Happy Veterans Day - Doug's Story
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In honor of Veterans Day, we would like to share the brave story of LYP Bakery’s very own Captain Doug Whitehead, United States Air Force.  We are sharing out story in order to shed light on  some of the many challenges facing our country’s veterans.  The pain and suffering faced by the brave men and women of our armed forces can often times be very close to home.  In his words, Doug shares his story:

“The 1970s were a time of great turbulence and massive change.  During the 60’s people became aware of the atrocities of the Vietnam War, and the need for soldiers was at an all-time high.  In 1970 I turned 18, and was registered for the draft.  If you were a medically and mentally fit male, you were entered into the draft “lottery system,” as the US government had ended all student deferments. If your number was low, you likely would go to war.

I chose a delayed enlistment program in order to go to school and prepare for duty.  I wanted to fly.  I spent two years in Miami for flight school. Then I headed to Colorado Springs to complete OCS (Officer Candidate School) receive my commission, and start my flyboy days. I entered PA (Physician’s Assistant) school in 1972, but I really loved flying.  During my time in PA school I was able to continue to hone my flying skills, practicing “sorties,” “blowouts” and other military flying protocols. 

My first TDY (Temporary Duty) found me stationed in Saigon and I was assigned to various bombing missions, “sorties,” and flew covers.  Once completing my first TDY, I received a top secret clearance and returned to Florida where I was assigned to President Nixon’s “Southern Whitehouse” support team until ‘75.  Those were some wild times, and I was able to experience it all from the right seat.  Once the war was over it was finally time to bring our troops home. I had the privilege and honor to assist in bringing our POWs home, a job that still holds a very special place in my heart.  Although my time in the service was coming to a close, I had no idea that the times ahead would be war all over again. 

After leaving the service I began my career as a Physician’s Assistant and derived more joy from my job than I could possibly express.  I wanted nothing more than to help others, and I felt I had found my calling.  I decided during this time that I wanted to finish my degree in Business.  I paid for this by providing private pilot services for people, eventually graduating and getting a job flying for Pan American Airlines from ’78-’83.

After leaving Pan America , I launched several successful businesses, and everything seemed to be “coming up Doug”.  It was during this time that the nightmare began.  On the outside I appeared to have it all together, but on the inside it was constant struggle.  Every day seemed to be slipping from me, forcing me to fall further and further into darkness.  As with so many others before me, I took to drink and drugs to try and numb the pain and horror of the war that was scarred into my mind. 

It was in the midst of this battle that I met an angel, my wife Valarie in 2003.  She helped me through some of the worst days of my life.  From the death of my father and my favorite dog Fraz in one single week, to the loss of our baby Andrew at 10 days old, Valarie stood close through everything.  After the death of our child my entire world felt as though it was collapsing around me.  The only escape seemed to be at the bottom of a bottle, and my drinking only worsened day by day.  I was apathetic and numb, Valarie and I were fighting more than not, and the hardest was yet to come.

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On March 16, 2012 I fell down the stairs of my home.  At approximately 12:30 AM, my wife Valarie awoke with a sense of dread when she found our dog, Apollo, keeping diligent watch over her.  All of the lights in the house were on, and I had not come to bed.  It was been a particularly heavy drinking night for me, and she quickly became concerned to not see me lying next to her.  Apollo walked Valarie to the landing on the stairs where she saw me lying at the bottom, unresponsive.  Valarie remained calm, comforting both me and our dogs while awaiting for the emergency personnel.  Although the ER told her to pack an overnight bag, Valarie knew in her heart that I was in more trouble than what would just require only an “overnight” bag.  By the time emergency services had arrived, my blood had a congealed and I was unresponsive.  If Apollo and Valarie had not found me when they did, I don’t know what would have happened.  We are forever grateful to Apollo, our Newfoundland for his heroic actions.  He saved my life.  Through personal connections and the stars aligning, Valarie was able to be by my side in the operating room for a majority of the time.  Only going home to take care of the house and the dogs, Valarie stood vigilant by my side every moment she could during that long hospital stay.

This felt like the end.  I couldn’t feel anything anymore.  In fact, I can’t remember that night at all.  I was life flighted to a local hospital and placed into a 10 day medically induce coma.  I had suffered subdural, arachnoid and thymal bleeds, occipital and sub-orbital fractures, hearing loss and a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), as well as a broken elbow and a torn ACL.  It was recommended that I be transported to a surgical center where I would be kept in a vegetative state.  But my wife and the VA doctor had a different plan for me.  They fought and never gave up, eventually admitting me into the “Brain Center of Excellence” in Palo Alto, California, where my journey to recovery could begin.

