly withdrawn.

1990: President George H. W. Bush declares the White House kitchen a “no broccoli zone.
1995: Chef Alice Waters writes to President Bill Clinton calling for organic gardens on the grounds of the White House and the Vice Presidential mansion. Clinton at one point responds “send me the seeds,” but soon after gets caught sowing his own wild oats in a scandal that becomes the dominant flavor of his second term of office.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Edible landscapes for all: can you dig it? Yes, you can!

My hubby has planted an organic vegetable garden at our home since 1987, as well as several fruit trees. Our Golden Retrievers have loved it, of course, and often have taken to feeding themselves . . . or trying to dig up the spoils (such as sweet potatoes). The organic yield is unbelievable, but sadly, we are virtually the only home in the neighborhood that utilizes much of our small piece of land (1/3 acre) this way.

The future is going to be more fresh, juicy and delicious than a lot of us realize. That’s because edible landscapes are going to be more integrated into our yards, neighborhoods, towns, and cities in the future than they have in the recent past. To make this happen, though, more people need to be asking for and digging these landscapes. Here are a few things you can do to help:

1) Sign the “White House Food Garden Petitionwhich Eat The View will deliver to the Obamas along with a diverse collection of heirloom seed packets. Eat the View is the citizen-led campaign to plant a large Victory Garden on the White House lawn. (I signed already and it took virtually no time at all.)

2) Identify a landscape near you that you think should be “edible-ized”. Start with your own yard, neighborhood, or child’s schoolyard. You can also ask your elected officials at the state and local level to lead by example. The Governors of Maine, North Carolina & New York are already eating from gardens planted at their official residences.

3) Become a supporter (check out my forum profile page here). Also, grab some great photos or widgets to place on your own webpages and blogs. You can grab photos here and you can get some really cool widgets here. This is our favorite photo.

Learn more about gardening at Kitchen Gardeners International, a 501c3 nonprofit founded in Maine, USA with friends from around the world. Their mission is to empower individuals, families, and communities to achieve greater levels of food self-reliance through the promotion of kitchen gardening, home-cooking, and sustainable local food systems.

The Garden of Eatin’

1792: Construction on the White House – known first as the ‘President’s House” – begins on what had been a tobacco plantation.
1800: Construction is completed. President John Adams and First Lady Abigail Adams move into the White House as its first residents. Adams plants the first “First Vegetables” but is soon after voted out of office.
1801: Thomas Jefferson takes office, reaps where Adams sowed, and redesigns the garden plan adding a number of ornamental and fruit trees. It is worth noting that some of the first White House gardens, including Jefferson’s, were dug and tended by slaves.
1814: British troops set fire to the house, destroying its interior. Three years of reconstruction and renovations take place which include building the portico and painting the President’s House white.
1825: President John Quincy Adams plants fruit trees, herbs and vegetables to help support his own household.
1835: President Andrew Jackson builds an “orangery” for growing tropical fruit.
1857: Orangery is demolished and a full-scale greenhouse is built.
1902: Greenhouse is demolished and replaced by West Wing.
1918: President Wilson and First Lady Edith Wilson recruit a flock of sheep to mow and fertilize the First Lawn at a time when the country was trying to conserve resources – human, financial and fuel – for the war effort.
1943: First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt plants a large Victory Garden on White House lawn over the objections of the US Department of Agriculture inspiring millions of Americans by her example.

1954: President Dwight Eisenhower installs a putting green on White House lawn.
1979: President Jimmy Carter installs solar panels on the White House roof and tends an herb garden.

1981: President Ronald Reagan removes the solar panels and proposes that ketchup be considered a vegetable for public school lunches, a proposal that is lambasted by health officials and the media and quickly withdrawn.

