Greenpaws Story

Greenpaws Story

My name is Sharon Beatson and I love dogs, all dogs, big, small, cute, fluffy and every type in between and I also love providing healthy, natural options for taking care of them and that is what Greenpaws is all about.

My journey with dogs started at a very young age back in my homeland, the land of the long white cloud, New Zealand.

Growing up in the country with dogs and when I was around 8 years of age my Mum started a boarding kennel on our property. There were dogs galore and my favourites got to stay in the house. We would take them running in the paddocks and it was my job to help run the kennels and clean them out and best of all, make friends with them. That's when dogs became my best friends.

Back in those days, there was no such thing as canned or dry food, we fed them real food. My Mum would cook up big pots of vegetables and then add meat and give them big raw meaty bones to chew on, our dogs were always healthy.

After moving to Australia in 1979 it was some time before I was able to get my own dog but she finally found me in 1985 and I called her Sunny, she was the most beautiful girl. She had been dumped at a tip near where I kept one of my horses at the time, she was about 6 months old, timid and shy, so I started taking food for her and won her over and the day she finally got in my car to come home with me, was Mothers day, it was the beginning of a new chapter of my life and it was to be all about dogs.

Sunny Girl was a German Shepherd cross Lassie Collie dog and one of the prettiest dogs I have ever known, smart and loyal and we were inseparable. After an about a year of having Sunny, I got a new flatmate and his parents had just got themselves a border collie puppy, Lucy. Lucy ended up coming to stay at his parents were doing renovations. Sunny and Lucy immediately became the best of friends and after several months the owners of Lucy said they could not bear to take Lucy away from Sunny and I so they gave her to me and we were a family.

In 1989 we moved out of town to our own farm with my four horses and 3 cats and Lucy fell in love with the beautiful Border Collie boy next door and the next thing I knew we had the pitter patter of 9 little sets of paws at the farm too, I was in heaven, the border collie pups were divine and still to this day are my favourite breed. I found it very hard to let them go and ended up keeping three of them, Bonnie, Jessie and Whoo Boy, now we were an even bigger family.

One of the border collie brothers BJ used to regularly come to stay at the farm with his new brother Strapper but BJ was not desexed, consequently he met and fell in love with the beautiful German Shepherd girl who lived down the road called Lottie. In July 1993 there was more pitter-pattering of little tiny paws. They were born down the road, all 9 of them but Lottie's Dad found it all a bit overwhelming so they moved to the farm too !!!

To say I have a problem with letting go could be an understatement, Katie, Amy, Blackie and Daisy all joined the family, so now there was 9 !!!!! It was at this time I decided to change my career from many years in hospitality to working with dogs, which was pretty clear was my real passion!

That same year I became the very first Bark Buster Franchisee in Australia. When I met Sylvia and Danny Wilson it was pretty clear that I fitted their criteria of mad dog-loving woman and I spent 8 years training thousands of dogs and absolutely loved my job. I was very successful and Bark Busters went on to become the largest dog training company in the world with more than 450 franchises !!!

It was during this time that I saw a huge link between diet and behaviour problems and I also had the good fortune of having in my area a wonderful trailblazing Vet called Tom Lonsdale. I ran Puppy Pre Schools at Riverstone Vets for many years and became good friends with Tom and he taught me all about natural feeding for dogs which I believed in anyway, so it made perfect sense to me. Through Tom, I met Ian Billinghurst, author of Give Your Dog A Bone and founder, creator of BARF, biologically appropriate raw food.

Through their teachings, I started to apply natural feeding to some of the dogs with behavioural problems with outstanding results !!! This is where my passion for natural nutrition began and continues today.

The years of working with Bark Busters and living at my little farm in Kellyville with the dogs and the horses were the best time of my life, we were one very big happy family. I would go riding on my horse and all the dogs would follow me, stopping for a swim in the dam along the way, there was also a beautiful waterhole down the back of the property for swimming, those were the days !!!

Sadly everyone started to age and in 1999 my beautiful Lucy developed some health issues that the vets could not figure out and she died leaving us all heartbroken. The following year her best friend and my first love, Sunny followed her leaving me devastated and again baffled as to why at only 11 and a half and 13 years they were gone. It was at this stage that I combined my interest of natural feeding with natural therapies. The Vets weren't giving me enough answers so I started studying everything I could, vitamins, minerals, homoeopathy, herbs, Bach flowers and combining that with natural nutrition.

The following year I lost my beautiful Bonnie at only 12 years from kidney failure, it was a turning point for me, time to move on and change direction. I sold my Bark Busters business and in 2001 and my 6 remaining dogs and my 2 cats and I moved to a sleepy little seaside town called Tea Gardens on the mid-north coast to take a break and figure out where to from here. We enjoyed every day at the beach and I was happy that Jessie and Whoo Boy got to retire by the seaside. Not long after we moved Whoo Boy developed liver disease, the Vet told me he only had weeks to live and gave me morphine injections for him to keep him comfortable, I did a lot of research and put him on liver herbs and a special diet and he lived for another 10 months, leaving us in August 2002.

