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FINE-TUNED CANINES, LLC - Naples Florida and Fort Myers Florida dog training & dog psychology
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FINE-TUNED CANINES: Naples Florida Dog Training and Canine Behavior/Dog Psychology Counseling Services - serving Collier County (Naples, Marco Island, Sanibel Island, Florida) and Lee County (Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, Lehigh Acres, Estero, Bonita Springs, Florida) Naples Florida professional dog trainer and dog behaviorist, Collier County dog trainer and dog behaviorist

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« Bloat happens...A victory story about bloat recovery 

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A victory story about bloat recovery dedicated to all canines prone to bloat and to their owners

Shakti in her "therapeutic" pajamas that she wore during her recovery process to avoid touching her wound

Bloat happens...

Yeah...really just like another common expression that might have come to your mind, bloat happens unexpectedly and invades your dog's and your life with negativity, pain, sadness, panic and despair. However, this article is not about spreading this kind of negativity or fear. This world is already full of it and we're not going add to it. So, on the contrary, this article is about the power of love, hope and a positive attitude in the face of danger and has a happy ending. I am not a vet, so this article is not a scientific one. It's about sharing first hand experience about bloat.

What's bloat anyway?

Let me refer to an article, "Canine Bloat" by Dr. John J. Rutherford III, D.V.M. to explain what bloat is. Dr. Rutherford states in his article:

"(...) Bloat is a serious, life threatening disease in dogs. Bloat is actually two conditions that come under the heading of one syndrome. First there is "simple" bloat or gastric dilatation; second is bloat with twisting of the stomach or gastric dilatation and volvulus. Veterinarians use the abbreviations GD and GDV to describe these clinically. I usually think of these as two syndromes in which one becomes the other; gastric dilatation becoming gastric dilatation and volvulus. So the line between the two is not exactly clear."

And further, Dr. Rutherford says in his article:

“Clinically, bloat is when the stomach fills with gas and becomes distended, but the dog cannot burp or relieve the pressure exerted by the gas. Bloat with twisting or GDV is when the dog's stomach fills with gas (and often fluid) and twists 180 to 360 degrees on it's axis between the esophagus and duodenum or the entrance and exit parts of the stomach. When "simple bloat" or gastric dilatation occurs and the stomach swells, a great deal of pressure is put upon the surrounding organs including the liver and lungs interfering with the dog's ability to breath, and the blood supply to the stomach wall is decreased.

This is very painful for the dog and quickly becomes a medical emergency. When bloat is complicated by twisting, gastric dilatation, and volvulus, the situation worsens rapidly. In addition to the pressure exerted by the gas distending the stomach, the twisting stops the blood supply to the stomach wall and the tissues themselves begin to die.”

Shakti the Survivor

"Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow."  ~ Dorothy Thompson

My dog Shakti went through a very hard time and I do not wish that any dog and any dog owners EVER have to go through it, but maybe the reason that it happened to our beloved girl was because she has the physical and inner strength that made it possible for her to endure all the pain. She's a real survivor who went through the whole painful experience with amazing dignity, calmness and acceptance. She is my role model for enjoying all the wonderful things that life brings and accepting the negative aspects without letting them overshadow those wonderful things.

The most obedient dog

Shakti is a very well trained and very well mannered dog. When you train a dog you never know what commands might come in really handy sometime and which ones might even save a dog’s life…The day that Shakti’s health and life were in great danger I gave her a command that I really believed she would obey like she always does. It wasn’t an emergency recall…I gave Shakti the “Stay” command. I told Shakti to stay and hopefully it’s going to be a very long stay…I’m not releasing her from that one…At least not for a very, very long time…There’s a whole life ahead of her.
Good dog! Stay!

Obedience is the mother of success and is wedded to safety.” ~ Aeschylus

The power of SHAKTI

A lot of people ask about the meaning of Shakti’s name. I guess we chose a name that Shakti really grew into and that matches Shakti’s personality perfectly, as it means “power” and “divine woman”. Although not a woman, Shakti is a powerful being in canine form and there’s this special something about her that people remark about frequently…It’s something divine, regal, gentle, beautiful, touching…Something that has touched the hearts and spirits of many and continues to shed  bright light into a lot of peoples’ lives…

“From antiquity, people have recognized the connection between naming and power.” ~ Casey Miller and Kate Swift

Now Shakti’s experience can hopefully teach others to understand the symptoms of bloat, ways to prevent it and, in case of emergency, how to act fast and successfully to save their dog’s life…Shakti can use her victory over bloat to teach others that a misfortune like this doesn’t have to end in tragedy.

