Eric Lechasseur (husband)
I met Eric in 1991 when I was traveling in Mexico on a Sober Club Med vacation tour. I was going through a divorce from my first husband. Eric was already Executive French Chef at the resort hotel. Since he’d worked with some Japanese chefs in Bali and Tahiti, he knew how to speak simple Japanese and cook Japanese home food, so we got along easily. After Mexico, I went to visit him in Montreal and continued our long-distance friendship till he moved to Los Angeles a year later.
Eric struggled to find a job as a chef in Los Angeles in the first year, so he cooked for me. After I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, he learned vegan macrobiotic cooking and helped me recover from 1993–95; he also used it to heal his own eczema and sinus issues. He went on to become a well-known vegan macrobiotic celebrity chef when he started cooking for Madonna in 2001.
Eric also helped me after I had a near-fatal car crash in 2001. This time, he did more than cook; he supported me financially and took care of me during the year that I was bedridden, as well as the three years I was in a wheelchair.
We married in 2004. Our dogs—Kin, Kula and Dore—were our flowers girls, with our cat Mai present as a special guest.
After not walking for three years, I showed my determination by walking down the aisle at our wedding. Everyone was crying with joy—especially Eric.
The following year, Eric published a vegan macrobiotic dessert cookbook—Love, Eric—which was named the Best Cookbook of 2005 by Variety.
In 2008, Eric and I opened Seed Kitchen in Venice, California, with the mission of bringing delicious, healthy food to the public. We have continued teaching and sharing our experiences with people who seek to live healthy, happy lifestyles through events such as Kushi Summer Conference, Health Classics, A Taste of Health, and Healthy Taste of LA.
Because of ovarian cancer, I never had a chance to birth a baby; but following are all my wonderful children for this lifetime.
Happy, a golden retriever, is the youngest of our dog family. She is Lumi’s daughter, Oro’s granddaughter, and Kin’s great-granddaughter. She is very shy, loves to play with toys, and makes funny noises when she is happy. Due to nearsightedness, she has a difficult time going for walks, but taking Bach Flower Remedy has helped her walk without fear.
“Lumi” is short for Luminaire, meaning “golden light” in French. She is Oro’s daughter and Kin’s granddaughter. She is the smallest golden retriever I have ever seen; most people think she is a puppy. The sunshine of our home, she loves to be active and enjoys doing stand-up paddle boarding with Eric. She is the rebirth of Dore, who died from a hit-and-run driver in 2008.
A golden retriever, Bubu is Oro’s son and Kin’s grandson. He was very shy and timid when he was a puppy, but after Eric took him to agility class, he gained confidence. He loves being in the bathroom while Eric is taking a shower and going diving and swimming in North Fork, California. He likes to sing along with the sirens, as well as when he greets people.
This handsome golden retriever is Oro’s boyfriend. He came to our house after Dore died in 2009. He was afraid of fire at first, but using Bach Flower Remedy has helped him enjoy being around the fireplace during winter at our mountain cabin in North Fork. He has a big smile and loves to follow us around.
ORO: 2006– Oro means “gold” in Italian and Spanish.
Oro means “gold” in Spanish and Italian. Another golden retriever, she was part of Kin’s third litter, when Kin was 10 years old. Oro is the flower of our lives; her personality is like Dore’s, but she looks like Kula. She is a therapy dog who is crazy about playing ball when she is not working. She also enjoys practicing K9 nose work.
KULA: 2003– Kula means “gold” in Hawaiian.
She is a golden retriever and service/therapy dog. Part of Kin’s second litter, Kula was the rebirth of Gume, who died in my 2001 car crash. She is a good-looking dog, even though she is the oldest, and loves to swim and run in the mountains and at the beach. She enjoys going to the senior home and Santa Monica Farmers Market as a service dog. She was diagnosed with spleen cancer in May 2016, which has spread to her lungs, but she feels her time has not yet come; she is eating dog macrobiotic healing food and taking herbal medicine with acupuncture, reiki, shiatsu and Do-in exercise so she can still enjoy her life, one day at time.
DORE: 2003–2008 Dore means “gold” in French.
A golden retriever therapy dog, she was part of Kin’s second litter. She was smart, cheerful and cute, and she made us laugh. In 2007, she had her first nine puppies, all of which found new homes; one of them, Kona, was adopted by the service dog organization Paws’itive Teams. When Dore was 5 years old, she was killed by a hit-and-run driver near our house; she came back as Lumi.
KIN: 1997–2008 Kin means “gold” in Japanese.
She was a brave, smart golden retriever and my first therapy dog. I took her across the US and Canada, and she was a survivor of my near-fetal car crash in the Arizona desert. She birthed a total of 20 puppies in her life, including ones for autistic children. She was a good mother and trained her puppies well.
SAKURA: 1981–1998 Sakura means “cherry blossom” in Japanese.
She was my first dog in the US. She’d been found in a park with her sisters and brothers, and I adopted her at 7 weeks old. A mix of sheltie and German shepherd, she loved to run and catch Frisbees. When she got arthritis at 12 years old, I applied my macrobiotics practice and gave her natural, healing homemade food. That’s how I started Healthy Happy Pooch.
MAI MAI: 2013–
I had a dream one night that Key-Chain and Mai were talking about Tin Tin. Mai: “Mommy thinks Tin Tin is my rebirth, but she does not notice that he has your tail and not my tail.” Key-Chain: “ I think she was so happy to find Tin Tin, and she did not see whose rebirth. I hope she realizes soon.” I woke up feeling like it was so real, I could not go back to sleep. I searched the internet for a Maine Coon kitty who loves dogs. I could not believe it: I found one kitten with the title “Loves dogs.” She looked just like Mai, so I had to go meet her. And just like Mai, she was smaller than most Maine Coons. Rescued at a young age by a woman named Wendy, Mai Mai had to be fed by dropper. She is scared of humans, but she was not very afraid of me, so I decided to adopt her. It took her about a year to get used to Eric and enjoy her life with us.
TIN TIN: 2011–
After Mai passed, I had a dream that she came back in orange; so I started searching for orange kitties. I had six dogs, and Eric thought there would be no cat that could be around six dogs. But after I checked many cat adoption centers, I found Tin Tin. He was not afraid of dogs, but rather enjoyed being with them. He talks a lot and he loves to eat.
I found Mai in an alley just before my cancer was diagnosed. She loved to ride in cars and traveled all over, including Japan, Canada, and more than 10 different US states. She was the first cat to participate in the LA marathon— in the bicycle portion in 1997. She loved to be with people and used to go to AA meetings and house parties with me. She truly helped me heal, both physically and mentally, and kept me feeling safe. She survived my near-fatal car crash and lived till almost 20 years old.
Just before my father passed away, I lost an 18k gold keychain he’d given me. So, when I found a new cat shortly thereafter, I named her Key-Chain. She was cute but shy and so scared of everything and everyone other than family, that she stayed in our bedroom by the window most of the time. She had an eating disorder, so she ate too much and gained weight. At one point, she had the nickname “Butterball” (sorry, Key-Chain!), but we soon discovered that her weight gain was caused by the stress of being bullied by another cat in our home. When that cat passed away, Key-Chain’s weight melted off like… butter! She was healthy and lived up to 20 years old, still meowing like a kitten!
Tora was my first cat in America. A friend found her on the street, but she was not allowed to have pets in her apartment. Tora was very smart and enjoyed going outside. She became best friends with Sakura, my first dog in America, and they spent a lot of time together. When Sakura passed in 1998, Tora was grieving so much that she left home 10 days later and never came back.