Seeing Is Not Believing

When Your Mind Gets in Your Way

Were we hallucinating? That day on the shore, when strange shapes arose in the distance, way off on the sea, little points of white, and they started growing and becoming clearer, till they loomed large and we fell to the ground in disbelief.

Were we being visited by aliens from another world?

Those massive ships of the early explorers, seen for the first time by native peoples would likely have inspired awe. Disbelief could well have been their initial reaction to seeing something so novel, so huge, so foreign.

What they saw, their minds couldn’t grasp. Or wouldn’t.

From OMG to Ewww!

Here’s an excerpt from a very revealing comment left on the blog this week:

“Regularly when we visit a dog park or just walk the neighborhood or farmers market,  the general public and even local Dr. Whitecoats rush to pet the dogs and comment on how extraordinarily healthy both dogs are – good muscle tone, shiny coats, great teeth, bright eyes etc.  Usually the first question is – how much do (they) eat? – which leads to the “fed raw” discussion.

Then as I explain what fed raw means and that we use homeopathy for any issues and no flea/heartworm (even while living in TX) – all of sudden they are potentially contagious. They literally stop petting my dogs. It makes no sense.”

Seeing is One Thing. Accepting Reality, Another

Imagine doubting what you have just seen and felt with your own senses. You see the hair coat shine, feel the well muscled bodies of these Great Danes, note the sparkle in their eyes and the gleam of white teeth, and something inside of you just says,

“Vital Animals! Wow.”

Until you hear that they got this way by a wholly different route than the way you raise your animals. Or a wholly different way than how you tell your clients to raise their animals.

Your mind hiccups.

No vaccinations for years?

No heartworm poisons given every month?

No flea pesticides put on those shiny coats?

No kibble? Eating raw food??

Disbelief sets in. You feel somehow violated. It’s not even safe to be touching dogs who haven’t had shots for years and aren’t on regular pesticides. And they eat raw meat. Isn’t that full of dangerous salmonella or something?

A great saint has said,

“Your mind is your biggest enemy. Don’t listen to it!”

Must. Stick. To. My. Herd.

The human mind is a powerful instrument for good or evil. It’s easily swayed by popular opinion too, which these days, often lacks the sense once deemed common.

Never mind that kibble has been found to have salmonella countless times. When raw foods do, it makes the news.

Never mind that repeated vaccinations have been clearly shown to be unnecessary, useless, and downright damaging to health. Or that yearly or every three year vaccination protocols have no basis in immunologic science what so ever.

“We feed kibble. We vaccinate when ever Dr. WhiteCoat reminds us to. We fear heartworm more than we fear the autoimmune disease with its 50% mortality rate that has been associated with the monthly heartworm pills.

You Should Too! You’re making us very uncomfortable doing it all so differently.”

The Earth is Flat!

Homeopathy is similarly treated by those whose minds are attached to dogmatic beliefs, refusing to accept reality that lies outside of their narrow paradigms.

“That can’t possibly work!” “Substances diluted beyond physical measurement curing serious disease? Pure hokum! People who believe in homeopathy are deluded fools.”

“It’s all placebo!”

Tell that to the dog or cat or horse owner, who just witnessed it for herself. Her animal, after undergoing the best that conventional medicine could offer, remained sick, thousands of dollars and months later. Until proper homeopathic medicine came along, and the entire dog or cat or horse got remarkably better.

And not just the problem plaguing the animal, but something far deeper, including behavioral betterment. Brighter eyes, sweeter smelling fur and breath, more vigor, vitality, and poise. Fears and irritability and ADD that disappeared. And stayed away, after treatment stopped.

And all of this happened in animals. Who, like little children (who also do brilliantly with homeopathic treatment) have no placebo response!

Get a Grip, Mind, and Get Out of My Way!

So, when you see, feel, and smell something vital, don’t doubt your senses. Don’t let your mind get in the way.

And if you meet someone who just can’t accept what their senses have just experienced upon meeting your vital animal, it’s time to walk on.

Life is too short to defend reality to those who can’t shake disbelief. The earth does look flat, until you rise up.


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  1. Debbie Varner on August 7, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    Hi Dr. Falconer,
    I live in Spring Texas right outside of Houston. I wanted to get your opinion on the Primal Raw diet. I’ve been feeding frozen nuggets thawed (all proteins) to my Yorkie for 8 months and recently read on a FB blog that there food is not raw if it’s HPP. Can I get your opinion on this food, and also if you suggest a better commercial raw food. I don’t think my girl would eat plain bloody meat.
    Thank you so much.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 7, 2017 at 9:14 pm

      Stay tuned, Debbie, coming out very soon will be my updated report on “who’s been naughty and nice” in the raw food world.

