My Friend Gunner

Avatar BCR | September 3, 2008 0 Likes 0 Ratings

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My Friend Gunner

Yesterday I had to say good-bye to Gunner – my big German Shepherd. He was 13 ¾ years old. This is very difficult for me to write – but it’s for a reason that I hope every pet owner out there hears.

Gunner would have been 14 years old in November – for a large dog that is extremely old. He was not on any medication, no Rx food – only a mobility supplement to help with his failing hips that most big dogs can suffer from. Thursday morning he refused to eat – I knew something was wrong, Gunner always ate. He refused to eat the rest of the day – he body was shutting down.

I’ve cried so much my eyes look like tennis balls, but I shouldn’t, because this wonderful dog lived a fantastic long life. He had one day of feeling bad.

I firmly believe Gunner lived such a long and healthy life because of two things…one being genetics. We got lucky that he was blessed with ‘good parts’ and a history of good health. And the second thing is that I was again lucky enough to have learned what I have about dog food and fed him quality food. As pet owners we cannot do anything about the genetic history of the four legged friend we fall in love with, but we can do something about the quality of the food we give them.

At the Pampered Pet Expo last weekend I spoke with many pet owners that were thrilled to learn about pet food. Time didn’t allow for Q & A but most hung around after my talk to personally ask questions. I noticed that everyone sort of whispered their questions to me; it was like they didn’t want anyone else to hear what they were asking me. Then one pet owner shared that she was embarrassed she didn’t know what was in the food she fed her dog.

Please – it is NOT your fault if you believe or have believed in the past that pet food ‘A’ is the best – then later learned about by-products, chemical preservatives, and risky imports. Do not feel guilty or that you have been a bad pet parent for not knowing. I didn’t know once too. Millions and millions of dollars are spent each year keeping pet owners believing in pet food ‘A’. The point here is that because my faith in pet food ‘A’ was shattered, I was able to enjoy Gunner for 13 ¾ years. Yes, I have regrets thinking about pets I’ve loved in the past that didn’t benefit from what I’ve learned about pet food – that part kinda sucks. But…at least I know now. And I hope you feel the same way. No one can change the past, but we can change the future.

My broken heart is full of determination to share the ‘truth’ with any pet owner that will stop long enough to listen. The whispered questions at the Pampered Pet Expo are still ringing in my head – especially the statement the one pet owner shared with me about being embarrassed. That one really got to me. If anyone out there can share with me the ‘thing’ that shattered your faith in pet food ‘A’ and caused you to start learning more about what your pet is eating – please do. I want to know. What happened to cause you to stop believing in the advertising and start looking at the ingredients? Who told you and why did you believe them? Please take a few moments and share with me what happened with you to make that change. My goal is to learn more in hopes to reach more.

I have the heart breaking task of telling my 18 year old daughter about Gunner this evening. She’s been in California on vacation for the past week and doesn’t know. It’ll be tough, but we have so many wonderful memories of this fine friend – I hope to nudge the conversation to remembering the good things. Some of the good things are listed below as a tribute to Gunner. Hug your dogs and cats. Enjoy every day – they are a blessing and they enhance our lives. Pester every friend and family member you have to feed their pet a quality food – a dog food or cat food that is free of chemical preservatives (BHA, BHT, TBHQ, and ethoxyquin – linked to tumors and cancer), free of by-products (left over ingredients from processing human food – not meat – can be from euthanized or sick animals), free of ‘animal fat’ (known to be most likely to contain a euthanized animal), and free of imports from risky countries. Wear then down if you have to. They will thank you for it later.

Wishing you and your pet the best,

Susan Thixton

Truth About Pet Food

Petsumer Report

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