What Would You Do?
“Your dog has cancer.”
Those words chill the heart of a pet parent and can send them into a tailspin of depression and helplessness. But after Kelley Marian heard those words, she got mad.
I first met Kelley in the summer of 2013. She owned the dog walking service ballwalkpark and we needed someone to walk our dog Miguel a couple of days a week until we found a dog daycare where he could get his ya-ya’s out running around all day with other dogs.
About that time, Kelley’s 9-year-old yellow lab Bailey began favoring her right hind leg. She also noticed Bailey’s ankle on that leg was swollen.
After six weeks of icing the leg, keeping Bailey quiet (no easy feat), taking her to multiple appointments with veterinarians, and subjecting her to numerous x-rays, Kelley got the diagnosis she dreaded – Bailey had cancer.
To make matters worse, Bailey had Synovial Cell Sarcoma, which is extremely rare. The oncologist said he had only seen three cases in ten years of practice. Because the cancer is so rare, little research exists on how this it behaves or reacts to conventional therapy like chemotherapy and radiation. The conventional treatment is amputation, which is what the oncologist recommended to Kelley.
Oncologists have to treat Synovial Cell Sarcoma aggressively because it’s a joint tumor, which meant Bailey would lose both her leg and her hip.
I Decide What’s Best for My Dog
That’s when Kelley got angry and frustrated. Here’s how she described it in a post she wrote for this blog last December:
“I felt that I was given standard treatment recommendations with little consideration for my dogs unique situation. I feel like options were just thrown out there because that was the typical protocol, the “spiel” they give to cancer clients, desperate to fix their dogs and jump into whatever plan of action they suggest.
“The doctor said that amputation was essentially a cure because it was taking away all of the cancer, but it could have already spread microscopically (through the blood) to her lungs and there is no way to know. I didn’t feel comfortable putting her through a major surgery and amputation for a “maybe” situation.
It didn’t make sense to me to put her body through more stress of surgery and amputation when she needs all the energy she can get to fight the cancer. Chemotherapy and Radiation are just putting poison and toxins in her to heal her? If she is sick, then flooding her with nutrition and herbal supplements will give her body strength rather than make her weaker. (I know that conventional treatments are very successful in many cases, but given the type of tumor and the lack of information, the risks outweighed the benefits for our particular situation.)”
Switching to a Healthier Diet
The first thing Kelley did was switch Bailey to a raw food diet. She then added the pulp from the juice she made for herself every morning as part of her own nutritionally focuses nutrition plan.
Within days, Kelley noticed Bailey had more energy, her coat was shinier, and her itching, a problem she had for several years, disappeared. Eventually, the swelling in her ankle went down and walking was less painful.
Seeing how well Bailey responded, Kelley decided to learn more about canine nutrition so she could develop a product more focused to a dog’s nutritional needs.
That’s when she came up with idea for Green Juju.
Green Juju is Born
Kelley spent “countless hours” researching the benefits of nutrition and incorporating vegetables into a dog’s diet while talking with a veterinary nutritionist, a veterinary naturopath, and the staff at her local natural pet store.
The end result of her work was Green Juju, a whole foods supplement for dogs concocted of kale, parsley, celery, dandelion greens, zucchini, buffalo bone broth, coconut oil, lemon, tumeric, ginger, and nettles.
To learn why Kelley decided upon these particular ingredients, read this blog post on the Green Juju website.
Organic and Local
Because Kelley insisted on making Green Juju as healthy as possible and refused to cut any corners, all ingredients in it are organic. All the vegetables are locally sourced as well.
She started out buying them weekly at the Ballard Farmers Market, but recently, but now she partners with several local farms. She also makes her own bone broth with antibiotic and hormone free bones from Northwest Naturals.
Why does she go to the trouble of using only fresh vegetables in Green Juju?
According to this study she found “fresh vegetables can lose up to 45 percent of their nutritional value between being picked and landing on a grocery store shelf.”
By growing and harvesting her own crops, she can “maximize the nutritional value by going from farm to freezer in a number of hours.” And freezing the vegetables locks in those nutrients.
Kelley is also experimenting with new blends of Green Juju that uses fresh ingredients that are in season like her Late Summer Blend that has fresh blackberries.
My Dogs Love Green Juju
Kelley first told me about Green Juju about the same time that Dylan, my almost 13-year-old chocolate Lab, began having some major health problems. A strained ligament in his shoulder and a second bout with pneumonia in 6 months left him weak, in pain, and depressed.
Based on how Green Juju helped Bailey, I decided to give it a try with Dylan. After a couple of weeks he began to look and feel better.
His coat was a shinier, he seemed to be in less pain, he had more energy, and he started to do something he hadn’t done in about a month – wagging his tail! (do you know how heartbreaking it is to see your old dog stop wagging its tail because it doesn’t feel well?)
Our other dog Miguel doesn’t have any health problems, but I began giving him Green Juju to ensure he was getting all the nutrients he needed.
Being a Lab, Dylan hasn’t met any kind of food he didn’t like, and he loved Green Juju, but Miguel is an EXTREMELY finicky eater, and I was concerned he wouldn’t like it.
I was wrong. He loved it too! And since he started eating it his coat is softer and more luxurious.
Seattle DogSpot Gives Green Juju 2 (Unopposable) Thumbs Up!
Based on what I know about Kelley and the experience I’ve had giving Green Juju to my own dogs, I recommend you give it a try on your dogs, especially if they have any ailments or physical problems.
If you want to give Green Juju a try with your dog, you can find it in over 2 dozen pet stores in Western Washington. Go the Green Juju Kitchen website to see where you can pick it up.
Update on Bailey
Since I wrote this article late fall Kelley made the decision to amputate Bailey’s leg. Here’s her explanation why:
“While I was very against amputation for a long time, I saw changes in Bailey that I couldn’t deny. One hand, she was healthier than ever. The change to a raw diet, with Green Juju and immune supporting herbs were doing wonders for her. She had kicked her systemic yeast infection, no more ear infections or bladder infections, her eyes were bright and her coat was softer than ever. On the other hand, her leg was wasting away. The tumor stayed stable and didn’t grow for over a year, but it impacted her range of motion and she wasn’t able to use the leg normally. So, I was at a crossroad – Bailey was doing better than ever, but her leg was not. It made sense at this time to let the leg go and let Bailey get on with her life!
One of my biggest concerns with amputation was that it was such a major surgery and I didn’t think she would be able to go through with it with the condition she was in at the time. The biopsy took her out for three weeks, and started a cascade of infections for months after. She just wasn’t strong enough or healthy enough to recover from something so major. I believe that the change in diet, namely the addition of Green Juju, helped build her immune system to help her be strong enough to go through the surgery.
She is 6 months post op now and doing great, still healthy as ever, great energy and I have ever reason to believe that she will live out a normal life.”
I should also add that although our dog Dylan died last fall, I believe Green Juju improved the quality of his life during his last year. We continue to feed it to Miguel.
Disclaimer: I’m not a veterinarian or dog nutritionist. My recommendation is based on my own experience using Green Juju. I can’t guarantee you will have the same results, nor can I say how it will affect your dog.
Please consult your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about giving your dog Green Juju.