1990: President George H. W. Bush declares the White House kitchen a “no broccoli zone.
1995: Chef Alice Waters writes to President Bill Clinton calling for organic gardens on the grounds of the White House and the Vice Presidential mansion. Clinton at one point responds “send me the seeds,” but soon after gets caught sowing his own wild oats in a scandal that becomes the dominant flavor of his second term of office.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Edible landscapes for all: can you dig it? Yes, you can!

My hubby has planted an organic vegetable garden at our home since 1987, as well as several fruit trees. Our Golden Retrievers have loved it, of course, and often have taken to feeding themselves . . . or trying to dig up the spoils (such as sweet potatoes). The organic yield is unbelievable, but sadly, we are virtually the only home in the neighborhood that utilizes much of our small piece of land (1/3 acre) this way.

The future is going to be more fresh, juicy and delicious than a lot of us realize. That’s because edible landscapes are going to be more integrated into our yards, neighborhoods, towns, and cities in the future than they have in the recent past. To make this happen, though, more people need to be asking for and digging these landscapes. Here are a few things you can do to help:

1) Sign the “White House Food Garden Petitionwhich Eat The View will deliver to the Obamas along with a diverse collection of heirloom seed packets. Eat the View is the citizen-led campaign to plant a large Victory Garden on the White House lawn. (I signed already and it took virtually no time at all.)

2) Identify a landscape near you that you think should be “edible-ized”. Start with your own yard, neighborhood, or child’s schoolyard. You can also ask your elected officials at the state and local level to lead by example. The Governors of Maine, North Carolina & New York are already eating from gardens planted at their official residences.

3) Become a supporter (check out my forum profile page here). Also, grab some great photos or widgets to place on your own webpages and blogs. You can grab photos here and you can get some really cool widgets here. This is our favorite photo.

Learn more about gardening at Kitchen Gardeners International, a 501c3 nonprofit founded in Maine, USA with friends from around the world. Their mission is to empower individuals, families, and communities to achieve greater levels of food self-reliance through the promotion of kitchen gardening, home-cooking, and sustainable local food systems.

They’re baaaaaaack

Six months ago I posted about Golden Retriever Tavi, a CCI Service Dog-in-Training being raised by Pat Lawson (she’s trained nearly 20!). Pat is a charter member of the Valley of the Sun Volunteer Chapter of CCI. At winter time, all the Goldens at Pat’s enjoy these wonderful organic navel oranges. She has a mini grove in Arizona where the oranges are growing at the base of the San Tan mountains, in soil that promotes incredible sweetness. We love ’em and believe that organics are great for every 2-legged & 4-legged family member.

Well, Tavi has left for CCI College. This is the funny post that Pat just wrote about our orange-loving pup.

Sadly, Tavi the orange lover will be going off to CCI College before they are ready. We bought him a “store” orange… And he took a few bites and left it sitting on the ground. Seems he is an “orange snob”! :0) He has been lurking around the trees, even sampling a green orange or two that has fallen. Poor guy. Where ever he ends up, I’ll have to keep him supplied with his favorite food of all time, San Tan Sweet Oranges.

From Thanksgiving through February you can enjoy these sweetest Navel Oranges on the planet! They are grown in the shadow of the San Tan Mountains in the ultra rich sandy soil of central Arizona. And, these all organic trees are irrigated twice monthly to produce seedless sweet oranges. Try them and you will never want “store bought” oranges again! Trust me, Gary and I are now addicted to these goodies and are too embarrassed to tell you how many boxes we purchase from Pat during this short season. Let’s just say that an orange a day must keep the doctor away because Gary must have a few of these delicacies daily.

Pat has created a new website, Life Barks, to sell all her wares, all helping to benefit CCI. Soon she will be adding calendars and posters and who knows what else. I already am expecting my first box of oranges which get sweeter and sweeter as the season progresses. They start out great and just become irresistible by the time February rolls around.

Please help in making change . . . STOP Vilsack

I just received an important OCA Organic Bytes email. Please do check this out. I can believe in change, if it is actually real, and we do need some real change when it comes to the way we manage our food practices.

