GerryR's blog

Gerry's Blog

Seven Myths about Old Age Part 2


The Seven Myths about Old Age Part 2


MYTH # 1: VERY FEW PEOPLE LIVE TO BE 100 YEARS OLD

This myth, like most of the ones I’ll be telling you about, is based on lack of information. In The Age Heresy by Tony Buzan and Raymond Keene they state that in January 1996 the number of centenarians in the USA was 50 000! “ According to the authors, by the year 2050 there will probably be 1.2 million American centenarians – 0.3 per cent of the overall US population,

A more accurate assessment for different countries, based on more recent census results, is as follows:

Canada: Centenarians in 2006: 3795 People over 65 = 13%

China: Centenarians in 2007: 17800 People over 65 = 7.90%

France: Centenarians in 2008: 20115

Japan: Centenarians in 2008: 36276 People over 65 = 22.30%

USA: Centenarians in 2000: 50454 People over 65 = 13%

England and Wales in 2007: 9330 People over 65 = 16%

At the rate this age group is growing, chances are that the number of centenarians in the USA are now over 70 000 and in Japan over 45 000.

There are certain places where there are a much higher percentage of centenarians than elsewhere in the world. One of them is Okinawa, Japan.

Let’s look at the reasons why there are so many people reaching the magical centenary mark in Okinawa:

•    They eat a high percentage of grains, fish, and vegetables and eat less meat, eggs, and dairy products.

•    They lead low-stress lifestyles, significantly less stressful then that of the mainland inhabitants of Japan.

•    They have a caring community, where they take better care of older adults and do not leave them isolated, as is often the case in many other cultures.

•    They have high levels of activity. Locals work until an older age than the average age in other countries and there is more emphasis on activities like walking and gardening to keep active.

•    Spirituality: a sense of purpose comes from involvement in spiritual matters and prayer eases the mind of stress and problems.

In this blog we will look at various ways to improve many of the factors I mentioned here.

Do I hear you say: “Yes Gerry, I get that there are a lot of people over 100, but how healthy are these old folks? Aren’t they a burden on society?”

I’m glad you asked! Gerontologists - blokes studying old age - say that people in their nineties and over may in fact be healthier overall than people 20 years younger.

Certainly the fastest growing age group is not the baby-boomers, but the oldest of the old,  that is people who are 85 and over. Time Magazine published statistics in 1990 showing that between 1960 and 1990 the over-85 age group’s population growth was a staggering 232% compared to the “all-ages” growth of 39%. (The over 65 to 85 group still managed a creditable 89% compared to a measly 13% for the under 25 group).

The oldest person ever, was Jeanne Louise Calment who died in France at the ripe old age of 122. At age 85, she took up fencing and at 100; she was still riding a bicycle!

Her prescription for a long life: “Garlic, vegetables, cigarettes (!), red wine and avoiding brawls”. On another occasion, she ascribed her longevity and relatively youthful appearance for her age to olive oil, which she said she poured on all her food and rubbed onto her skin, as well as a diet of port wine, and nearly 2 pounds of chocolate eaten every week! (Wikipedia)
I suggest you ignore the advice on cigarettes and chocolate \

Doctor Shigeaki Hinohara JUDIT KAWAGUCHIPHOTO

dr_shigeaki_hinohara.jpg

At the age of 97 years and 4 months, Shigeaki Hinohara is one of the world's longest-serving physicians and educators. Hinohara's magic touch is legendary: Since 1941 he has been healing patients at St. Luke's International Hospital in Tokyo and teaching at St. Luke\'s College of Nursing.

After World War II, he envisioned a world-class hospital and college springing from the ruins of Tokyo. Thanks to his pioneering spirit and business savvy; the doctor turned these institutions into the nation's top medical facility and nursing school. Today he serves as chairman of the board of trustees at both organizations.

Always willing to try new things, he has published around 150 books since his 75th birthday, including one "Living Long, Living Good" that has sold more than 1.2 million copies.

As the founder of the New Elderly Movement, Hinohara encourages others to live a long and happy life, a quest in which no role model is better than the doctor himself:

'Energy comes from feeling good, not from eating well or sleeping a lot. We all remember how as children, when we were having fun, we often forgot to eat or sleep. I believe that we can keep that attitude as adults, too. It's best not to tire the body with too many rules such as lunchtime and bedtime.

'All people who live long, regardless of nationality, race or gender, share one thing in common: None are overweight...

'For breakfast I drink coffee, a glass of milk and some orange juice with a tablespoon of olive oil in it. Olive oil is great for the arteries and keeps my skin healthy. Lunch is milk and a few cookies, or nothing when I am too busy to eat. I never get hungry because I focus on my work… Dinner is veggies, a bit of fish and rice, and, twice a week, 100 grams of lean meat…

'Always plan ahead. My schedule book is already full until 2014, with lectures and my usual hospital work.

'In 2016 I'll have some fun, though: I plan to attend the Tokyo Olympics!

'There is no need to ever retire, but if one must, it should be a lot later than 65. The current retirement age was set at 65 half a century ago, when the average life-expectancy in Japan was 68 years and only 125 Japanese were over 100 years old.

'Today, Japanese women live to be around 86 and men 80, and we have 36,000 centenarians in our country. In 20 years we will have about 50,000 people over the age of 100...

'Share what you know. I give 150 lectures a year, some for 100 elementary-school children, others for 4,500 business people. I usually speak for 60 to 90 minutes, standing, to stay strong.

'When a doctor recommends you take a test or have some surgery, ask whether the doctor would suggest that his or her spouse or children go through such a procedure. Contrary to popular belief, doctors can't cure everyone. So why cause unnecessary pain with surgery?

'I think music and animal therapy can help more than most doctors imagine.

'To stay healthy, always take the stairs and carry your own stuff. I take two stairs at a time, to get my muscles moving.

'My inspiration is Robert Browning's poem "Abt Vogler." My father used to read it to me. It encourages us to make big art, not small scribbles. It says to try to draw a circle so huge that there is no way we can finish it while we are alive. All we see is an arch; the rest is beyond our vision but it is there in the distance.

'Pain is mysterious, and having fun is the best way to forget it. If a child has a toothache, and you start playing a game together, he or she immediately forgets the pain.

'Hospitals must cater to the basic need of patients: We all want to have fun. At St. Luke's we have music and animal therapies, and art classes.

'Don't be crazy about amassing material things. Remember: You don't know when your number is up, and you can't take it with you to the next place.

'Hospitals must be designed and prepared for major disasters, and they must accept every patient who appears at their doors. We designed St.... Luke's so we can operate anywhere: in the basement, in the corridors, in the chapel.

'Most people thought I was crazy to prepare for a catastrophe, but on March 20, 1995, I was unfortunately proven right when members of the Aum Shinrikyu religious cult launched a terrorist attack in the Tokyo subway. We accepted 740 victims and in two hours figured out that it was sarin gas that had hit them. Sadly we lost one person, but we saved 739 lives.

'Science alone can't cure or help people. Science lumps us all together, but illness is individual. Each person is unique, and diseases are connected to their hearts. To know the illness and help people, we need liberal and visual arts, not just medical ones.

'Life is filled with incidents. On March 31, 1970, when I was 59 years old, I boarded the Yodogo, a flight from Tokyo to Fukuoka. It was a beautiful sunny morning, and as Mount Fuji came into sight, the plane was hijacked by the Japanese Communist League-Red Army Faction. I spent the next four days handcuffed to my seat in 40-degree heat. As a doctor, I looked at it all as an experiment and was amazed at how the body slowed down in a crisis.