I can only describe this time as being “crazy” to say the least.  Every day seemed like an uphill battle.  I had lost my short term memory capabilities, repeating the same things over and over again, and at times I was delusional,  and was unable to differentiate from reality.  I had lost my ability to walk, write, read, shower and dress myself.  I barely spoke, and all of my mental reasoning was gone.  But we did not give up.  I say “we” because without the help and love from those around me, I may not have been considered a “success story”. 

I had arrived at the facility in April of 2012.  I began to progress rapidly, and was given a release date of November 2012.  Either they wanted to get rid of me, or I was a poster child for success ;)

I returned home in August and continued the fight.  We were thankful to be together and I began to heal rapidly.  Shortly after my fall I was diagnosed with skin cancer.  This cancer progressed and spread into six other types of cancers that began to eat away at my mind and body.  Between the chemotherapy, radiation and the PTSD, and recovering from my fall, I started to slip away again.  Old habits die hard, and I took to the bottle to help ease the pain the best way I knew how. 

My life began to spiral out of control.  My drinking consumed me, causing me to have accident after accident, sending me right back to the hospital.  I needed help.  It was time to take control of my mental and physical health.  With the support of my family, I admitted myself to drug and alcohol rehab, and was released upon successfully completing the program.  I am proud to report I’m two years clean and sober, with many more years to look forward to. 

Recently, I was diagnosed with tumors on my adrenals.  Getting this news was terrifying and I was scared.  But presently I have a clean bill of health and have taken the necessary steps to assuring the tumors do not spread.  Sobriety has allowed me to take control of my life and helps me cope with the day to day challenges that come with this battle to be healthy.”

 

The challenges for our veterans does not stay on the battle field.  For many others like Captain Doug Whitehead, the horrors of war are scars that they have to live with every day.  The brave men and women like Doug risk their lives and sacrifice their futures to ensure that our freedoms are protected and honored.  This Veterans Day we invite you to celebrate our military service people, and remember that their war does not end when the battle shots cease fire.  The men and women are our spouse, siblings, children and friends, and we would like to say Thank You for your service and sacrifice.  From our home to yours, Happy Veterans Day. We wish you love and healing energy.

~ Doug, Valarie, Jonah, Leuca and Dreamer

Valarie Kamdar
Benefits of Wild Game In Canine Diets

Have you thought about switching your dog to a raw diet? If so, you may have researched the benefits to feeding your dog a diet that includes wild game.  As is in humans, wild game can be a highly nutritious alternative to many domesticated meats, such as cow or chicken. Game meat is much leaner than domesticated meats, which can be very beneficial to your dog’s overall health.  Much of the information in this post was taken from DogsNaturallyMagazine.com.

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FEEDING THE WOLF

It is important to see our furry friends for what they are: domesticated wolves.  Many experts in the fields of Zoology and animal behavior agree that dogs can thrive on a raw, wild game diet, as it mimics their natural experience in the wild.  That is not to say that a raw diet is right for all dogs. It is important for the pet owner to research and explore options for feeding in order to find what works best for their pet.  

In the wild, wolves not only learn how to hunt, but they teach their young how to eat.  Often times wolves are limited in their choice of game depending on their geographical region.  This is where the wolf/dog experience differs. Dogs have the ability to choose from several protein sources.  Experts agree that giving your dog a variety of meats is important for a well balanced, nutrient-rich diet, as well as a medley of options.  After all, variety is the spice of life for humans, why would it be any different for your dog!

LET YOUR DOG CHOOSE

It is common knowledge that dogs will eat just about anything, but did you know what your dog can sense what nutrients their bodies need? According to Dr. Isla Fishburn of the Kachina Canine Communication, leading wolf conservationist, dogs have instinctual understanding as to what they need to thrive to their full capacity.  Dr. Fishburn’s research has shown that dogs need a wide variety of foods, and they will choose what they want/need better than what we can choose for them. It is important not to assume that your dog is eating that rotten apple core out of the garbage, or the grass from your lawn because they just want to consume. They may be in need of key nutrients that could be missing in their food.  Trusting that your dog knows what they need, and tracking patterns can be highly beneficial to your dog’s overall health.

