What pet parents can learn from Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's tragic Instagram post

If you follow Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson on Instagram, you probably saw his sad update about his puppy Brutus.

Brutus, whom Johnson introduced to his fans just a few short weeks ago, ate a poisonous mushroom and, unfortunately, had to be put down.

Another reminder we have to live and love as greatly as we can today, because tomorrow is never guaranteed. At approximately 11:15pm last night myself and @laurenhashianofficial had to make the painful decision to end Brutus' suffering by taking him off of life support and sending his soul to pup heaven. I held his lil' paw as he was finally at peace. As all puppies and dogs do, he ate a mushroom while playing outside with his brother Hobbs. This mushroom happened to have a lethal toxicity and within hours it was rapidly destroying his liver and immune system to the point of no return. I encourage all of you out there to be mindful of mushrooms in your yards, parks or anywhere outside your dogs play. What looks innocent, can be deadly to your lil' family members. Thank you Dr. Deckelbaum and Dr. West and the incredibly caring nurses and staff at The Animal Medical Center At Cooper City. We'll always love you Brutus.. and you'll always be my lil' main man and rough housing Brute. #RIPBrutus #WICHSYOMT
A photo posted by therock (@therock) on


The photo caption reads:


"Another reminder we have to live and love as greatly as we can today, because tomorrow is never guaranteed.
At approximately 11:15pm last night myself and @laurenhashianofficial had to make the painful decision to end Brutus' suffering by taking him off of life support and sending his soul to pup heaven. I held his lil' paw as he was finally at peace.
As all puppies and dogs do, he ate a mushroom while playing outside with his brother Hobbs. This mushroom happened to have a lethal toxicity and within hours it was rapidly destroying his liver and immune system to the point of no return.
I encourage all of you out there to be mindful of mushrooms in your yards, parks or anywhere outside your dogs play. What looks innocent, can be deadly to your lil' family members.
Thank you Dr. Deckelbaum and Dr. West and the incredibly caring nurses and staff at The Animal Medical Center At Cooper City.
We'll always love you Brutus.. and you'll always be my lil' main man and rough housing Brute.
#RIPBrutus #WICHSYOMT"





Johnson's story is heartbreaking, but sadly, it's not uncommon.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, their Animal Poison Control Center handled over 167,000 cases in 2014. About 13% of those cases involved human foods or plants.

It's important to be aware of the food and plants around your home that may have lethal consequences for your furry friends.

Here are 10 to watch out for:

1. Chocolate

Let's start with Dog Care 101. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, two ingredients that can cause vomiting, seizures, and death in dogs. As Halloween approaches, make sure to keep your candy out of paws' reach.

2. Sago Palms

Photo by Tatters/Flickr.

This popular plant kept indoors and out is highly dangerous to pets. The entire plant is poisonous, but just one seed can result in liver failure.

3. Raw Bread Dough

A dog's or cat's stomach is the perfect warm environment for yeast to multiply, which can cause the stomach to expand and restrict blood flow. All that yeast also produces alcohol, so your pet may suffer from alcohol poisoning.

4. Hops

Photo by iStock.

Speaking of alcohol, home brewers take note: These fragrant plants can cause a dog's temperature to climb to dangerous levels. And they're not great for cats either.

5. Macadamia Nuts

As few as six raw or roasted macadamia nuts can make a dog ill. Within 12 hours of eating the nuts, your dog may experience muscle weakness, vomiting, and a rapid increase in body temperature. When combined with chocolate (as is often the case) the symptoms only intensify.

6. Chrysanthemums

Photo by iStock.

These autumnal favorites are everywhere this time of year, but these popular flowers can cause dermatitis, vomiting, and incoordination in dogs and cats.

7. Garlic and Onions

This goes for everything in the garlic and onion family: leeks, chives, scallions, the works. Eating these veggies affects the red blood cells, which can cause anemia, organ failure, or death in dogs and cats. And be advised, toxicity can occur whether the products are fresh or concentrated in soup mixes and spices.

8. Amaryllis

Photo by iStock.

These beautiful plants are very common around Easter, but they're dangerous when ingested, causing tremors, hypersalivation (which is exactly what it sounds like), and intense abdominal pain.

9. Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins can cause rapid kidney failure in your four-legged friend. For this food in particular, all animals are not affected the same way, and veterinarians still don't know what it is about grapes that makes dogs and cats sick. Either way, keep Mother Nature's fruit snacks away from your pet.

10. Anything moldy or rotten

Some mold contains life-threatening toxins that can harm your pet. Avoid giving your dog rotting food, and help them steer clear of road kill or rotting fruits and nuts from trees while you're outside. A good rule to remember here: If you wouldn't eat it, don't let them eat it.

Worried your pet ingested something poisonous? Call your vet.

When your dog ingests something poisonous, minutes count. Do not wait for symptoms to appear because in some cases, it may be too late.

Photo by Austin Community College/Flickr.

Pets become members of the family for good reason: They're loving, affectionate, playful, and bring out the best in us.

Mistakes can happen, but armed with knowledge, you're in the best position to keep your pet happy and healthy for years to come.

Photo by iStock.

True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

via Seresto

A disturbing joint report by USA Today and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found that tens of thousands of pets have been harmed by Seresto flea and tick collars. Seresto was developed by Bayer and is now sold by Elanco.

Since Seresto flea collars were introduced in 2012, the EPA has received incident reports of at least 1,698 pet deaths linked to the product. Through June 2020, the EPA has received over 75,000 incident reports relating to the collars with over 1,000 involving human harm.

The EPA has known the collars are harming humans and their pets but failed to tell the public about the dangers.

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True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

Kara Coley, a bartender at Sipps in Gulfport, Mississippi, got an unusual phone call on the job last week.

Photo courtesy of Kara Coley.

"Good evening," Coley answered. "Thank you for calling Sipps!"

A woman on the other end of the line asked, "Is this a gay bar?"

Sipps welcomes everyone, Coley explained to her, but indeed attracts a mostly LGBTQ crowd.



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Over my own 20+ years of motherhood, I've written a lot about breastfeeding. My mom was a lactation consultant, I breastfed all three of my children through toddlerhood, and I've engaged in many lengthy debates about breastfeeding in public.

But in all that time, I've never seen a video that encapsulates the reality of the early days of breastfeeding like the Frida Mom ad that aired on NBC during the Golden Globes. And I've never seen a more perfect depiction of the full, raw reality of it than the uncensored version that bares too much full breast to be aired on network television.

The 30-second for-TV version is great and can be seen in this clip from ET Canada. The commentary that accompanies it is refreshing as well. We do need to normalize breastfeeding. We do need to see breasts in a context other than a sexualized one that caters to the male gaze. We do need to let new moms know they are not the only ones feeling the way they feel.


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