'Find a role model and aim to achieve even more than they could ever do. My father went to the United States in 1900 to study at Duke University in North Carolina. He was a pioneer and one of my heroes. Later I found a few more life guides, and when I am stuck, I ask myself how they would deal with the problem.

'It's wonderful to live long. Until one is 60 years old, it is easy to work for one's family and to achieve one's goals. But in our later years, we should strive to contribute to society. Since the age of 65, I have worked as a volunteer. I still put in 18 hours seven days a week and love every minute of it.'

Dan Buettner and the Power9 concept

If you watch Oprah you may have heard about the Power9 concept. It is a concept that stems from Dan Buettner's research in the Blue Zones (the longest-living cultures in the world), and describes nine 'secrets' to a longer, healthier life.

The Power9 emphasizes making changes to your environment that will influence your habits. It's much easier to promote good habits through environmental change than it is to force changes to long-standing behaviour.

Here are the nine behaviours that can lead to a healthier longer life:

1.    Move (find ways to move mindlessly, make moving unavoidable)
2.    Plan de Vida (know your purpose in life)
3.    Down Shift (work less, slow down, rest, take vacations)
4.    80% Rule (stop eating when you're 80% full)
5.    Plant-Power (more veggies, less protein and processed foods)
6.    Red Wine (consistency and moderation)
7.    Belong (create a healthy social network)
8.    Beliefs (spiritual or religious participation)
9.    Your Tribe (make family a priority)

You now know that living to 100 and beyond is doable, but is it desirable? I mean, what if your brain can’t even grasp how old you are at that age? This brings us to the second great myth about “old age”. (To be Continued)


Friday 04 June 2010 - 22:13:47

Uncategorized | Comments (10) | Rating: not rated | Thursday 24 May 2012 - 16:50:03

Press release from Iams/Eukanuba


eukanuba_mgdg_re.jpg

With the recent scare of Alfatoxicosis and quality control in the petfood market we at Eukanuba, Iams and Eukanuba Veterinary Diets would like to assure you of our safety and quality. We have over 60 years of experience, dedicated Research and Development, specific tailored dog and cat nutritional expertise. We use only ingredients based on quality, proven efficacy and appropriateness for dogs and cats rather than what is “fashionable” in humans.

Each bag of our food goes through over 120 quality and safety checks during the manufacturing process. For the past 8 years we have subjected our manufacturing plant to assessment by the AIB (American Institute of Bakers – used to asses safety, hygiene and quality of production in HUMAN food plants). We have received 8 consecutive “Superior”
ratings (their highest level) from AIB. Only 12 % of the companies assessed received this rating.

We are also proud to be the only petfood company in SA that refines the chicken meal going into our products.


Refining is an expensive process and removes the non digestible portions and gives a superior raw material, more standardised protein levels and therefore a better end product.
We believe dogs and cats do best fed as carnivores and our diets also contain animal based proteins * promoting lean muscle mass and less body fat when compared to diets containing vegetable proteins.

Eukanuba is proud to still be the only petfood awarded Superbrand status in South Africa.
For any queries or information please contact our dedicated customer care team on customercare©cuberoute.co.za


or Dr. Frans Pretorius at frans©cuberoute.co.za or begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0823490520 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0823490520 end_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting
0823490520
*Only exception is Eukanuba Veterinary Renal diet specifically formulated with the right blend of quality proteins to promote normal tissue maintenance without the overload on renal function


Uncategorized | Comments (0) | Rating: not rated | Wednesday 08 June 2011 - 12:18:31

Daily wisdom 18th May 2011


1. Education is going to college to learn to express your ignorance in scientific terms Unknown 18th May 2011

2. Shades of Malema: Any clod can have the facts; having opinions is an art. Charles McCabe 18th May 2010

To read more about Charles McCabe click here

3. One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries. A A Milne 18th May 2009

More quotes from A A Milne click here

a_a_milne.jpg


Uncategorized | Comments (0) | Rating: not rated | Wednesday 18 May 2011 - 09:49:17

Daily wisdom


truman_capote.jpg

I have diaries from one of my suppliers (Pfizer) spanning the last three years. They have printed a quote from famous writers or from that very prolific writer called 'anonymous' for every day. For today 17th May they have a quote from Truman Capote, the author of In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany's: "Friendship is a pretty full-time occupation if you really are friendly with somebody. You can't have too many friends because then you're just not really friends."

I like the anonymous quote for 17th May 2010: "We will be judged by what we finish, not by what we start!"

The quote for 17th May 2009 is a chilling one from Joseph Stalin: "A single death is a tragedy: a million deaths is a statistic"

joseph_stalin.jpg


Uncategorized | Comments (0) | Rating: not rated | Tuesday 17 May 2011 - 09:55:27

Daily wisdom


pete_seeger.jpg

Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don't. Pete Seeger

To read more about Pete Seeger click here


Uncategorized | Comments (0) | Rating: not rated | Monday 16 May 2011 - 09:50:52

AIR DISASTER


Disaster

Amazing photos show great detail.

The   pilot at low level had no control over his aircraft.

It   narrowly misses a crowd gathered for the airshow and slams into four

buildings. One can only imagine the horror of the occupants inside

those buildings.

 

air_crash.jpg

 

Probably scared the shit out of them.


Uncategorized | Comments (0) | Rating: not rated | Sunday 13 February 2011 - 21:24:12

Embarrasing moment for a preacher


image007.jpg

A Texas preacher rose with an angry red face. "Someone in this congregation has spread a rumor that I belong to the Ku Klux Klan. This is a horrible lie, and one which a Christian community cannot tolerate. I am embarrassed and do not intend to accept this. Now, I want the party who did this to stand and ask forgiveness from God and this Christian family."

No one moved. The preacher continued, \"Do you have the nerve to face me and admit this is a falsehood? Remember, you will be forgiven and in your heart you will feel glory. Now stand and confess your transgression."

Again all was quiet. Then, slowly, a drop-dead gorgeous blonde with a body that would stop traffic rose from the third pew. Her head was bowed and her voice quivered as she spoke.

"Reverend there has been a terrible misunderstanding. I never said you were a member of the Ku Klux Klan. I simply told a couple of my friends that you were a wizard under the sheets!"

The preacher fainted!


Uncategorized | Comments (0) | Rating: not rated | Saturday 12 February 2011 - 21:51:20

Looking for a wife


getting_old.jpg

Two old guys are pushing their carts around Wal-Mart

when they collide. The first old guy says to the

second guy, "Sorry about that. I'm looking for my

wife, and I guess I wasn't paying attention to where I was going."

The second old guy says, "That's OK, It's a

coincidence. I'm looking for my wife, too. I can't

find her and I'm getting a little desperate."

The first old guy says, "Well, maybe I can help you

find her. What does she look like?"

The second old guy says: "Well, she is 27 yrs old,

tall, with red hair, blue eyes, long legs, big bust,

and is wearing short shorts. What does your wife look like?"

To which the first old guy says, "Doesn't matter,

--- let's look for yours."


