All posts by Keith Somers

I have been married to Eva for 62 years, we have 4 children and 8 grandchildren. I have been a pastor, a Christian school administrator, a child care center owner and a missionary. We live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. My hobbies are photography, stained glass, publishing and graphic arts. Our extended family has had 24 dog breeds across the years. I have 2 websites all about dogs: and, a business committed to integrity, to up-to-date information and to dog lovers like you.

Life’s Abundance is on a FOUR-FOLD MISSION

Life’s Abundance is an employee owned company on a mission to improve the health, wellness and income of entire families. We believe that life is precious and should be enjoyed to the fullest extent possible. We are passionate about the various products we offer, the customers we serve, the business opportunity we represent and the work of our non-profit, The Dr. Jane Foundation. Since 1999, our tireless dedication to our mission has produced an extended track record of profitability and success.

A Young Couple depicting prospects for a website business opportunity.


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2 – DOGS:
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3 – CATS:
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An Up Front Statement
I did not write this wonderful parable, but wanted you to read and enjoy it. Perhaps the author will see it and contact me—then I will be able to give credit where it is due!

1 – On the first day, God created the dog and said,
“Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who
comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of
twenty years.”

The dog said, “That’s a long time to be barking. How about only 10 years and I’ll give you back the other ten?”
And God saw it was good.

2 – On the second day, God created the monkey and said,
“Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I will
give you a life span of twenty years.”

The monkey said, “Monkey tricks for twenty years? That’s a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back ten years like the dog did?”
And God, again saw it was good.

3 – On the third day, God created the cow and said, “You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer’s family. For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years.”

The cow said, “That’s kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. How about twenty and I’ll give back the other forty?”
And God agreed it was good.

4 – On the fourth day, God created humans and said, “Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I’ll give you twenty years.”

But the human said, “Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, OK?”
“OK! You asked for it,” God said.

So, this is why
for our first twenty years, we eat. sleep, play, marry and enjoy ourselves.

For the next forty years, we slave in the sun to support our family.

For the next ten years, we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren.

And for the last ten years, we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

LIFE—has now been explained to you.
There is no need to thank me for this valuable information.
I am doing it as a public service.

If you are looking for me, I will be on the front porch
. . . with my iPhone.

—Author Unknown

Overweight Dogs Face Health Risks

Overweight Dogs,
A Very Critical Health Issue

by Keith Somers  /  Like Keith & Dog Wonders on Facebook

overweight dogs
Overweight dogs was highlighted last year in a story about a 77 pound, 7 year old, Oregon dachshund named “Obie”.   The New York Daily News, reported the story on May 2, 2013.   After being rescued by a veterinary technician, Obie had lost 40 pounds, more than half his weight in 9 months.  Obie is symptomatic of overweight dogs and in the United States.

Overweight Dogs,
Read It and Weep

CALABASH, N.C., MARCH 31, 2014—Most of the nation’s dogs are overweight, and a majority of their owners are blind to the issue.  New research, released by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), tells an alarming story.  Veterinarians who assessed dogs for the recent study recognized that 52.6% are overweight or obese.

“Among all diseases that perplex the veterinary community and plague our population of dogs, obesity has the greatest collective negative impact on dog health”, said Dr. Ernie Ward.  He is the veterinarian and founder of APOP.   He continued, “Yet it is almost completely avoidable.  The pet industry is mighty and well-meaning, but it’s time we stop accepting the status quo.  We must start working together to fight obesity through knowledge and action.”

Overweight Dogs
Are in “The Fat Gap”

Veterinary nutritionist and internal medicine specialist at the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine Dr. Joe Bartges, cautions that many pet owners don’t recognize when their pet is overweight.

Dog owners who agreed to have their dogs assessed for the study were first asked to classify their dogs’ weight.  Veterinarians using the owners’ data, ultimately classified the dogs as obese.  Their findings then revealed that a whopping 93 percent of dog owners initially thought their dog was in the normal weight range.  APOP refers to this disparity as the “fat gap.”

Overweight Dogs
Have Grave Health Risks

New York-based veterinary endocrinologist and APOP board member Dr. Mark Peterson agrees. “The soaring rate canine obesity is taking a terrible toll on our dogs’ health. There is a vast population of overweight dogs facing an epidemic of diabetes. The best preventive measure a dog owner can make is to keep their dog at a healthy weight.  Diabetes is far easier to prevent than treat, especially when twice daily insulin injections are needed.”  Here are the risks of this neglect:

  • Diabetes
  • Skeletal stress, with damage to joints, bones, and ligaments
  • Respiratory problems, increased blood pressure, and heart disease
  • Lowers metabolism
  • Decreased stamina and heat intolerance
  • Decreased liver function
  • Digestive disorders
  • Decreased immune function
  • Skin and hair coat difficulties
  • Cancer
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Decreased quality and length of life
  • Increases appetite

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Dr. Jane is a nationally recognized authority on holistic treatment of animals.  Additionally, she helps to ensure that Life’s Abundance innovative health formulas exceed the highest of quality standards, effectiveness and safety.

