Saving Simba: On Faith, Intuition and Nutrition

Our sweet Simba went to Rainbow Bridge on April 13, 2013 after 15+ wonderful years together. It was an honor to rescue him and be his mama. He was the best friend I could ever have, and I will love him and miss him forever. RIP, sweet boy…I’ll see you again one day. Simba Allard: 1997 – 2013

My 14 year old dog Simba (also known as The Dude, as well as many other nicknames) was diagnosed with canine kidney disease two years ago. The vet told us there was really nothing we could do, except maybe feed him a dog food made especially formulated to be easy on the kidneys.

So that’s what we did.

Starting in the fall of 2010, Simba started drinking insane amounts of water (I’d fill his bowl at least a dozen times daily) and subsequently peeing an insane number of times. He also began waking me once or twice nightly to go outside and pee. And he had other canine kidney disease symptoms, like excessive panting, bad breath and difficulty walking.

Then, in October of 2011, Simba began having accidents in the house on a regular basis, sometimes emptying a full bladder on the rug or floor while he was sleeping. We couldn’t leave him for longer than two to three hours without coming home to a big puddle.

And still, the vet said there was really nothing we could do. It got so bad that we decided it was time to put Simba to sleep and we scheduled the appointment for March 10, 2012. 

This was the hardest decision I’d ever made. We adopted Simba from a local shelter when he was just 6 months old and I was just 28. He was my first “child”. He welcomed each of my children when they were born and licked my tears away when my father died. He comforted me when motherhood or entrepreneurship was just too much and even made appearances in some of my interviews. He is loyal, loving and sweet, and has brought us so much joy and laughter. It might sound silly to some, but I just couldn’t imagine my life without him. 

What happened next was nothing short of a miracle and absolute proof of the power of faith, intuition and nutrition.

The last (week of) supper

The week before Simba’s scheduled euthanization, they didn’t have his regular dog food at Whole Foods, so I decided that I’d cook homemade meals for him. It was the least I could do for my beloved dog.

For the heck of it, I Googled “canine kidney disease” and found this site. There, I read countless testimonials about a special “kidney friendly” diet that seemed to work miracles in dogs of all ages who had kidney disease.

I had all the ingredients I needed to feed Simba like a king and maybe make him more comfortable during his last week – organic brown rice, organic carrots, a bit of grass-fed beef, coconut oil, organic eggs and greens powder.

So I started him on the kidney friendly diet and almost immediately, I could see a difference. He drank less water and therefore, peed less. As the week progressed, he perked up more and more and even began looking at his leash and collar, nudging me to take him for a walk.

I took him for a walk each day during his “last week” and he was panting less and seemed more comfortable in general. I went from filling his water bowl a dozen times daily to filling it just four times. He didn’t have a single accident and began going for longer stretches before needing to go out. He was like a different dog. 

The day before he was scheduled to be put down, I felt so unsettled and so full of anxiety. It just didn’t feel right. Every time I looked at him, I burst into tears. My gut was telling me, “Don’t do it!”. The only thing that calmed me down was saying repeated Hail Mary’s and asking for guidance from above. Again, it might sound silly, but I knew God would help me know what to do.

When my husband got home from work, he kept looking at Simba. And looking at me. And looking at Simba. He said, “For whatever reason, he doesn’t look or act like he did last week. Cancel the appointment.”.

My heart leapt with joy as I dialed the vet to cancel the appointment for my canine Lazarus. I had witnessed the power of faith, intuition and nutrition. 

So, what does Simba’s story have to do with being a mom entrepreneur?

Now, I know what you’re thinking. That’s a great story, Heather but what does your dog’s tale have to do with my life as a mom entrepreneur?

Faith, intuition and nutrition saved my elderly, diseased dog. And they can save you, too.

Here’s how:

Keep the faith

Being a mom entrepreneur means having dark days, it means having days where you question everything. Your ideas, your abilities, your impact. 

But as St. Paul said, we have to fight the good fight, finish the course, keep the faith.

I kept the faith during Simba’s “last week” and you can do the same. Here are some ways to do it, even on the darkest of days:

  • Create a bookmarks or email folder with comments, Facebook posts, testimonials and tweets from your customers, clients, fans and followers to remind you just how much you’re loved and needed.
  • Create a Pinterest board with inspirational quotes that you can browse when you’re feeling low.
  • Write a mission statement or a painted picture and keep it handy to remind yourself of WHY you started your business.

