Almost three weeks ago my path crossed with something I just cannot stop thinking about nor can I make a concrete decision about. My hands have been tied during this time, thankfully. I may have made a fast and foolish decision otherwise. Yet, I may have also been left to make the wisest decision, that of following my heart. But which is which and what is what? Heart over head, or head over heart? Indecisiveness drives me crazy!
Are you wondering what crossed my path? Let me show you:
Meet Mandy. She has pulled my heart strings and plays them daily.
Let me backtrack, because you must know the whole story. Why? Because I want some help from you all in helping me with my decision.
Almost three weeks ago I packed a picnic lunch for my husband and I, we headed north with our #1 dog, Buddy, for an afternoon walk/hike and picnic. We had the greatest time, the weather was perfect and our dog loves to go everywhere with us. We were walking across a footbridge when another couple also walking a small dog were walking towards us. Mandy and Buddy met, nose to nose, and it reminded me of Disney’s “Lady and the Tramp.” Buddy is a gentle, sweet, smart, affectionate Chihuahua mix. His mother was Maltese, thus giving him such a sweet temperament. Mandy is also a gentle, sweet, smart, affectionate Chihuahua mix. They share the same coloring too, except her legs are longer, she is taller than Buddy. The woman walking Mandy, Ana, told us she was available for adoption. Oh great! We talked for some time, I held Mandy, and gave Ana my phone number. Ana is a volunteer for the shelter Mandy is at and has Saturday visitations where she takes Mandy for walks and keeps her over night.
Now, meet Buddy. We have had Buddy since he was a couple months old:
See? They both are adorable! Buddy just turned 5 years old, Mandy is also 5 years old. Buddy lives with and loves cats, Mandy also likes cats. They both are babies and love to sleep under the covers all night long. Buddy is exceptionally smart and loves to play ball on the beach and go for walks. Buddy is like our other child.
I just do not believe in accidents. Why has Mandy stayed in my heart and thoughts for so long? To randomly meet on a foot bridge is almost story-worth.
Now, I noticed there was a puffy/reddish area above Mandy’s right eye, her eyebrow area, and mentioned that to Ana, who informed me she would have the vet look at her on Monday. This is the reason my hands have been tied: sure enough, Mandy had an upper respiratory infection or kennel cough, and was placed on antibiotics and is still in isolation recovering. We have had all this time to weigh all our options. And to think, obsess, think, obsess.
I have created positive/negative lists, researched having more than one dog, on and on. Mandy may be well enough this week. I may have to make the decision. We already have our adoption papers in on her and have been approved. I have done a Facebook poll and more friends and family say yes over no. I have discovered male/female go best and the Chihuahua dog breed loves having a companion. However, Buddy is our #1 and we are his parents, I am his constant companion because I work from home. We also have 5 indoor cats (yes, 5). We have plenty of room and a large yard. I love animals and fell in love with Mandy. I purposely stay away from shelters for this very reason: I could take them all home and I could also have a farm!
My indecisiveness has led me to obsess about all the possibilities of adopting Mandy or not adopting Mandy, and then I build on all those possibilities. No matter the steps I am taking to come to a decision, I do not have peace with either choice. I worry about making the wrong decision no matter the decision!
I even looked up tips to help with indecisiveness:
- Research. Do some research so you know as many of the facts of the situation as possible.
- Ask for opinions. If appropriate, ask your friends and/or family for their opinion – but remember to trust your own judgment first and foremost. Never ask for someone’s opinion after you have decided on your course of action as this will confuse you.
- List the pros and cons of each decision. To get yourself out of your head, write them down so you have it in black and white.
- Identify your options. Note how they make you feel and cross out ones that make you feel bad.
- Choose the option that feels right. From your short-list of options, choose the one that makes you feel best.
- Form a backup plan. Once you have settled on your decision, think of the worst possible outcome of making that decision. Make a contingency plan that you can use if the worst case scenario comes about.
- Leave it alone. Once you have made your decision, don’t waste time questioning whether you made the right one. You weighed all the options and did your best to make the right decision.
