Before I let Bear loose on the keyboard for his Bearly Good News posts, I thought we could introduce Bear first.
I got a puppy. I hadn't actually planned to get one, but as soon as I locked eyes with that squishy blueberry pancake face of his, I put him in the car quicker than you can say "Hey, have you puppy proofed the house yet?" I called him Bear and he was the sweetest little pudge-muffin I'd ever laid eyes on.
Then he settled in.
So here we were.
Me and this tiny furball with razors for teeth.
Me, a grown adult. So why was I terrified? Yes the land-shark was a little scary on the pants, but there was a deeper foreboding in the pit of my stomach. The sense of deep responsibility.
I promised when I swooped this little curly eared biting machine into my lap that I would give him the best life I could. I mean, look at that face!
So I got home, after a quick trip to Kmart to buy some staples (with new puppy in trolley) and surveyed what life would look like.
Question 1: What should I feed him?
Apart from socks, rugs and generally any soft furnishings, I could see this was going to be a challenge - I was certain that his current diet of all my nice things was not going to cut it. Heading to the pet store, I looked around at the overwhelming number of products, all of them claiming "Natural!", "Grain Free!", I even saw a gluten free rubber toy. Not kidding.
I decided to go and do some research. Anyone who knows me will tell you I will throw myself into anything I say I'm going to do like a demon.
Here's what I learnt
The Pet Food Industry is making a killing from confusing the crap out of well intentioned owners.
This confusion extends to labelling, marketing and packaging. Do I want a gluten free toy? According to this supplier I needed it.
At that moment, I decided to start making my own treats. Having been a baker for years, how hard could it be to transition to pet food? Turns out, it was nothing like baking for humans, apart from the cookie cutters and the oven. Everything else was like a foreign world.
I perservered, I trialled and one day I saw nailed it! Today I have two thriving large puppies who are still learning, growing (and growing) every day.