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Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Sue Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

A Big Picture Viewpoint

Updated: October 2nd, 2018

The recent earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan can teach us a lot.

I live on Maui.  We had a little tsunami damage here from the same quake that has created the horror show in Japan.  Now we face the potential of radiation exposure, depending on how the nuclear leak turns out.

This is nothing compared to what is going on there.

When you are dealing with a dog cancer diagnosis, it can turn your world upside down.  It pulls all your attention and sometimes even affects your entire life.  You are not alone in this.

Sometimes it helps to widen back just a little.  This means to have a bigger picture viewpoint on things that are happening in life.

A widened back viewpoint does make what you are going through any less important.  On the contrary.  What it is good for is making us feel a little better, even as tragic events are befalling us. It is a tool that can help us during these tough times.

A bigger picture on life events is a way of looking at things in a more global scale. I suppose it could be summed up with that old saying, “I cried because I had no shoes until I saw a man with no feet.”  (It turns out this saying can be traced back to a Persian poet in the 13th century).

It can feel like your feet are being cut off when you have a dog with cancer. But it can be soothing to look at others who are facing life’s challenges, challenges that may be even worse than our own.

Look at what is happening right now in Japan.  Families are dead.  Lives are ruined and altered forever.

How many good things are left for us?  How many good things are left for you and your dog?  How many joys in life can you still experience?  How many things can you thank your dog for?

How many things can your dog thank you for?


Dr D


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  1. Fred Burdick on March 27, 2011 at 4:00 am

    Dear Dr. Dressler:

    We lost our dear friend Harley our Golden Retriever this week. We tried everything but cutting off his nose where the cancer was. We wouldn’t do that as the outcome wasn’t any better than letting nature take it’s course. Holistic remedies didn’t seem to help either. While we’re not sure if we helped extend his time with your book, he certainly loved your diet we had him on for the last 8 weeks of his life. Even the last morning he loved it. As the cancer grew, our hearts broke when he started nose bleeds. He is at Rainbow Bridge now along with our previous 3 Goldens. Thanks for your book, it gave us some hope.

    • DemianDressler on April 6, 2011 at 8:50 pm

      Dear Fred,
      I am so sorry to hear this sad news. Sending you all my best is this hard time of departures.
      Dr D

  2. Peggie Venemon on March 24, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Thanks, Dr. Dressler, for this reminder. There are a lot of people out there whose whole world has just fallen apart, losing families, homes, incomes, all stability, and probably their own family pets as well.

  3. Janet Martin on March 23, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Steve – I just posted a comment on this site (on a different page) about our 3 year old Brittany Spaniel. She had a fine needle aspiration done today on a lump on her neck. They are talking that it could be lymphoma.
    Could you please post some of the symptoms that your dog had?
    Where is Good Health Naturally? I am definitely interested in the natural approach.
    We were told by our vet that if it is lymphoma that there is no hope.
    Thanks for any advice you can give me.

  4. Rosemarie Gaglione on March 23, 2011 at 5:30 am

    Can you give dogs potassium iodide for radiation exposure?

  5. Ann Marie Reed on March 23, 2011 at 3:24 am

    I agree with Dr Dressler that this is tragic what is happening. But please down play the horror of watching a beloved dog, family member dying and then gone from your life leaving just as big a hole as losing a family member. It really is not apples and oranges.

  6. Steve Tabeling on March 23, 2011 at 1:55 am

    Dr. Dressler,
    My wife and I own a 5 year old Jack Russell who was recently diagnosed with lymphoma. As you can imagine it was quite a shock. We looked at the cost benefits of Chemo or Prednisone treatment and decided to go the supplement route. I have been communicating with Robert Redfern, Good Health Naturally and he has shared some of the same material that I found in your book.

    As a supplement user, I was keenly aware of the benefits that can be derived from the “alternative” approach. I started my dog on Curcuminx4000 and BetaFactor from Good Health Naturally. I am following the diet you outlined in your book.

    We think we are at the front end of his cancer and the vet said he has a good chance of remission as he is otherwise healthy. We have always fed him a high quality dog food, exercised him and spent time with him. We have a small business so he is with us 24/7. He is a very sociable animal. We have hope.

    Thank you for your book. It is a wonderful resource.

    • DemianDressler on April 6, 2011 at 9:06 pm

      Dear Steve,
      my recommendation has been to contemplate all of the available tools at your disposal. Supplements are not a replacement for conventional treatment, and conventional treatment is not a replacement for supplements. Just my two cents and my present viewpoint on things. Sending you my best. You should consider Apocaps with your vet, btw.
      Dr D

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