Symptoms of bloat: comparison of the most common bloat symptoms and the symptoms Shakti experienced

The most commonly seen bloat symptoms might include:



Symptoms that Shakti had:

  • dog making repeated attempts to vomit every 5-10 minutes with foam, mucous or nothing coming out (dry vomiting)

She had dry heaves and attempted to vomit every few minutes with no success.

  • unsuccessful attempts to defecate

She actually did go to the bathroom outside in our backyard and relieved herself. This part looked very normal.

  • drastic change in behavior patterns

Very visible and drastic changes in her behavior occurred. She acted unnaturally and that was one of the things that made me very concerned.

  • significant anxiety or restlessness

She was VERY restless and anxious. She couldn’t find herself a spot and also she started following me or trying to get as close as she could to me.

  • cold mouth membranes

I’m not sure about this. It may have occurred but I didn't notice it if it did.

  • heavy salivating or drooling

Yes, she had a dripping nose and was salivating.

  • pale or off colored gums (dark red in the initial stage and white or blue in the later stage)

Yes, the gums were white when we were looking at them in the emergency clinic.

  • abdominal swelling after meals


  • showing signs of abdominal pain or discomfort


  • looking at or trying to lick their abdomen often


  • heavy panting, shallow breathing, trouble breathing at all

Yes – heavy panting

  • apparent weakness or sudden collapse

She was able to walk at home, but she started to get weaker in the emergency clinic. She didn’t collapse at home.

  • refusal to lie down or sit still

Yes, that was another thing that was a sign to me. She’s always very obedient and one of the things she always does is to sit down at the door before I open it and let her out to the yard. She refused to do that. She couldn’t sit down or lie down.

  • coughing, gagging, or choking behavior


  • whining


  • pacing


  • licking the air


  • looking for a hiding place


  • curling up in a ball


  • excessive water drinking


  • attempting to eat small stones


Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”  ~ Benjamin Franklin

Shakti’s bloat experience diary

February 26, 2009 (Thursday)

Shakti’s a very active dog that loves working on her training skills and learning new things. However, the day she bloated was one of her quiet days. I had some work to do on the computer and Shakti was lounging about. Then I needed to water some plants in our yard and Shakti accompanied me. She sat next to me enjoying the nice day outside while I watered our plants. After I was done we went back inside and had a training session. It was afternoon. We practiced some canine tricks that didn’t involve any jumping, running or any kind of intense exercising. She cleaned up her toys by placing toys I put on the ground in the toy box. She brought the car keys on command and placed them on my lap. Her tail was wagging the whole time and she had her usual goofy and happy attitude. She enjoyed the mental stimulation she was getting as she always does. The whole session was gentle and short and then Shakti had some time to rest even though she wasn’t really tired. I gave Shakti her regular food, which is natural moist canned meat and vegetables. Again, there was nothing unusual. She isn’t an extremely fast eater and ate at a moderate speed. She doesn’t drink a lot of water in general and didn't this time. I took Shakti outside so she could go to the bathroom and she did her business. Everything was fine and she was acting normal and happy. We came back home and she had her usual “siesta” and some quiet time again. She followed a rule we’ve followed since we got her, which is to not do any running, jumping or playing before or after eating. I went back to do some more work on the computer and Shakti had a few quiet hours of sleep.The first symptoms began in the evening, fast and out of the blue. I can’t remember all the symptoms chronologically, but I know that they were coming and going.
One of the first symptoms that caught my attention, although I couldn’t know at that time that it was bloat, was Shakti’s difficulty in sitting down or lying down when told to. Shakti’s a very obedient dog and we have a lot of rules that she always follows. One of these rules is sitting down before I open a door to go outside with her. She does that automatically. In most cases a non-verbal command and giving her a certain look reminds her that we mean what we say and that she has to follow the rules. Thinking back to the bloat situation now, I realize what a blessing it was that we have done so much training during Shakti’s life and have always disciplined her and loved her without spoiling her. If she had always been allowed to do whatever she felt like, I wouldn't have been able to tell that something was wrong. I would have interpreted her reluctance to obey commands as: “Oh well…it’s just her independent personality…!” or “She has her own ideas and does what she wants.” Fortunately, her refusal to sit or lie down on command was one of the warning signs that, together with other symptoms, alarmed me.
Shakti was now lying next to my feet. She does that a lot so it didn’t really make an impression at first. Shakti is a very affectionate dog, but isn’t demanding or pushy about it at all. She has a lot of love for, but also a lot of respect for, her human pack leaders. So something else that got my attention was her appearing kind of clingy, which isn’t her personality either. She’s a pretty confident, outgoing dog that loves her pack but has always been taught not to be a Velcro dog. 

