Many families have pets that are loved and cared for like children. They provide unconditional love just by being there. There is sweetness in coming home to be met by our favorite furry friends. Most are cats and dogs; a few are horses, or farm animals; some are exotic like birds and reptiles. Nevertheless they fill an important part of our lives.

There are many similarities between humans and other animals. As humans, we have more advanced thought processes and we have levels of consciousness beyond other mammals. Animals on the other hand, have highly developed senses of instinct. However, we are all still mammals. This is especially true of our digestive systems.

A number of years ago, I spoke at a break out session for physicians and other health professionals in Kentucky, the land of beautiful horses grazing in blue grass. One of the physicians asked if I used only human strains of probiotics in my formulation. With a smile, I reminded him that our bodies are mammals just like our four footed furry friends. They can struggle with diseases just like we do, in fact they can get ulcerative colitis (UC) too.

Here's my first experience with UC and a puppy. I arrived at my hairdressers for my quarterly haircut and styling to find her sobbing about her puppy, a 10-week-old bulldog. He was bleeding out of the rectum; the vet had diagnosed ulcerative colitis and recommended putting the dog to sleep. Certainly I had empathy but I was scheduled for a haircut and could only imagine what I might look like when we were done, given her emotional state of mind.

As she talked about the puppy, I realized that my research in probiotics could give relief from symptoms in humans, why not animals. After all, I had helped my friend's Springer Spaniel. I offered to return home and fix my natural treatment for her puppy provided I got the best haircut she had ever done. So we began and true to her word, I got a great style.

When I returned, I spoke to her about Carlie, the springer spaniel with "hot spots" and how it cleared up overnight with these special probiotics. I showed her the little kit and gave her explicit directions. Several days later we spoke by phone. Her puppy was doing well; there was no more blood, the vet suggested waiting until symptoms returned. I suggested that she speak with her vet about a low allergy dog food of lamb and rice. It's been nine years since that day. My hairdresser still cuts my hair and her dog is alive, well and absolutely darling.

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