Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Familiar Stories among Agility Fans

I don't compete in agility trials, but a good friend was the local founder, teacher, and sponsor of agility competitions in Kona.  Gale was a remarkable woman with a passion for dogs -- her own German shepherds and the welfare of all dogs.  She always seemed exceptionally healthy, but she died suddenly.  Her friends and admirers gathered yesterday to pay tribute to her and to her contributions to the canine community.

We were invited to bring a dog to the pot-luck gathering, an appropriate way to celebrate Gale's life.  As we chatted over lunch, with most dogs behaving nicely, I heard familiar stories of curing dogs of allergies and more serious maladies by changing their diets from commercial pet foods to raw feeding.  Gale was a passionate advocate of raw feeding.  She influenced a lot of pet owners to try raw-meaty-bones and Honest Kitchen dehydrated foods.

Gale taught me about raw feeding 8 years ago.  She came to my kitchen and showed me how to mince various raw veggies and combine them with eggs, yogurt, cooked brown rice and how to add raw meats and meaty bones for a compete diet.  I followed the BARF diet for 6 years, and my dogs thrived.  Gale decided that all that mincing and cooking was too much trouble, when a commercial dehydrated, raw diet was available, and she became a distributor of Honest Kitchen foods.  Pet owners were able to buy dehydrated raw meat-and-vegetable foods from Gale, and to stop feeding kibble and canned mush.

In recent years, I realized that wolves don't eat vegetables unless they are starving and that dogs don't need vegetables to thrive.  I feed my dogs raw-meaty-bones, which require no mincing or cooking .  Gale always fed her dogs raw meaty bones, with a smattering of Honest Kitchen foods, but she realized that many pet owners cannot tolerate that much contact with raw meat, so Honest Kitchen was a compromise.

While sitting next me me on the grass, a fellow with a very handsome Japanese Spitz volunteered his story.  His dog had a dull coat and itchy skin, before he changed the dog's diet to raw-meaty-bones and Honest Kitchen foods.  The dog's teeth gleamed, and he called my attention to how healthy the dogs mouth is.  I had not met this man before, and he gave me a good talk about the benefits of raw feeding.  I invited him to join the Kona Raw Pet Food Co-op.

An agility competitor with two Golden retrievers volunteered her story.  She used to feed the kibble her vet recommended, which she bought from the vet.  Her dogs both suffered from allergies that the vet treated with steroids and other medications. The older dog's health was declining rapidly, and the vet told her not to expect her to live more than another year or two. She said her dogs were on so much medication, she knew something was wrong.  When she took the younger dog to an agility class, she met Gale.  Gale taught her about raw feeding.  Almost instantly, she said, all the dogs' allergies disappeared.  She was amazed at how much more energetic and happy they are.  The older dog, who was declining rapidly, has regained her health and is now an energetic companion.

I told the Golden retriever owner that I hoped she tells her story to as many people as possible, because hers is the prototypical tale.  Her story is that of many thousands of pet owners, who discover how a species-appropriate raw diet cures the ills created by commercial pet foods.  I invited her to join Kona Raw for wholesale prices on the raw meats and meaty bones she now feeds her Goldens.

Many people admired the 13-year-old Papillon that accompanied me to Gale's celebration.  I took Ben, because I first met Gale when her dog Sadie and Ben were puppies in a basic obedience class. Twelve years later, Ben is still a handsome, peppy little dog with a healthy mouth, thanks to Gale's guidance.  As I shared my experiences with Gale, many others shared similar experiences.  She touched many people's lives and even more dogs' lives.

Aloha, Gale, and Mahalo nui loa.


  1. Beautiful story. I shall pass this on to my dog-loving friends and family!

  2. I work at The Honest Kitchen and it truly is a beautiful story. We're inspired by and so thankful for people like Gale.


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