Click below and order some
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Keith Somers
is a registered Independent Field Representative
of Life’s Abundance products
and the Healthy PetNet Foundation

Dog Laser Therapy May Help With IVDD – Part I

Dog Laser Therapy May Be
An Option for Your Pup!  –  Part I

by Keith Somers  /  Like Keith & Dog Wonders on Facebook


Dog Laser Therapy for dogs with Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD) is too many times an unknown procedure, often leaving only two options to the dog and to the family;  costly surgery, or euthanasia.

What a shame—$5,000 or death!

Yesterday, through his sister, I heard of an elderly gentleman living in another state, whose Lab “went down” on Monday.  He wept on the phone as he told his sister that the only choice he had been given for his precious pet companion was euthanasia—it occurred on the following day and he was heart-broken.

Dixie belongs to our middle son and his wife.  She’s a very happy, loving, and energetic Dachshund, and at the time of this writing four and one-half years old.  She is the focus and inspiration of this story of hustle and hope about her encounter with IVDD and dog laser therapy.

Dog Laser Therapy May Be A
Need to Know for Other Breeds!

Dixie_Dad-OptimizedlDixie is Stephen and Mary’s puppy and lives in High Point, NC, often coming to visit with us in Fincastle, Virginia.  She was here on Saturday, March 10, 2012.  After having Stephen take some photos of her in my arms (left), as I carefully put her down in the grass, she yelped, and I said, “Oh, oh!”  Throughout that weekend, she told us a couple of times that she was in pain.  On Sunday afternoon they packed up to return to their home in High Point.  That night and into Monday morning, Stephen called us several times that she had “gone down” in her rear quarters which all of us thought might be Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD), a debilitating and costly disease that affects Dachshunds, Corgis, Papillions, Basset Hounds, and some other breeds, but is particularly prevalent in Dachshunds.

With or without surgery, a dog can experience multiple intervertebral disk disease episodes during his/her life.  As Brisson el al noted, “All intervertebral disks in dogs are susceptible to degeneration; therefore, a dog can have several episodes of disk extrusion.”¹  They continued, “Dachshunds were found to be approximately 10 times more likely to have recurrence than other breeds . . . ”

Dixie XRay 2The disease effects the flexible discs made up of cartilage which cushions between each bone (vertebrae) of the spinal cord, extending from the base of the skull to the end of the tail.  The swollen, herniated disc puts pressure on the spinal cord and other nerve endings in the area.  This is very painful and the pressure on the spinal cord prevents nerve impulses from passing between the brain and the rear of the body so that the dog cannot walk or control its colon or bladder.  Neglect will result in quickly bringing severe damage to the spinal cord and can lead to total and permanent paralysis.  Here is the x-ray taken of Dixie’s spine on the following Tuesday, at the Hanging Rock Animal Hospital, here in Roanoke.

After visits to two Emergency Veterinary Hospitals in the Triad, the doctors confirmed IVDD and sent Dixie home with pain and anti-inflammatory medications and orders for complete cage rest until Stephen and Mary could contact their regular doctor when the office opened on Monday morning.  They had been told that surgery would probably be necessary, and it should be done within 48 hours to avoid permanent paralysis, and that it would cost about $5,000.  There was no mention of the option of laser therapy.

I asked Stephen to not make any final decisions about Dixie for the moment until I could make some phone calls.  As soon as offices were open on Monday morning, I called both the Hanging rock Animal Hospital,² just 10 miles south on I-81, and the Virginia Tech College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia, about forty miles southwest of our home.  We had taken our three year old Dachshund, Cocoa, to Tech for successful back surgery because of IVDD, twice for two different locations on her spinal cord, six months apart, in 2000.  We paid at that time $2,500 for each surgery.  They told me at VTCVM, that surgery for Dixie in 2012 would cost $3,700, including a CT, or MRI.

Todd_HangingRockI then reported back to Stephen what I had found out, and together we decided to bring her to the Hanging Rock Animal Hospital to see Dr. Todd Czarnecki, DVA, CVA, (above) for a consultation.  In talking with him last year he told us that he was working toward a promising new non-surgical procedure for dogs who had been struck down with IVDD.  He was using laser therapy for dogs.  It was a chance, but we had hope that it would be the right choice for Dixie, and as the months have passed by, it was.

So on Tuesday, March 13, I met Stephen, half-way to High Point, picked up Dixie and took her back to Roanoke to see Dr. Todd for an evaluation.  He said she was a great candidate for laser therapy for dogs, and he would like to see her treated twice a week for eight weeks beginning today.  She was given her first treatment that afternoon—no invasive surgery, no sedative, no needles,  no pain, and no long healing process, just the weekly treatments, some T:LC and cage rest.  The laser therapy treatments would last about 1o-15 minutes and the only sensation for her would be a slight warming in the area being treated—and the cost for the total package of laser therapy would be just under $500.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere is Stephen’s mother Eva, with Dixie as the first Laser Therapy treatment is administered by one of  the Licensed Veterinary Technicians at Hanging Rock Animal Hospital (above).  She and Dr. Todd both said, “We have seen this therapy do miracles for the dogs we have treated!”