Valarie Kamdar
Good Fats and Oils

Have you ever wondered what the statement “complete and balanced” on your dog’s food label actually means? Many pet owners don’t realize that in order for your pet’s food to get this certification, the food must meet a very specific criteria to ensure your dog is getting everything they need to thrive.  This does not just come from the proteins, vitamins and minerals, but the fats and oils that are very beneficial to your dog’s overall health.

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FATS AND OILS IN YOUR DOG’S DIET

Just like in humans, certain fats and oils are very important for canine body cells, nerves, tissues, and muscles.  However, the key to fats and oils in any diet is moderation. Fats and oils can provide necessary energy for your dog, but without proper exercise and balance in feeding amounts, fats and oils can be harmful to your pet.  According to PetMD, in order to properly maintain overall health and balance for an adult dog, diet should consist of 10-15 percent fats and oils, depending on the activity level of the pet.


TYPES OF GOOD FATS AND OILS

Experts agree that the two most important sources of good fat and oils come from omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.  These are found in a combination of animal and plant based sources. Omega-3 fatty acids are largely found in fish sources, such as herring and salmon, whilst omega-6 fatty acids can be supplied from pork and chicken fat, vegetable and safflower oils.  Since the body cannot naturally produce these fatty acids, it is important to find what is best for your particular dog’s diet.

No matter what type of diet your dog is on, it is imperative to closely monitor the labels on your pet’s food to ensure they are getting all of the necessary components for a well balanced healthy life.  Not all dog food is created equal, and it's up to the pet owner to stay educated and up to date with what is best for their best friend. Understanding what is in your pet’s food can mean the difference between a good and long quality of life, or preventable issues and diseases.

Valarie Kamdar
Raw Bones VS Cooked Bones

It’s common knowledge that dogs love to chew on bones, but have you ever wondered why? Contrary to popular belief, bones are not just a tasty treat for your canine friend, but an important part of their diet that dates back to the early canine ancestors.  Despite domestication, dogs have more in common with their ancient ancestors than you may think, especially when it comes to what foods they need to thrive.

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NUTRIENTS FOUND IN BONES

Raw bones have high levels of nutrients that your dog needs to have a balanced and complete diet.  The marrow in the bone holds large amounts of nutrients such as iron, omega-3 and 6, and collagen protein.  The bone itself is a great way to scrape away plaque buildup on teeth, and exercise necessary saliva glands.  For large dog breeds they should be given a larger raw bone, while smaller breeds need a smaller bone. Choking should always be a hazard on the forefront of the pet owners mind when feeding dogs raw bones.

THINK RAW

There is some disagreement in the pet feeding world as to whether raw or cooked bones are the safest.  After dinner, you may toss your dog a meatless rib eye bone to munch on, but did you know that this could be dangerous for your dog? Not only do cooked bone lose a high number of nutrients in the cooking process, but they can become brittle and splinter, causing dangers to your pet’s mouth and digestive system.

Additionally, it is very important to always supervise your dog while they are chewing on a bone to make sure the bone doesn’t get too small.  After some chewing of a raw bone, it can break into smaller pieces, or naturally shrinking, becoming a choking hazard. A bone should only be given to a the dog for 10-15 minutes, placed in the refrigerator, and disposed of after no more than 4 days.  Like all raw pet food, the bone should always be kept refrigerated to avoid bacterial growth that can harm you dog.

Check out LYP Bakery’s selection of raw meaty bones!

Valarie Kamdar
Introducing Your New Feline Friend

It is no secret that cats are very territorial and finicky creatures.  They prefer things to be “just so”, feeling safe in a consistent and relaxed environment.  It is important to keep this in mind when bringing a new feline companion into the home for the first time, whether this is a single cat household, or introducing the cat into an established “cat society”.

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If adopting a cat from a shelter or from the streets, keep in mind that this cat may have unknown trauma that may cause some adjustment and trust issues.  With lots of love, patience and understanding, you and your new family member can create a strong, harmonious bond. The first couple of weeks is a very important time for you and your new cat.  Pay attention to signals your new furry friend is giving you, and make sure to always be respectful of their space and desires. If your new cat is not ready to cuddle, respect that and give them lots of room to explore and take in their new environment.

