It was June 2017, I was struggling emotionally with the typical stuff, you know, life in general.
I hadn’t had a break in years, I was facing overload in body mind and spirit.
For the past twenty plus years I have been rescuing and providing a lifetime sanctuary to wolves and other wild canids, victims of the exotic animal trade. My little New Mexico 501 C nonprofit has gathered enough momentum in the past two decades that with my new assistant I was finally able to take a break.
The question was how and where?
Where could I go to get a break and see and do something fresh and exciting, more over how could I afford it? My meager salary basically leaves me empty at the end of the month.
Compassion fatigue is real. Two decades of solid dedication to saving lives and then the need to feed and house all those hungry faces had taken its toll on me.
Relief came in the form of a phone call that saved my soul and gave me a new outlook on life.
That phone call came from a long time friend, Chef David.
David used to live in my little neck of the woods in the Zuni mountains of New Mexico back in the early nineties. Circumstances forced him to move away, but as circumstances change so did his direction in business.
David started the best pet treat company in the world, well at least from my point of view!
Over the years, after David left my little neck of the woods, he would call me from time to time at the sanctuary and tell me what he was up to.
But it wasn’t until he called me that June and offered me an all-expense paid personal vacation to his home in Wisconsin, did I begin to realize what this amazing person was doing.
Who in the world would grow nearly all the ingredients in their pet treats?
Who would buy a farm and an orchard so they can expand the goodness that they can grow to make the healthiest treats available?
When David gave me my first tour of Front Porch Pets, I was dumbfounded by this quiet operation.
“Who knows about this”? I asked, as he walked me through the year-round greenhouse that is heated by the excess heat from the dehydrators just across the driveway.
As I looked around the greenhouse David showed me the Tilapia fish that were growing nicely in their hydro tanks. I saw the fish emulsion that was being pumped through the salad bar growing nearby. The salad bar feeds the employees as they come to the greenhouse to get greens for the break room deli table. Then the fish water is cleaned by the roots of the salad greens and pumped back to the fish as clean water.
He took me to the gardens that were growing everything from strawberries to loofah sponges.
A small group of ducks waddled through the garden area eating bugs and slugs and beetles.
“Take a walk with me?”, David asked. “Sure!” I responded. David proceeded to take me on a beautiful nature trail that meandered around the Front Porch Pets commercial kitchen property. Past the mushroom garden there were sitting benches and landscaped pathways. The trees seemed to dance the waltz as we strolled the beautiful path through the forest.
My social media mindset was screaming at me in my silent stroll through these majestic woods.
“Why does no one know about this amazing pet treat company?” I pondered? Sure, his company’s products were in over 25 hundred stores across America and yes, they have a rockin’ Amazon store, but do people really KNOW what is growing here?
After the gardens and greenhouse, and nature trail, David and I whisked off to just two miles up the road to the Front Porch Pets No-Spray Orchard of 120 trees and 10 different varieties of apples.
“Ok, wait”, I said. “you mean you grow your own apples that go into your dog treats?” “yes”, David replied. “And we make our own apple sauce and cider too”.
“What!’ I exclaimed. “Nobody does that!”
After tasting a few varieties of apples, David drove me just a couple more miles down the road from the orchard to his 30-acre Front Porch Farm.
It was about then when my head began to explode!
What do my wondering eyes do I behold?
Another huge garden, Heritage pigs, Heritage Turkeys, beehives, Chickens, Pheasants, a beautiful pond, Highlander, and Belted Galloway cattle and restorative grazing techniques!!!
Unbelievable! Nobody does this!
Chef David has turned the pet treat business model on its head!
Who would do all this just to make pet treats? Certainly not the greedy SOB’s in today’s modern pet food industry!
It takes a very special, unique, conscientious holistic minded individual to take such a bold step in this modern age to do something this incredibly right and righteous that can shift the way we feed our pets.
David is just that person.
I have just brushed the surface of how incredible to me, Chef David and Front Porch Pets is, and I am incredibly privileged to be a small part of his amazing team.
I feel it is so important that the world knows about David and his amazing mission to produce the highest quality of pet treats that the industry can offer.
I want each and every pet owner in the world to know that when they get treats for their beloved pets that they know beyond a shadow of doubt that they are getting not just good food but also love, care and quality in their pet treats!
Wolf Daddy, Leyton Jay Cougar
Director, Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary
Front Porch Pets, Marketing
Author, A Wolf and His Man, Wolf Daddy’s Hungry Like a Wolf Canine Cookbook.