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News from Optimum Choices, LLC

October 2005

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Current news
Oil of the month
Adventures with Hurricane Katrina Cats
Book of the month
Contact us

Current news

Wags to Whiskers Fair

Optimum Choices will be exhibiting our BioPreparation holistic animal product at the Whole Cat & Dogs Too booth at the Colorado Humane Society's Wags to Whiskers Fair on Saturday, October 29, 2005, 8 am - 4 pm at the Denver Merchandise Mart, 451 E. 58th Avenue (I-25 & 58th Avenue).

Colorado Association of Animal Massage & Bodywork

Our second meeting will be Tuesday, November 1 from 6:30-8:30 pm, with Nancy Zidonia and Amy Snow, owners of Tallgrass Animal Acupressure School speaking on "How to Build Your Animal Bodywork Business". The meeting will be held at Panera Bread, 7739 Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada, CO 80003, (303) 420-7500. Click here for a map to Panera Bread. Find out more information about the association, go here: www.optimumchoices.com/caamb.htm.

Oil of the month

Thieves® Product Line

by Russell Louie

Don’t wait until the cold and flu season starts. Protect yourself against today’s mutating viruses and bacteria. Avoid the downtime from illness. The Thieves® Essential Oil Blend is based on a formula used by thieves in the Middle Ages. These spice merchants used oils to protect themselves from the plague (Black Death) as they robbed the dead. The King caught them and gave them a choice. They could reveal their secret of why they didn’t get sick and be executed by hanging OR they could keep their secret and be burned at the stake. Young Living has updated the original thieves’ formula (Marseilles Vinegar or Four Thieves Vinegar) and made a powerful essential oil blend that is highly antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-infectious. Studies conducted at Weber State University showed Thieves® killed airborne microorganisms. One analysis showed a 90 percent reduction in the number of gram positive Micrococcus luteus organisms after diffusing for 12 minutes. After 20 minutes of diffusing, the kill-rate jumped to 99.3 percent. Another study against the gram negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa showed a kill rate of 99.96 percent after just 12 minutes of diffusion.

Thieves® Essential Oil Blend
Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) is one of the most antimicrobial and antiseptic of all essential oils. It is antifungal, antiviral and anti-infectious.
Lemon (Citrus limon) has antiseptic-like properties and contains compounds that amplify immunity. It promotes circulation, leukocyte formation, and lymphatic function.
Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum verum) is one of the most powerful antiseptics known. It is strongly antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal.
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata) is anti-infectious, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis CT cineol) is antiseptic and antimicrobial. It is high in cineol, a key ingredient in antiseptic drugs.

Dilute 1 part Thieves® to 4 parts vegetable oil. Possible sun/skin sensitivity. Diffuse for 15 to 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours. Apply to bottom of feet, throat, stomach, or abdomen. Dilute 1:15 in vegetable oil and massage over thymus. For headaches put 1 drop on tongue and push against roof of mouth. Dilute 1:15 with vegetable oil for body massage. Put 4-8 drops on cotton ball and locate on vents. Add 2 drops to a wet cloth and put in clothes dryer.

CAUTION: Thieves® oil blend is a “hot” oil. Never use undiluted, especially if you are new to essential oils, unless you are experienced with oils. Keep Thieves® away from eyes, nose, ears and sensitive areas of the body. Citrus oils are toxic to cats. Since Thieves® contains lemon oil, it is suggested that one not use it on or around cats or diffuse this oil blend in a house with cats. For further information on the safe use of essential oils on animals see: www.optimumchoices.com/animals_oils.htm

In addition to the above oil blend, Young Living also manufactures an entire Thieves® Product Line with all-natural ingredients and without petrochemicals

($Retail/Preferred Customer/Wholesale):

Thieves® Household Cleaner
16 oz, Product #3743, ($28.29/24.89/21.50)
A nontoxic, biodegradable, cleansing solution that uses therapeutic-grade essential oils as emulsifiers and germ-killers. It contains Thieves® Essential Oil Blend, which is documented to kill over 99.96% of bacteria it comes into contact with (ie., Pseudonomas aeroginosa).
Ingredients: Cleansing solution base: Nontoxic, biodegradable Soy Lecithin is used as a natural emulsifier, Thieves Essential Oil Blend

Thieves® Antiseptic Spray
1 oz, Product #3266, ($9.21/8.11/7.00)
An all-natural petrochemical-free antiseptic spray that uses therapeutic-grade essential oils. It contains Thieves® Essential Oil Blend, which is documented to kill over 99.96% of bacteria it comes into contact with (ie., Pseudonomas aeroginosa). Use at home or work. Excellent for travel.
Ingredients: Pure Grain Alcohol is denatured with pure cinnamon essential oil; no toxic, harmful or synthetic denaturants used. Soy Lecithin is used as a natural emulsifier, Thieves® Essential Oil Blend

Thieves® Bar Soap
Product #3679, ($10.20/8.97/7.75)
Beautiful handmade soap. Not only do they add a sublime fragrance to your bath, they offer the advantages of pure vegetable-based moisturizers combined with the unique antiseptic properties of the Thieves®  therapeutic-grade essential oils blend.
Ingredients: A base of saponified palm, coconut, wolfberry seed, and olive oils; liquid aloe vera extract; rosemary extract (as an antioxidant); and organic oatmeal.

