Having kept dogs for over 50 years, I felt rather smug about my accumulated knowledge of canine care. I’ve owned Dobermanns, a Weimeraner, two Collie crosses, Leonbergers, Newfoundlands, and latterly an Italian Spinone puppy.
All, (until about six months ago), were subjected to what I believed to be the best diet available… ok I was taken in by the convincing advertising being simultaneously fed to me by so-called complete dried nugget manufacturers. And yes, it was very easy to dispense a scoop of these into each bowl twice a day. I thought that our dog’s indifference to mealtimes meant he was just not particularly greedy – I now realise he was thoroughly bored!
Otto & Ralph
I heard about the Raw Meaty Bones diet from the breeder of our new pup, who fed all her extremely healthy and active dogs this way. She was enthusiastic about the health benefits, and suggested that I read Tom Lonsdale’s book on the subject. I duly bought this, and began to see the logic in providing the type of food for which dogs are, after all, designed. I admit to a degree of nervousness at the prospect of providing such “forbidden” items as chicken carcasses, lamb bones, etc., Ah – but I was thinking cooked bones, and old lessons die hard; raw bones are a very different proposition.
It seemed complicated. I dipped my toe in the water and started to search around for suitable items to feed our four year-old Newfoundland, Ralph. Being Australian, Tom Lonsdale helpfully suggests such items as kangaroo tails…. Thanks Tom, but Sainsburys couldn’t oblige! Still, I cobbled together what I thought would be appropriate, together with a few daily fresh vegetables whizzed round in the food processor (no more wheat-based mixers for Ralph!). Surprisingly easy, and suddenly mealtimes were met with huge enthusiasm.
We were doing ok, but it was such a relief when I learned that the guesswork had been lifted from me with the discovery Vav and Dave Simon’s daily packs of precisely measured and customised raw meaty bones.
With a genuine passion behind the venture, Vav and Dave have been absolutely fantastic in “tweaking” the packs to suit the individual, rather quirky tastes of Ralph. We’ve worked together and have now found the ideal bespoke mix. His enthusiasm for mealtimes is a joy, he has a gorgeous deep shine to his coat, and a much-needed revival in his energy levels, enabling him to keep up with young Otto, who will be joining his “big brother” on the diet as soon as we finish the food provided by his breeder.
I am so grateful to Vav and Dave for helping me to see sense…. patiently listening to my concerns, adapting, consulting and transforming my dog.
Sarah Starsmore 30/8/11