DEAR DR. FOX: I was very inspired when I read in your Animal Doctor column that you hoped your writing would ”help people accept that, just as we are spiritual beings experiencing life in human form, so these other organisms are spiritual beings experiencing life in other forms, and treat them accordingly.”
Outside of my own writings, I seldom see such sentiments regarding the Oneness of all life published in a newspaper. I was moved to read it out loud to my wife. Her face turned all soft as she said, “Oh my gosh, there’s hope.”
It is exactly as I said in my book, “Conversations With God”: “All things are One Thing. There is only One Thing, and all things are part of the One Thing There Is.”
Spotting your column in my mother-in-law’s copy of our local paper on an evening visit to her house brought me to my first awareness of you and your remarkable work. Of course, I checked out your website immediately, and found that we are saying so many of the same things to the world. I had to write you then, just to express my gratitude for the messages you are, and have been for some time, bringing to the world.
Thank you, Dr. Fox, for evidencing the courage of your convictions in the things you say and do. You are making it a better place. -- N.D.W., Medford, Oregon
DEAR N.D.W.: I know from some readers’ responses to my syndicated Animal Doctor columns that they find affirmation of their sense of kinship with all life and that we are facing an ethical and, indeed, spiritual crisis culturally and in our evolution as a species.
Others take offense, believing that only we humans are made in the image of God, and that animals and nature were created for man’s exclusive use: God-given dominion, indeed.
My slideshow on my website (drfoxonehealth.com) entitled “Animals, Nature and Religion” and my book “The Boundless Circle: Caring for Creatures and Creation” -- along with the more recent book “Animals and Nature First” -- call for the kind of stewardship of planet Earth that is necessary today, especially if we are to be worthy of the self-anointed title of Homo sapiens, “man the wise”! The “manifest destiny” and pioneer spirit of colonialism, with destructive exploitation being a presumed God-given right, is antithetical to Albert Schweitzer’s view that, “Until he extends his circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.”
As a veterinarian, I feel it is my professional duty to address the ethical and spiritual aspects of our relationships with fellow creatures as part of the great healing, the One Health, that is long overdue.
DEAR DR. FOX: Our beloved yellow Lab will soon be 13 years old and has experienced some incontinence for the past year or so.
This has been kept in check with the prescription of Proin (25 mg, twice daily) until about a month ago. When her nightly bladder leakage reappeared last month, our doctor increased the dosage to 50 mg, twice daily, which seemed to work for a few days. She is now having these occurrences almost nightly again.
Would it be advisable to increase the dosage again, or is there possibly some better alternative? -- S.W., Forsyth, Missouri
DEAR S.W.: I would not increase the dose of Proin for your old dog. Harmful side effects can include vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, excessive salivation, agitation, tiredness, vocalization, confusion, increased water consumption, weight loss, weakness, fever, panting and changes in skin color (flushing or bright pink).
I would have the dog checked for cystitis, purchase doggy diaper pads, and ask your vet to make up a prescription of DES (diethylstilbestrol). This hormonal replacement, given for a few days periodically, can help many dogs suffering from incontinence -- notably, neutered female dogs -- as I can attest with one of our own dogs.
(Send all mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. The volume of mail received prohibits personal replies, but questions and comments of general interest will be discussed in future columns.
Visit Dr. Fox’s website at DrFoxOneHealth.com.)