Rocky, 12 weeks, © Dianna Huff

My life and routine have been dramatically changed, in a very good way, with the addition of my new German Shepherd pup, Rocky. He’s 12 weeks old this week and is full of energy, high spirits, and fun.

I’ve wanted a German Shepherd my entire life and finally realized it was now or never. My colleague, Linda Lecomete, REALTOR®, recommended Doreen Metcalf, of Timber Ridge Shepherds in Saco, ME. Her farm is amazing! Over 250 acres of rolling grassland . . . plenty of room for her dogs, a kennel, horse barn (she boards horses), the dog training facility, and her house.

I visited with the intent of simply seeing her operation; an hour later, I had put down my deposit for a pup, with the promise I’d be back in a couple of days to pick him up.

New pup = tons of new stuff

Getting a new puppy is exactly like adopting a new baby: I had to scramble to purchase a crate, food, collar, leash, etc. etc. etc. Some things, such as the PetMate crate, were made in the USA. His collar was made in New Hampshire (yay!). Squeak toys are made in China. These won’t last too much longer, so I’ve made a note to search for made in USA ones.

Doreen feeds her dogs a raw diet she puts together herself, but full-on raw is a lot of work in order to provide the right nutrition. My other colleague and our PR pro Art Sesnovich, who has two French Bulldogs, highly recommended the Bravo Raw Food Diet. The food comes frozen and includes the entire animal: meat, organs, bones, etc., plus the Balance product includes vitamins and vegetables. Perfect!

bravo diet chart
The Bravo Diet product chart © Bravo, LLC

The Manchester, CT company is family-owned, and all meat products, with the exception of venison and lamb (which come from New Zealand) are sourced in the USA using humanely-raised animals that weren’t subjected to antibiotics. Basically, this is the way I eat, so if it’s good for me, it’s good for Rocky.

I also found these fantastic no-rawhide chews — which Rocky loves! They’re proudly made and hand-rolled in Lancaster County, PA, by Earth Animal, from humanely raised, grass-fed beef and chicken, so a double plus. The company is family-owned and believes in holistic and sustainable treats, food and supplements for pets.

Earth Animal No-Hide chews

The No-Hide chews, according to the website, “contain NO animal hides and chemicals are NOT used to produce them, so your animal is safe from consuming harsh chemicals. No-Hide chews are made with 100% human grade food ingredients that are nutritious, highly digestible and completely healthy for your dog.”

All I know is that they give Rocky something to chew on, they last for days, and he works them down until he’s able to “unwrap” them — then he really goes to town.

Upcoming blog posts

Rocky has kept me pretty busy, but I do have two new blog pieces in production: An interview with Cutco, manufacturers of Made in USA knives, and another with Siebert, Inc. about their LinkedIn marketing program. Siebert makes Made in USA consumables for the printing industry. Very excited about both!

In the meantime, watch this great video of Doreen Metcalf and her dog training. I plan on doing agility with Rocky once he’s a little older. Currently, we’re working on our AKC Star Puppy title.

Links to websites:

Linda Lecomte’s awesome lifestyle magazine for Andover / North Andover, MA: Shop and Dine the Andovers
Timber Ridge Shepherds — Saco, Maine
PetMate — Note: I couldn’t confirm if all products were made here, but the crate definitely was. As I always say, “Read the label!”
Bravo Raw Food Diets — Product and company story
Earth Animal — Products and company story

Full Disclosure:

All links to the listed websites are “free.” I’m not paid nor asked to write about US-made products. I buy products, use them, and if I like them, I tell everyone about them.

I do this because my mission is to keep manufacturing jobs stateside. This mission is my way of giving back. We like to think our “small” choices won’t make a difference. They do.