Growing up I never had any pets. Truthfully, most of my life I was terrified of all animals, especially dogs. When I lived in Vienna, Austria, I remember one day walking down the street and seeing a lady walking her small dog. I was so frightened that I crossed the street to avoid coming into contact with the little dog. Now it makes me laugh every time I think of that moment. That was 34 years ago.
Fast forward 15 years to when my family and I were invited to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving. They had a German Shepherd, Misty. Most of the time when I visited my friend, she would put Misty in her crate but on that particular Thanksgiving Day, she was out walking around. I told myself I would have to face my fear. I think Misty felt my energy because when I was sitting on the couch, she came over and laid at my feet and rested her chin on my foot. It was my first close encounter with a dog, and that changed my life! I wasn’t ready to go out and get a dog of my own, but Misty had broken down that barrier, and I was no longer terrified of dogs.
After my daughter graduated and moved back home from college, she decided she really wanted a dog. One day she said she was going to go “look” at some dogs. She ended up bringing home Lilly, a little Yorkie. That was 11 years ago. Never having any pets in my life, I had no idea how to react to my new situation. I told my daughter that Lilly couldn’t be on the furniture and put in place some other rules. I remember I just kept staring at Lilly not knowing what to expect. Today I have two little Yorkies, Lilly who started my love for animals and Riley. I am a proud dog owner, and they have taught me a lot! They have changed my outlook on pets and given my life a new purpose and much inspiration.
Today I am committed to finding healthier solutions and better ways to care for our dogs beginning with what we put in their bodies. Many of my family and friends’ dogs have been diagnosed with cancer; resulting in the heartbreaking decision to put them down. After my son in-law's parents lost their dog, Bella, to cancer I started asking myself, “Why are dogs getting cancer so often?” This was weighing heavily on my heart.
Unexpectedly, I received an email titled, “The Truth about Pet Cancer.” The email contained a documentary by Ty Bollinger and consisted of 7 episodes. I watched them all and was extremely inspired. I started reading more books and began making my own organic dog treats and food for my dogs. When I started telling my friends about what I was doing, everyone wanted some for their own dogs. The response was amazing! Dogs were loving their new treats and friends were asking for more. I am passionate about giving our dogs healthy organic ingredients. I never use any fillers or chemicals so what you see is what you get.
I hope that my story is inspirational, and that I can make a difference in our dogs’ health.