August 17, 2008

Dogtown redoo, or ale and tail again

By winecountrydog

I'm a Welsh Corgi who drinks beer so that I can relax and sleep without taking much heavy-duty doggie medication. (Lagunitas Dogtown Pale Ale and Mendocino Red Tail Ale are two of my favs.)

Me, Tilin Corgi, feeling yelpy and shakyHumans around the U.S. are going nutz over my being a beer-drinking dog after I paw-wrote about it. Some humans are howlin' more about my drinking than about the underwhelming news from the McCain – Obama campaigns.

I want you to understand that I drink beer for my tail — that being the end where my painful spasms radiate and make my back legs shaky and weak.

First, allow me to quote a certain veterinary professional, whose name I'll be yappy to provide you via email:

The folks who get irate about dogs getting beer, etc., are mad because of the numbnuts that use alcohol to intoxicate their pets for amusement — just to see them staggering around and falling down the stairs. I get pretty mad about that too. Sipping just enough to relax you so you can sleep better is a whole different story — like the difference between someone who enjoys a glass of wine at dinner vs. someone who drinks himself into an early death from liver disease.
This veterinarian also points out that "most medications, and even many vitamins and minerals, are poisons if taken incorrectly." Smart dogs will consult their vets before taking any kind of med or supplement — including beer.

Tell your vet which beer product you're looking to drink. You don't want, for exmple, a stout that's made with real chocolate, toxic to canines. Such is the case with Breakfast Stout from Founders Brewing Co. It's a lovely drink fur humans. But, like many stouts, it's brewed with chocolates and not good fur dogs.

A word to the wise dog should be sufficient here.

A pro-hops southern Oregon herbalist and animal lover reminds us that hops are a nerve tonic for many animals as well as humans. We're experimenting with recipes that use hops to provide nervine benefit.

We see that hops are helpful to horses, too, as Horsetalk NZ writer Robert McDowell explains. Here's a snippet from his "Nerve Tonics" piece.
There is a class of herbs called 'nervines' — herbs that have specific actions on the nervous system. Many of the nervines contain high levels of magnesium phosphate — a mineral that has been found to be very important to the health and well-being of nerves. Different nervines nourish different aspects of the nervous system; the job of the herbalist is to identify the nervine(s) that will suit a particular sort of nervous system.

There are around a dozen nervines that apply to humans, but there are four main nervines — Valerian, Vervain, Chamomile, and Hops — that apply to horses.
I wonder whether hops are in the diet of famous Welsh horse twins Bill and Ben — the world's oldest equine twins.

Welsh equine twins Bill and Ben
You can read about Bill and Ben in the Horsetalk NZ July 2008 piece "Celebrity twins chalk up a quarter century." You can also visit the celebrity duo at Veteran Horse Centre at St Dogmaels, Cardigan, West Wales.

Remember now, if you have serious spasms, take a bit of beer before walkies.

My previous "ale for tail" article is Dogtown days of summer.

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