So, with all this being said, what would you do? Do you have any further tips you could give to help with this very difficult decision? It is mostly falling on me more than my husband, as I am the one who cares most for all our pets and like I said, I work from home. The last thing I want is for adopting Mandy to take away from what we have with Buddy. Also, Mandy deserves to be loved as much as Buddy has been loved all these years. I believe I have enough love to do this, yet will Buddy be okay?
Part of me thinks, let someone else adopt her and give her a forever home. But what about this almost magical foot bridge meeting three weeks ago? What about the heart strings? The time we have been given during her illness and recovery? Is this a yes or no direction?
I’m interested in your thoughts and welcome them,
My husband and I have been on a recent researching frenzy. The topic? GMO’s -AKA genetically modified organisms. Of course we began this journey after watching, “Food, Inc.” We are very healthy eaters as it is, but since watching that movie a few years ago we strive all the more for organics and grain-fed lean proteins (chicken, turkey, no beef or pork). We are probably 98.5% Pescatarian (wild not farm-raised fish, vegetables).
So, what does this have to do with cat barf? A lot, actually. I am not talking about the occasional hair ball either, rather vomit. Large amounts of vomit full of food, disgustingly yellowish in color and sometimes projectile in nature.
I now will refer you to the movie, “Genetic Roulette.” Trust me, you want to watch this. I am going to present some evidence here with regards to my cats and allow you to do your own homework. I really hope this inspires you to make changes in your life and in the life of your pets. You will be amazed, trust me.
Back to the cats. We have five. Yes, five- and they are all indoor. For a long while I had them on a seemingly healthy diet based on advertisements and hype. Gosh, we had them on a variety of foods. We kept trying to find a food that would eliminate the piles of puke around our house and reduce weight gain. (I won’t name all the brands here…) Purina One Smart Blend sounds like a healthy and wholesome food, right? The chicken and rice formula is what our cats ate. Here is some of the promises they state:
Real chicken is the #1 ingredient, blended with other high-quality protein sources, to help support strong muscles, including a healthy heart.
Omega-6 helps give your cat a radiant coat and healthy skin.
Enriched with vitamins and minerals for strong bones and joints.
Highly digestible so more nutrition goes to work inside your cat.
Crunchy kibble helps reduce plaque build-up and whiten teeth.
But…all these promises do not contain a “non-GMO” disclosure on their bag. So, anyway…they ate a lot of Purina One Smart Blend. Our oldest cat, Bageera, was becoming more and more obese, so I switched them all to the “lighter” version. He became even more obese and all five of them vomited daily, multiple times a day. (All the same texture and yellowish-bile color.) They all also began to develop skin issues, dander knots and my oldest cat developed a large fatty mass under his left front leg/chest area. I finally had enough of cleaning up cat vomit and running our carpet cleaner to remove the ugly yellow stains from our carpet.
Now, let me say that although Purina One Smart Blend (as well as other countless brands of pet foods) use chicken as their “main” ingredient, is this chicken grain-fed or corn-fed? Is the chicken (or beef or fish) byproducts? This literally means pieces, leftovers of the worst parts of the animal or fish. As well, is the rice or corn or soy ingredients organic or are they actually from GMO products? There IS a huge difference here. Let me show you.
Once I switched my pets to organic and non-GMO pet food, guess what happened? (It is truly quite amazing and a miracle!) They ALL stopped barfing. It has been one year now, and all five of them completely, totally, utterly stopped hurling. Once in a great while they will cough up a hair ball. Cats do that, it’s normal. Vomiting up yellowish-bile piles containing food repeatedly throughout the day is not. Additionally, their coats shine. No more mats in their fur. They have all lost the weight they had gained on the GMO food. The best part of all is that our oldest cat is now totally buff! He runs around the house like a kitten and plays with twist ties from bread loaves. Did I mention that he is almost 13 years old? His fatty growth has now also almost completely resolved.
In saying all this, please read labels. Look for the non-GMO label, organic ingredients and know your vendors. Most corn and soy, as well as other fillers, are GMO grown. Educate yourselves and be interested in your pet’s health in addition to your own. There are organic foods available for your pets. The extra cost is worth avoiding the vet costs, and your pets will forever thank you. I know mine do. Daily. As well, I really love having carpets that are free of yellow barf stains and saving trees from all the paper towels I used for cleaning up the vomit mess.
With love on a Saturday,