Therefore, when she started acting as if she was trying to hide from an “invisible monster” and trying to get as close to me as possible, it did get my attention, although I still didn’t know what was going on.
Then things started to get worse and she must have been in pain.
I became very concerned when she started having dry heaves and when I saw that she was very restless and couldn't sit down, lie down or settle down.

My husband was working in the evening that day and he called me a few minutes after 7:00 PM to tell me that he was on his way back home. It was going to take him about an hour or so to get home. I told him about what was going on and he confirmed my thoughts and said that it sounded like Shakti had bloat. I told him I’d call him back and I ran to our bedroom to pull out a document we had printed out long ago in case of bloat emergency. It was a page with the emergency clinic’s phone number and the directions to get there. We now feel so happy that we had thought about that a long time ago, because there was no time to waste looking in a phone book or looking for directions to the clinic.
I called the vet emergency clinic at 7:25 PM. I made sure that they were open and said that I suspected that my dog was having bloat. I described the symptoms briefly and I remember that when I was asked if I was going to bring my dog to the clinic I exclaimed “Oh YEAH!”  There was no question about that. I grabbed a cell phone, the car keys, my wallet with a credit card and Shakti’s leash. I took Shakti to the garage and helped her to get into the car. She followed my directions with complete trust and listened to me when I told her “Don’t worry – you’re going to be OK. We’re going to get you some help”. I told Shakti to lie down and she did. I got in the car and started driving to the clinic. Shakti was lying calmly in the car and was panting gently. She didn’t have any dry heaves at that time and, if you hadn't seen all the symptoms that I saw at home, you might have thought that she was just relaxing. She never cried, whined or complained in any way. I knew that the clinic wasn’t very far. It was about a 20 minute drive. I realized that I couldn’t really do anything to help my dog at this time besides taking her to the clinic. However, I felt that I needed to do whatever I could not to add more stress, fear and panic into the situation because that was the last thing Shakti needed then. I turned on some gentle music that Shakti enjoys listening to and kept telling her that we were going to get some help and that “Papa” was on his way to see us too.
Mike, my husband, met us on the way and we all went to the clinic. It was a race to save Shakti's life at this point, as bloat can kill a dog within a few hours (or even quicker). The vet took Shakti for some x-rays and we waited in the waiting room. Then the doctor came back with the results and confirmed that Shakti was experiencing bloat and said that we had two options: start surgery right away or put her down, as bloat leads to a death that’s very painful and slow. To us there was only one option and we asked the vet to save our girl. The doctor rushed to get everything ready for the surgery. We watched our girl walk away and disappear into the operating room. Our deepest hope was that she would soon walk out of this room on her own after regaining consciousness.


“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.”   ~ Dr Deepak Chopra

Shakti had the surgery done late in the evening and it lasted a few hours, ending sometime after 2:00 AM on February 27. The surgery went well. Shakti had gastroplexy (stomach stapling) done to prevent her stomach from twisting again.
February 27, 2009 (Friday)

We came to pick Shakti up at about 7:00 AM and the very first thing she did when she saw us was to greet us by wagging her tail with a slow and broad movement. She was walking on her own only a few hours after the operation. She was still groggy from anesthesia and had fever.
We transferred Shakti to her own vet where she was hospitalized and spent the whole day so her health condition could be monitored at all times. A major concern was the possibility of arrhythmic heartbeat.

Both the emergency clinic staff and Shakti's vets and vet techs in Fort Myers, FL did an absolutely wonderful job and provided our girl with lots of TLC. We can't even express how grateful we are to them for saving our beloved Shakti's life.
We went to pick Shakti up before 7:00 PM and transferred her again to the emergency clinic for further observation during the night, just to make sure that there were no post-surgery complications and that she was getting better. Shakti was taken care of all night and received pain killers, fluids, etc.