Thieves® Wipes
30 count, Product #3756, ($12.50/11.00/9.50)
The ultimate in convenience to protect your immune system. Use on door handles, toilet seats and anywhere undesirable bacteria may be present. Caution: Not for use on infants or on sensitive areas of the body.
Ingredients: Pure grain alcohol, deionized water, Thieves® essential oil blend, coconut oil and soy lecithin

Thieves® Dentarome Ultra™ Toothpaste
4.1 oz, Product #3744, ($9.87/8.68/7.50)
Get the antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-infectious power of Thieves® in your toothpaste. Keep those pesky cavities away. Avoid root canals by killing microbes before they set in.

Thieves® Fresh Essence Plus Mouthwash
7.2 oz, Product #3683, ($9.21/8.11/7.00)
Perfect complement to the Dentarome Toothpaste. Get fresher breath with powerful germ-killing action.

Thieves® Lozenges (hard)
30 count, Product #3282, ($19.74/17.37/15.00)
Great for sore throats or just a tickle. Freshens breath on the go. Get antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-infectious power all day long.

Thieves® Kit II
Product #3173, ($71.71/$63.11/$54.50)
Thieves® Kit II is the supreme wellness kit. It includes a 5 ml bottle of the renowned Thieves® essential oil blend, the powerful new Thieves® hard lozenges, Thieves® Spray, and one bar of the hand-poured Thieves® bar soap made with the finest ingredients. This new Thieves® Kit also contains the ultimate in oral health: Thieves® Dentarome Ultra™ Toothpaste and Thieves® Fresh Essence Plus™ Mouthwash. Safeguard your family's health by adding this kit to your order.

To order go to http://oc-yleo.younglivingworld.com or call us toll-free at (866) 305-2306

CAUTION: Citrus oils are toxic to cats. Since Thieves® contains lemon oil, it is suggested that one use caution when using any of the Thieves products in a house with cats. For further information on the safe use of essential oils on animals see: www.optimumchoices.com/animals_oils.htm.

Adventures with Hurricane Katrina Cats

by Margaret Auld-Louie

As everyone knows, many animals were displaced by Hurricane Katrina, either from their homes or shelters. Animal rescue groups from around the country have been traveling to Louisiana to help these animals. Lorraine May, executive director of the Denver-based Misha May Foundation (named for her dog Misha), decided she was going to go down to Louisiana and bring back animals to Denver, so they could receive medical treatment and find homes.

The animals, approximately 50 dogs and cats arrived in Denver on Monday, September 19th. Lorraine had asked for "cat people" to come Tuesday night when the cats would be examined by the vet, so I arrived then with my friend Fredda, a cat lover, to cuddle cats and do whatever was needed. Kris Ahlgrim of GoldenView Veterinary Hospital arrived after a long day's work, with her army of vet techs to examine and vaccinate the cats. After a beautiful but shy Siamese-mix was examined, I handed her to my friend for some lap time. This cat, renamed "Gypsy" by Fredda, turned out to be a very sweet, affectionate lap cat--she spent a couple of hours on my friend's lap and dug her claws in, protesting, when I tried to dislodge her to return her to her cage. All the cats were surprising sweet and affectionate, given what they had gone through. Two of them went home that night to foster homes, including Destiny, a sweet little cat with a broken leg who had been a stray alley cat in Louisiana. I photographed all the cats so I could post their pictures on my website to help get them adopted out.

Later, one of the cat fosters was able to arrange donated kenneling for them at Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital (WRAH), a 24-hour emergency veterinary hospital. Since I had an appointment near where the cats were housed, I offered to transfer them to Wheat Ridge. I transferred 7 cats there Friday, leaving 2 to go to an adoptathon Saturday. Unfortunately, Saturday was the day everyone started getting sick. Many animals coming from the hurricane area are in poor health after what they went through and these cats were no exception. The 2 cats at the adoptathon starting sniffling, so they were immediately taken to WRAH for treatment while the 3 kittens went home with their foster mom.