What Happened to Dixie After Laser Therapy, Part II

Here is the rest of the story:


¹  Brisson BA, Moffatt SL, Swayne SL, et al.  Recurrence of thoracolumbar intervertebral disk extrusion in chondrodystrophic dogs after surgical decompression with or without prophylactic fenestration:  265 cases (1995-1999).  J Am Vet Med Assoc.  2004;224:1808-1814.
²  Hanging Rock Animal Hospital is accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association and, as far as I know, at this writing is the only animal hospital in the Roanoke Valley to offer K-Laser Therapy for dogs in treating IVDD for their patients—

Dog Laser Therapy, Exciting Results – Part II

Dog Laser Therapy,
What Happened to Dixie?  –  Part II

by Keith Somers  /  Like Keith & Dog Wonders on Facebook

Dog laser therapy
, in Dixie’s case has been very encouraging from the beginning.  Here’s the story in brief—a team of veterinarians, determined very early Monday morning, March 11, 2012, that Dixie, my son and daughter-in-law’s dachshund had Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD)—she had “gone down” in her rear quarters.  They had told Stephen and Mary, who live in High Point, North Carolina, to keep her medicated and in her cage until her doctor could see her as soon as his office would open later Monday morning.  They had advised that she would probably need surgery within 48 hours in order to prevent total and inoperable paralysis of her rear legs.  The option of dog laser therapy was not in the picture—yet . . .

Continue reading Dog Laser Therapy, Exciting Results – Part II

Pet Food Recalls On the Rise?

Are Pet Food Recalls Really on the Rise?

by Keith Somers  /  Like Keith & Dog Wonders on Facebook

pet food recallsPet food recalls are on the minds of all pet parents.  Most of us can remember massive recalls in recent years.  But is it possible that there is an increase in the number of smaller incidents?  In either case, any recalls are of great and continuing concern to pet parents everywhere.  Let’s take a look at the records of the FDA for the first three month of each of the last five years.

Continue reading Pet Food Recalls On the Rise?

Dog Food Recalls, An Update

Dog Food Recalls
Continue Into April, 2013

by Keith Somers  /  Like Keith & Dog Wonders on Facebook

Dog food recalls continue in the news for April of 2013—again most seem to be due to potential Salmonella bacteria.

Dog Food Recalls – April 1, 2013 – BARF World has confirmed that it is recalling three of its raw frozen dog food products due to possible contamination with Salmonella bacteria.  You can find out all the details on BARF World Products.

Dog Food Recalls – April 3, 2013 – Bravo! of Manchester, Connecticut has announced it is voluntarily recalling three of its raw diet frozen foods for dogs and cats because they could potentially be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.  According to the company:

“. . . while these products tested negative for pathogens by an independent third party prior to distribution, they were run on the same day or an adjacent day to a product that tested positive for pathogens.   The product that tested positive has been 100 percent contained and is not subject to this recall.”

As April moves along, if there are more recalls, they will be added here . . .

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Canine Joint Disease

01/11/2011  –  Article by Keith Somers & VIDEO By Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM, On Staff at Life’s Abundance

Canine Joint Disease, Is A Common Condition Affecting Many Dogs

by Keith Somers  /  Like Keith & Dog Wonders on Facebook

Canine Joint DiseaseCanine joint disease may currently affect as many as 16 million dogs in the United States of a total in-home population of 81 million.  According to The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, 09/19/2011, the figure is one out of five dogs or about 20%.   Joint disorders are divided into two categories:  noninflammatory and inflammatory.

Noninflammatory Joint Diseases include developmental, degenerative, neoplastic and traumatic processes.  Degenerative, or osteoarthritis disease occurs when the cartilage protecting the bones of the joint loses its cushion, causing friction between the bones,

Continue reading Canine Joint Disease

Dog Food Recalls, An Update

Dog Food Recalls Continue,
Here’s A List for March, 2013

by Keith Somers  /  Like Keith & Dog Wonders on Facebook

dog food recalls Dog food recalls are in the news again for March of 2013.  Many of these dog food recalls have to do with Salmonella bacteria. So, here are two links to some excellent information about Salmonella bacteria in pet food.  You might want to read them and then bookmark them  The first is from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The second is from the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Now, back to dog food recalls.  Here is a partial list from March, 2013.

Continue reading Dog Food Recalls, An Update

Best Premium Pet Food Equals Pet Health

Best Premium Pet Food May Have Negative Health Consequences

by Keith Somers  /  Like Keith & Dog Wonders on Facebook

Best Premium Pet FoodThe best premium pet food brands, popular for most consumers, may be misleading you about the quality and kinds of ingredients they are putting into the food eaten by millions of American dogs and cats every day.  The quality and ingredients used result in an inferior product you would never knowingly feed anyone you care for, including the companion animals in your family.  Have you ever wondered why there continues to be brand after brand of “best premium pet food” on recall?  Here are some of the factors that result in recalls . . .

Continue reading Best Premium Pet Food Equals Pet Health