Uncategorized | Comments (0) | Rating: not rated | Saturday 12 February 2011 - 08:47:30

The best minds


bush-clinton-chastity.jpg

The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would steal them away. Ronald Reagen


Uncategorized | Comments (0) | Rating: not rated | Tuesday 04 January 2011 - 21:50:35

Something for my golfing friends


golf_cartoon.jpg

I'll know I'm getting better at golf because I'm hitting fewer spectators: Gerald Ford


Uncategorized | Comments (0) | Rating: not rated | Monday 03 January 2011 - 13:13:18

The Seven Myths about Old Age Part 4


memoryloss.jpg

MYTH # 3: THE MEMORY CAPACITY OF ALL PEOPLE DECLINE WITH AGE.

This myth is a self-fulfilling type of scenario. Because you forget things like where you’ve left your keys or leave things behind in restaurants or meeting places, you immediately think “Oh my gawd! I’m getting old. I’ll forget my name next!”

The authors of The Age Heresy suggest that you should visit any primary school and ask the principal to see all the stuff left behind by the six-year-old geniuses with fabulous memories. You’ll find coats, pens, cell phones, glasses, lots of different items of clothing, toys, jewellery, cameras, I-pods, pets, bags, books, you-name-it. So do you think any of these kids will go into a decline because they think their “memory is going?” Of course not!

So the adult 60-something forgets about all the memory lapses of her youth and only focuses on the mythically perfect memory she used to have. Now, when she has any kind of memory glitch, she immediately believes that her memory is “going” because of her age. 

Your long-term memory is already phenomenal but you’re not even aware of it. Here’s an illustration of this. You know and use thousands of words in at least one language without thinking about it. You know many routes around your house and city without having to consult a map. Think of the many telephone numbers you have stored in that computer in your skull!

Long term and short term memory is not affected by old age. Obviously there are diseases affecting older people that may cause memory loss, but this does not mean memory loss is inevitable as you grow older. On the contrary I will show you how you can improve memory until the grim reaper comes for you. biglaugh.png

Things to help you remember
(From http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/seniors/common-older/124.html )

•    Keep lists.
•    Follow a routine.
•    Make associations (connect things in your mind), such as using landmarks to help you find places.
•    Keep a detailed calendar.
•    Put important items, such as your keys, in the same place every time.
•    Repeat names when you meet new people.
•    Do things that keep your mind and body busy.
•    Run through the ABC's in your head to help you think of words you're having trouble remembering. "Hearing" the first letter of a word may jog your memory.

Here are the symptoms that you should look out for in yourself or your “old folks” that are not part of “normal aging”:
•    Forgetting things much more often than you used to
•    Forgetting how to do things you've done many times before
•    Trouble learning new things
•    Repeating phrases or stories in the same conversation
•    Trouble making choices or handling money
•    Not being able to keep track of what happens each day

If you spot any of these symptoms, you or your parents or grandparents should consult a doctor.

Be careful though, an eminent gerontologist Dr Avorn from the National Institute of Aging warns:


“What can happen is that an older person who is admitted to a hospital for something like a broken hip or heart attack can become confused as a side-effect of drugs or simply from the strangeness of the hospital routine. The condition is reversible, but the family, or even the physician, doesn’t recognise that fact. They assume this is the beginning of senile dementia and pack the person off to a nursing home.”

So how can you support somebody that has been diagnosed with dementia ?
This is a whole new topic that is far too complex for this article, but if you are anxious to know how you can assist and cope with a loved one with dementia, please click on this link.


Uncategorized | Comments (0) | Rating: not rated | Thursday 22 July 2010 - 11:19:39

LATEST INFO ABOUT RESVERATROL


resvantage_195x165.gif

RESVERATROL: A NATURAL WAY OF FIGHTING CANCER AND OLD AGE!

There seems to be no doubt in the minds of scientists that the natural polyphenol Resveratrol found in many plants but especially red wine and red grape skins has a protective action for normal cells and tissues and significantly, has a toxic effect on cancer cells. But that is not all! Resveratrol also has protective effects on the heart, circulation, brain and age-related diseases.

There are a number of new articles on Resveratrol published recently. One of the most significant can be found in Curr. Drug Metab. 2009 Jul: 10(6): 530-46

Here is an abstract:

Resveratrol: A Natural Polyphenol with Multiple Chemopreventive Properties (Review)
pp.530-546 (17) Authors: Fabrizia Brisdelli, Gabriele D\'Andrea, Argante Bozzi

Abstract:

Resveratrol, a naturally occurring polyphenol, shows pleiotropic health beneficial effects, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, cardioprotective and neuroprotective activities.

Due to the several protective effects and since this compound is widely distributed in the plant kingdom, resveratrol can be envisaged as a chemopreventive/ curative agent introduced almost daily with the diet.

Currently, a number of preclinical findings suggest resveratrol as a promising nature\'s weapon for cancer prevention and treatment. A remarkable progress in elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying anti-cancer properties of resveratrol has been achieved in the last years.

Concerning the resveratrol mechanism of action as a protective (vs. normal cells and tissues) and toxic (vs. cancer cells) compound, many studies focus on its antioxidant capacity as well as on its ability to trigger and favour the apoptotic cascade in malignant cells. However, a generalized mechanism of action able to explain this dual effect of resveratrol has not yet been clearly established. In addition to these important functions, resveratrol is reported to exhibit several other biological/biochemical protective effects on heart, circulation, brain and age-related diseases which are summarized in this Review.

Keywords: Resveratrol, polyphenols, chemoprevention, anti-cancer, apoptosis, cardioprotection, neuroprotection
Affiliation: Department of Biomedical Sciences and Technologies, University of L\'Aquila, L\'Aquila, and Consorzio INBB, Italy.

WEIGHT LOSS WITH RESVERATROL!

It has long been established in mice that Resveratrol has the same effect as a calorie restricted diet. Now for the first time it has been shown in primates (Lemurs).

Lemurs Lose Weight With \'Life-Extending\' Supplement Resveratrol

ScienceDaily (June 22, 2010) — The anti-obesity properties of resveratrol have been demonstrated for the first time in a primate. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Physiology studied the compound, generated naturally by plants to ward off pathogens, which has received much interest as a dietary supplement for its supposed life-extending effects.

The researchers demonstrated that a four-week resveratrol supplementation was associated with a decrease in food intake and a reduction in seasonal body-mass gain.

The response to resveratrol supplementation also involved significant changes in the animals\' body temperatures. According to Dr Aujard, \"These results provide novel information on the potential effects of resveratrol on energy metabolism and control of body mass in a primate.

BioMed Central (2010, June 22). Lemurs lose weight with \'life-extending\' supplement resveratrol. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 21, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2010/06/100621215946.htm

TO ORDER RESVERATROL (RESVANTAGE) please click HERE


Uncategorized | Comments (0) | Rating: not rated | Wednesday 21 July 2010 - 16:10:36

The Seven Myths about Old Age Part 3


MYTH # 2: MILLIONS OF BRAIN CELLS DIE EVERY YEAR AS YOU GET OLDER.

att000033.jpg
This is one of the most devastating myths that causes untold misery to millions of people.mad.png Imagine what happens when your boss looks at a younger man or woman to replace you because you have reached 60.

Never mind that you have a heck of a lot more experience, that you have proved over and over that you are honest and reliable, that she will have to train the new recruit in the ways of the company – you must make way for the younger person because you’ve 'lost too many brain cells!' Unfair no?

But wait, it gets worse: what happens if you yourself believe that you’re losing millions of brain cells every day to the place in the sky where all good brain cells go? How motivated and optimistic could you possibly be if you believe such BS? You would think, "Oh no! I can’t compete with these youngsters… They must have a lot more brain cells than me!”

