DEAR DR. FOX: In your recent column, E.B. of Norman, Oklahoma, wanted to have the companion of a dog or a cat but had various reasons that it would be a financial expense that he could not afford. In the greater St. Louis area, we have an organization called Senior Dogs 4 Seniors. This wonderful organization adopts adult dogs to seniors who need a calmer pet. My friend's mother used the organization until she passed; for a one-time adoption fee, Senior Dogs 4 Seniors provided a dog, paid for vet services, provided dog food, groomed the dog and even removed the dog leavings from the yard. (There are various levels of involvement from the organization, based on the adopter's need.) I know my friend's mother loved her dog very much, and he was a wonderful companion for her in her old age. Readers in the St. Louis area can visit seniordogs4seniors.com or call 636-458-1892 for more information.
I hope there is a similar organization in Norman for E.B. -- P.G.F., St. Louis
DEAR DR. FOX: I saw the letter from the 74-year-old in Norman, Oklahoma, who is physically and financially unable to care for an animal, yet could use the comfort of one. I believe there is an organization called A New Leash on Life in Oklahoma City that may possibly be able to assist by bringing a therapy dog for visits. I participate in the People, Animals, Love therapy dog organization in the Washington, D.C. area, and I know we honor requests for therapy dog home visits on a regular basis.
A New Leash on Life can be contacted toll-free at 886-248-6265 or newleashinc.org. -- P.H., Washington, D.C.
DEAR DR. FOX: I love your column and was just reading the touching letter from E.B. in Norman, Oklahoma, who wanted a pet but could not afford one. I wanted to reach out and ask him if he is part of a faith community or a similar organization, where he might seek out someone to share their pet for a day or two each week or month. My parents are aging but love dogs, and they will often watch our dog for a weekend. They love the company, and we get a wonderful, trusted, no-cost pet sitter. Perhaps E.B. has a community to reach out to and see if someone would do something similar?
I may be completely off base, but my heart went out to him, and I wanted to share one option. Thanks for all your great work. -- P.P., St. Louis
DEAR P.G.F., P.H. and P.P.: Thank you all for your concern and helpful letters. I hope these kinds of programs and initiatives will spread across North America like wildfire. It will help keep people out of often dubious "assisted living" and nursing home facilities and enrich the lives of those elderly persons suffering from loneliness in their own homes -- and give old dogs a better life, too!
READERS USING MY CAT AND DOG FOOD RECIPES
Please note that I have changed the beef ingredient in my cat and dog food recipes for in-home preparation, increasing the proportion of beef in light of new nutritional studies and using stewing and whole beef rather than ground beef or hamburger, which is more likely to harbor potentially harmful bacteria. This change is also because we will soon not know where our ground beef came from -- possibly multiple sources: Congress has been pushed by the World Trade Organization and U.S.-based multinational corporate lobbyists to discontinue Country of Origin labeling. One way around this is to purchase beef from local producers, notably those with Grass Fed and USDA Organic certification.
PET FOOD RECALL
Carnivore Meat Company is recalling a single lot of Vital Essentials Frozen Chicken Patties Entree for Dogs, due to concerns of the possible presence of salmonella. Read more at vitalessentialsraw.com/#!recall-notice/w0u37.
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