Little Jess was the last of the border collies left now and she was as fit as a fiddle. So here I was with 3 generations of the same family all eating the same food and so far we had battled stomach issues with Lucy, a leg tumour with Sunny Girl, kidney failure with Bonnie and liver disease with Whoo Boy, also Katie had been diagnosed with diabetes and was now on 2 injections daily and a special diet !!

In 2003 Amy was diagnosed with heart failure, the healthiest, fittest, fastest runner, best swimmer of them all. We went to a specialist in Sydney and again not much hope was given so I put her on the herb Hawthorn and she improved a lot. The specialist was surprised, to say the least, and now recommends Hawthorn as part of his program of healing !! She lost her battle in May 2004 living much longer than what was expected but still only just 10 years and 10 months old.

During this time little Jess jumped off the lounge onto the slippery floorboards and when I came out, she was paralysed. I took her straight to our wonderful Vet that we had found in Sydney Dr Tamara Carlin and she did acupuncture and intravenous Vitamin C, by the next day she was back on her feet and after several days was almost back to normal. She did however still have a slight limp that gradually got worse over time, I then would take her to the beach with the others in her own little trolley. She soldiered on quite happy and then one day she didn't seem right so I took her for a checkup and we found she had a mass on her lung, she died two days later in November 2004. 17 days later my first horse Caesar died also, it was a terrible year.

I was now left with Katie, Blacky and Daisy. Katie was up and down with her diabetes, she had gone blind with it and I spent $4000 to have the cataract surgery for her to see again and it was worth every penny, she was back up the track to the beach with the ball in her mouth, happy as can be.But still, I lost Katie in June 2005, just under 12 years.

There was now only Blacky and Daisy left. We moved out of town and back onto a property and I got my remaining horses back with me. Blacky was starting to suffer terribly with arthritis, his mother Lottie had terrible hip dysplasia which is common to the breed. So I went off and did a Canine Myofunctional Therapy course so I could take better care of Blacky and Daisy, they enjoyed their massages immensely and I now had another service to offer my clients.

I had now started up my own little mobile dogwash and grooming business as I really wanted to work with dogs again and it also gave me the opportunity to meet the dogs of the town and educate people about diet and nutrition and natural therapies.

In 2006 I received a phone call about a litter of puppies that were going to be drowned in the dam if I didnt save them, so of course I did, all 12 of them !!

They were only 5 weeks old and in a terrible state. I found homes for all of them when they were well enough to leave except for 2, Kali and Tiny. Tiny was the runt of the litter and I had to bottle feed him and Kali continuted to break out of the pen and was determined to be my girl so now there was two new members of the family.

The following 2007 I bought my own little farm and Bulahdelah, we now finally had our own home.

Sadly though Blacky only lasted 6 weeks at our new home, his legs gave out just like his Mums and he could no longer walk and his kidneys also stopped functioning.

Daisy was my last remaining original family member and she was unbelievably healthy. Daisy had never been sick a day in her life except for having a cruciate ligament operation. I was determined to give her every chance of living a lot longer, she had an excellent diet, every supplement I could give her and in her last few years she had regular acupuncture, homeopathy ( with the help of my dear friend Susan Scott ) chiropractic work and of course massage and swimming, Daisy was a trooper. The one thing about Daisy was she was always very lazy, her siblings would race up and down the beach after balls and swim in the ocean, Daisy thought that was all a waste of time and would find someone to snuggle up to on the beach and have a cuddle instead, exercise was definitely not her thing and perhaps her secret to longevity ?

My little Daisy amazed the Vets and everyone by celebrating her 16th, 17th and then her 18th birthday. She left this earth at 18 years and 8 days on the 22nd of July 2011, she was a very old lady and could no longer walk but was loved so much, not only by me but everyone who knew her, she was a National Treasure, Cuddlepop Pie.

During Daisy's last years on the farm the family started to grow again, Missy Moo Moo came to the farm in 2008 as a pup, a border collie cross and the following year little Georgie Girl a kelpie cross who had not had a great start in life joined the family too.

Tess and Eva had become permanent residents, two old girls who belonged to my friend Dave and had also lived back in Kellyville. Dave got a job working away during the week so the girls came to retire on the farm. Tess was a border collie x kelpie and Eva a red cattle x who I had rescued many years before as a one-year-old, they were the best of friends, more like sisters really.

The same year that Daisy left us, little Tess was struck down by a tick, even though we had been using preventive measures and got her to the Vets very quickly, something went wrong and she did not survive.