Unfortunately this stupid belief is very prevalent. We retire people at 65 and yet vote for people over 70 to run our country! How crazy is that?

The truth is that recent studies have shown that mental decline amounts to only 5-15% over a lifetime and starts at age 20.

All these studies look at the average decline in a group of people. The problem is the scientists don’t look at the top group of people that are not following the trend and is above average in that their brains actually improve with age. They don’t look at this group because they mess up the 'norm'.

So let us look at them: what kind of people’s brains actually improve with age?

•    They’re interested in learning
•    They’re all optimistic with a balanced, positive outlook
•    They’re all active – physically, mentally, emotionally, sensually and sexually
•    The majority have a great sense of humour
•    They tend to teach
•    They consider themselves wealthy

So the good news for me is that I have all of those characteristics, so 120 here I come!biglaugh.png

Look at the list and decide which of them you are a bit short of and then work to improve that aspect of your life. (For instance, if you are not as sexually active as you used to be, don’t be scared to try out something new like Levitra!) More about this and other recreational drugs later.wink.png

"So what about Alzheimer’s?" I hear you ask. "That surely is a disease of old age where the brain cells die off?” In The Age Heresy the authors say:

“Recent research suggests that stimulating the mind with mental exercise may cause brain cells, called neurons, to branch wildly…Think of it…as a computer with a bigger memory board."

“The capacity of the brain to change offers new hope for preventing and treating brain diseases. It helps to explain why some people can:

1. Delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms for years. Studies show that the more educated a person is, the less likely he or she is to show symptoms of the disease. The reason: intellectual activity develops surplus brain tissue that compensates for the tissue damage by the disease.

2. Make a better recovery from strokes…even when areas of the brain are permanently damaged by a stroke, new message routes can be created to get around the road block or to resume the function of the area.”

So forget about your brain cells dying off by the million. It simply is not true.

What about your memory? Surely your memory 'goes' with age? This brings us to the third myth: (To be Continued)

Your comments will be much appreciated!


Uncategorized | Comments (2) | Rating: not rated | Sunday 06 June 2010 - 19:57:12

The Seven Myths about Old Age Part 2


MYTH # 1: VERY FEW PEOPLE LIVE TO BE 100 YEARS OLD

This myth, like most of the ones I’ll be telling you about, is based on lack of information. In The Age Heresy by Tony Buzan and Raymond Keene they state that in January 1996 the number of centenarians in the USA was 50 000! “ According to the authors, by the year 2050 there will probably be 1.2 million American centenarians – 0.3 per cent of the overall US population,

A more accurate assessment for different countries, based on more recent census results, is as follows:

Canada: Centenarians in 2006: 3795 People over 65 = 13%

China: Centenarians in 2007: 17800 People over 65 = 7.90%

France: Centenarians in 2008: 20115

Japan: Centenarians in 2008: 36276 People over 65 = 22.30%

USA: Centenarians in 2000: 50454 People over 65 = 13%

England and Wales in 2007: 9330 People over 65 = 16%

At the rate this age group is growing, chances are that the number of centenarians in the USA are now over 70 000 and in Japan over 45 000.

There are certain places where there are a much higher percentage of centenarians than elsewhere in the world. One of them is Okinawa, Japan.

Let’s look at the reasons why there are so many people reaching the magical centenary mark in Okinawa:

•    They eat a high percentage of grains, fish, and vegetables and eat less meat, eggs, and dairy products.

•    They lead low-stress lifestyles, significantly less stressful then that of the mainland inhabitants of Japan.

•    They have a caring community, where they take better care of older adults and do not leave them isolated, as is often the case in many other cultures.

•    They have high levels of activity. Locals work until an older age than the average age in other countries and there is more emphasis on activities like walking and gardening to keep active.

•    Spirituality: a sense of purpose comes from involvement in spiritual matters and prayer eases the mind of stress and problems.

In this blog we will look at various ways to improve many of the factors I mentioned here.

Do I hear you say: “Yes Gerry, I get that there are a lot of people over 100, but how healthy are these old folks? Aren’t they a burden on society?”

I’m glad you asked! Gerontologists - blokes studying old age - say that people in their nineties and over may in fact be healthier overall than people 20 years younger.

Certainly the fastest growing age group is not the baby-boomers, but the oldest of the old,  that is people who are 85 and over. Time Magazine published statistics in 1990 showing that between 1960 and 1990 the over-85 age group’s population growth was a staggering 232% compared to the “all-ages” growth of 39%. (The over 65 to 85 group still managed a creditable 89% compared to a measly 13% for the under 25 group).

The oldest person ever, was Jeanne Louise Calment who died in France at the ripe old age of 122. At age 85, she took up fencing and at 100; she was still riding a bicycle!

Her prescription for a long life: “Garlic, vegetables, cigarettes (!), red wine and avoiding brawls”. On another occasion, she ascribed her longevity and relatively youthful appearance for her age to olive oil, which she said she poured on all her food and rubbed onto her skin, as well as a diet of port wine, and nearly 2 pounds of chocolate eaten every week! (Wikipedia)
I suggest you ignore the advice on cigarettes and chocolate \

Doctor Shigeaki Hinohara JUDIT KAWAGUCHIPHOTO

dr_shigeaki_hinohara.jpg

At the age of 97 years and 4 months, Shigeaki Hinohara is one of the world's longest-serving physicians and educators. Hinohara's magic touch is legendary: Since 1941 he has been healing patients at St. Luke's International Hospital in Tokyo and teaching at St. Luke\'s College of Nursing.

After World War II, he envisioned a world-class hospital and college springing from the ruins of Tokyo. Thanks to his pioneering spirit and business savvy; the doctor turned these institutions into the nation's top medical facility and nursing school. Today he serves as chairman of the board of trustees at both organizations.

Always willing to try new things, he has published around 150 books since his 75th birthday, including one "Living Long, Living Good" that has sold more than 1.2 million copies.

As the founder of the New Elderly Movement, Hinohara encourages others to live a long and happy life, a quest in which no role model is better than the doctor himself:

'Energy comes from feeling good, not from eating well or sleeping a lot. We all remember how as children, when we were having fun, we often forgot to eat or sleep. I believe that we can keep that attitude as adults, too. It's best not to tire the body with too many rules such as lunchtime and bedtime.

'All people who live long, regardless of nationality, race or gender, share one thing in common: None are overweight...

'For breakfast I drink coffee, a glass of milk and some orange juice with a tablespoon of olive oil in it. Olive oil is great for the arteries and keeps my skin healthy. Lunch is milk and a few cookies, or nothing when I am too busy to eat. I never get hungry because I focus on my work… Dinner is veggies, a bit of fish and rice, and, twice a week, 100 grams of lean meat…

'Always plan ahead. My schedule book is already full until 2014, with lectures and my usual hospital work.

'In 2016 I'll have some fun, though: I plan to attend the Tokyo Olympics!

'There is no need to ever retire, but if one must, it should be a lot later than 65. The current retirement age was set at 65 half a century ago, when the average life-expectancy in Japan was 68 years and only 125 Japanese were over 100 years old.

'Today, Japanese women live to be around 86 and men 80, and we have 36,000 centenarians in our country. In 20 years we will have about 50,000 people over the age of 100...

'Share what you know. I give 150 lectures a year, some for 100 elementary-school children, others for 4,500 business people. I usually speak for 60 to 90 minutes, standing, to stay strong.