In cats, sniffling doesn’t just mean a little cold like it does with humans. When cats get an upper respiratory infection (URI), it can be very severe and quite contagious. The cats are normally put into isolation and given antibiotics to prevent pneumonia from developing. Stress and frightening experiences like what these cats went through can help trigger the development of URI. By the next week, WRAH had 5 of our 9 adult cats in isolation, with URI. That week, the foster mom also called us in a panic because one of the kittens was sick and sniffling. We couldn’t burden WRAH further with the kitten so Eva, the head cat volunteer, found another place, CARE Animal Hospital in Arvada, that offered us low-cost care and all three kittens were taken there.

On Wednesday, WRAH contacted us because caring for 5 sick cats in isolation was over taxing their resources and asked us to move the cats in the next couple of days. So, we began calling other hospitals as well as the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), which had been receiving donations from people for care of Katrina animals. I also sent out a desperate e-mail plea to the Rocky Mountain Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (which I am a member of), asking for help finding a place to care for these sick cats.

It turned out that the CVMA did not have a process in place to help small organizations like Misha May. They were set up to work with larger organizations such as the Denver Dumb Friends League and Colorado Humane Society that have facilities. Their best option for us at the time was to surrender our sick cats to the Colorado Humane Society, who would then care for them and own them. This option was not palatable to Lorraine May, who preferred to keep the animals within her own organization, so she could ensure they received good medical care and were adopted out to loving homes, rather than euthanized to make room for healthier animals.

The CVMA told us they could not provide us with any funds immediately for medical care but we could apply for funds later and if any were "left over", we could receive assistance. Meanwhile, we had sick cats needing immediate care. So, we continued calling veterinary hospitals to see if anyone could donate care. Eva saved the day by obtaining an offer from her veterinarian, Julie Kelly at Aspenwood Animal Hospital in Denver, to take 4 cats. It was time to start driving cats around again--I went to WRAH and loaded up the 4 sickest cats, to take them to their new hospital home. This time, there was a symphony of sneezing and howling in the back seat of my car from the sick crew. Fortunately cat #5, Boone, a beautiful tabby, had come out of isolation and was back in the kennel at WRAH.

Then medical crisis #2 hit. The sick kitten at CARE Animal Hospital was worse and needed to be put in an oxygen chamber, which they did not have at their facility. WRAH could not afford to donate care for it but they had an available oxygen chamber so I drove up to CARE, picked up the kitten and transported it to WRAH for treatment. Animal Hospital Center, a 24-hour emergency hospital in Highlands Ranch, had called back earlier in the day, offering to donate care for one of the cats in isolation (Boone, who no longer needed treatment). I now called them to see if they could provide oxygen for a sick kitten instead. They agreed and I scheduled to take the kitten there the next morning. Meanwhile, the CVMA had called Lorraine and said they would be setting up a process in the future whereby private vets could apply to them for reimbursement for care provided to Katrina animals--good news for us!

The next morning, the little kitten was loaded up again in my car, for the long trip to Highlands Ranch from Wheat Ridge. Though sneezing, it seemed much better. We drove through rush hour traffic there and when we were 5 minutes away, a vet called to say their oxygen chamber was in use and could I bring the "other cat". I explained that the other cat was well and asked if I could bring the kitten anyway and maybe it wouldn’t need oxygen, just isolation. They said "yes, but if it gets worse and needs oxygen, we’ll have to euthanize it so it doesn’t suffer". Egads! I called WRAH to find out more about the kitten's treatment and was told that the kitten had not been on oxygen overnight. Whew! So I continued to the Highlands Ranch hospital and the kitten was accepted there for treatment in their isolation ward. I left instructions that if it needed oxygen, they were to call me and I would try to transfer it to another hospital. The next day I called and the kitten was doing well--another crisis averted.

Later that Friday, I received a call from Alameda East Veterinary Hospital (the 24-hour vet hospital featured on Animal Planet) and they offered to take one of our cats. Apparently they had a process worked out already with CVMA to provide treatment for Katrina animals and were treating a Katrina dog for pneumonia. I said "thanks, but I have the sick cats placed now in hospitals".

Monday I was driving to work, thinking everything was taken care of when the new foster mom for the kittens called to report that one of the 2 remaining kittens was sick. It was sniffling, breathing through its mouth and lethargic. Thank goodness for all my calls to hospitals last week--I had an ace up my sleeve this time. I called Alameda East Hospital and they agreed to take the kitten for treatment. It turned out this kitten was less ill than the first--they gave it antibiotics and sent it back home. Then a couple of days later, the third kitten also became sick and like the second was given antibiotics and sent home.