February 28, 2009 (Saturday)
We came to pick Shakti up on Saturday morning at about 8:00 AM and we were more than happy to see a big, positive change in her. Her fever was gone and she looked MUCH better. She was happy to see us. We took her back to her vet again for more hospitalization and observation. Shakti was amazing in this whole situation. She was very patient, agreeable and trusted that we were doing what was best for her.
March 1, 2009 (Sunday)
Shakti’s recovery process at home continued. It also happened that it was Shakti’s “papa’s” birthday that day and in his words, “It is the best gift to have Shakti back home and to be seeing her getting better.”

March, 13, 2009 (Friday)
Friday the 13th was a VERY happy and LUCKY day for Shakti and her pack for a few reasons!
Shakti had a vet appointment during which all 30 stitches were removed! She was very brave and patient. She understood that we were helping her. She really likes her vet and gave her lots of kisses. Her vets did a FANTASTIC job during the whole hospitalization and healing process. Also, Shakti's heart sounded healthy and she had no fever. Shakti's general health condition was really good and improving every day. She still needed a lot of rest but we started practicing some tricks that didn't require a lot of movement and were easy on her body. The mental stimulation cheered Shakti up and brightened her up.
Shakti's vet told us that Shakti could start taking short walks again! YAY!!! Shakti had been so good about staying home and not being able to be active the way she usually is. She had lost some weight and we had made sure that she didn't get too much exercise too soon. Short walks were now ok though. Shakti was also able to start chewing her bones (with our supervision as always).
The vet said that in about a month or so Shakti would be able to go back to her normal routine and lead a NORMAL life! We were told that Shakti could go back to doing agility as well!
Also on this day, the Lexi and Shakti team received another trick dog performance title, The Intermediate Trick Dog Title, from the Trick Dog Trainers Association and Kyra Sundance! So Shakti officially became an Intermediate Trick Dog!


Note: We had applied for the intermediate trick title before Shakti's bloat incident.

View our movie showing the intermediate level tricks in our movie gallery.



April, 2009
Shakti was almost back to normal. She was back to her normal routine and she had started exercising again. We had started doing agility training again as well. The first time we went to the training facility she was SO happy to be there and to be able to do her training with Lexi. Shakti was healed.

Our prior knowledge about bloat and preventive measures we took

Many times it is only when a dog has bloat that the dog's owners become aware of the possibility of such a condition. It wasn’t like that for us. Both Mike and I were very aware of what bloat is and we had read about it years ago before Shakti had come into our lives. However, we had never experienced bloat first hand with any dogs that we had had in the past. When we were looking for a dog and found out about Shiloh Shepherds, we felt that this breed would fit our lifestyle and our personalities perfectly. We were very right about that. We also read about all the possible health issues that this breed is prone to. Bloat was on that list and we read a lot about it.

We followed the rules of bloat prevention to the best of our knowledge from the time Shakti came to live with us. The rules about not exercising a dog right before and after feeding time were always followed rigorously. We created a schedule that was based on those principles. You might be thinking now that if we did everything to prevent bloat then it shouldn’t have happened. Well, the scientists and vets are not 100% sure about what causes bloat. So are all big-chested dogs and dog breeds prone to bloat and potentially doomed? From reading our story you might think that preventative measures are pointless because even though we tried to prevent bloat it did happen to our dog.


Pack leadership in critical situations

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion." ~ Unknown

Pack leadership is something all dogs need in order to lead balanced and happy lives, and all dogs need a benevolent leader who guides them in their lives. It is built into the canine DNA. Shakti’s always been a follower in our human-canine pack and we have provided her with pack leadership since the very first day she entered our lives and became a pack member. When our pack was struck by Shakti’s bloat, the pack leadership rules that we had lived by Shakti’s whole life became even more important than usual, because in the life threatening condition Shakti found herself in, pack leadership skills were life saving…“How can pack leadership help in a situation like canine bloat?”, you might wonder…In a canine-human relationship when a human is the pack leader, the dog follows the leader with a lot of respect and trust. Our lifetime-long strong bond with Shakti and her complete trust that we would always be there to help and protect her aided in saving her life. A pack leader always protects the pack and projects calm and assertive energy. In a critical situation it’s not an easy thing to do at all. Witnessing canine bloat is very scary and the atmosphere can become one of fear and panic. When I saw Shakti trying to vomit over and over again with no success, when I saw the desperation in her eyes when she came to me panting heavily and curled by my feet as if saying “Please, save me!”, and when I saw her crawling under my desk next to my feet as if trying to hide from an invisible enemy, it was obvious to me that there was something terribly wrong. It was also obvious that in her time of terror, my dog turned to me, her pack leader, for help and protection. I had two choices: panic with her or pull myself together and help her. The choice was very easy and it had to be made immediately.
Pack leadership is a full time job that lasts or at least should last for the whole life of a dog. Pack leaders lead and guide the pack followers and they also protect them from dangers and threats. Good leaders are consistent, clear and predictable. Being unpredictable or inconsistent with your dog brings a lot of confusion, stress and frustration to the dog. On the other hand, being very clear and consistent with your dog makes the dog feel trusting, secure and balanced.