We were heartbroken, I was still grieving for Daisy and the shock of losing little Tess who was the eternal pup was just too much to bear.

Two days later I had an Xmas market to attend at Pacific Palms, it was the last thing I wanted to do but knew I had to attend, Dave and I both had to wear sunglasses all day as we had been crying so much!

On that day the 18th of December 2011, I believe that I was sent a little miracle. I had no intention of getting any more dogs I still had 5 but there at the markets was this little bundle of black and white fluff, 8 weeks old, a baby boy. I picked him up and looked into his little eyes and that was it, I was a goner!! I spoke to the owners and his Mum was a border collie called Tess !! and his Dad was a beautiful kelpie from Barrington. He came home that afternoon and I named him Teddy a combination of both Tess and Daisy's names and he was the best medicine for a broken heart.

Teddy and I have become inseparable and he is the most loving little boy, the other dogs loved him too, especially Georgie Girl, they became instant friends.

In October, a new recruit came to live at the farm, not planned but she was an old girl on my dogwash run, Misty and her Mum had died. At first, I tried to rehome her but then a very close friend of Misty's Mum contacted me and said she was probably about 15 years, that made it a lot harder to find a home for her. This wonderful Aunty of Misty's then asked if I could take care of her for the rest of her days and she would pay for her keep and all her Vet needs etc, so dear old Misty came to the farm to retire and we call her Mrs Minkle.

I was hoping that Misty might make a nice new friend for dear old Eva who missed her best friend Tess but life works in mysterious ways and just two days after Misty arrived dear old Eva didn't seem well to me, so I didn't go to work that day and took her to my wonderful Vet at Medowie, Ilona Hudson and it turned out she had a tumour right next to her heart that was pressing and making it difficult for her to breath. Ilona did some acupuncture and gave us some medication and we brought her home, she picked up and ate her dinner.

The next morning I was off to work and then I looked at her and thought, no I can't leave, something is not right. Eva was gone within an hour, off to be with her beloved Tess to run through the paddocks with Sunny, Lucy, Bonnie, Jessie, Whoo Boy, Katie, Amy, Blacky and Daisy, all of them back together again, Eva was the last one to go home.

It's now 2018 and Kali and her brother Tiny, now known as Big Boy, because he grew into the size of a small pony ! are approaching 13 years old. Georgie Girl and Moo Moo are both 11 and we have a new girl Rhani who came to stay as a boarder on the first of June 2015 and never left.She arrived the same day that dear old Mrs Minkle went to heaven. Teddy is 6 years old and more adorable than ever and my constant companion and still the 'baby'of the family. So just a family of 4 dogs, which for me these days is just enought. They are all incredibly healthy, being fed an all natural diet and receiving their supplements and as little toxic chemicals as possible.

And we can'f forget Bubbles the cat who deserves a mention, he too is 13 and rules the roost and continutes to intimidate my dogs and any others who come here, he's one brave cat with a ton of attitude !!

All of my beloved horses have gone except for dear Amber who will definitely be my last horse, she is sweet, gentle and kind and she loves the company of the dogs.

My dogwashing days are coming to an end as I had a pretty bad car accident in 2017 and my back does no allow me to do what I used to so that has led me to the next stage of my journey which is creating beautiful Eco hemp collars and leads. I really want to work from home now and absolutely love creating the beautiful designs and I will also be adding harnesses, bedding and jackets in the future.

Along with the Farmstay Holidays this is my new direction. Being at home on my beautiful little farm with my own family and taking care of yours and creating beautiful natural products for our beloved friends. A quiet, simple but fulfilling life that is still 'All about dogs'!!

My journey with dogs has been a long one over many years,a lifetime really. Living with a dog family of three generations was an amazing experience and each and every one of them have left their paw print on my heart. They have also been my biggest teachers in life, through all of their different illnesses I have learnt so much and that has given me knowledge and skills to help others along my journey.

I have learnt about the detriments of commercial food and the terrible damage it does to our dogs. The evils of over-vaccinating and other unnecessary medications that we are told we must do for their best interests when in fact it is so very bad for their health and causes so many problems. I have learnt there are so many natural alternatives and everything is available for us and it is my great pleasure to be able to guide you on that journey and share with you my knowledge to help you make the best decisions for your dog bringing health, wellness and longevity.

All dogs should live to 18 or more just like Daisy and she proved that it can be done, so let's treat our dogs with what nature intended and go back to basics. Let's feed real food, full of nutrients and life force and ditch the convenient, processed rubbish, let's have healthy dogs !!!!!

To all the dogs that have shared my life, past and present, know that you are loved now and forever and you all changed my life for the better, my world is richer because of each and every one of you. My work is a tribute to you and I miss you all every day.