Monday, October 8, 2007

Adventures in feeding raw....

So when we adopted our first dog together (that would be Roxy) we noticed that she had allergies. I could go on for awhile with the details but suffice to say the it culminated in the switch to a raw food diet for her and the consequent dogs we acquired. I could also wax on about the benefits of such a diet but I'm not going to bore everyone with detail plus that's not the point of this post, just the back story. For those who are interested though I'll add some links here, here, and here. And if you are still nosey please, feel free to ask. Don't bother criticizing though, I'm not by any means saying it's for everyone's life style, plus like I said, it's just back story.
So when we lived in San Diego we were members of SoCal BARF, yeah BARF for biologically appropriate raw feeders which is what they call us raw feeders. It is the largest raw feeding co-op in the world. They cover all of So Cal and order food every month by the TONS, literally not figuratively. So when we moved out to San Antonio we were pretty much sol, not much other than grocery store stuff out here, slight variety but not much. We were having problems anyway, our boxers (being boxers and having notoriously unstable tummies) hadn't really stabilized on the food, gastronomically speaking of course. Their coats were BEAUTIFUL and their teeth shiny clean but their butts had issues. So we switched them to high quality kibble for almost a year. Their coats and teeth went to hell in a hand basket. And if that wasn't bad enough their tummies didn't like it either! Now mind you I was a vet tech for 5 years, there's not much I don't know how to work though but the mooshie poo is just damned annoying. About 3 months ago I got an email from a woman, they were starting a raw feeding co-op in San Antonio. Ahhh the possibilities. Apparently there is one co-op in Texas and it's in Austin (ARF). Now I find this odd because there's an awful lot of people who feed raw and geez, this is Texas, raw meat should be a gimmie out here. Regardless, this is what I have to work with so now here's the new adventure.
SARF (all co-ops use Yahoo groups, it works best this way) is just starting out, we presently have like 35 members and most of them order from Buddy's, the chicken supplier for the local grocery stores out here. The woman in charge of the group is Jacque, a chow breeder, and she has been making Buddy's orders for awhile so all we are really doing is adding more onto her order. It's great because one of the main problems with ordering is the shipping and or delivery. Bravo's charges $350 to get an order to us. UGH! This is where poundage is a make or break kinda deal. So Cal BARF got great deals, they made enough money they could actually rent cold storage space and everything and most chicken products came in at under $1/lb. I feed about 90lbs per month so obviously price makes a difference. None of these people feeding raw are rich, in fact most of them are your average blue collar animal freaks. You know, the crazy cat lady? Yeah, exactly. So the fact that the account and shipment already existed is great. At So Cal we had to drive up to the cold storage facility once a month. In inland LA. I think it was a 3 hour drive. Yuck! Jacque's house is about 15-20 minutes away from me. Any way back to the point. We are in the process of gathering new vendors, one of them is Omas. This was the product that got me back into raw feeding. See I was feeding prey model, no veggies. I think the variation in meat plus the lack of fiber (which I still think is unnecessary for all dogs except boxer butts) made for the smooshie poos. The first Omas order we made was an adventure. Skipping all of the drama we came to find out that the woman Jackie had helping her out with the Yahoo group (who was moving down here from Austin and was a member of ARF) had taken all of ARF's documents and posted them on our Yahoo group with out ARF's permission. Also she had never responded to ARF's offers of help and she was much to busy to communicate anything with anyone. She was, of course, the one in charge of the Omas order. Me being the evil dominant person that I was, could not handle the level of incompetence that was being exhibited and contacted ARF resulting in flushing out all of the bad blood between ARF and SARF that poor Jacque didn't know existed. And all I wanted was to make an order, trust me, the drama was totally uncalled for.
Now mind you we were ordering the Omas through the ARF distributer which, unbeknownst to us, was located in Pflugarsville. Now the adventure was a long one to get that first order but we managed it, got home at about 11 pm but we got the food to everyone. This time around we are setting up our own account here in San Antonio. Why didn't we do this the last time around? Well for one we didn't know the order was coming out of Pflugarsville and two, the woman with the Omas account told us that Omas didn't work with co-ops anymore but she was grandfathered in. I think it took Jacque 1 phone call to set up the account. Can I even begin to tell you how much easier my life has just become? Pflugarsville is about an hour north of Austin and the food always comes on a weekday around 5pm. Rush hour. Through San Antonio and Austin. Not so fun. All I want to do is get food for the 3 fuzzy butts and let me tell you the adventures we've been through! All of the drama to not step on peoples toes and blah blah blah. Growing pains I suppose but right now I feed Omas exclusively and if I can't get a hold of it somehow I'll become a distributer myself! Fortunately it looks as though I won't have to do it, nor will I have to drive 3 hours to Pflugarsvlle. Yay for Jacque!

1 comment:

enoon said...

This is Ed Noon from BARF World. This is an interesting story and one that many know very well.

Please keep spreading the word about BARF and feeding your dogs the good food.

If Oma's doesn't work out for you please give us a try. YOu can order via "mail order" which is expensive as you say but if you have the group to feed you might consider being a distributor.

Check our website at www.barfworld.com or our blog at www.barfworld.com/blog