Hi! I'm Kelly, the Chief Dog Here at My Dog Foo.
My Dog Foo was inspired by my English Bulldog, Jake, known by many as Jakey Foo or just the Foo. The idea behind this company actually began in late 2013, when Jake and I would take the journey of a lifetime together. During this journey, I became super educated on natural and holistic care, more so than I had before. And with a ton of love and a strong desire to never give up, Jake fought to see another day and was able to go into remission. I would be remiss not to mention the loving and supportive friends who followed our journey together through social media. You see, Jake was a fighter. And he taught others to fight. He was a 72-pound, 4-legged boy who inspired people all over the world.
How is That?
I had gotten involved in bulldog rescue a few years after I rescued Jake from an Amish puppy mill. There was just something about the breed that really connected with me. But it wasn’t until Winter 2011, when Jake was 8, that I became aware of a world of bulldog lovers like me through Facebook. And this was where Jake found his voice. Okay, I guess it is where I found my voice through Jake. Little did I know then, but I was about to embark on an adventure that would change my life in ways I could never have imagined.
His antics were always making me laugh, and I quickly took to documenting and posting them online. His following grew. And friendships ensued.
Misdiagnosis After Misdiagnosis.
And these friends were there during our journey together. In October 2013, Jake had been battling an undiagnosed condition for 6 months, and he almost died because of poor veterinary care and misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis. Test after test and the vets just kept insisting it was a bacterial or fungal infection, prescribing more medications and medicated baths. Only it never got better, instead becoming more infective with each passing day.
Through determination and a penchant for research, I discovered what Jake had after stumbling upon a blog post of a boxer in the UK named Otis, who had been diagnosed with Pemphigus. Otis and Jake looked identical. This was sometime in late spring. Vet after vet tested him for this but results would always indicate negative, and I kept saying to them that it just had to be this. But nobody would listen to me. Luckily, in October 2013, I found a wonderful team of doctors who finally listened to me and helped save Jake's 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 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. We were building a community of love and faith and hope.
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 enabled him to fight back from the brink of death. It was a long road to get back to good health as his condition, from being horribly misdiagnosed for 6 months, had gone septic. But each day he grew stronger. And stronger. There was no stopping the Foo. He wanted to live. And I was determined to give him the most comfortable, loving last chapter that I could. It was during this time that I started to make shampoo for him and balms to heal and calm and soothe his skin. And they worked!
His posts showcased a life of deep love and friendship. Something, unfortunately, 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 Did I Do to Help Him?
I took to doing more research to find ways in which I could help reduce the amount of toxins being absorbed by 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 animal 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 with me.
Out of Sorrow, a New Journey 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, it came to me. Like a moonbeam coming down from the sky. During the past few years of his life, I had started to reduce his exposure to chemicals and allergens due to his skin sensitivities, opting to make shampoo and balms for him. And this had always helped relieve his skin irritations. With ingredients in one hand and a mixing spoon in the other, I started preparing products.
And just like that, with Jake looking on, My Dog Foo was born.
I hope you will feel the love that has gone into developing My Dog Foo's product line. When we say handcrafted with love, boy do we mean it!