CASEY, MY INSPIRATION...

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In the beginning…..
The inspiration to create ‘Raw Nature Pet Food Shop’ came to me way before I had come to a conscious decision to do something about it. I knew it was something I had to create and I knew I had to share my ideas with as many pet owners as I possibly could.
It was approximately 10 years ago I seriously began experimenting with the raw pet food diet and it didn’t take long before I started seeing really good results with my own pets. Followed by courses in nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy and alternative healing, I wanted to learn all I could about real health, the natural way. Through the years of study, research and an endless amount of practicing on my own pets, I had found out from experience that ‘food really is medicine’ (Hippocrates was right!) and I wanted to share my knowledge with everyone.
Without realizing it, I had become increasingly busier, putting together cat & dog recipes for friends and family and their friends and family pets. This eventually led to the creation of my own website on the Raw Food Diet. I was exhausted, my passion had consumed me! Working full time as a Science teacher and learning everything I could about animal nutrition was to say the least……..taking its toll.
However, my exhaustion was of little relevance when I stopped to think about the thousands of pets on highly processed commercial pet food diets with their ongoing degenerative diseases. Even more heart wrenching was my ever-increasing awareness and knowledge of the millions of farm animals in factory farmed conditions being raised like machines for food, eggs and milk. Were these the unhealthy and deprived animals providing food for my own carnivorous pets? My awareness expanded and once you see inside a factory farm, life is never quite the same. I became very aware of and concerned for, not only our beloved pets but also for the intensively farmed animals who are suffering silently behind closed doors.
If you have ever experienced a ‘factory farm’ where animals are raised for their eggs, milk and body parts it will live with you forever. The despair, frustration, fear and pain of these poor creatures is beyond words. Over the years, my visits to factory farms in both Australia and in Dubai have left a pain in my heart that will continue to be a driving force for as long as I’m alive. How can we care for a cat or dog and yet have no concern for the treatment of animals that feeds our pets?!
With a heavy heart I wanted to find pet food that was from more ethical sources, from farm animals that had at least led a natural life before slaughter. The search for healthy, ethical food was harder than I thought.
This was when I, ‘the vegetarian’ for the last 30 years, bought the largest meat mincing machine I could find and a refrigerator with the largest freezer compartment that would fit into my small kitchen. As a vegetarian, chopping up organic, free range chicken carcasses to put through a meat grinder was not my favorite way of spending my weekends but it became easier over time. Even the hearts, livers and kidneys become a little less difficult to manage with practice.
The rewards for making my own more ethical, raw pet food certainly made themselves known very quickly though (which helped me get over the horrid job). Allergies disappeared, skin conditions became a thing of the past, trips to the vets became less and less frequent and my dog Casey (whom I had rescued from cruelty) became a happy, bouncing puppy.
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Casey has actually been my greatest teacher over the last 4 years. I first met Casey in 2010 at the Vet Clinic when I was collecting a stray cat I had had neutered. A driver, who worked for an extremely wealthy family in Dubai, had brought Casey to the Vet Clinic. Casey was in a very bad shape. He was full of ticks, ear mites, dirt, matted hair and had a hole in his head (from an injury), which was the diameter of a tennis ball. Large maggots had eaten the layers of skin covering his skull. As a Zoologist, I had never seen maggots that big before! Casey couldn’t walk properly; he was showing all the signs of malnutrition and early ageing. His joints that had lost their fluidity and he had massively under developed musculature (probably from a serious lack of exercise).
The Vet Nurses told me that Casey had been to the Clinic before to be
patched up from other injuries. Being made to live in a small cage most of his life, he had occasionally escaped and in doing so had been repeatedly attacked by the guard dogs who also lived on the same farm as Casey.
I remember asking the Vet Nurse “and what will happen to Casey when he’s had full treatment and extensive surgery to fix his injured head?” My world changed when I heard the reply, “Casey will be returned to the owner, he’s a very influential and good customer of ours.” I was basically told to ‘butt out’ and mind my own business!!
Working as a secondary school science teacher for the most prestigious local school in Dubai, I broke all the rules and contacted some of my students’ fathers to ask for help. After a lot of searching, phone calls and begging for assistance, a very kind and influential father came to my aid and over a period of days helped me gain custody of Casey from the grips of cruelty.
I will never forget meeting Casey’s owner at the Vet Clinic. Thank goodness one of my year 12 students was with me for emotional support, I was shaking with frustration and anger. As the owner signed the papers giving me custody of Casey he told me, “
Goldie, was a stupid dog. If he’d of just stayed in his cage the guard dogs wouldn’t have attacked him.” This man had no understanding of animal welfare, no compassion, no emotion, no heart and no idea that creatures such as this one could feel the very same physical and mental pain we humans feel!
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Casey required a 5-hour surgery to fix his face. The Veterinary surgeon, Dr Chris worked miracles. Every day I went to see him with my sister and her husband. I cleaned his ears, brushed him and removed an endless number of blood sucking ticks from his filthy skin. After 4-5 days I was allowed to take him home; but how? He was 45kg and vey weak, he could hardly walk and was in fear with every move he made.
Thankfully my sister’s husband, the strong guy that he is, was able to pick him up. In fact I couldn’t have helped Casey without the unbelievable support from my sister Julie and her husband Paul. Casey had to be transported in and out of doorways, he was so fearful of doorways. Every day he came to work with me. So many of my students sat with him in breaks and lunchtime, patting him and trying endlessly to get him to play. This was going to be a long process of patience, kindness, and love and of course the best nutrition and natural remedies money could buy.
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It took approximately 9 months for Casey to freely walk around the small ground floor apartment I lived in. He slowly built up the confidence to venture outside of my backyard area and eventually we went for walks around the community lake and garden area. He started to meet other dogs and when he realized they weren’t going to harm him, he just loved to be with them; always submissive, always kind, always giving love wherever he went. He won the hearts of everyone, at least everyone who had one them themselves to start with!
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Eventually when Casey was strong enough, physically fit and mentally ready, my sister and I decided to send him to Australia. We wanted him to have a life without 45-50 degree summers, without the dog fearing people that are abundant here in Dubai. We wanted him to run on a beach without a leash, we wanted him to swim, roll in the grass and experience life without fear. We wanted him to have the most love anyone could possibly give him. There was only one answer, our parents had just buried their RSPCA dog of 15 years and had way too much love and kindness in their hearts to be dogless!
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4 years later, Casey is the love of my mom and dad’s life. His favourite thing is to go on holidays with the caravan. He particularly likes the caravan parks with beaches and great views. He loves bird watching, swimming, crunching on raw meaty bones and paddling in the creak at the bottom of mom and dad’s garden. He also loves going shopping in Warrigal and stopping for lunch at Good Habits Café.
God bless you Casey. Thank you for helping me to create the best, healthiest raw food recipes ever. Thank you for inspiring me to learn herbal and alternative medicine. Thank you for showing me what love, compassion and the healthiest diet can do to a life. Thank you for being my greatest teacher.
My thanks and undying gratitude also goes out to my sister Julie and her husband Paul who shared the journey with me, the students and staff at Rashid School, Dubai for their love and support of Casey and of course to my wonderful parents Bob and Fran. I love you guys, it really is amazing how love and compassion can bring people together and drive inspiration.
Raw Nature Pet Food Shop is in honor of Casey and all the other abused and homeless cats and dogs my sister and I have rescued over the years together.
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May we all have the awareness to make ethical, healthy and heartfelt choices when it comes to our human and four-legged family. Please choose organic and/or free-range animal products. Please be aware that farm animals like our own have feelings too.

I sincerely hope to meet you someday. Thanks for reading my story.
Marie

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