How A Dog Changed My Diet

Pat is inspired by my friend Gremlin, the dog, to tell us a story of how her dog, Buddy, changed her life forever . . .Animals can be like that, you know.  If you let us in, even a little bit, we'll find a way into your mind, and then, your heart.


While watching today’s touching “Heartbreak to Healing” video about Gremlin the therapy dog it occurred to me that often we don’t fully recognize how much animals can transform our lives. For example, my dog Buddy totally changed the way I eat.

As my spouse tells the tale, we were mid-meal when I looked down at the dinner he’d prepared and announced: “I can't eat this -- I don't eat red meat.”

This declaration apparently came as a surprise because no aversion to meat, red or any other kind, had been expressed during the preceding decades of marriage. But in my defense, I had been considering the red meat issue for some time. I guess I just forgot to mention it to the people living with me, including the person who cooks most of our meals.

When my understandably curious family inquired about this unexpected declaration, I explained that owning a dog – our first -- changed my view.

“You're doing this because of Buddy?” asked an incredulous No. 1 son. “I really don't think he cares, Mom.”

This same son also was astonished months later when I commented that the waitress taking our lunch order seemed perplexed and reluctant when I ordered my vegetarian burger “western style” with barbecue sauce -- and bacon.

“That's because you're the world's worst vegetarian,” he said as he bit into his burger.

OK, so I'm not a strict vegetarian. I confess to a fondness for bacon and shellfish. But I've pretty much given up every other kind of meat because spending so much time with our dog Buddy has heightened my awareness that animals can think and reason, and develop distinct personalities. I’m reluctant to eat creatures with these capabilities.

Even chickens have personalities, according to people who raise them. Yes, I know, so do pigs. I feel really bad about that. Fortunately, I haven't seen any studies or YouTube videos that indicate shrimp, clams, and scallops are in this category, but if I’ve somehow missed this disturbing news, please advise me at once.

So what am I? I can't honestly call myself vegetarian, although the majority of my diet is vegetable-based. And I'd never be a vegan because I love cheese too much (and cheese doesn't kill anything other than possibly humans who've succumbed to cholesterol-related issues).

Fortunately, I’ve discovered that my semi-vegetarianism is not all that unusual and there's a name for people like me -- Flexitarian!

That means we're flexible vegetarians, according to experts like the Mayo Clinic. And we're so trendy that cookbooks are even being written for us.

To quote a Newsweek article: "It might seem like being a vegetarian of convenience isn't particularly inspiring, but a growing number of experts and even some famous foodies are fans. They say that cutting back on meat, rather than abstaining completely, may be a practical compromise that benefits our bodies and our environment."

Flexible? Trendy? Practical? And doing good for the environment? These are labels I don't mind having. They sound so much better than “world's worst vegetarian.”

p.s. If you want to learn more about flexitarian experiences, see our earlier story on Flexitarianism, here.

These Kids Are Flipping Houses To Help Build Their Community

** OGTV's second GOOD STORY of the week is about a driven young lady who is doing quite well in the real estate world by flipping houses with her team of Elementary School kids. **

Reality TV has a number of shows that highlight the fast paced, rough and tumble world of house flipping featuring adults who specialize in this area. Enter 9 year old Alianna Hines – she is the boss and CEO of Junior Flips, LLC, a company run by kids that takes distressed properties and transforms them into beautifully renovated single family homes in Washington, DC. and Maryland.

Keep reading... Show less

New York's ‘Addiction Angel’ Helps Addicts Cure Their Disease

** Only Good TV celebrates National Nurse's Day with this story of one person's dedication on behalf of others.... something we need now more than ever.... **

There are angels all around us, like Alicia Reddy. This selfless woman, also known as Addiction Angel, wants nothing more than to help those struggling with the disease of addiction. She is a RN and a drug interventionist. Her passion with helping others started when 3 family members struggled with addiction and she was there to help.

Keep reading... Show less

The Creation of Us (S2:E4) – A 30/60/90 Celebration

** In this second selection from this week's playlist, The Creation Of Us (S2), OGTV invites you to Christen's 30th birthday party where we discover something special about 3 generations of women in her family. **

The love and closeness of families can be traced to the traditions that are passed down that bind them together. In this episode of The Creation Of Us, Heather and Christen invite us in to share a unique event that links 3 generations of Christen's family in a special way.

Keep reading... Show less

How To Make Classic Guacamole For Cinco De Mayo - Unwritten Recipes With Felicia

** When Cinco De Mayo comes around, OGTV is ready to celebrate. This year we are sharing Felicia's holiday treat from her series, Unwritten Recipes, where she always has a family story to go with every tasty dish. **

Not every kitchen creation comes from a cookbook. Sometimes it's the story behind the recipe that makes it taste that much better! Felicia and husband Richie share their family secret that inspired this tasty recipe for Guacamole on this brand new episode of Unwritten Recipes with Felicia Levinson, an OnlyGood TV Original Series.

Keep reading... Show less

Honoring Service People Around The World - Military Matters (Trailer)

OGTV has a long tradition of sharing the lives of our brave service men and women - their heroic achievements, their physical and mental challenges, and their inspirational strength in the face of adversity. We invite you to watch all of their stories at:

Keep reading... Show less

This Organization Feeds Their Entire Community

** As part of this week's GOOD STORY theme, OGTV would like to shine a light on an organization that, despite the many hardships of the pandemic, continues to do all they can to support families in their community who are currently facing food insecurity. **

If you are a kid and your bed is a lumpy, old couch or a cold, hard floor and you leave home for school without a regular breakfast, you will not excel in your classes. This daily struggle is shockingly common in many areas of the country and it sets many children on a downward spiral at an early age that is difficult to recover from. This is where Meals By Grace is making a difference.

Keep reading... Show less

A Teacher's Passion For The Constitution Changes Her Students' Lives

** To celebrate National Teacher's Day, OGTV is sharing this inspiring story about a teacher who strives each day to teach her students about the relevance of the Constitution in our daily lives. **

For the past 7 years, Trumbull High School's We The People: The Citizen and the Constitution Program, under the leadership of Social Studies Teacher Katie Boland, has won the We The People state championship title.

With more than 28 million students and 75,000 educators who have participated in the Program since its inception in 1987, that's a tremendous feat. This past year the team also came home from the National Competition with the UNIT 3 AWARD or the award for the best non-finalist team for expertise in each unit of competition (How Changes in the Constitution Have Furthered the Ideas in the Declaration of Independence).

Keep reading... Show less
Family & Home

A Perfectly Imperfect Relationship - The Creation Of Us (S2:E2)

From the very first day that Heather and Christen physically bumped one another at a local bar on Long Island, these two women knew that there was something special between them. This week, OGTV is highlighting our original series, The Creation Of Us, where we share some of the stories that have taken them from those first charged moments of a new relationship to their new and expanding life together.

Today, they have a life where they share a home, 3 dogs, and a commute to an office where they literally work back to back in the same room! But it was a journey to reach this stage. In this episode, you learn a bit of their history as a couple.

Keep reading... Show less


* OGTV Top Videos *

Watch and Subscribe
It's a Positivity Movement
OnlyGood TV on YouTube


Get your Only Good TV Newsletter