Vilsack Over the past month, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) has been alerting our nationwide network about Obama’s proposed appointment of Monsanto ally and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack to the position of Secretary of Agriculture. Far from representing the “Change” which Obama has promised, Vilsack has a disappointing record of promoting controversial genetically engineered foods, biopharm crops, and animal cloning, as well as cheerleading for unsustainable biofuels derived from corn and soybeans. In addition Vilsack has come under fire for aiding and abetting chemical and energy-intensive industrial agriculture, including Iowa’s infamous Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs).
Vilsack
Thanks to all of you who have taken part in OCA’s “Stop Vilsack” campaign. So far, we have collected over 60,000 online petition signatures, generating coverage from major media outlets and websites including the New York Times, Washington Post, National Public Radio, Pacifica Radio, Air America, Democracy Now, Common Dreams, Counterpunch, The Nation, and Huffington Post, as well as a number of major daily newspapers.

Similar petitions circulated on the internet by OCA’s allies, including fooddemocracynow.org, Pesticide Action Network, and the Center for Food Safety have generated an additional 60,000+ supporters, making Vilsack perhaps the most controversial and unpopular Obama cabinet appointment. OCA’s petition is being delivered to Obama’s Transition Team, as well as Congress.

If you haven’t yet signed the petition, please do so now. If you’ve already signed the petition, here’s another way to make positive change:

The Obama Transition Team has set up a website soliciting input from citizens about various hot-button issues. One area of the website invites people to post questions and concerns and vote on them. Supposedly, those questions with the most votes will be directly responded to by President-Elect Obama. Please follow this link and vote for questions asking Obama to support policies promoting health, justice, peace, and sustainability.

That’s one for us.

VilsackPresident-elect Obama was considering former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack for USDA Secretary of Agriculture. Vilsack has been an ardent supporter of Monsanto, genetically engineered crops, and corn and soy-based biofuels. Thanks to vocal opposition from thousands in the Organic Consumer’s Association (OCA) network, Vilksack’s nomination has now been withdrawn. Although Vilsack told the Des Moines Register he didn’t want to comment on why he had been sacked, sources at the Obama transition headquarters reported “a flood of calls and emails” from organic consumers opposing Vilsack’s nomination. The OCA office in Washington, DC is submitting a petition with 8,000 signatures to Obama’s transition team this week, urging Obama to take a strong stand in support of organic food and farming. Now that the OCA has eliminated biotech booster Vilsack from the nomination, there’s a list of candidates to head the USDA that Obama needs to be considering. Check them out here.

And, learn more about why organics are integral for both your 2 and 4-footed family members. Just click here.

Don’t Let the Bush Administration Cut Short the Debate on Organic Standards

For eight years the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) has stood with organic family farmers in an effort to crack down on the handful of giant factory farms, each milking thousands of cows, that are misrepresenting themselves as organic. The USDA just put out a draft rule that would require mandatory pasturing of dairy cows during the full growing season, with a minimum of 30% of their feed  coming from pasture forage. The OCA and the organic community supports this tightening up of pasture and feed standards.

Unfortunately the proposed new regulation still includes a loophole that would allow large dairy farms to bring non-organic heifers, or young milk cows onto their farms, and then call them organic. The Bush USDA has allowed only a 60-day comment period from the public on this rule. More time is needed to mobilize consumers and farmers to close this loophole and decertify the
dozen or so industrial-scale dairy feedlots operated or sourced by large dairy corporations such as Aurora, Horizon, Rockview, and Shamrock, who supply cheap “organic” milk to Wal-Mart, Safeway, Costco and other chains
.

Please send a message to the USDA secretary asking for a 30-day extension to the public comment period so all farmers, including Amish families that don’t have e-mail, and consumers, have a chance to review this rule and make their views known.

Simply take 30 seconds to click here and a ready-made letter is all ready for you to send.