Wednesday, September 25, 2013

**Warning** The Lethal Food Lurking in Your Pantry!

I had a recent scare with our dog Jake which reminded me of a time when I was very naive about what was, and wasn’t, toxic to dogs. Jake is a canine trash can. If he can eat it he will eat it. Not even to our approval, just because that’s what he does. He eats. Hydrogen peroxide induced vomiting has become the main staple in my first aid routine. Have you ever had a dog like that? That just eats everything? Now, a little disclaimer: we are very responsible pet owners and do not encourage or condone this behavior. Sometimes animals just act like, well….animals!

A few days ago Jake heard the sound of commotion in the kitchen and decided to come check things out. Before we even realized it, the bag of grapes that was one second ago on the kitchen counter, was now on the floor. I’m sure you can imagine what happened. Jake grabbed the bag and inhaled the grapes. I am so thankful that I knew how toxic and downright deadly grapes (and raisins) are to dogs (and cats)! I immediately administered hydrogen peroxide and within ten minutes or so Jake threw up his loot. Did you know that grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs and cats? If not, pay close attention!

This is what PetMD has to say about the matter:

“Grape and raisin (dried grapes) toxicity is well documented in dogs. Although the exact substance that causes the toxic reaction is not yet known, it has been shown that even small amounts of grapes or raisins can prove to be fatally toxic for a dog. Dogs of any age, breed, or gender may be affected.”

Again, this does not just apply to dogs. If you have animals you must be very careful to ensure that they do not have any opportunity to ingest this yummy but deadly fruit. After Jake’s last counter diving episode, my husband and I decided that the consequences of our dog’s potential grape and raisin eating just weren’t worth it and they will no longer be on the grocery list. Yes, we love our pets that much.

Snack on!

Michelle Brockman
Jonah’s Place, Inc.



Friday, September 20, 2013

In the Midst of a Storm


Stormy afternoons are not an uncommon occurrence in South Florida during the summer months. During today’s afternoon tempest something struck me. It was pouring down rain, the sky was gloomy and dark, filled with flashes of lightning and the wind was gusting and blustery. Yet even through that unnerving storm, you could still tell it was day. The brightness of the afternoon sun could not be squelched by the temporary storm. In the midst of a storm, the darkness can never cover up the light!

No matter what sad, scary or upsetting circumstance we may be facing, there is always a light in the background that cannot be extinguished. Just like an afternoon thunderstorm, the darkness that we are experiencing will pass.

We must always cling to hope and encourage others that may be facing hard times as much as possible. A compliment to a stranger, a gift to a friendly acquaintance or the expression of love to a family member may be a breath of life that is so desperately needed.

How can you reach down and pull someone up? What simple act of kindness can you show to someone today? How can you help to pass hope on? No one person can do everything but we all can do something!

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it” 
– John 1:5

Michelle Brockman
Jonah’s Place

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

--> The SECRET is out!

We are mega excited to Officially announce the birth of our very, very special life-changing Not-For-Profit Sanctuary: 

What is it? Who started it? Why do I care?   Read on....

* Purpose - Pet Therapy "on steroids". We believe that every single child deserves unconditional love. What better way to provide that opportunity than to bring unwanted domestic pets together with children who need a best friend.
* Founders - Michelle Brockman (; Leslie Mendenhall (; Stephanie Stevens (
*   This is YOUR opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children and animals.
WE need you - the KIDS need you - the ANIMALS need you...
YOU will make a difference in the lives of many, many children and animals when you become part of our community.
You're going to ask... how can I help?
#1 Need - cash donations - go ahead, click here and make your donation today.
All donations go directly to Jonah's Place for implementation of the Sanctuary. Go now to for details. Your business or personal link can be added to our site as our "thank you" for your donation.  (P.S. Every penny helps - donations of any size are appreciated!)
#2  Join our mailing list - hit "reply" now and we'll add you to the growing list of supporters
#3 "Like" us on Facebook and share the link with all of your friends
#4 Follow us on Twitter @JonahsPlace - we'll follow you back!
#5 Subscribe to our Blog
#6 Call us at (561) 837-3579 with any questions or to volunteer
 P.S. Got Land? We are in urgent need of land for Jonah's Sanctuary...
         GRAB THE PHONE and dial (561) 837-3579 now or COMMENT below 
  to tell us about it
Jonah's Place, Inc. is a Florida Not for Profit Corporation that is in the process of obtaining our IRS tax-exempt status.