'When a doctor recommends you take a test or have some surgery, ask whether the doctor would suggest that his or her spouse or children go through such a procedure. Contrary to popular belief, doctors can't cure everyone. So why cause unnecessary pain with surgery?

'I think music and animal therapy can help more than most doctors imagine.

'To stay healthy, always take the stairs and carry your own stuff. I take two stairs at a time, to get my muscles moving.

'My inspiration is Robert Browning's poem "Abt Vogler." My father used to read it to me. It encourages us to make big art, not small scribbles. It says to try to draw a circle so huge that there is no way we can finish it while we are alive. All we see is an arch; the rest is beyond our vision but it is there in the distance.

'Pain is mysterious, and having fun is the best way to forget it. If a child has a toothache, and you start playing a game together, he or she immediately forgets the pain.

'Hospitals must cater to the basic need of patients: We all want to have fun. At St. Luke's we have music and animal therapies, and art classes.

'Don't be crazy about amassing material things. Remember: You don't know when your number is up, and you can't take it with you to the next place.

'Hospitals must be designed and prepared for major disasters, and they must accept every patient who appears at their doors. We designed St.... Luke's so we can operate anywhere: in the basement, in the corridors, in the chapel.

'Most people thought I was crazy to prepare for a catastrophe, but on March 20, 1995, I was unfortunately proven right when members of the Aum Shinrikyu religious cult launched a terrorist attack in the Tokyo subway. We accepted 740 victims and in two hours figured out that it was sarin gas that had hit them. Sadly we lost one person, but we saved 739 lives.

'Science alone can't cure or help people. Science lumps us all together, but illness is individual. Each person is unique, and diseases are connected to their hearts. To know the illness and help people, we need liberal and visual arts, not just medical ones.

'Life is filled with incidents. On March 31, 1970, when I was 59 years old, I boarded the Yodogo, a flight from Tokyo to Fukuoka. It was a beautiful sunny morning, and as Mount Fuji came into sight, the plane was hijacked by the Japanese Communist League-Red Army Faction. I spent the next four days handcuffed to my seat in 40-degree heat. As a doctor, I looked at it all as an experiment and was amazed at how the body slowed down in a crisis.

'Find a role model and aim to achieve even more than they could ever do. My father went to the United States in 1900 to study at Duke University in North Carolina. He was a pioneer and one of my heroes. Later I found a few more life guides, and when I am stuck, I ask myself how they would deal with the problem.

'It's wonderful to live long. Until one is 60 years old, it is easy to work for one's family and to achieve one's goals. But in our later years, we should strive to contribute to society. Since the age of 65, I have worked as a volunteer. I still put in 18 hours seven days a week and love every minute of it.'

Dan Buettner and the Power9 concept

If you watch Oprah you may have heard about the Power9 concept. It is a concept that stems from Dan Buettner's research in the Blue Zones (the longest-living cultures in the world), and describes nine 'secrets' to a longer, healthier life.

The Power9 emphasizes making changes to your environment that will influence your habits. It's much easier to promote good habits through environmental change than it is to force changes to long-standing behaviour.

Here are the nine behaviours that can lead to a healthier longer life:

1.    Move (find ways to move mindlessly, make moving unavoidable)
2.    Plan de Vida (know your purpose in life)
3.    Down Shift (work less, slow down, rest, take vacations)
4.    80% Rule (stop eating when you're 80% full)
5.    Plant-Power (more veggies, less protein and processed foods)
6.    Red Wine (consistency and moderation)
7.    Belong (create a healthy social network)
8.    Beliefs (spiritual or religious participation)
9.    Your Tribe (make family a priority)

You now know that living to 100 and beyond is doable, but is it desirable? I mean, what if your brain can’t even grasp how old you are at that age? This brings us to the second great myth about “old age”. (To be Continued)


Uncategorized | Comments (85) | Rating: not rated | Friday 04 June 2010 - 22:13:54

Amber\'s portrait by Crystal Shannon


amber_final_no_water.jpg

I have just received a photograph of the portrait done of our beloved Amber by Crystal Shannon! If you would like a portrait done of your pet horse, dog, cat etc. please order by clicking here Then upload a few pics of your pet either on our Forum, Blog, or Facebook page.


Uncategorized | Comments (3) | Rating: 5 | Sunday 23 May 2010 - 12:49:15

Deborah\'s positive minute


debs1_033.jpg

Your last day

I had the honour and joy of knowing an amazing  young down- syndrome boy who truly lived in the moment and created instant happiness with his smile. His favourite song was Nicklebacks “If today was your last day” and recently when he passed away suddenly; they played it at his memorial service.  I am so grateful… because each time I hear that song now I am reminded of the quote: \"Treat everyone as if today was their last day and live your life as if it were yours.\" Life is such a precious gift but our time here is transient and we need to celebrate each moment that we have. So today and everyday treat it as if it were your last.  Because one day it will be and then you will have ensured that “you filled the world with love” (Thank you Mr Chips) It’s all about the attitude in which you approach people and life itself, if approached reverently and seen as the gift it is, life becomes a blessing, if you look for the gift in each encounter and see each person as the gift that they are, you will treat them accordingly and your presence will inspire and uplift  them.

Then each of your “last days” will be filled with joy, laughter and love and celebrated for the gift that they are.

To invite Deborah to speak for your organization, or to order “The Positive Minute audio CD”  visit www.deborahnel.co.za Call 0836616053 or email positive@deborahnel.co.za


Uncategorized | Comments (2) | Rating: not rated | Friday 21 May 2010 - 22:13:53

The Seven Myths about Old Age Part 1 Introduction


The Top Seven Myths about Old Age


old_flames.jpg


Welcome to my longevity blog. The more I worked on this article and researched the wonderful work done by scientists all over the world on the subject of longevity and old age, the more excited and interested I’ve become to learn more. I’ve learnt amazing facts that blew my mind and inspired me. Facts I’ll share with you on this blog.

I’ve learnt that there are more than 50 000 centenarians in the USA alone and that the 100-year-old club’s membership is one of the fastest growing clubs in the world.

I’ve learnt that most people have no idea how exciting life can be after 60. Exciting in ways not usually associated with sexagenarians. Yes, that’s what they’re called, sexagenarians…and for good reason! As you will see, contrary to general belief, they are indeed extremely active in the sex department.

Some people are born old. Others write 150 books between the ages of 75 and 96. (You will read more about this amazing Japanese doctor later). I’ll show you how long you can expect to live with your present lifestyle and how to improve your “score”.

You have to get all wrinkled as you reach your 40th birthday, right? Wrong! Tell that to Sophia Loren! I’ll show you her secret and you too can look amazingly younger without resorting to poisonous injections or painful surgery.

With all these people getting so much older, surely they can be a burden on family, community and state? Not necessarily. I’ll show you how you can exercise your brain, learn new skills and earn enough to live comfortably without financial help from anybody.

Medical science is rapidly making it possible for people to live longer, more productive and healthier lives.

Only a few years ago the average life expectancy was 72 (three score years and ten+). Nowadays actuaries tell the Insurance industry that the average life expectancy is 82! Soon people will live healthy lives until they’re 120... 

Throughout the text of this blog you will find links to interesting places where you can explore ways that you can use to improve and prolong your life, both physically and financially.

