Our sweet Simba went to Rainbow Bridge on April 13, 2013 after 15+ wonderful years together. It was an honor to rescue him and be his mama. He was the best friend I could ever have, and I will love him and miss him forever. RIP, sweet boy…I’ll see you again one day. Simba Allard: 1997 – 2013
My 14 year old dog Simba (also known as The Dude, as well as many other nicknames) was diagnosed with canine kidney disease two years ago. The vet told us there was really nothing we could do, except maybe feed him a dog food made especially formulated to be easy on the kidneys.
So that’s what we did.
Starting in the fall of 2010, Simba started drinking insane amounts of water (I’d fill his bowl at least a dozen times daily) and subsequently peeing an insane number of times. He also began waking me once or twice nightly to go outside and pee. And he had other canine kidney disease symptoms, like excessive panting, bad breath and difficulty walking.
Then, in October of 2011, Simba began having accidents in the house on a regular basis, sometimes emptying a full bladder on the rug or floor while he was sleeping. We couldn’t leave him for longer than two to three hours without coming home to a big puddle.
And still, the vet said there was really nothing we could do. It got so bad that we decided it was time to put Simba to sleep and we scheduled the appointment for March 10, 2012.
This was the hardest decision I’d ever made. We adopted Simba from a local shelter when he was just 6 months old and I was just 28. He was my first “child”. He welcomed each of my children when they were born and licked my tears away when my father died. He comforted me when motherhood or entrepreneurship was just too much and even made appearances in some of my interviews. He is loyal, loving and sweet, and has brought us so much joy and laughter. It might sound silly to some, but I just couldn’t imagine my life without him.
What happened next was nothing short of a miracle and absolute proof of the power of faith, intuition and nutrition.
The last (week of) supper
The week before Simba’s scheduled euthanization, they didn’t have his regular dog food at Whole Foods, so I decided that I’d cook homemade meals for him. It was the least I could do for my beloved dog.
For the heck of it, I Googled “canine kidney disease” and found this site. There, I read countless testimonials about a special “kidney friendly” diet that seemed to work miracles in dogs of all ages who had kidney disease.
I had all the ingredients I needed to feed Simba like a king and maybe make him more comfortable during his last week – organic brown rice, organic carrots, a bit of grass-fed beef, coconut oil, organic eggs and greens powder.
So I started him on the kidney friendly diet and almost immediately, I could see a difference. He drank less water and therefore, peed less. As the week progressed, he perked up more and more and even began looking at his leash and collar, nudging me to take him for a walk.
I took him for a walk each day during his “last week” and he was panting less and seemed more comfortable in general. I went from filling his water bowl a dozen times daily to filling it just four times. He didn’t have a single accident and began going for longer stretches before needing to go out. He was like a different dog.
The day before he was scheduled to be put down, I felt so unsettled and so full of anxiety. It just didn’t feel right. Every time I looked at him, I burst into tears. My gut was telling me, “Don’t do it!”. The only thing that calmed me down was saying repeated Hail Mary’s and asking for guidance from above. Again, it might sound silly, but I knew God would help me know what to do.
When my husband got home from work, he kept looking at Simba. And looking at me. And looking at Simba. He said, “For whatever reason, he doesn’t look or act like he did last week. Cancel the appointment.”.
My heart leapt with joy as I dialed the vet to cancel the appointment for my canine Lazarus. I had witnessed the power of faith, intuition and nutrition.
So, what does Simba’s story have to do with being a mom entrepreneur?
Now, I know what you’re thinking. That’s a great story, Heather but what does your dog’s tale have to do with my life as a mom entrepreneur?
Faith, intuition and nutrition saved my elderly, diseased dog. And they can save you, too.
Keep the faith
Being a mom entrepreneur means having dark days, it means having days where you question everything. Your ideas, your abilities, your impact.
But as St. Paul said, we have to fight the good fight, finish the course, keep the faith.
I kept the faith during Simba’s “last week” and you can do the same. Here are some ways to do it, even on the darkest of days:
- Create a bookmarks or email folder with comments, Facebook posts, testimonials and tweets from your customers, clients, fans and followers to remind you just how much you’re loved and needed.
- Create a Pinterest board with inspirational quotes that you can browse when you’re feeling low.
- Write a mission statement or a painted picture and keep it handy to remind yourself of WHY you started your business.
Follow your intuition
We mom entrepreneurs have the advantage of “women’s intuition”, even when it comes to our businesses. We run our businesses with our heads AND our hearts.
Never let anyone tell you that intuition doesn’t play a role in entrepreneurship. And never be afraid to act on your intuition even though it might seem crazy to others.
Like I did, always listen to and trust your gut, instincts, and intuition.
Never underestimate the power of nutrition
“Kidney friendly” nutrition brought my dying dog back to health and it can be just as powerful in your life. Believe me, I know.
Over the past year, I read Crazy Sexy Diet and watched Forks Over Knives, and they changed my life.
I’m almost 43 years old and have three children. I don’t take any medication (unless you count vitamin B, vitamin D, kelp and spirulina supplements). I haven’t been sick since last May despite not having had a full night’s sleep in over a year.
I attribute my health to my daily green smoothies and greatly reduced amounts of animal products and refined foods in my diet.
Being this healthy means I’m always ready to take care of my children and my business. It means being able to seize every day, no matter what it brings.
If you’d like to feel better and live healthier for the sake of your kids and business, I strongly encourage you to watch Forks Over Knives with your family. It will change your life for the better.
Faith, intuition and nutrition saved Simba, and they can play a huge role in your life as a mom entrepreneur.