In 2015 I realized that my pup Willow, then two years old, was suffering from painful food allergies. This incredibly loving and playful bichon-poodle was easily spending half the day chewing on her leg until it would bleed. My heart!
I tried every diet imaginable: vegan, raw, homemade, “exotic” meats like bison, no chicken. You name it, I tried it. My biggest challenge with the many commercially available dog food and treats was the countless ingredients they contained, most of which I couldn’t comprehend the purpose of!
Fast forward to June 2017; I put Willow, my sweet angel, on a raw food diet. I reasoned that if she was only getting one food source, surely this would narrow down the allergic reactions. And sure enough, it worked! Eventually I found a healthy balance of proteins, fruits, and veggies that significantly reduced Willow’s allergy symptoms, and subsequently the number of hot spots she suffered from.
I began making dog treats at home, to ensure there wasn’t any cross contamination, and to ensure that I knew exactly what was in them. Working through Willow’s allergies taught me a valuable lesson, which would later become the mission statement of my business: A dogs’ diet needs to be made with whole foods of a quality suitable for human consumption, every ingredient needs to serve a nutritional purpose, no fillers, and it’s gotta be tasty!
My younger dog, Harlem, also benefitted from a similar raw food diet for food allergies which were, thankfully, less severe. Harlem is seven pounds of chihuaua energy and poodle smarts! She’s hyper intuitive and very independent (read: only obeys commands if there’s something in it for her). Willow is the inspiration behind the treats, but Harlem is the brand; she is the Grumpy Puppy. Together, they make life complete.
-Rochelle Alexia, 2020
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