So let’s explore the myths about “old age”. (To be continued)


Uncategorized | Comments (2) | Rating: not rated | Tuesday 18 May 2010 - 10:03:18

My daughter Deborah


debs1_031.jpg

 

My daughter Deborah has a slot on a radio station called Radio Rippel. It\'s called The Positive Minute. This is the text of today\'s message:

JOY IS ALL AROUND

Joy is all around, you can always find something to be joyful about, they may be small things but when you look for them and feel appreciation for them, they snow ball until looking for, feeling and expressing joy, becomes your natural way of being. Use your imagination to remember joyful things, imagine joyful times in the future, notice the wonders and the beauty around you. Small children know how to find joy, they see dragon scales in tree trunks, faeries in dew drops and heaven in a bucket of mud. William Wordsworth said “Who are we that so full of care, we have not time to stop and stare” So stop often in the day and take a moment to find joy through the blessings that surround you. When you are in a joyful, happy state, any person or situation you focus on benefits from your attention, because your attention is warm, caring, appreciative and joyful, and when showered with that kind of attention everyone becomes radiant.

To invite Deborah to speak for your organization, or to order “The Positive Minute audio CD”  visit www.deborahnel.co.za


Uncategorized | Comments (2) | Rating: not rated | Friday 14 May 2010 - 10:18:26

Lambertsbaai and the dongle challenge


We've arrived in Lambertsbaai after a flight on 1-time and an exhausting drive i na hire car (Polo) via Langebaan where we had a short stay  with my old friend Carel Jarrard. Shortly before you hit Lambertsbaai you encounter a horrifically bad dirt road. Boy, am I glad I listened to Louise, my daughter, and did not drive down in my beloved BMW! Iwould have felt every bump and stone as if it had hit my own body. For the Polo I felt nothing. Had the most wonderful meal at a waterfront restaurant. When we arrived, Rose wasn't too keen even to go into the place. It looks like a shack with gravel floors and canvass walls. But what a meal! We had gynormous prawns looking like young crayfish for R20 per prawn. You could taste that these were no frozen oldies. They must have been freshly caught today.

When we got back to our B&B (Sir Lamberts) I tried to get my dongle working. At first it went into a frenzied loop and kept on trying to install itself. Then in desperation I installed the thing with the CD Rom that came with it. I was told to restart my computer. It wouldn't restart. Long story short, eventually I discovered that if I unplugged the damn dongle the laptop would start. Now, yayy! it's working So I'll be able to keep in touch.


Uncategorized | Comments (2) | Rating: not rated | Wednesday 21 April 2010 - 22:21:55

Crayfish Festival


Rose and I are leaving for Lambertsbay tomorrow 21st April to attend the annual Crayfish Festival. Apart from lots of crayfish, there will also be musical gigs and theatre productions. Of course we will also tour our favourite wine cellars. Undoubtedly a number of cases will follow us back home after the 29th when we come home. I'll have my trusty laptop with me complete with dongle, so I'll be dingling my dongle and carry on visiting and commenting on this site.

For more of the festival click here


Uncategorized | Comments (1) | Rating: not rated | Tuesday 20 April 2010 - 17:42:13

Ode to Cleo


cleo_as_pup.jpgcleos_puppies_feeding.jpgsit_command.jpgThis is a tribute I wrote some years ago to our beloved yellow lab Cleo:

ODE TO CLEO

We were moving into our very own house, so we decided that we needed a pet. Cats eat birds and we are very fond of birds, so cats were out. After very little discussion we settled on a yellow Labrador. (At that time Rose was not very fond of black, so yellow it had to be). One of my clients was a breeder so it wasn’t too difficult to acquire a pup.

It was love at first sight when we brought our new puppy home. She had the most beautiful golden shiny coat and her expressive eyes were heavily and gorgeously lined with black to complement her shiny black nose. With mascara-lined eyes like that, Cleopatra immediately sprang to mind. So we christened her Cleo.

We read all the books on Labradors we could lay our hands on. Most of them gave minute instructions about how to get your pet to retrieve sundry items when thrown or hidden, and how to get them to sit/stay, come to heel, and walk to heel, but none of them warned us about Cleo’s love of gardening.

The books say you have to start training at five to six months. I decided to experiment at eight weeks, because I thought (correctly as it turned out) that by five months she would have picked up a lot of bad habits, which she would have to unlearn. By about eleven weeks she was almost fully trained, but was still a bit coy when retrieving a toy. She would bring it to me all right, but as soon as I tried to retrieve it, she would move her head away and with lightning speed move just out of reach. I swear she had a naughty smile on her face. This was one of her favourite games and went on for 12 years. When I took her for formal training at five months, she was way ahead of all the other dogs, in spite of the fact that she was by far the youngest. In fact the trainer used her to demonstrate how things should be done.

She was indeed a keen gardener. Many plants were pulled out and shredded while we were away at work. We always knew when she had been digging, because her whole head and shoulders would be covered in red soil, and she looked like one of those red-faced monkeys you see on Discovery Channel.

Things came to a head one day when only the tip of her tail showed while she was trying to reach Australia. We were worried that the top of the hole would collapse and suffocate her, so we filled it with stones and bricks, put some of her faeces on top, and covered the whole lot with soil. This worked beautifully, for that particular site. She never used that particular place again. Unfortunately it did not stop her from making another attempt to go Down Under on a different site. Eventually we gave up and designated an area at the back of the house as Cleo’s patch of garden. It soon looked like the surface of the moon.

All this was mildly amusing, but one day when I came home I was ready to kill. She had gone into our shade house and destroyed about ten of my prized orchids. I slowly counted to ten, breathed deeply, and restrained myself from grabbing a stick and hitting her, because I knew that she was not supposed to know why I was hitting her. Hah! She knew all right, because the minute I arrived to see parts of orchid lying all over the back garden, she slunk away into a corner, hung her head and looked up at me with guilt written all over her face.
The next day I ordered an electric fence from the Farmers’ Co-op. It was one of those used for strip grazing livestock on artificial pastures. Apparently about one zillion volts pulses through the thin wire every second but with only a minute amperage, so no danger of death, but certainly quite painful to the touch. I spanned the wire around the shade house and for good measure all over the areas we wanted to have a Cleoless garden.

I must confess I watched with sadistic glee as Cleo inquisitively approached the wire making the strange ticking noises. Slowly her sniffing nose approached the wire, and then ZAP! With a yelp she did a backward summersault and retreated to the furthest corner of the back garden, looking extremely puzzled. Since that day, whenever she saw me going into the shade house, she would slink away to a neutral corner, and watch me apprehensively. Needless to say the rest of my orchids survived without her ministrations.

She had the most amazing vocabulary. The books tell you that dogs do not respond to words, but only to tone of voice. I proved this to be a load of bull. Every morning I used to take her for her early morning walk around our neighbourhood and through the park near our house. We had to be extremely careful not to use the word “walk” in her presence unless I was ready to go immediately. The moment she heard the word, her ears would prick up and she would go to Rose and put her paws in her lap with a half-whine-half-growl, which sounded uncannily as if she was talking to us. Rose would tell her: “Go and ask Gerry!” She would immediately come to me and repeat the performance. After a number of months, Rose would spell out the word. As in: “Are you going for a w-a-l-k this morning?” It took Cleo a week to figure out how to spell “walk”.