  2. Anita on September 11, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Hi Dr. Falconer!
    Thank you so much for your newsletter! I’m learning so much!
    I rescued a dog 5 months ago – a woman who almost hit him on the highway took him in and then gave him to me.
    It’s my first dog. I had dogs growing up but we did what everyone else seemed to do and bought kibble at the grocery store and neglected our dogs…nobody really took care of them emotionally by playing with them or taking them on walks…I just remember the dogs lying around looking depressed. But I want better for my doggie!
    My question is what to do (holistically) in the event of what seems like an emergency?
    Please let me explain…I’ve been feeding my dog raw food (Primal) and giving him raw marrow bones as treats, as well as sardines, bully sticks, freeze-dried raw duck nuggets and eggs. He’s seemed really healthy although he’s been battling yeast. I’ve been giving him AZO pills for yeast 3 times a day for the last 2 months and it was keeping the itching under control and I’m seeing more and more pink in his mouth/gums and less black…
    Everything was going great THEN on Monday he pooped what looked like could be blood and mucous…he ate some grass threw up four times and then wouldn’t eat the whole day!
    I was extremely concerned!
    I have not been able to find a holistic vet in the Houston area so I took him to a “regular” vet. I let them know that Sunday night he ate a small piece of wood (a piece of a craft stick) so they ran all these tests and $550 later they said that he had mild pancreatitis probably triggered from the wood (although he’s eaten some wood before and had no issues)…their solution was antibiotics, pain meds, and anti-nausea meds plus they gave him some fluids…I did not like their solutions one bit BUT I FELT LIKE I HAD NO WHERE ELSE TO TURN!
    There’s nobody that I can bring my dog to in an emergency and they give me holistic treatments for him. So what are we to do if we don’t have a holistic vet in our area and we have an emergency?
    My dog seems so lethargic right now and is not eating much, I’m concerned I made the wrong decision bringing him to the vet and giving him all these meds, but I didn’t know what else to do for him…are there (online) holistic resources in the event of an emergency like the one I had?
    Thank you so much for your blog, your expertise and your time!

    • Esther on September 11, 2013 at 12:04 pm

      Anita: Please take a look at Dr. Falconer newsletter about Rabies: The agony of making the right choices for your animals. There you will see his answer to Cindy about finding holistic veterinarians on his page “Resources”. He directs you right to it. You might have some in the Houston area. I do not have an answer for emergencies veterinarians either. I do not think there are holistic emergency veterinarians unless the emergency occurs on a week day.

      • Anita on September 11, 2013 at 4:06 pm

        Thank you so much Esther!
        Yes, I’ve checked the AHVMA website and the vets listed on there aren’t true holistic vets (they say they do both, like they’ll also offer acupuncture, etc – there was one person on the list for Houston who seemed like a true holistic vet but I’ve left her 3 messages and she hasn’t returned my calls…I even tried reaching her through her website) :/
        But thank you again for the info!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on September 11, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      Great question, Anita. I’m presently putting together a course and an emergency kit of homeopathic remedies that should keep the majority of animals out of the ER. Due out next month, and subscribers will be the first to know of it.
      In the meantime, you may want to start working with a homeopathic vet long distance. I do this as do many of my colleagues, and when my clients have a remedy kit and a bit of counseling, I’d say 90% of the time, they can avoid the ER.
      I feel for you, having to go through what you have, and still not having a well animal in the end. Thanks for sharing your experience.

      • Anita on September 11, 2013 at 3:57 pm

        That is great that you’re putting together a course and a kit! A lot of people must be finding themselves in the same situation.
        And I sure would like to use your services!
        What is the average cost per month to use your services? I know it’s different for every animal and situation, but can you give me a ballpark figure?
        I even thought about taking a road trip, since we haven’t visited Austin yet, to come let you see Gandalf in person…he’s only estimated to be about 2 years old and has so much great life left! I want him to enjoy it! And me too!
        Are your long distance rates the same as your in person rates?
        Thank you again!

        • Anita on September 14, 2013 at 9:20 pm

          Sounds good, Dr. Falconer! After spending $600 at the vet and getting such poor results, I look forward to working with you.
          It will take me about a month or so to save up that much extra money (again), but once I do, I look forward to Gandalf getting such great care this time! 🙂

  3. Melissa Miller on September 11, 2013 at 10:07 am

    I’ve also experienced this first-hand with my vital animals over the years. The most absurd time that comes to mind was when I had to take my “Buddy” to the specialist clinic for xrays and ultrasound to look for possible blockages in his intestines. The doctors and techs were greeting him and me normally in the exam room until we discussed his diet- raw. Then they looked at each other and at me and explained they would have to protect themselves from bacteria and would be wearing gloves while handling him. They looked at me like I had just let them walk into the lion’s den, like I had put them in danger. Immediately their demeanor towards Buddy and I changed and they would barely touch him even with the gloves, to the point he nearly fell off the exam table and I had to grab him to keep him from falling off. Idiots. (A**holes, really~) We got the ultrasound because it was imperative at that time, and promptly left. These days, I steer clear of most whitecoat interference. We’re fortunate where we live in an unincorporated rural area that we don’t have laws effecting how we care for our animals (but that also goes both ways out here….). But I wonder about when and if we do move back to the city how to keep them from being registered, which at the very least means rabies tags or fines.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on September 11, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      Wow, Melissa. Crazy, isn’t it? Might be worth it in the future to point out that dry food is often recalled for salmonella. Do they then want to glove up for every dog on the exam table?
      The mind can be a powerful trickster.