Follow your intuition

We mom entrepreneurs have the advantage of “women’s intuition”, even when it comes to our businesses. We run our businesses with our heads AND our hearts.

Never let anyone tell you that intuition doesn’t play a role in entrepreneurship. And never be afraid to act on your intuition even though it might seem crazy to others.

Like I did, always listen to and trust your gut, instincts, and intuition.

Never underestimate the power of nutrition

“Kidney friendly” nutrition brought my dying dog back to health and it can be just as powerful in your life. Believe me, I know.

Over the past year, I read Crazy Sexy Diet and watched Forks Over Knives, and they changed my life.

I’m almost 43 years old and have three children. I don’t take any medication (unless you count vitamin B, vitamin D, kelp and spirulina supplements). I haven’t been sick since last May despite not having had a full night’s sleep in over a  year.

I attribute my health to my daily green smoothies and greatly reduced amounts of animal products and refined foods in my diet.

Being this healthy means I’m always ready to take care of my children and my business. It means being able to seize every day, no matter what it brings. 

If you’d like to feel better and live healthier for the sake of your kids and business, I strongly encourage you to watch Forks Over Knives with your family. It will change your life for the better.

Faith, intuition and nutrition saved Simba, and they can play a huge role in your life as a mom entrepreneur.

Are you a believer in the power of faith, intuition and nutrition? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Heather Allard

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39 Responses to “Saving Simba: On Faith, Intuition and Nutrition”

  1. Note: Simba has slept through the night for the past TWO nights. I’m one happy mama! :)

  2. This is beyond beautiful Heather. The power of all of it, it really is the magic combo!

    We do a brown rice, meat, veggie diet for our sweet dog too but I totally am going to be adding the green powder.

  3. Samantha Edu says:

    This article was sssooo just what I needed when I needed it. For some reason, this morning I woke up questioning myself and what I am doing at home. I haven’t been able to focus all day and aside from doing my children’s weekly chore chart and washing about 4 loads of clothes, I haven’t really been productive. I can’t identify with the pet scenario but can definitely identify with leaning on faith, intuition, and nutrition. I have always found it helpful on days like today, to just take a mental break from the 101 projects and ideas and just do housework and tonight, come up with a new written plan for the rest of the week. I also think it’s a great idea to come up with an inspiration board and a personal mission statement to remind me why I am doing this and the feelings that I get from doing it.

    Thanks a bunch! Always thankful for God’s provision in our lives. :-)

  4. Cydney says:

    Faith, intuition and nutrition – it’s a holy trine! Thanks for sharing your story, Heather.

    I’ve seen diet changes in dogs clear up smelly or sticky fur, digestive issues, ear and eye infections, and behavioral problems (I once had a kennel of dog sled loving huskies!) I had a special dog rebound from bone cancer, too.

  5. Sandy Dell says:

    What a wonderful inspirational article. Good nutrition can do AMAZING things!! I too, am a miracle — I am a recovering Alzheimer’s patient. Don’t believe me? Here is my story:

    Sandy Dell

  6. Liz says:

    I walk every day with my neighbor and her dog, who by the way, is also called Simba. She was telling me about Forks over Knives as well and how inspiring it was in helping her move to a healthier diet.

    Keeping the faith and following your intuition is so key to getting through the trials of life.

    I’m definitely going to watch Forks over Knives.

    P.S. I’m so glad you still have Simba :-)

    • Thank you SO much, Liz. I’m so glad I still have Simba, too.

      And I think that the universe is telling you through dogs named Simba that it’s time to watch Forks Over Knives. Lol. :)


  7. Stacy says:

    Heather, I am so happy that Simba is still with you! What a lucky dog he is to have such a loving mom! And I do believe in intuition, nutrition and faith they have served me well all of my life :) xoxo

    • Thank you, Stacy! I’m so happy too! I know he’s not going to live forever…but I’m just glad I could keep him a little while longer and improve his health. :)


  8. I love this story and sharing it with my community as it’s truth is so strong. Thank you for your beauty and help, Heather!

  9. Boom says:

    Nutrition is becoming an issue of health with our pets. I had the same experience with my cat who was 15 years old. I got her what I thought was a super nice “pricey” last supper. She let me know almost immediately that she felt better and was actually wheat intolerant. The vet had told me that she had congiahepatitis and was in liver failure.
    We are about to celebrate her 16th birthday and she thrives on her grain free food. Isn’t it wonderful?