Pack leadership is a state of mind and a way of living that shouldn’t change no matter what happens. Your dog needs it at all times. Our canine followers and companions put their trust and their lives in our hands. We owe it to them to be worthy of that trust.

I don’t know what caused Shakti’s bloat, and there were a lot things that could have gone really wrong that would have made it impossible to save Shakti’s life…There are so many “what ifs” that I have asked myself…"What if I hadn't been home?”, “What if we hadn’t know about bloat?”, “What if I hadn’t known who to call and where to go…?”
However, I have also thought about all the good things that happened that helped in saving Shakti’s life: great professionals that made sure that the surgery was successful and that helped to ease Shakti’s pain, Shakti’s vets that watched over her and gave her the kind of care that speeded up her recovery process, people who shared their knowledge and experience about bloat with us long before it happened and whose influence on us made it possible for us to be prepared for the emergency situation.

The tips

 “Don't fear tomorrow just focus on the present and take it from there...”  ~ Mettrie L.

•    Educate yourself about bloat. Read as much as you can about it.
•    Keep up with the scientific research about bloat and stay up to date.
•    Take all the precautions to avoid bloat and make sure that family members, friends and anyone else who handles the dog stick to the rules that help prevent bloat in a dog.
•    Print out some information about bloat symptoms and put it in a place where you can find it easily in a situation when you suspect bloat in your dog. Some basic guidelines might be very helpful if you can’t remember things clearly.
•    Next time you have a vet appointment, write yourself a note to ask your vet all the questions you have about bloat, bloat prevention and what to do in an emergency situation.
•    Make sure that in case of emergency you know what to do and where to go. There is no time to figure things out when your dog has bloat. Check the location of the nearest emergency clinic and write down the phone number and address in advance. You might want to print out the driving directions as well.

•    Know your dog, listen to him/her, be empathic and keep in mind that your dog’s awkward behavior, for example refusing to do something that you tell them to do, MIGHT not be because the dog is defiant but because he or she is UNABLE to comply because of physical and emotional distress and pain. Keep your mind open to those possibilities.
•    If your dog starts showing bloat symptoms, try not to panic. It’s the hardest thing to stay calm in an emergency like this, but your dog needs your help and protection at this time more than ever. Your dog’s life is in your hands and your calmness and quick action is crucial to save your dog’s life.
•    Another thing is that some of the bloat symptoms come and go. For example, in Shakti’s case, dry vomiting occurred every 10 minutes or so. Therefore, even if some of the symptoms stop happening for a few minutes, it doesn't mean that the dog is ok. If you're not sure, the best thing is to take your dog to an emergency clinic where they do surgeries so in case of a serious situation when a dog has to be operated on you don't have to transfer him/her to a different place.
•    When choosing a pet sitter or boarding facility, make sure that the people who are to take care for your dog are knowledgeable about bloat and know what to do in case of emergency.

Healing process

Just like in any situation after surgery, healing takes time. In Shakti’s case she had to stay at the vet for two days so that she could be monitored at all times, and was given fluids, antibiotics and pain killers. A dog that has gone through bloat needs time to get back to a normal diet and a normal routine. The body needs to heal both outside and internally. The dog needs a lot of peace and quiet to rest and sleep. It has to be monitored to make sure that it doesn’t lick the wound or try to pull out the staples. The wound has to be checked frequently to make sure that there is no infection or abnormal bruises (which can be a sign of some serious complications). Also, when the dog is ready to start going for walks, it is important to start the exercising routine slowly so that the dog’s muscles regain strength and so that the exercise is a positive experience for the dog.

Healing in heeling

I’ve always believed in the many benefits of training dogs no matter what their size, age or breed and no matter whether a dog is a working dog or just a family pet. The benefits are numerous and come from providing your dog with both physical and mental stimulation.