  4. Cindy on September 9, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    As with humans who don’t want to be educated on changing their behavior to achieve better health, so it is with people and their pets. I’ve about given up on trying to persuade others that natural prevention may be better than treating illnesses later. Just do the best you can with your own pets.
    There are no guarantees of immortality anyway.

    • Esther on September 10, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      Wow! I would have not ever imagine this reaction from people that are asking owners how did they get their dogs so Vital. It does not make any sense! Do they turn away because of vaccinations? Is it because of the raw food? Or a combination of both? As guess as you put it Dr. Falconer they are seeing but not believing. I have not have people turned away because of raw food I always tell my dogs eat raw food.
      It is pretty amazing to have this kind of reaction. I subscribed to a website from Food Advisor where they tell about food Recalls, you get notices all the time about dry food with Salmonella being recalled. To this day I always amazed as to how do they get Salmonella on dry food.
      About homeopathy and people thinking it is a placebo or pure hokum! that is exactly what some people and some holistic veterinarians believe. I asked one of my previous veterinarian why don’t you study homeopathy? The answer was “it does not make any sense to me”.
      Dr. Falconer, thank you for the tip about raw eggs, that tale is everywhere not only on the website. Articles, dog books, etc.
      I have one more thing to say, actually I should have written this on the Rabies blog but I forgot, since it relates to that article. But your excerpt from the other blog brought this to my mind “Regularly when we visit dog parks etc, etc”. You guys in Austin, TX are really lucky you can visit dog parks without having the POLICE at the gate asking for rabies vaccines. Do not think I am making this up. Up to a year ago you could go to the dog park and they did not even ask if you have paid the dues. This is our local park for Howard County, MD and you have to pay your dues yearly or daily. Currently, they have someone from the County at the gate collecting money and asking for rabies vaccines!!! How about this for PAID (Petty Authority Insanity Disease) Dr. Falconer. My dogs have a “current” rabies vaccine but I do not frequent the park as often now because there has been too many dogs attacking other dogs. I guess for them this is not as important as rabies due.

      • Will Falconer, DVM on September 10, 2013 at 6:12 pm

        Gee, Esther, park police at the gates? Sad situation. I guess Austin is a bit looser than where you live!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on September 10, 2013 at 6:11 pm

      True, Cindy, and trying to persuade others usually just backfires anyway. I’ve had to refuse referrals from eager clients who want their brother or their neighbor to bring their animals to me. The couple of times I accepted were disasters. It was like I was speaking Greek to them, their minds were so not ready to hear about natural rearing, stopping shots, etc.
      In the end, all we have in our control, to some extent, is what we allow into our bodies and those we care for.

  5. Elle on September 9, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Great post! My thoughts:
    There are groups of people all over the world that subscribe to certain sets of beliefs. Those beliefs can be based on their parents’ beliefs, their church, their teachers, the newspapers, television, peers, etc.
    When two people come together, one having the beliefs espoused by a brilliant homeopathic veterinarian and the other having beliefs promoted by mainstream vets, it can become an uncomfortable situation for both.
    Even if the person who believes in the natural path gets through to the conventional minded person with logic, there are places that the conventional person may not want to go. Such as, perhaps their previous two dogs have died of some terrible disease like cancer at the age of 2, etc. Now they’re opened up just slightly to a whole other field of beliefs that could have saved their animals had they known about it which can elicit anger, grief, regret, and resentment (plus a “kill the messenger” mentality-hehe!). Some of these folks will not want to know because they don’t want to bring up those emotions. They don’t want to feel that they might be responsible for the demise of their beloved pet(s).
    I’m facing this situation right now with someone I know. Their last two dogs have died early and gruesome deaths and the emotional pain they’re facing is overwhelming. If I tell him about the practices I follow and why I follow them, then I dare to tread in this place of emotional pain for him. And I hesitate to go there.
    How do we share our knowledge in a way that doesn’t put those who are uneducated about these things on the defensive? How do we broach a subject where the listener is asked to take responsibility for the medical situations their pet faced (or faces) when this is something they’ve probably never even imagined?

    • Will Falconer, DVM on September 10, 2013 at 6:07 pm

      Great questions and insight, Elle. No easy answers, and I think, until someone is asking for answers or seeking an alternative, we just have to set a good example and hope the light goes on at some point. Best we can do, I think.
      And phrase things in the first person. “Oh, I can’t handle sugar, so I don’t give it to my dogs either.” Or, “I’d never vaccinate myself, so I’m really conservative with my dogs in this regard.”

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