We now had some holistic help for our cats: Susan Crawford, a talented chiropractor who works with animals (doing energywork, cranial sacral and chiropractic) had called on Friday offering to work on our sick cats as well as making a substantial donation of money to the Misha May Foundation for medical expenses. I assume she had heard about our needs from my e-mail plea to the vet association. Although I do Reiki energy work on animals, I was so busy ferrying around cats and calling vet hospitals, as well as dealing with potential adopters and foster homes, that I couldn’t do much more than provide the vet hospitals with our holistic algae product, BioPreparation (donated by Optimum Choices and BioAge), and hope they might use it to help the sick cats get better.

On Monday, Susan reported that she had worked on the 4 cats at Aspenwood and made plans to see the sick kitten as well. Additionally, she agreed to pick up the homeopathic remedies recommended by my vet (classical homeopathic vet Jan Facinelli) and provide it for the cats. It can take weeks for cats to recover from URI, even with the best of medical care, so the addition of these holistic therapies was most welcome. Dr. Facinelli later explained that the homeopathic remedies aconite and arnica are indicated for all animals rescued in this fashion. Giving them a dose as they arrive in Denver could help prevent them from getting sick later, especially with the added stress of vaccinations upon arrival.

As of this writing, the 4 cats at Aspenwood remain hospitalized, the kitten that was on oxygen has been adopted and is now well enough to go home and the other 2 kittens are recovering in foster care. There are 2 healthy adult cats waiting for permanent homes--Boone in the kennels at WRAH and Gypsy in a foster home.

At this point, the media has, for the most part, moved on to other stories, even though the Katrina needs have not gone away. Meanwhile, the Misha May Foundation has Katrina cats that still need homes. While the majority of dogs rescued have been adopted out, it is taking longer for the cats to find homes.

If anyone would like to donate money for ongoing (and unexpected) medical care or carriers for animals, be a foster parent or adopt an animal (especially cats), you can contact The Misha May Foundation. Information on adoption, including pictures of the cats is located here: www.OptimumChoices.com/katrina-help.htm. Also, if you are in the Denver area, you can help spread the word by distributing this flyer on the Katrina cats seeking homes: Katrina Cat Flyer.

The above is an abbreviated version of this story. Click here to read the entire story.

Book of the month

What the dog did: Tales from a formerly reluctant dog owner

by Emily Yoffe

ISBN: 1-58234-564-3

Reviewed by Margaret Auld-Louie

This is a laugh-out-loud book by journalist and Slate writer Emily Yoffe. At times funny, poignant, thought-provoking and educational, the tales are always interesting. Yoffe is an excellent writer with a self-deprecating wit. She describes how she changed from being a dog-indifferent cat owner to a dog lover and beagle owner. Her husband and dog-crazy daughter pushed her into getting a family dog. Yoffe had wanted to get a Boston Terrier, her "dream" breed, but her 6-year old daughter responded "If that dog was in my room when I went to bed I would never sleep for the rest of my life." She protested "They scare me. Their eyes scare me!". So they ended up getting Sasha, an adult beagle from the local beagle rescue group. Rather than turning into a story of the perfect pet, as you would expect, this is a story of the difficulties of owning a less than perfect dog and breed. Sasha turns out to be non-housebroken, stubborn and difficult to train, like many beagles. Yoffe describes their first hopeless attempt to train it, where Sasha graduated last in her training class. Then they find a more effective trainer but Sasha never does learn to come when called, though she does improve vastly. In time Sasha becomes a much-loved member of the family, despite her imperfections and Yoffe turns into a dog lover. Yoffe becomes so attached to beagles that she ends up fostering a succession of them, in addition to caring for Sasha. She also details the difficulties encountered when one of their cats gets upset and starts chronically peeing outside the litterbox--something many experienced cat owners can relate to.

Yoffe also investigates and reports on the dog world, just as she does with other worlds as a journalist (go to http://slate.msn.com and search on "Yoffe" to see more of her writing). She describes the training of sausage- and bomb-sniffing dogs by the Department of Homeland Security, her failed attempts to become a pet psychic when she takes an animal communication class, and her interview with James Serpell, director of the Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Serpell puts forth some radical ideas for improving dogs as pets. For instance, he explains that creating dog breeds based on appearance results in many dogs with diseases and poor temperaments. Since the rescue community requires sterilization of dogs, those dogs with good temperaments cannot be bred (such as Yoffe's first foster beagle). Serpell states "I would love to see a movement to forget about dogs' appearance. Forget It! Produce dogs with very good temperaments, dogs that will be great pets. Family pets are what ninety percent of dogs are for."

This book is a fun read and entertaining but also full of information about dogs and the dog world--well worth the price.

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General Information: Russell@OptimumChoices.com
Webmaster: Webmaster@OptimumChoices.com
Newsletter Editor, Margaret Auld-Louie: Editor@OptimumChoices.com


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