Heeling that heals. Shakti’s always focused on her pack leader Lexi and never on the past.“Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation ... even so does inaction sap the vigour of the mind.”  ~ Leonardo da Vinci


A dog that is in good physical condition has more stamina to go through emergency situations like bloat. Shakti’s overall health condition is great thanks to the consistent physical exercise and mental challenges she’s been given all her life. Lifelong training has made her a strong dog both physically and psychologically. After the surgery when she came back home and was ready to become more active again, very short training sessions gave her a huge lift and made her feel positive. There’s healing in heeling…
Shakti gained a lot of positive energy from slowly getting back into the training routine that she knows so well. Training is a very familiar thing to her and familiar things bring peace and a feeling of being safe. Training is consistency and can create a calm state in a dog’s mind that replaces confusion or chaos. Training fosters serenity. It pays off in situations that you wouldn’t even think of…When Shakti was on a special diet she obeyed when I told her to “eat it”. She followed our directions in the car when we had to take her for regular vet check up visits and told her to "wait" so that we could safely remove her from the car in our arms. She couldn’t safely jump out and, because she knew how to wait, we didn’t have to worry about her hurting herself every time we transported her to the vet. She would lie down calmly when we told her to “settle” and she would not lick her wound when we told her to “leave it”. She lay down and waited patiently while all 30 stitches were removed as well.

“The main reason for healing is love.”  ~ Paracelsus

A balanced life consisting of physical and mental stimulation, training and sharing affection at the right time is the best gift you can give to your dog. It may even save your dog’s life...

Life after bloat

June 2009 - Shakti’s enjoying life and simple joys again.Yes, there is LIFE after bloat and it can be quite normal, provided that you’re cautious… Even though Shakti had a gastroplexy, which is a surgical procedure in which the stomach gets attached to the body cavity, there’s still a possibility of bloat happening again.

“Life is about balance too much excess is chaos.”  ~ Mettrie L.

Some of you might think that because that we were so lucky (and yes – we were lucky indeed) and Shakti’s life was saved, it would be natural for us to spoil and pamper her every day…Well…not really…We love her dearly and that is why we have never spoiled her. I believe that there’s a huge difference between spoiling and loving. Love enriches, whereas spoiling diminishes…Spoiling is detrimental, as opposed to loving, which always encourages growth and blossoming. If we started spoiling Shakti now it would be a very new and unknown situation to her which would confuse her and create chaos instead of balance and harmony in her life.
Therefore, besides obvious preventative measures that we continue to take to avoid bloat, we believe that Shakti should live her life to the fullest, continuing the routines, discipline, training sessions, physical exercise and mental stimulation that made her strong in the first place.

“An animal hasn’t lost its oneness with the totality.
It is not burdened by a continuous stream of thinking.
It is deeply rooted in Being.
It does not create a world of problems.
It is one with life.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

Shakti’s enjoying her various training sessions again: agility, obedience, retrieving, and trick training, and she smiles every time we go to work together. Not only does she continue to lead a balanced, joyful and happy life, she also shares her wonderful, powerful spirit with other canines in need. Shakti fully participates in rehabilitating fellow canines that we foster, rehabilitate and train. She’s never jealous of these dogs from shelters and rescue organizations who have suffered physical, psychological and emotional traumas. By sharing her positive attitude, her pack and her gentleness, she helps them heal and move on with their lives. She knows very well what pain is. Now she helps other dogs to overcome their own difficulties in life and free themselves from past traumatic experiences they had been through. She brings hope for a better tomorrow while being focused on all the great things that the present holds.

Good dog…S-t-a-a-a-a-a-a-y!

Shakti is here to stay. Her pack leader, Lexi is giving her a “Stay” command. Hopefully, it’s going to be a very long stay.“No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope and fear;
But grateful take the good I find,
The best of now and here.”

~ John G. Whittier


Written by Aleksandra “Lexi" Hayden

Fine-tuned Canines Owner/Founder/Trainer

Lexi Hayden is a proud Member of the International Association of Canine Professionals:    

Copyright © 2009-2010 All rights reserved.



[i] Rutherford III, John J. D.V.M. “Canine Bloat”.

Internet source:

[ii] Internet Source:

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Reader Comments (1)

Thanks for the great article! I especially thought the part comparing the known bloat symptoms with those Shakti experienced was truly helpful. I don't think I would have been able to link those specific symptoms to bloat - but now I will know if it happens to my pup!

Thanks again!

Dan and Ulric
Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 11:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterDan Frary

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