Milo was born December 3, 2009.
He was adopted from a ‘reputable’ breeder in CA who was trying to get 'rid' of him. Milo's Mom flew from sunny CO to heavenly CA to pick him up. He was 1.25 pounds at eight weeks old.
She stayed with him in CA for a week, bonding and getting to know him before they took the long flight back home to CO. He seemed like a weak little guy (with a lot of fight in him) and she had a concern about stressing him out with the flight, a new environment, a new human, and new people friends to get acquainted with.
During their first week together, she discovered he had bloody stool, diarrhea, a foul body odor, flaky skin, a dull coat, his coat was also falling out, a distended belly, abnormally low weight, crusty and watery eyes, greater than normal flatulence and burping, and was eating watered down adult hard dog food sent home by the breeder. He was so little and slept across her neck at night, or on her belly to stay warm. She was instantly attached to his big bobble head, smooched face, big brown eyes. When they arrived home in CO she immediately established his new vet ‘team’.
She was told after several trips to the vet clinic that he was ‘failing to thrive’. He had pneumonia, a congenital birth defect of a narrow and collapsing trachea, giardia, round worm...and to expect the worst, he could succumbs to his ailments at moment. She was advised to put him down. He lost .25 pounds, dropping to just 1 pound. He was very lethargic and even after trying to get him to eat on a two hour schedule throughout the night and feeding him with a water dropper and milk supplements to keep him hydrated, he barely had the strength to lift his head in the morning. Her biggest fear was that he was suffering. He wanted to play and he was in such good fighting spirits, he was just incredibly week and it was obvious by looking at him that he was a pretty sick puppy.
She remembered how healthy and how longed the family pets lived while growing up in the country, they would Forage in the family garden, selecting munchable fruits and veggies, so she switched to a homemade diet where he thrived noticeably within a couple of days. He wasn't into food at first and really didn't have much of an appetite before, but he rolled in his home made food he was so excited. He woke her up every morning wanting to play and bounced into the kitchen wanting food. She gave him all he wanted, patiently hand feeding him piece by piece so not to gorge and get sick, or develop bloat. She combined veterinary care for the giardia and round worm, Benadryl to keep the mucus in the trachea clear, and steamed a simple diet of organic chicken breast, ground fresh organic veggies, and non-GMO steamed brown rice, four to six times a day in small portions. He did very well on the cooked diet, then switched him to raw six weeks later, toggling back and forth, his blood levels normalized, and he slowly gaining his strength back. She added yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese, fresh farmers market cheeses, granny smith apples, cranberries, and blueberries, and essential vitamins, minerals, plus herbs that he would select himself, and fish oils or forage fish, and stuck to mostly items that the past family pets selected from their surroundings enjoyed themselves...and he thrived and thrived...and FORAGE PET FOODS was born.
Milo's Mom grew up in the Midwest between small town and country life. She was surrounded by farm fresh gardens and wildlife. While the rescued pets, and stray pets that wondered onto the property were always served up the most yummiest of dinner feasts, their favorite activity was Foraging the property and fields for food, treats, and herbs. Mulberries and wild strawberry patches grew abundant and were a favorite treat. There were always two gardens, one for family and friends and the other for the pets and local wildlife to Forage through. And yes, sometimes they ate each other. The cats caught the mice and birds. The dogs would catch a goose. The deer would munch on the herb garden. The dogs and cats would Forage through their dinner bowls, picking out the good stuff, but ultimately going back to nature to Forage.
(At 18 months, Milo died in his mom's arms at the front door of the Emergency clinic from a collapsed trachea, a congenital disease he was born with. He was her 'light'. Although she could not prevent him from passing over the Rainbow bridge, she wants to share everything she knows about food, for the love of healthy pets everywhere.)