Multi-cat household have an established “cat society”, a hierarchy and a flow.  Bringing a new cat into the society disrupts the flow and can cause headaches, but they don’t have to last long.  It is important to empathize with the stress that your resident cats feel when big changes happen, especially when bringing a new cat into the house.  If you are willing to go through the necessary steps, you can avoid headaches down the road.

THE SLOW INTRODUCTION METHOD

They key is a slow, supervised introduction.  Cats rely on their instincts and senses to keep themselves safe and alert in the wild.  This does not change during domestication. If bringing a new cat into a single cat household, it is important to provide your cat with a designated space that they can safely explore and get used to the new sensations around them.  A small room with little clutter is ideal. Over stimulation of the senses in a new environment can be overwhelming for the cat, so providing a simple and clean space allows them to process each smell, feel, sound and sight. Make sure to spend plenty of time in the room with your new pal, allowing them to explore your smells.  After a few days, open the door and allow your cat to explore the rest of their new home if they are ready.

THE SLOW INTRODUCTION METHOD IN MULTI-CAT HOUSEHOLDS

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Similarly, if bringing a new cat into an established cat society, follow the same steps as above. Little by little over the period of a week open the door ajar to allow your resident cats to see/smell the new cat without full exposure, but always keeping the door only partially open. Allow them to have time to take in the scents of the new cat. Many owners will place food bowls during feeding in front of the door to allow all cats to associate feeding with one another.  Remember, hissing, growling and attempted batting are all normal behaviors during cat introductions. Your cats should be supervised at all times during initial introductions in case things get physical.

If your cats need more time to adjust to one another, put the new cat back into their “safe room” with pieces of cloth that has your other cat’s scents and your scent on them.  It may take several separations over the first couple of weeks to get everyone acquainted, and that is completely natural. Make sure during this time you are giving all cats lots of love, attention and affection to help ease jealous tension and territorial tendencies.

It will take time for your new cat to adjust to their new home.  Don’t worry if your new cat is not ready to be social right away.  Additionally, if your cat refuses to eat or drink the first day or two, don’t panic.  They are in stimulation overload by their new environment, and may need time to get used to their surroundings before they are willing to eat.  If this behavior persists for more than two days, consult your veterinarian.

Valarie Kamdar
Using Pet Food Labels To Fully Benefit Your Pet
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When choosing the correct food for your pet, always keep this in mind: not all pet foods are created equal.  That being said, the label on your pet’s food can be incredibly informative when finding what works best for your furry companion.  But with all of those long, sciency-sounding words, it can get overwhelming to know exactly what is in your pet’s food, and what nutrients they are getting.  Here are some ways to help the food-choosing process be less complicated, ensure your pet is getting the most from their dinner.


COMPARING APPLES TO APPLES

The easiest place to start when comparing pet food is to compare like products such as wet to wet, and dry to dry.  This may seem obvious, but wet and dry food products are quite different once processed. By converting both types into “dry matter” it can give a clearer picture of what nutrient values are in both foods.  “Dry matter” is defined as what remains in food or other substances once water content is removed. By converting nutrients on labels into dry matter, you are able to get an idea of just what percentage of actual nutrients are in your pet’s food.  You can do this by using simple math. For wet food, multiply nutrient value percentage by 4 (e.g. %5 protein x 4 = 20%). For dry food, add 10% to the nutrient value percentage (e.g. 20% protein + 2 = 22%).


FEEDING GUIDELINES

It is imperative to follow given feeding guidelines on pet food labels.  Most of the time feeding guidelines are based on weight and activity level of your pet.  Unless told otherwise by your veterinarian, always follow the given feeding specifications.  Overfeeding and underfeeding you pet can be bad for their overall health and wellness. All pet food should have “complete and balanced” somewhere on the label.

Valarie Kamdar
Choosing Holistic Care For Your Pet

In the world we live in today, the word “holistic” is becoming more and more commonly used in various industries and areas of life.  From what we put in and on our bodies, to where we choose to purchase goods and services, “holistic” has become a trigger words in our society.  But have you ever thought about how holistic care can benefit your pet’s quality of life? Let’s start by defining what it means if something is “holistic”.

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WHAT DOES I MEAN TO BE “HOLISTIC”

In order for something to qualify as “holistic” it must focus on the entirety and complete system rather than its parts.  Instead of breaking down a system into smaller parts, something “holistic” is concerned with the function of something as one piece.  So how does this affect your pet? Why is it important to focus on the overall health of your pet?