  10. Just the message that I needed to hear. Thanks Heather. I’m going to check out the site on canine kidney disease. Keep up the great work.

  11. Jane Akre says:

    Beautiful message!

  12. Michele says:

    Omg. You may have just saved my doggies life. Thank you so much for sharing this and to Hannah her shared it on her blog. Much love to you!

  13. Michele says:

    Oh! And yay for Simba as well! You must be so relieved! :-)

  14. Amy G says:

    I can’t help but wonder after learning about “pink slime” cow carcass garbage that is spun down and washed with ammonia then added to 70% of the ground beef supplied in this country and is in most pet food-if this has anything to do with the significant amount of animals coming down with liver and kidney problems. I lost my beloved cat to kidney failure about a year ago.

  15. Heather says:

    Wow! What a powerful story. I too can attest to the power of nutrition and can shout it out with you that proper nutrition heals.

  16. Susan says:

    I am a HUGE believer in nutrition for pets and humans. I’ve fed our two cats on either homemade or high-grade grain-free food and our vets are always commenting on the kitties excellent health, perfect weight, amazing coats and liveliness. As for me, I (and both my sisters) struggle with ADD, and the difficulties of dealing with the tightly regulated medications used to treat it. While studying for a pre-med degree, I came across an article about a new vitamin developed to treat depression that some people were using to treat ADD (Empowerplus at I decided to try it, and it worked better than pharmaceutical I’d ever tried! It lasts longer, and doesn’t have the side effects or constant monitoring I needed with the other meds. Also, after years of tummy troubles (gas, bloating, constant runs to the bathroom) I learned about the FODMAPS diet- and suddenly even my allergies are better. So yes, BIG fan of the wonders of decent nutrition here!

  17. Ali Davies says:

    Wow heather, that’s amazing. One of my coaching clients a few years back was a vet. But she was a holistic vet. She never fed her own dogs manufactured food and she taught her clients how to feed their animals naturally. Always had amazing results.

    And you are so right about nutrition, health and it’s impact on life and business. In the last few years my husband has had a life threatening illness and a serious car crash. He is fine now, but as a result we have become very health aware. We try to take care of ourselves on a consistent basis – physically, mentally and spiritually.

    As well as improving the quality of life it also makes total business sense too. With more energy and clearer thinking all areas of the business benefit in so many ways.

    Delighted for you all that things improved.

  18. Renee says:

    Hi Heather,

    What a beautiful story… I’m wondering how Simba is doing now?

    • Renee, he’s doing SO well, thank you. He had a stomach bug last month and the vet did blood work – his kidney and liver function were better than TWO years ago. It was like the kidney disease completely reversed. He turned 15 on 9/5/12 and every day with him is a blessing. :) xo, Heather

  19. Kim says:

    Hi Heather,

    I randomly stumbled upon this blog about Simba and loved it! I have been cooking batches of healthy food like you for over a year now and my dog went from obese with a slue of medical issues to the exact opposite! Max is going on 14 and my vet said he has the insides of a 6 month old puppy! I am 75% vegan and have never felt healthier as well. I love the movie you mentioned as well as Kris Carr books! There are a ton of really great documentaries if you’re interested and have time I can send you a list! I love when I read inspiring stories like yours! Thank you for sharing:)

    • Hi Kim! So glad you enjoyed it!! I love kindred animal and food spirits. :) Max and Simba are lucky pups, huh? My vet couldn’t believe his kidney and liver function are better NOW than two years ago when he was originally diagnosed with kidney disease. I’m trying to move further into a vegan diet – I’d love to know which books/websites you like, and if you feel like sharing it, what you eat each day. :) Thanks for stopping by!!


  20. THANK YOU for posting this!! SO thankful you could enhance your first child’s life and keep him around. Wow! Makes me think about what I feed Cooper.

    • You’re welcome, Jess! I thought you would like it… :)

      Simba is still going strong at 15+ years old and I’m grateful for every day I have with him. He’s such a joy.

      So glad to connect with you! Thanks for the killer leg workout. :D


  21. Lisa says:

    I read your article, Thank you!!! My dog Gretl may have the beginning of kidney problems. Can you give me the measurements in the ingredients for the organic brown rice, organic carrots, a bit of grass-fed beef, coconut oil, organic eggs and greens powder, and where did you get the greens powder?
    I appreciate this so much!
    Lisa & my dog Gretl she is 6 and is 90 lbs weimaraner

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