Whenever I came home from work Cleo and Rose would welcome me with Cleo putting her head on my lap as soon as I opened the car door, and Rose giving me a welcoming kiss. If the latter went on for too long, Cleo would jump up against us, and start scolding us in her melodious voice. This ritual done, she would immediately dart into the house and reappear with a toy in her mouth. I would pretend to grab it from her and she would get the “scatters” around the garden, making complicated figure-of-eight patterns at breakneck speed. I would then say: “SIT!” and she would immediately sit down with the toy still in her mouth. I would have to be quick with the word “drop” otherwise she would anticipate my command and drop the toy on the ground instead of in my hand. After saying: “STAY!” I would walk around the corner of the house out of her sight and hide the toy in the most unlikely places.

No matter how long I took, she would remain patiently sitting down until I came back to her. Now I would try out different words to see if she could distinguish the word “fetch” from all the rest. In the same tone of voice, I would say “motorcar, bus, Gerry, Rose, tree”, whatever came into my mind. At each new word she would lunge forward slightly, and then check herself when she realised that it was the “wrong” word. The moment I said: “FETCH!” she would go looking for the toy. Her sense of smell was incredible, and she used it to amazing effect to find the toy no matter how cunning I thought I was.

We tested her vocabulary in many other ways. She had an array of toys, and could distinguish the words “toy” and “ball”. When we asked her: “Where’s your toy?” she would bring her favourite toy of the moment. She would sometimes make a mistake and bring her ball instead. Rose would immediately tell her: “That’s not your toy, that’s your ball! Where’s your toy?” She would immediately drop the ball and bring one of her toys.

When she was about eight months old, she jumped down from her special area in the back garden and all four legs suddenly collapsed. She was lying on her stomach like a sphinx swaying from side to side with her eyes rigid and staring into the distance. It was quite obvious that she could not see me.

After a while you could see that she was trying to get up, but her leg muscles would not respond to the desperate messages from her brain. After about five minutes her anxious expression changed to the one we knew so well, and her tail started twitching from side to side. Soon afterwards she was back to her old self, tearing around the garden. About one month later she had an identical attack, and since then through the years she had them at three to six months’ intervals.

We were of course frantic with worry. We thought that it may be epilepsy, but the symptoms were not the same. Eventually I contacted a professor of internal medicine at Onderstepoort who had seen one similar case. It is a very rare condition that is hereditary in some Labrador families and is called cataplexy. The Prof faxed me some literature on the condition, which was very comforting. Although there was no cure, unlike epilepsy, the episodes would not become more frequent and prolonged, so Cleo could live with it without too much discomfort. Throughout her life, when she felt an episode coming on, she would see where I was and try to get on my lap. She obviously liked to be comforted when she went on one of her “trips”. During the last few years we have seen far fewer episodes.

Cleo had the usual Labrador’s love of food, and we constantly battled to keep her weight down. She would literarily eat anything, like grapes, cooked tomatoes and onions, peaches, and any kind of snack. Although she did not swallow it, her favourite thing to chew was a champagne cork. Whenever Rose and I decided that something needed celebrating, which was fairly often, we would get a bottle of sparkling wine. I swear that Cleo could recognise the shape of the bottle. As soon as she saw me carrying the bottle she would wait quivering and crouching outside the back door for the cork to pop and fly high into the trees in the back garden. As soon as she heard the sound of the cork popping, she would start tearing around sniffing out where the cork had landed. She invariably found it and triumphantly brought it to the back door where she quietly demolished it.

When she was about a year old, we decided that puppy parenthood would be a good thing, for her and for us. She mated twice with a very handsome Lab and gave a low mournful wolf-like howl each time he left after the mating. It was obviously love at first sight. I was most impressed at the new Romeo’s prowess. After each mating when they pulled apart, we were supposed to keep them separate, not to exhaust the male too much. After the second mating two days after the first, we decided to have some coffee, and left them together to “enjoy each other’s company”. After we had our coffee, we were amazed to find them “locked” all over again!

On the morning of the day she had her pups, for the first time in her life, she did not eat all her food. She had eight beautiful pups. Throughout the entire performance she insisted on lying in her basket with her head on my lap.

Rose cried every time the new owners of a puppy arrived. The emotional drain was just too much so we decided to sterilize her. When she woke up after the op, and felt the pain inside, she obviously thought that she had given birth to new puppies all over again. She had a fluffy toy in the shape of a puppy, and she insisted on having this “pup” with her all the time. She carried it wherever she went, and tucked it in with her in her special rubber bed at night. After about a week, she apparently decided that the pup must be dead, so she buried it.

In January of 2001, I was fondling her ears when I felt that her lymph glands on both sides of her neck were swollen. I immediately took her to the clinic and, under general anaesthetic cut a small section of the gland and sent it off to a histopathologist for analysis. Two days later I read the report, and my heart sank. As I suspected but hoped against all odds that I was wrong, the diagnosis was “malignant lymphoma”.

This is one of the most common cancers of dogs, and once the diagnosis is made you can count the number of months she has left on one hand. Frantically I phoned a veterinary oncologist (cancer specialist) and he gave me various treatment options. Chemotherapy would mean giving a large volume of Doxyrubicin intravenously immediately followed by a glucose drip every three weeks for six injections. The cost price of the drug was R3900. When I told Rose the bad news we hugged each other and decided that she was worth every cent.

The staff at the clinic was amazed when I asked her to “rest” and she immediately lay down on her side and accepted whatever we were doing to her, but she became very agitated when I had to attend to other patients, so I had to sit next to her with her head in my lap while the litre of fluid went into her vein.

In the beginning she showed very few ill effects. The lumps virtually disappeared within ten days, and there was great rejoicing in our household. She had some diarrhoea after each injection, and it made us sad to see that she was losing her beautiful silky hair around her face and head, but this was a small price to pay. By March 2001 the lumps had disappeared completely, and Cleo was her joyful loving self again.

In June we decided to grab at the chance to work in the UK for two months on foot-and-mouth disease control. Before we left I checked Cleo and found that the damn lumps had started growing again. She would not be able to stand another round of injections, so with a sad heart we left her in the tender care of Kay the Kennel owner who loved her dearly. We knew she would be very happy with Kay, because she was like family to her and slept in her house with all her other dogs. I left instructions for her to receive high doses of cortisone and Endoxan tablets daily.

When we came back from England in September, we could not wait to see Cleo again. We were both shocked. Cleo, who had had a battle with her waistline all her life, had lost a tremendous lot of weight. She could hardly walk, but still managed a tail-wag when she saw us.
The lymph glands all over her body were swollen to the size of cricket balls. On 10th September when I arrived home from work, she dragged herself as usual to the car to greet me, and went through the motions of fetching her favourite ball when I threw it a few yards away from her on the lawn, but I could see that it took a tremendous effort for her to do it.

On the fateful afternoon of 11th September while driving home, I heard on my car radio with total disbelief what was happening in New York at that moment. I hardly noticed that Cleo was not there to greet me as I raced home to switch on the TV. Rose and I stared with mounting horror at the unbelievable scenes playing over and over on the screen. Through all this Cleo was lying in her bed, and did not even try to come and greet me. I looked at Rose, and without words the tears came and we hugged each other. We both knew that the time had come.

The next day I had the day off, and was supposed to take her down to the clinic, but I simply could not find the strength to do it. So I asked Dr Jones, one of my assistants, to please come to the house and do it. She could only come in the afternoon, so I watched CNN all morning with Cleo lying in her favourite position within easy reach of my caressing hand. That afternoon she breathed her last breath while I cradled her head in my arms. I could swear that her expression said: “thank you”. Rose and I sobbed in each other’s arms for what seemed like an eternity.

