If you've been browsing around my site (and I hope you have) you may be wondering who is behind the words and recipes. If so, then let me introduce myself. I am not a big corporation or business. It's just me, Sarah.... and my dog Lady.
I love dogs! Growing up in the UK we always had dogs, my friends had dogs, other family members had dogs, so I've been around them all my life. It's no surprise then that my first job was with dogs. I worked at K9 to 5 Doggie Day Care and loved everything about that job. Spending all day playing with dogs, what could be better? And what's not to love?
As soon as I got a place of my own, one of the first things I noticed was how empty it was without a dog. Living with my Dad we had two dogs, Ruby the Boxer and Jess a Border Collie and I missed them both.
So my husband (Luke) and I got Lady, also a Border Collie. Life felt happy and complete for a while. But that was all about to change, dramatically!
Luke announced he had been offered a job in New York and, after much debate and deliberation, we decided to transfer our lives, and Lady to America. A frenzied amount of packing, organizing, agonizing and farewells followed including Lady's very own farewell party at the doggie day care. Aww...
Lady's last day at the K9 to 5 Doggie Day Care
So here we are in the US, Luke's working in the Big Apple, and I found a great job, doing what I love again, working with animals, but this time as a receptionist in a great veterinary practice, Montville Veterinary Group. This was a dream come true for me. It allows me to be around all types of animals and pet owners. I enjoy going to work every day. Before this I worked as a groomer for a local pet store, Terry's Pet Stop. Although I primarily worked in the grooming salon, I also help out in the store when needed. It was not unusual for me to be walking around with a bird on my shoulder or taking home a small animal that needs round the clock care.
It was at Terry's Pet Stop that I suddenly realized I knew nothing about the dog food or treats being sold in the US. Back in the UK everything was familiar to me. I grew up in the dog world and knew which foods and treats to buy and the ones to avoid. But now, everything was different, even major brand names.
Reports of dog food and treat recalls were scary, and the shelves were full of products claiming certain things that I wasn't sure were credible or not. So I needed to do research and lots of it! It certainly helped that I worked in a pet store, especially as it wasn't one of the large chain stores but instead is a small boutique pet store that specializing in natural dog foods and treats. That's the kind I like.
So the research into good-quality food and treats begun. For the dog food it was simple, I choose to feed Lady raw food and my research lead me to Darwin Natural Pet Food. It's high quality, healthy, tasty (for Lady).
Lady is a Border Collie and has a unique look. Half her face is black and the other half white. Of course, once I decided to build my own website, I had to design my logo around that... LOL.
Lady is a very sweet dog but is shy and nervous. It was a big deal bringing her over from the UK, she had to go in the cargo section of a plane! She ended up being totally fine but I think I must have cried the whole way. I'd do it all over again though, there was no way I was going to leave her behind. But it's because of her lack of confidence that I started Nose Work training with her.
Nose work is a great sport to install confidence in all dogs. They train to independently search for an odor. My only participation is knowing when she has found odor and rewarding her accordingly. At first, Lady wasn’t happy going into strange places to search, so I really needed a high value treat to make it worth her while. A mediocre treat wasn't going to cut it with Lady as she just isn’t going to risk the unfamiliar territory for anything less than an immensely tasty treat.
By competing in Nose Work Lady's learned to overcome her nervousness, allowed her to face her fears and realize things aren't so scary and that she gets a huge jackpot reward when she goes into an unfamiliar or new environment. And I've learned how to find or make really tasty treats that are healthy for her. Win! Win!
It's not just Lady, that I've had to research new dog treats for my Aunts dog. She has a German Shepherd, Ava, that has many dietary issues. Ava has a very sensitive stomach, is a picky eater AND, if that’s not enough, she suffered from bloat so my Aunt is extremely cautious with what Ava has as a treat.
Ava can't have treats that contain a lot of carbohydrates because of the bloat and she can't have too much fat in her treats as she'll get diarrhea, and she's so picky she won't eat the really healthy treats that are based on fruits or vegetables. Her very favorite treats are the dehydrated chicken treats.
That's why when I'm trying out new recipes, I get Lady and Ava to test them. If it gets past picky Ava, it must taste good and if Lady is willing to find the odor for it, then it must be a high-value treat in her mind!
Besides, I love cooking and baking treats for the dogs, so I'm always looking for and trying new recipes. I guess that reminds me the days when I was at the doggie day care and would bake a cake for each dog's birthday or special occasion. The cakes were always made with dog-safe ingredients and the dogs would love it! Lady celebrated her 1st birthday there, as well as her leaving party.
I guess with all that said, my background with dogs, researching dog treats and baking treats. I thought I could probably do something with all this information I had acquired, and so I started the Pure Dog Treats website.
It's basically a collection of all my research and recipes into a dog treats organized into categories and pages. I do hope you find it useful and now that you know who I am, you'll stay a while, or at least, come back soon!
Sarah & Lady