An Adoption That Turned Into Inspiration!
Our story begins with a 4 month old hound puppy that was an owner surrender at a local shelter. Our 13 year old Husky (Nala) picked this pup after months of searching for a future companion dog. We were so excited to bring our new puppy home and Nala got straight to work training this new pup. During these first couple of days, we noticed that the white parts of Bella's eyes were red and swollen. She didn't have the energy of a puppy that we had expected and she had some pretty terrible stomach problems. Three times a day she would need to have discharge from her eyes cleaned, often offering warm compresses at night.
After shuffling her back and forth to the vet a couple of times, no diagnosis and no treatment, and feeling a bit deflated; We decided we would go back to the basics! Something had to be making our pup sick, and we were determined to get to the bottom of it. We started over with boiled chicken, steak and beef liver. Every night, Bella got to try something new but also very simple. Days went by, then a week and then... significant changes in Miss Bella! Elated, I continued to cook her meals every night during the week. Following another appointment with the vet, I was given a list of natural foods that could be substituted for dog food. This was the week I decided to add veggies to her dinner as well as offer her dinners that included acorn and butternut squash. Much to our surprise, the pup gobbled it down! And I don't mean she "kinda" liked it. Bella LOVES her squash! At this point weeks have passed and I had what seemed like a completely different pup. Bella was full of life and energy. She chased the cats, annoyed Nala, and chewed a bunch of shoes, typical puppy stuff. On a whim, I decided to try to add rice to Bella's dinner one night. The next morning she had partially regressed back to the state she was in after her adoption. This was my "ah ha!" moment! Bella has a grain allergy!
Immediately I ordered her grain free dog food. A year later we were celebrating her first birthday and we noticed how much improvement there had been since going grain-free. Everyone that meets her always compliments us on how shiny and soft her coat is. The redness and irritation in the whites of her eyes was completely gone. Most importantly, her stomach and GI tract had settled and she was finally comfortable enough to just enjoy being our puppy. In this moment of bliss, also came a great deal of sadness. Shortly after Bella's recovery, Nala had decided that the new pup's training was complete, and we helped her peacefully cross the Bridge.
Since Kat is a bargain shopper, coupon crazy and a chemistry geek.. this brings us to something new that we noticed.. The cost of dog food and dog treats had gone up significantly since we made the switch to grain-free. The price wasn't the worst of it. What bothered us the most was that many of the popular and more widely known brands of grain-free pet products offered pet foods that contained propylene glycol. The arguments of whether or not this is a safe additive for pet food can shift in either direction. However, with the Kat working in a laboratory that specifically tests for this chemical.. We have been able to form our own opinions on the matter. We have ultimately come to the conclusion that we can make our own dog food and dog treats that are free from all the chemicals and preservatives. We can take advantage of all of the beauty and wonders of this great state by utilizing local vendors to provide us with ingredients that are wholesome and organic. I want my pups to love the taste of their dog food and treats not because they are chock full of additives but simply because they like the taste. We want to share the relief we get when give her a snack, and the comfort we have when we collect the day's fresh farm eggs knowing what they'll be used for.
From our home to yours, we wish you many happy and healthy years with your pets.
-Kat & Bella & Diana G.