Welcome to My Dog Foo!
This company is so very near and dear to my heart, and I hope that you will feel the love and dedication that has gone into developing our all natural, organic, vegan and cruelty free skin care products for dogs.
My name is Kelly. Around here I am the Chief Dog, founder, and mad scientist behind it all. But I didn't start the company alone. There was a little (okay, not so little) English Bulldog, Jakey Foo, who was the inspiration for all of this (and so much more).
The idea behind this company actually began in late 2013, when Jake and I would take the journey of a lifetime together. Throughout this journey, I became much more educated on natural and holistic care, something I had being playing around with for several years. Why did I get interested in this stuff initially? I was tiring of the typical veterinary response of steroids, followed by a round of antibiotics, followed by medicated shampoos and creams. This never SOLVED the problem, just masked it, while it kept lurking away, waiting to rear its ugly head again.
Perhaps I Should Start from the Beginning.
I rescued Jake from an Amish puppy mill when he was just 8 weeks old. He was bred solely for profit. His skin, as I would come to find through the years, was not good. Beginning around 2.5 years of age, the vets and I were on a first name basis, as Jake and I made our way to the vets often for his skin flare ups and allergies. I'm pretty sure I put one of their kids through Harvard! Jake and I often found ourselves at his vet on a monthly basis, if not more often.
He was always responsive to treatment, but as he grew older, and his immune system grew weaker, flare ups were becoming more frequently. Tiring of a protocol that didn't seem to work for him any longer, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I had been crafting skin care products for myself and thought I'd do some research and started handcrafting skin care products for Jake. The results were remarkable. No more itchy skin. Less skin flare ups. Less redness and inflammation. And, most importantly, less vet visits each month.
Never in a million years did I think this would turn into My Dog Foo one day. You see, I was your typical professional, climbing a corporate ladder, and oversaw the North American division of an international company. While I really enjoyed what I did for a living, deep down, I knew I didn't love it. Jakey Foo and I were enjoying life together, and that was really all that mattered. The job paid the bills AND paid for the Foo's care. Bulldogs don't often come cheap.
Fast forward a few years and the Foo became horribly ill. You see, vets don’t know everything. And I’ve never been one to just listen to someone because they have a few extra initials after their name. For 6 months I had been to vet after vet, specialist after specialist, all of whom kept telling me he had a bacterial infection. But the condition never seemed to get better. Through determination and a penchant for research, I discovered what Jake had. And luckily found a wonderful team of doctors who finally listened to me and helped save his life.
His condition, an autoimmune disorder called Pemphigus Foliaceous, is so rare, it is more than likely that a vet will go their entire career and not see one case. Hence why none of his vets had been looking for it. So I documented his journey on Facebook, every step of the way, and hoped our experience would help others.
Throughout Jake’s journey with Pemphigus, his Facebook page always focused on the positive. On bad days, he told jokes. And what started as a desire to really raise awareness about Pemphigus became something much bigger - a community of dog lovers who found a place to laugh with one another, cry with one another, and support each other through the good and bad.
I received tons of messages and cards in the mail letting me know that through Jake’s journey, others were inspired by his courage and strength. Jake, a typical Bulldog, was stubborn. And it was this stubbornness that gave him the tenacity to fight back from the brink of death. It was a long road to get back to good health as his condition, from being horrible misdiagnosed for 6 months, had gone septic. But each day he grew stronger. And stronger.
His posts showcased a life of love and friendship. Something that some people will never experience. And it documented the amazing bond that he and I shared. I would have walked to the moon and back for Jake. Unconditional love will do that to a person.
What I Did to Help Him.
I took to doing more research to find ways in which I could help reduce the amount of toxins being absorbed into his liver from the medications he needed to be on to suppress his immune system; his skin was just raw from the Pemphigus. I began using natural herbs and remedies to combat this and noticed that when his fur grew back, it was healthier and shinier than ever before. I never thought anything of it at the time; it was just something I did for him.
After 15 months of battling his condition, Jake and I said “so long for now,” and my heart shattered. He was 11.5 years old, on the older side for an English Bulldog, but he was my boy. And I wanted, like so many other dog parents, for him to live forever. The outpouring of love I received from his friends left me speechless. It was in those following days that I truly understood how much of an impact Jake had on so many people from all over the world. A community of dog lovers mourned.
Out of Sorrow, a New Adventure Would Begin.
Wanting to continue Jake’s legacy and his commitment to raising awareness about the bulldog breed and his autoimmune condition, I knew that I needed to find a way to honor his life. One night, while sitting in the very rocking chair that I shared with Jake every night while he was sick and rocked him to sleep, I started thinking about how I could honor him and help other dogs and their parents. And it took me back to the balms and healing salves and shampoos that I made using all natural ingredients for Jake. And I knew it was something I could share.
And just like that, with Jake looking on, My Dog Foo was born.
Our products, inspired by the Foo, are 100% all natural, organic, vegan and cruelty free. And, from the looks of things for our very special "FOOBIES" (what we call our customers around here), our products are tail wagging good!