HOLISTIC CARE FOR YOUR PET

Although it is important to stay up to date with your pet’s shots and vet appointments, there are other necessary holistic things a pet owner should focus on for the health of their best friend.  Diet, supplements, exercise, and sleep are all imperative to the holistic function of your pet. Often times dog owners make the mistake of not putting enough emphasis on what food is best for their pet.  Just because dogs will eat just about anything (looking at you tennis shoe), doesn’t mean they are getting what they need out of their food. If your dog’s food label doesn’t say “complete and balanced”, likely this is not a holistic food.  If necessary nutrients such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are not listed on the label, it is the responsibility of the pet owner to make sure feeding is being supplemented to get these important gaps closed.

Holistic doesn’t need to mean complicated.  Holistic can also be thought of as “back to basics”, focusing on balance in all aspects of your dog’s life.  This will ensure that your pet will not only live a longer life, but a happier and overall healthier existence.



Valarie Kamdar
8 Benefits of Feeding Your Pets Raw Food

1.  Cleaner Teeth & Fresh Breath

Eating raw muscle meat, raw meaty bones, and other connective tissues requires lots of chewing, and that does wonders to keep a carnivore’s teeth clean! With the number of dogs suffering some degree of periodontal disease by age three, we have found that the consumption of a whole raw diet, promotes superior gum health. Also, Dogs that are fed raw foods have less offensive breath due to their cleaner teeth, healthier gums and great digestive systems. 

2. Rock Solid Immune System and fewer yeast infections

Wild dogs and wolves seem to have fewer diseases and health problems compared to our domestic dogs, the reason is absolutely their diet! Eating raw on a regular basis can prevent yeast infections and help your pet manage their immune system. Raw pet food includes lots of fatty acids and other immune-system boosting nutrients, it can also reduce the rate of inflammatory conditions significantly.

3. Weight Control

Pets who eat raw food tend to be at a healthier weight, pet obesity among those who eat processed foods is an ever, increasing problem. This is a great benefit with raw food, our pets can maintain a healthy, lean weight. Extra weight can cause a multitude of health issues, including joint problems, heart problems, a higher risk of cancer, diabetes and many more health issues.

4. Shinier Coat

A diet that consists of fresh, natural, raw foods will give your pet the nutrients to maintain a healthy skin and a shiny coat. Raw foods are full of essential fatty acids which is the key to a wonderful healthy coat. 

5. Healthy/Normal Digestion

Dogs and cats have  short digestive tracts which limit their ability to digest fibrous plant foods. A raw food diet for pets is largely meat-based, which makes it easy for your pet to digest. Your pet’s digestive system will work smoothly and  regularly –  resulting in fewer, firmer and less offensive smelling stool!

6. Fewer allergies

Raw foods contain fewer chemicals than pet food products. Cats and dogs are unlikely to have a reaction to raw food unless they have trouble digesting specific types of meat. Raw meat does not contain artificial preservatives, fillers, or dyes. It is full of healthy, natural nutrition that your pet will love.

7. Fewer vet visits

Feeding a natural raw diet to your pet is the best thing you can do for them! You will see improvements in their health, energy, coat, and teeth. Their digestive system will be healthier, and their bones stronger, therefore avoiding more trips to the vet!

8. Your pets will love you for it!

Ali Wright
Sedgwick: The Last of The Mohicans

This blog was written in 2015.  Sedgwick passed away December 12, 2016 at the ripe old age of 26.

Sometimes you meet the best of friends in the most unlikely places.

In October of 1990 I went to a trade show in Chicago with my sister. We stayed at a close friend's home in lovely Lincoln Park at the cross streets of Sedgwick and Eugenie.

At that time my cat, Sancho Panza, had recently died.  He was a beautiful, white cat with a black spot (his original name was "Spot" which I found a little too unimaginative so I renamed him). I missed him but I did have three Golden Retrievers, one Bernese Mountain dog and a couple of Newfoundlands thrown in for good measure.  In other words, I had a pretty full house when it came to pets and I certainly didn't need another cat.