Monday, September 9, 2013

The Dirty Truth About Cat Litter

Most of us look at the sandy little grains of cat litter as just a necessity of kitty ownership that we  really don’t need to or want to think about any further than ‘Did I scoop it today?’. Well let me tell you, there are some serious and scary things hiding in that litter – and I don’t mean the clumps!  In my quest to find the healthiest ways to care and provide for my felines’ needs I came across some interesting facts about the clay litter I was using. What I found made just as concerned for my health as I was for their health.

Let’s start with clay cat litter, shall we? Clay cat litter contains sodium bentonite which is a clumping agent that causes the litter to expand to 15-18 times its dry size when it gets wet. That doesn’t sound so bad, does it? Well, have you ever seen your cat grooming (licking) itself after using the potty box? Can you imagine what that expanding cat litter and its remnant dust is doing in your kitty’s body? Yeah, not so pretty! You especially have to be cautious when using this litter around kittens that have a tendency to eat things out of curiosity – litter not excluded. The ingestion of this litter can potentially cause an intestinal blockage and have deadly consequences (not to mention what it must being doing in the lungs of anything that inhales a whiff of the dust it creates!).  

The potential hazards do not just apply to cats – does your dog ever venture over to the litter box for a ‘snack’? Now, I know my canines are not the only ones on the planet that do this. What do you think that litter is doing inside their gut? Holistic animal care specialist and PhD. Lisa S. Newman reported on a fatal case of canine bloat, “When his stomach was opened, it was full of clumping cat litter! Some dogs have been known to root around in the litter daily, creating respiratory conditions (from gel coating of the lung tissue), eye irritation, colon distress and even mal absorption of nutrients.”
Lucky for us, there are many widely available alternatives to clay cat litters like World’s Best Cat Litter, Feline Pine, Yesterday’s News and Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh Litter, just to name a few. This of course is a matter of personal choice and preference – just know that what your precious feline is pooping in may be more sinister than what meets the nose.

I must tell you that there are no official scientific studies concerning bentonite toxicosis, only many anecdotal reports from former clay litter consumers. I don’t know about you but I certainly do not want to take that chance and I can tell you that I personally feel a lot better now that I am not breathing in a clay dust cloud during litter duty.
 Happy Scooping!

Michelle Brockman for
Jonah’s Place

References:; Lisa Newman,

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pet Parents: Beware of the ‘Sol’ in Your Cleaning Products!

Most of us animal lovers have heard about the harmful side effects that certain chemical products can cause our pets. But what about cleaning agents that kill bacteria and germs that someone with animals is usually quick to use to clean their home and pet areas? Well you may end up killing more than just some yucky germs!
According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, exposure to coal-tar derivatives (one being phenols as found in Lysol, Pinesol and other ‘sol’ cleaners) can cause liver damage, kidney damage, anemia and death, among other things. You may be thinking ‘Well my pet isn’t going to lick or eat the cleaners!’ Guess what – they don’t need to! These dangerous chemicals can be absorbed through the skin. You should especially avoid using these products if you care for felines as they are more susceptible to the negative side effects.
This is what (The Humane Society of the Unites States) has to say:
"Steer Clear of Phenols
Disinfectants containing phenols are extremely toxic to some animals, including cats and reptiles. First isolated from coal tar in the 1800s, phenols are now manufactured synthetically and are included in many products, including some Lysol disinfectants. Colorless to white when pure, phenol has a strong, sweet odor. It is corrosive and requires extra precautions when handling. To ensure the disinfectants you’re considering purchasing don’t contain phenols, check with manufacturers and avoid products that list any of the following ingredients, which are synonyms for “phenol,” according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration: carbolic acid; monohydroxybenzene; hydroxybenzene; benzenol; phenylic acid; phenyl hydroxide; benzophenol; phenyl hydrate; phenylic alcohol; monophenol;phenic acid; and oxybenzene. To learn more about the hazards of phenol, visit the Osha website: "
So the verdict is definitely in! Read ALL labels very carefully when choosing a cleaning product for your home and any area that animals may come in contact with. These days, there are many safe and natural cleaning products that are on the market and widely available. Using non-chemical cleaners will give you peace of mind that the only thing that will be harmed is the dirt and grime you are intentionally trying to remove – not your four legged family member.

Happy Cleaning!
Until Next Time…

Michelle Brockman for
Jonah’s Place