Now whenever we have sparkling wine, I still pop the cork outside, and imagine Cleo frantically sniffing among the plants for it, and when I watch TV, my hand seems naturally to fall to the place where she always sat with her head as close to my lap as possible. As I write this the screen on my computer is blurred. I suppose the pain will diminish one day…


Uncategorized | Comments (4) | Rating: not rated | Sunday 18 April 2010 - 22:21:19

Golden Retriever kills monkey


This afternoon I was about to pour a whiskey when the clinic phoned to say that one of my clients had a severely bleeding dog after killing a bull monkey. During the fight the monkey bit the dog quite badly on the jaw and on the right front leg.

The owners arrived with a beautiful golden retriever bleeding quite badly from wounds on the right leg which left bloody footprints all over the clinic. I quickly gave her an intravenous anaesthetic and tried to find the bleeder to clamp it to stop the bleeding. Bythis time the examination table was awash with blood...

As soon as the dog was on the table we put a turnique on the leg. In spite of this the leg wounds kept bleeding profusely. I then realised that the bleeding was from a vein, so a turnique would cause more bleeding! As soon as we released the turnique, the bleeding stopped!

While stitching the leg blood suddenly started pouring from the dog's mouth and nose. I looked all over the neck and face, but could find no reason for this bleeding. I then realised that the patient had probably licked her bleeding wounds and had a whole lot of blood in her stomach as a result of swallowing it. So under the anaesthetic she started vomiting up this blood .

Soon after this, she went into shock and stopped breathing. She showed signs of going down rapidly. I quickly put her on a drip and she started breathing very shallowly. 10 minutes later after an intravenous cortizone injection, she showed signs of getting better and I then had hope that she would survive.

After a full hour of suturing the wounds we gave her an antidote against the abaesthetic and when I left the clinic at 7pm for a well earned whiskey, she was lifying her head and feebly wagging her tail when I spoke to her.


Uncategorized | Comments (3) | Rating: not rated | Wednesday 14 April 2010 - 21:40:17

Another effect of deforestation...


deforestation.gifI have just received this hilarious picture from a vet friend in Canada...


Uncategorized | Comments (2) | Rating: not rated | Wednesday 07 April 2010 - 10:05:36

Another effect of deforestation...


I have just received this hilarious picture from a vet friend in Canada...


Uncategorized | Comments (1) | Rating: not rated | Wednesday 07 April 2010 - 10:03:09

Having a blast on my new Facebook page and on the Forum


alaskan_malamute.jpg

I\'ve made contact with one of my active members on my old (and now defunct) forum. He is the Chairman of the Alaskan Malamute Club of South Africa. You can become a fan or go to their website

to learn more about this wonderful breed and the sport of sledding.


Uncategorized | Comments (2) | Rating: not rated | Monday 05 April 2010 - 11:53:45

Hard at work on my shop


Our vet2pet shop should be ready to roll in a few days. I'm hard at work selecting suitable products for you!


Uncategorized | Comments (1) | Rating: not rated | Wednesday 31 March 2010 - 20:36:30

Hectic day


Had a really hectic day yesterday. We did 6 spays, removed several nasty squamous cell carcinomas (skin cancers) from a whitish boxers prepuce and tummy, and did an emergency caesar on a minute Minitiarure Pincher. There was a very large and very dead puppy inside the uterus. I removed eveything, uterus, overies, the lot, so now this cannot possibly happen to the poor little mite again. She should, of course, have been spayed long ago...This morning she looked very sorry for herself, so we put her on a drip. This afternoon I could see that she was much better because she looked me straight in the eye, lifted her upper lip and growled at me! Talk about biting the hand that saved you!


Uncategorized | Comments (2) | Rating: not rated | Thursday 25 March 2010 - 20:55:03

Very excited about my website and FB page


I've been quite active on my website and am truly amazed at the number of people joining as "fans" and as participants on me here on my website. It seems to me that this internet thingy really works! cheesey.png


Uncategorized | Comments (2) | Rating: not rated | Sunday 21 March 2010 - 23:15:03

White Bull Terrier with Deep Pyoderma


This is a picture of a white bull terrier with deep pyoderma from an article in the Canadian Veterinary journal.

white_bull_terrier_pyoderma.jpg


Uncategorized | Comments (1) | Rating: not rated | Friday 19 March 2010 - 12:09:49

My lovely car bashed!


Yesterday when I parked at Queensburgh to visit my Petwise store some cretin put a nasty little bump into my beloved 320d's derriere and drove off while I was in the store. May the fleas of a thousand camels infest his derriere!


Uncategorized | Comments (1) | Rating: not rated | Tuesday 16 March 2010 - 09:01:13

Pets body score chart


1 = Emaciated

Ribs, lumbar vertebrae, pelvic bones and all body prominences evident from a distance. No discernible body fat. Obvious absence of muscle mass.

Emaciated dog Emaciated cat

2 = Thin

Ribs easily palpated and may be visible with no palpable fat. Tops of lumbar vertebrae visible. Pelvic bones less prominent. Obvious waist and abdominal tuck.

Emaciated dog Emaciated cat

3 = Moderate

Ribs palpable without excess fat covering. Abdomen tucked up when viewed from side.

Moderate dog Moderate cat

4 = Stout

General fleshy appearance. Ribs palpable with difficulty. Noticeable fat deposits over lumbar spine and tail base. Abdominal tuck may be absent.

Stout dog Stout cat

5 = Obese

Large fat deposits over chest, spine and tail base. Waist and abdominal tuck absent. Fat deposits on neck and limbs. Abdomen distended.

Obese dog Obese cat


Uncategorized | Comments (1) | Rating: not rated | Sunday 14 March 2010 - 19:33:22

How to use the blog


By clicking on "New entry" under "Blogs" on the left Main Menu you get to a blank screen similar to a "new thread" window in the forum. The blog is actually much easier to use than the forum. Use the blank screen that write whatever takes your fancy and tell us what you are up to.

You can easily upload a picture from your computer by clicking the "browse" button.

amber_9.jpg

You can then use that picture to post it on the forum.

Here is a picture of our beloved Amber. (The size is limited to about 550 pixels accross)

Once you've saved your blog you will see it listed under "Blogs" Click on it and now you can either delete,edit, post comments or even rate it!


Uncategorized | Comments (1) | Rating: not rated | Sunday 14 March 2010 - 10:51:56

Afghan hound


afghan_hound.jpg

This is picture of beatiful Afghan hound


Uncategorized | Comments (1) | Rating: not rated | Tuesday 09 March 2010 - 18:06:49

Nearly there!


I've been working really hard on a Sunday nogal to prepare the site for the grand opening. Please look at one of the products we'll be offering for sale in our vet2Pet Shop online. Click here


Uncategorized | Comments (1) | Rating: not rated | Sunday 07 March 2010 - 20:18:52

Getting started on my site


I'm getting quite excited about this new site of mine. It's going to be damn hard work, but I'm enjoying every minute. I certainly hope all my clients and many more new friends will enjoy visiting the site.

Today, apart from visiting my two Petwise shops to see what the members of my staff were up to, I also visited my clinic and discussed all the cases in hospital with my assistant Dr Omashini Armoogum. She had to operate on a 4-year-old staffie with bad pyometra. If you'd like to know more about this condition, click here and go to the forum to read about it.


Uncategorized | Comments (2) | Rating: not rated | Thursday 04 March 2010 - 21:31:48