You can clearly tell where this is heading……

Sue, my friend we were staying with, had five cats, so it wasn't unusual to see cats just about everywhere you turned.  But when I saw a cute, gray tabby hanging around her gate, I asked if he was a new edition.  She said that he wasn't, but that he'd been there the last few days.  She put up signs in the neighborhood to see if she could find his owner.  Since no one replied, I said, "You should take him." (On a side note to be one of Sue's cats or dogs is a pretty good gig, Sue takes all of her pets on her private jet and has three homes so nobody could ever get bored.)  Sue looked at me like I was nuts and her reply was curt, "No, you should take him. You're the one who’s cat-less now."  Being a gambler, as well as a true animal, I said, "I will take him if he returns in three days."

I thought it was a safe bet.

You can imagine where he was sitting three days later...right on the stoop. He'd wedged himself between the fence pickets, just waiting to go home with me.  I tried to palm him off on my sister; her reply, "Forget it."

I rationalized keeping him by convincing myself that I was saving him for a Halloween horror story.  Because he was friendly and gray and Halloween was right around the corner, who knows what could happen if he fell into the hands of some cruel pranksters.

So off we went to the vet.  I knew he'd need a health certificate to fly home. Regardless, I wanted to make certain he was healthy and determine his sex before naming him.

Of course, he passed all of his vet tests with flying colors.  And he we found out conclusively "he" was a boy kitty.  So the next step was to pick out a name, Calvin? Nah? Fern? Ha ha.  Where did that come from?  My sister suggested Sedgwick since I first saw him at the corner of Sedgwick and Eugenie.  Perfect, Sedgwick it is.

I bought him a plane ticket so he could ride home in the cabin with us.  The transition from Chicago to Park City was a breeze.  He settled into his new home right away and ultimately ruled the roost.  This 10 pound cat won over all of my dogs from the smallest, 65 pound Golden Retriever, Jackson, to the largest 165 pound Newfoundland, Argos.  They showed their admiration for Sedgwick by letting him sleep near their tummies and by giving him slobbery baths.

In the end Sedgwick turned out to be a great cat.  I've had him for 23 years and he's still going strong.  The vet thought he was around age two when I got him so that puts him at about age 25.  But he looks and acts ten years younger.  It must be the raw food he eats.  He's still athletic and sports a beautiful coat along with a huge spirit. One of my favorite things about Sedgwick is his fondness for presents.  At Christmas, "Sedgie" loves to unwrap everyone's gifts. I wish I had a video of what we affectionately termed "unwrapping by Sedgie."

My other dogs that were part of his original pack are all in dog heaven now, so Sedge is truly “the last of the Mohicans.”  Everyday with him is a joy with one exception.  We have a home in Las Vegas, which happens to be adjacent to a beautiful bird sanctuary.  As you might surmise our two cats find that home idyllic.  Back when Sedgwick was an 18-year-old youngster he boxed numerous birds to their untimely deaths while lying on his back with his clawless rear paws.  We've since banned him and Abby from that house.  Whenever he got into with the birds I'd tell him "bad cat," and he'd respond with "Mmmm, good bird."

Here is a painting of Sedgwick in his glory days:

That was Sedgie, he passed away on December 12, 2016 and it's taken me this long to write about him. He became quite cantankerous in his old age and when we adopted a new cat after Abbie died he showed his displeasure by peeing pretty much everywhere.  The new cat, Leuca, stayed downstairs away from Sedgwick's wrath of hissing and a posturing for about 15 months.  The day after Sedgwick died; Leuca moved upstairs. Leuca was so happy that the grumpy old man had passed on.  We, of course, still miss him but how many people are blessed to have a cat stay with them for 26 years?

Roll Call: Introducing Jackson aka The King, "Jackie Boy," etc

Awwww, my first puppy as an adult.  I could choose the breed that I wanted; a golden retriever.  I drive by the house with the "puppy sign," for weeks.  I case the joint and find 8 deliciously soft and in varying hues of cream to golden to red puppies.  All ensconced with the aroma of puppy belly. Might I add all clean too.  

 

These pups lived in a shallowed out, empty,  but grassed in swimming pool. My boyfriend and I were supposed to go on a big trip about 8 weeks later. I decided I would happily forgo the vacation as long as I could have that puppy.  They called him "Bobby." He was not a "Bobby," he was a "Jackson." He was named after one of the most beautiful places on earth Jackson, Wyoming and long before everyone named both children and dogs Jackson (I think it was 1).

