Our intro to feeding raw began when I started working with a European trainer, Mogens Eliasen. He was the 1st trainer I’d met who understood “dog language” and “dog culture”. And it was through his knowledge and practice that I learned how to “talk” to my rescued, dog-aggressive JRT, Trubble.
But, it was my trainer’s understanding of canine nutritional needs that really opened my eyes, and knocked me on my butt, so to speak. It was after a day of training that I watched with horror as he threw a raw chicken carcass to his dog! I was aghast! Inside my head, I was screaming: “It’s raw meat – full of dangerous bacteria and parasites! He’s eating bones! They’re going to splinter, and pierce his stomach! Or they’ll get caught, and he’ll choke to death and die!”
Needless to say, dog did not seem too concerned. Neither did his owner. The dog settled down on the grass and began crunching and tugging at the raw carcass.
I cautiously commented: “Isn’t that gonna kill your dog?”
He replied: “He doesn’t look dead yet, does he?”
The above scenario happened over 16 years ago. And its only gotten better. Our 2 delightful dogs (and our cranky old cat who lived til 21 BECAUSE we changed her from dry to raw food!) just LOVE their raw food. And their doting humans just LOVE that they are so healthy and alive.
The Road to Raw
We started out in our single-car garage with one medium-sized chest freezer full of green tripe, veggie-grains and beef hock bones. As with most new converts we set about spreading the ‘good news’ to anyone who’d listen – whether they had a dog or not!
Soon, we had to purchase another freezer. Business was growing. Dogs were getting healthier. Now the owners were beginning to spread the ‘good news’ about the positive changes in their own dogs.
Today, we have a big store and 32 big freezers filled with lots of nutritious raw foods – all manufactured by local companies who fiercely care about the health and well-being of our canine and feline companions. But it wasn’t always so.
Emotion over Reason
Our journey began in the fall of 1996 when my partner and I brought home a 5-month-old female Jack Russell Terrier puppy. The family she’d been living with had to ‘give her up’ because their other Russell was repeatedly attacking and biting her – to the degree that she had blood-reddened ‘slash’ marks on her body.
God should never have made puppies so cute. She came tumbling up the basement stairs, ran straight towards us, rolled over on her back, pink belly up, and peed high into the air. Well, I was captivated. We came home with a puppy, an over-sized crate, and the left-over bag of dry food. Little did I know that this little puppy would teach me everything I needed to know about dogs – their culture, their needs, and more!
Step by Step: the steep learning curve.
We learned a lot that 1st year. I learned that I had my work cut out for me. I went to ‘dog training classes’, and more dog training classes. I learned that my sweet little puppy pie would go pedal-to-the-floor-ballistic when other dogs came around. She was ‘Nora the Nice’ whenever people came to greet her – sometimes she’d even submissively pee for them. But with dogs – alas, her early experiences with that other dog had left its mark, literally and figuratively.
“No, you cannot race over there and beat the crap out of that dog!”
Today, our sugar-coated package of TNT is under fairly good ‘verbal control’. She even lives peaceably (on her terms) with our NSDTR. But I must confess, there were days when I didn’t know if I was up to the challenge. A 20 lb. ball of white and black fury, clamped firmly onto the top lip of a full-grown Rottie is amusing in cartoons only.
“You Feed Your Dog Raw Meat!?”
It was during the early stages of training (for both of us) that I heard about this ‘raw food’ concept. I was both curious and suspicious. Curiosity won.
Fear of the Unknown
The year was 1997. I don’t remember the month or the day. I do remember being nervous, as I lowered the half-full bowl onto the kitchen floor, right under her nose. She didn’t bother with her usual quick sniff – but thrust her muzzle into the bowl, inhaled its contents, then looked up expectantly. “More please!?”, her eyes said. One thing was for certain: she liked this food a heck of a lot more than her dry ‘kibble’.
Almost to the second that she finished eating, my mind recaptured the warning words of the vet: “Feeding raw food, especially raw meat, is downright dangerous!” That night, I prayed that she would not die from salmonella, E.coli, parasites, flukes, or the like.
In the morning I cracked open an eye and anxiously looked for signs of life. Her stomach was still, unmoving – Oh God! She’s dead! On no! And then I saw it: her pink, plump tummy, quietly falling, then rising, and falling again. I started to breathe too, and we’ve never looked back.
Please be sure to check out our Nutrition and Seminars pages. Please feel free to call us – or better yet – come visit us at our store!
Some of OUR PRODUCTS:
- Club Canine/Feline
- Nature’s Variety
- 3P Natural
- Natural Instinct
- Red Dog/Blue Cat
- Jake & Daisy – lamb shanks
- K9 Natural* – freeze-dried RAW food
- Wysong Archetype* – freeze-dried raw
- ZiwiPeak** – no grains or carbohydrates; dehydrated and/or tinned (for cats)
- Wysong – Epigen** – starch free.
*For those who travel, and want to keep feeding raw, but don’t want to carry around the bulkiness of frozen food, we are pleased to offer K9 Natural Raw, Freeze-Dried meals, and Archetype by Wysong.
**For the ‘unconverted’ or ‘in the process’ of moving toward a raw diet, we offer these two items.
- 4 Paws Bakery
- Northern Biscuit
- Feelgood Treat Co.
- Snack 21
- Sardines – dried
- …and more
- Juka Organic
- Flax Forward
- Flax Action
- Grizzly Salmon Oil
- Canine Plus
- Eggshell Calcium
- Fulvic Acid
- Diatomaceous Earth (food grade)
GROOM & CLEAN & TRAIN
- Canyon Meadows Soap
- Biodegradable Poop Bags – variety
- Sense-ible Harness
- Nail Clips
- Neem Shampoo & Spray
- Healing Solution