The Journey of Phillip, the Forgotten, to Phillip, the Fabulous, in 30 Days
Fourteenth in a Series
December 29, 2015
Feed Me Seymour! Feed Me!
As the rain had finally stopped, the family of dogs with their man companion were busy finding interesting things that needed doing outdoors. Paul was picking up trash that surfaced from the receding waters with his English Setter, Jeff Smith, while Stanley waded along the creeks edge supervising the project. Phillip watched the trio through the fence absorbing everything that was happening beyond the chain link barrier. Phillip whined in their direction, “Hey, I bet I could help! I want out there with you!” For his safety, he couldn’t run free with the others and soon amused himself with a stick that he found in the yard. He carried it in his mouth as if to show Paul how valuable he was at tidying up the fenced area.
Only a week had passed since his arrival and he had gone from a timid animal to a happy pack member bursting with energy as he readily experienced all the new gifts that life had to offer. His soul had been nourished, but his body was still weak. He had taken massive amounts of pharmaceuticals prescribed by veterinarians to kill the mites that caused the mange as well as destroy the heart worms that he harbored. I was thankful for the treatments, but knew that all chemicals came with side effects that could further tax his immune suppressed system. He now needed the healing that wholesome nourishing foods could provide. It was time for me to get cooking!
“Hi Kit, this is Ellen. Do you have a minute?” I asked as the kind voice answered the phone. Kit is a Shaman trained in the Lakota Sioux tradition. She befriended us when we were looking for answers during the time when Paul’s traditional medical protocol failed. Being in her company changed our view of ourselves and the world around us. We learned that we were “human beings” not “human doings” and sometimes you just have to “be.” Her drumming sounded as we learned to meditate in Shamanic journeys where peace replaced the frantic fear that once guided our lives. Kit viewed the role of humanity as stewards for all things created by God instead of our being placed here for the dominion of God’s creations. There was good in everything since it came from the almighty. I even learned that there was good in something as horrible as Paul’s cancer since it caused us to look at what was really important in our lives and surprisingly, it wasn’t us. We started to think more about what we could do with our gifts and talents to help others. Somewhere in this chaos of uncertainty, we found our bliss, and it was in the form of “Dog”…which just happened to be “God” spelled backwards.
“I’ve got another foster dog,” I began as I relayed the story of Phillip, “Do you have some suggestions that would counter the side effects of the drugs and support his healing? I am already giving him Kefir two times daily to help his gut bacteria become balanced.” Thoughtfully she answered, “I remember you talking about your organic garden this summer. Didn’t you have an abundance of weeds and sweet potatoes?” she continued in her thought provoking way. I remembered Paul telling her that I had a “weed thumb” instead of a “green thumb.” I smiled at the memory. The creator has a way of sending us just what we need in all situations. Give thanks to the plants for the help that they are offering to Phillip as you make use of their spirits,” she cryptically challenged me.
Once again, she let me know that the answers were inside me all along…even as close as my own back yard. I went back to the recipe that I started yesterday to supplement Phillip’s dry chow. It called for yellow and green vegetables to be added to a thick stew made from hormone free meat. I went to my personal library of reference books describing the nutritional components of plants. The abundant sweet potatoes supply was high in vitamin A and fiber. Vitamin A was good in healing skin conditions. “Wonderful,” I thought!” Phillip’s skin could certainly use some help.”
“What weeds should I use?” I thought back to all these unwanted garden guests that I dug up, rinsed off, and dried last summer. As tempting as it was to just toss them away, I remembered my studies with Kit on the uses of weeds and was glad now that I was entrusted with an ample supply. The primary weeds that I had on hand were dandelion and chickweed which just happened to be the ones needed for Phillip. Each of these contained vitamins that helped skin and hair growth. The dandelion had the added effect of supporting the liver which was working hard to process all those drugs. The chickweed could help with inflammation and itching and was growing like crazy in this mild winter climate. A tea of dried dandelion was made for the base of the stewed meat broth with handfuls of chopped sweet potatoes and fresh chickweed added.
The smell was heavenly for the meat eaters of the household which was everyone except me. It was not long before a hungry Paul entered the kitchen with a trash bag full of debris and surrounded by the rest of the waste management team. Phillip carried his stick to the crate to hide under the blankets that covered his most treasured possessions.
“I’m making Phillip a “get well” stew with very special ingredients,” I explained. “I should have known it wasn’t for me!” he beamed proudly at my effort. “Yep, if you were cooking for me, you’d leave out the meat!” “That’s the way it is when you live with a vegetarian,” I joked back. With his tail wagging appreciatively, Phillip gratefully lapped up the succulent mixture that topped his dried kibble. I envisioned the scabby skin healing as shining black fur grew while he ate a meal made just for him. I gave thanks to the plants that would support his health, and the God that made them.
Paul put his arm around my waist as we watched this happy dog. The image of a once starving Phillip at the end of a chain entered my mind. “Ellen, I bet that Phillip never had anybody care enough to create a custom diet just for him,” Paul whispered not wanting to disturb his enjoyment. I responded, “God put things in motion. I just stirred the pot!” I thought of all the people that were involved in Phillip’s rescue. God had a hand in this from the very beginning.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. Herbs should not be substituted for medical treatment from your doctor or veterinarian. Talk to your doctor or veterinarian before ingesting any substance that might interfere with a prescribed treatment. The results that we have experienced are not guaranteed and may vary. Factors such as knowledge of weed identification, pesticide use around weeds, and roadside emissions should be considered before adding weeds to any diet.