 

So began the most joyful time of my life with my constant companion.  I remember Jackson would chew my very expensive shoes, I always gave him the benefit of the doubt, "at least he chews in pairs,"  "He's so smart."  I would remind myself delightedly. It was one great time after another and we had the good fortune of being able to travel with him wherever we went.  Then I broke up with my boyfriend and was poor for a while, but Jackson still ate well, I'm glad one of us did.  Jackson became like a child to me and I would do anything for him.

 

So, when he was accidentally poisoned at about 18 months old, I was devastated.  The vet saved his life but he had neurological problems and he soon weighed only 28 pounds,  He had lost 2/3 of his body weight and couldn't walk.  Euthanasia was strongly suggested, but how could I do that when his life had been saved; plus he was the love of my life.  I'm told a well loved person has many nick names.  Jackson had a slew of them and he was my sun/son.

 

That's why I began this pet food company.  I had to feed Jackson something better than I saw in the marketplace.  There were not the choices that we fortunately have now and raw food,  well there wasn't any.  People looked at me as if had three eyes when I decided I would start manufacturing it.  I simply didn't care.  Jackson motived me to read and research,  to seek out holistic vets that knew about the benefits of proper nutrition, and he gave me the fire or the impetus to move on it. I knew I had to do this for him if I ever wanted to see him healthy and walking again.

 

Many of you know,  Jackson lived another 16 years and died one month short of his eighteenth birthday in 2002.  Yes, there were remnants of his illness; slight visible shaking but he was never expected to live let alone walk. He was the best of the best and the first member of my crew (that's how I refer to my pack of dogs and cats) and I cherish that time we had together.

 

 Each of my dogs and cats inspire me to always better our products.  Clearly I do it for them and for your pets.  Nothing makes us happier than to hear from you about the  life changing  results you see when using Love Your Pet  for your furry friends.

Valarie Kamdar
Feeding Raw

The reasons to consider a raw food pet diet are numerous.  Let's examine some of the most popular mainstream thoughts. It's very important to buy your raw food from a trusted source.  A raw diet closely mimics the diet your pets ancestors thrived on since the beginning of time.  Properly "minimally processed" raw food today contains most, if not,  all of the vitamins, amino acids, and bone which provides the proper amount of calcium and phosphorus, minerals, and nutrients that your pet needs to maintain a healthy, happy,  active lifestyle.

 Argos and Ajax as young pups just beginning their  "raw food " journey

Argos and Ajax as young pups just beginning their "raw food " journey

Some of the benefits of raw food for dogs and cats are they seem to have fewer health problems than their kibble fed colleagues and in our opinion visit their doctors on a less frequent basis.  We are convinced that raw fed pets have less allergies, brighter eyes, shinier coats, healthier skin, no doggy smell, higher energy levels, and less shedding than their counterparts that are on a grain or gluten product.   Their waste is considerably smaller for a few reasons;  they lack the enzyme to digest much of what commercial feeds contain and with their extremely short digestive tract they assimilate raw food more efficiently.

 Argos & Ajax 15 years later and the newer additions, Ferguson, Apollo, & Atlas

Argos & Ajax 15 years later and the newer additions, Ferguson, Apollo, & Atlas

 Since 1990 "Love Your Pet," raw food has been sourced in the western United States and processed first in Washington and for the past 15 years in Utah. A few of you might still remember my golden retriever named Jackson.  He  lived to the ripe old age of 18. Jackson was poisoned when he was about 16 months old. After he was well enough to travel we went to CSU for a second opinion.  The vet kindly recommended euthanasia.  After saving his life, euthanasia simply wasn't an option.  I started reading Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural health for Dogs and Cats" and employed the diet he recommended for Jackson. It worked; he started to thrive.  Several golden retrievers, two cats,  and a few years later all have been on "my diet," and that's when "Love your Pet" began raw food production. Our Bernese Mountain dog and all of our Newfoundlands have been on "Love Your Pet" raw food since puppyhood. Our passion for animal health propels us to be well versed in the entire vertical process of procurement, processing and distribution.

 BOOMER, GUNNER AND JACKSON

BOOMER, GUNNER AND JACKSON

 Jackson at Cedar Breaks

Jackson at Cedar Breaks

 Boomer, Gunner, Jackson, & Ajax in the first Love Your Pet store, eyeing the cookie barrels.

Boomer, Gunner, Jackson, & Ajax in the first Love Your Pet store, eyeing the cookie barrels.