Almost five years ago to this day, on a snowy January evening, with two bright eyed and bushy tailed (literally) barely one-year-old Cardigan Welsh Corgis, and a blog that was less than a month old, I sat down at my desk and wrote a blog post titled "Chicken Soup for the Dog Mom's Soul." It was a recipe for the pot of homemade chicken soup I'd made for the humans' dinner that night. (Yes, a recipe. I predicted it would be my last, and I was right. But that's not the point.) What all five of the people who read the post didn't know was that the title was no accident. (And, frankly, it had nothing to do with the popular book series.) I used that title because I'd just fed the dogs a dish each of Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul (the name has been simplified since then to Chicken Soup for the Soul® Brand Pet Food) and I was so pleased with myself (for feeding them a food that felt good to MY soul), that I wanted to pay the feeling forward.
|They ate like this at every meal from puppies. I have no idea why, nor do I remember when they decided it was easier to stand.|
I think you'll agree: there's almost no better feeling in the world than (after doing tons of research on a million different pet foods, and finding one that doesn't break the budget) feeding one's pet a natural, USA-made wholesome food (with ingredients that sound delicious enough for a human to eat, like real meats, fruits, vegetables and herbs) that they love as much as they thrive on.
What I REALLY wanted to say - those five years ago - was that I'd finally found a dog food that was on par with how crazy I was about my precious dogs. (I didn't want to start a pet food debate, though, so I settled for a chicken soup recipe. The difference now is that I have five years of experience and well, this isn't a debate blog any more than it is a recipe blog.☺)
I should also mention that about a year after I started feeding Chicken Soup food to the dogs, I put all the cats on it too. Though for the last couple years, all my pets have been on a rotation diet, Chicken Soup for the Soul pet food is still very much a part of it, and I can't wait to try the brand new grain free varieties (for both dogs and cats)! (Stay tuned for Part 2 of this post, where I talk about the new grain-free and limited ingredient varieties a bit more.)
Now, for all those Hero Pets...
I need to tell you I had a bit of trouble at first with this portion of the exercise (telling you about the Chicken Soup for the Soul "Show Us Your Hero" (pet) contest that could land you a spot on the brand's Hidden Heroes show during the CBS Saturday morning lineup, or in an upcoming Chicken Soup for the Soul book). It was the definition of "hero" (a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal. dictionary.com) that tripped me up. According to that definition, only a select few pets - who found themselves in (usually) extreme situations, requiring animal heroics - would qualify as heroes. But, even more fundamentally, we're talking pets, not people. How does one define heroics when it comes to companion animals (who lack the ability to choose)?
Then I looked at the definition of "pet" (any domesticated or tamed animal that is kept as a companion and cared for affectionately. dictionary.com).
And there it was. A PET is an animal kept as a companion (vs. captive) and "cared for affectionately." Cared for affectionately - by humans. Affectionately. Now, knowing that we humans don't typically go around caring affectionately for just anyone, what does that tell you about pets? (Think hard. Not a trick question.)
OK, time's up. IT TELLS YOU (and me) THAT PETS ARE FLIPPING AWESOME! ALL OF THEM!
And you know what? Who cares about the human definition for "hero," ALL pets are heroes, because they don't know anything but awesomeness! They don't choose to be, they just are!
So, what's YOUR hero pet's unique story (remember, every moment matters)? What makes you want to care for him or her affectionately?
Tell (or show in a video) it to Chicken Soup for the Soul (and/or in comments, if you feel like it; we all LOVE a pet hero story)!
For the latest news, deals and of course, Chicken Soup for the Soul-warming pet stories, follow the brand on social media:
Want your hero pet to try Chicken Soup for the Soul pet food? Find the nearest store here. Also available at major online retailers.
Want a chicken soup recipe? ☺
Included is 10-year-old Oreo the Cardigan Welsh Corgi (pictured below), whose human mom and dad, Beth and Bill Cole, take him to help local fourth graders (he's a "Ruff Reader") with HABIT (Human Animal Bond in Tennessee), an outreach program of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. According to Ruth Sapp, the coordinator of the program where he volunteers, Oreo "made his first therapy visit on 4/21/2011 at Halls Elementary School in Knoxville, TN."
The kicker? Oreo, who suffers from PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), is blind! The first blind dog to serve in the program. Now if that isn't a testament to the awesomeness of pets, I don't know what is! (And, might I add, a testament to the awesomeness of Oreo's human mom and dad!)
|Oreo, a hero to fourth graders in Knoxville, TN!|
Psst! You still here? Cool! Maddox has another face for you...
He reeeeeealy likes the stuff, OK?! The goober makes me LAUGH! (Another hero!)☺