It all started in my kitchen when I decided to make some homemade dog treats for my dog Chesney. He loved them! In fact, his response to the treats was so positive that I decided to make additional dog treats and give them out to friends and family who owned dogs. It started as a nice gesture, but I was getting incredible feedback from friends and family about how much their dogs loved the treats. They wanted to know if I could sell them more. Being a stay home mother, I saw the opportunity to make some additional income for our family and so True Nature Dog Treats was born.
From there, I began to participate in various dog events and farmer’s markets and have now settled in with one of the best farmer’s markets in the area, the West Chester Farmers Market. In addition, we are now available at Local Yokel and Celebrate Local.
In 2007 we fell in love with a chocolate lab puppy who had the biggest head and biggest paws you’ve ever seen. At the time, our daughter was 10 months old and our son was turning three. Chesney was his birthday present. Little did we know what Chesney had in store for us.
We had heard all the typical horror stories about lab puppies and how they behave. Surprisingly, Chesney’s behavior was much better than we anticipated. Although he did do some minor damage, as I think all puppies will, he was very well behaved and very smart. He seem to learn quickly what he was allowed to chew on and what he was not. But let’s face it, that’s what happens when you have a dog. These are the memories you look back on and hopefully laugh about.
As Chesney got older, we began to notice a limp, especially after a lot of vigorous activity. After several trips to the vet, we learned that Chesney was born with a luxating patella that required surgery and rehabilitation. All this time we were worried about the much talked about hip dysplasia and the poor guy had a dislocated knee. Eight weeks of rehabilitation and $1500 later, Chesney was back to his original self.
About a year later, we noticed a golf ball size lump on his ankle. A trip to the vet revealed he had osteochondritis. This is a condition that causes the bone to chip away and then the fragments can float around inside the ankle causing severe pain. We were given options of surgery or medication and due to the fact the surgery was not a cure and that the condition could return, we opted to put him on medication. He has done very well considering he is such a large dog and not that active. He loves playing outside with the kids and especially in the snow, but anytime he gets too active, he pays the price and ends up limping around for at least a day.
With all that said, we love Chesney very much and he is such an important part of our family (Team Nicley). He is amazing with the kids and they just adore him. It’s to the point when they get upset about something, they ask for Chesney. Sometimes they ask for mom, but most of the time it’s Chesney.
As my wife and I get older, we have decided to try and eat healthier so we can stay active and healthy for our children. My wife loves to bake and would always be baking cookies and things that would sit around the kitchen and inevitably end up being eaten by us. This was not doing any of us any good so she decided to re-direct her baking hobby towards Chesney. If she could bake natural dog treats for Chesney, it would be a healthy natural treat for our beloved dog, but also save us money and inches off our waistline.
The treats were such a hit with our dog that we began sharing them with friends and family and found their dogs also loved the treats. The rest, as they say, is history. We started the True Nature Dog Treat company and we hope you and your dog enjoy our treats as much as Chesney does.