This week on the podcast we're joined by the "NEW" consumer advocate at the AAFCO meetings. B.c> Henschen is also a very intellegent man with a great deal of experience i the pet community. B.c. is also the co-owner of Platinum Paws a very thoughtout one stop pet boutique with responsible pet food, grooming, and more.


More Episodes

Episode 203 “COLD NOSES NEWS”

January 20, 2018
Hello Pups and Kittens and welcome back to The Groomer Next Door Podcast. This week we have one of the most delightful ladies you will ever have the pleassure to talk to. I've had multiple conversations with Bobbie and during every conversation we haven't recorded even a second. This had to change, and we sat down and recorded this episode.
Where It All Started

It was this undeniable, deep passion that led me to create and operate the first mobile doggie daycare service in Denver at the end of 2001. Along with my two rescued dogs, Taz the yellow lab (on the left) with ridiculously long legs and Jet-Jet, my black lab cuddle-buddy, we were a common sight at the local off-leash dog parks as we hiked, swam and played as only dogs can. 

It wasn’t long before I earned the nickname of “Piped Piper” because of the loyal members of the “pack de jour” who never left my side.  It was a great life … happy clients with tired, content dogs who couldn’t wait to jump into my SUV for their next adventure!

Whenever I was stuck at a traffic light, it always made me laugh to see the look on the other driver’s faces as they tried to figure out why the heck my vehicle was rocking back and forth. I’d smile and roll down the back windows and then they’d start laughing as they watched dogs being dogs playing their hearts out in the back of my vehicle.

Yes, I cannot deny it, I love dogs! Taz and his friend Jet-Jet have since gone over the Rainbow Bridge. My heart and home now belong to

Moose (the merle Great Dane) and his impish gal pal, Bella (the black Great Dane/Lab).

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This blog (and the Cold Noses content service business) were born out of – and are a testimonial to – my passion for dogs. I love helping other dog guardians know – and do – better for their beloved K9 companions!

I hope you enjoy the content here … leave us a comment and let us know!


Episode 202 “CHELSEA KENT”

January 13, 2018

Hello Pups and Kittens, welcome back to The Groomer Next Door Podcast. This week we're so fortunate to have Chelsea Kent on the podcast. Chelsea is one of the most interesting ladies I have been fortunate to speak with.

Hero’s Pets is a leading retailer in the natural pet supplies market. Founded in 2007 in Littleton, Colorado, the company operates a retail store that offers more than 6,500 products from local and ethical national and international manufacturers in the natural, organic, and eco-friendly pet supply market. Our website is currently being professionally redone and we will soon have an online store soon too!

With 13 years of extensive nutritional research and experience in the pet industry, Chelsea Kent developed a diverse, comprehensive education and perspective in holistic nutrition and product integrity by working closely with the owners of multitudes of holistic pet companies and complimentary medicine practitioners including Nutritional Biochemists, Nutritionists, Microbiologists, Veterinarians and many more.

Working as a product rep in the pet food industry taught Chelsea that good information must be found at the source, from the owners of the companies, and not from the reps. Upon understanding the rules, regulations, and practices in the pet food industry, Chelsea and her mother, Kathy, decided to open Hero’s Pets with the intention of creating a place where consumers can come to trust that the products don’t just SAY they are quality but have verified their claims through documentation and evidence.

Founded in 2007, Chelsea and Kathy were the only employee’s for the first several years of business.

With a passion for pets, research, and spreading their message of whole food nutrition and higher standards they created a loyal customer base that necessitated the hiring of their incredible, well educated, empathetic staff. There is now a com- bined base of 54 years of animal nutrition and behavioral knowledge among the staff of Hero’s Pets. This standard of excellence and commitment to education fuels the future growth of Hero’s Pets with a focus on setting new standards for the entire pet supply industry.

Hero’s Pets philosophy takes all aspects of health into consideration including nutrition, behavior, treats/chews, environmental factors, vaccine and medication history, exercise and home life. At the heart of our mission, even beyond offering healthful and eco-friendly pet products, lies a desire to impact our community via education and responsible consumerism. Hero’s Pets continues to partner with local businesses in an effort to seek truth, demand quality, choose health, and shop local.

The mission of Hero‘s PETS (Planetary and Ecologically Trusted Supplies) is to raise public awareness of the impact consumer decisions have not only on our own lives,
but on our community and our world. We carry only natural products from morally-conscious companies, and strive to support other independent companies in Colorado and around the US.

At Hero’s Pets, we believe that your pet’s health depends on more than just their diet or environment. To achieve health and balance, we take into account their diet, treats, toys, chews, behavior, training, bonding, physical and mental exercise, play, environment and overall life experience. We think that to be truly healthy they must also be truly holistic. Our intensive consultation process helps us walk through all those details to determine what works best for your pets health, your family’s happiness and your budget.

The Food Regulation Facts Alliance was created to provide holistic minded consumers, independent retailers and small holistic manufacturers a voice within the Pet and Agricultural Feed Industry. Becoming a Consumer with FRFA will allow you access to complete educational articles posted by FRFA. Becoming an Advocate, Sponsor or Guru will provide you with varying levels of education, interaction, contribution and one-on-one support with FRFA.

To access full articles please become a member of the Food Regulation Facts Alliance. 100% of member fees go toward effecting positive change in the Pet and Agricultural Feed Industry through Regulatory channels. Without funds, the industry rules, definitions and regulations will not change and/or will continue down their current path, allowing these types of unethical ingredients into our pet and feed animal supplies. Please become a member if you want to support the cause of creating change and making this industry a better place.

Thank you for supporting our cause


Episode 201 “RECAP 2017″

January 6, 2018

We would sincerely like to thank all of our guests who appeared on the podcast this year. These amazing individuals made up the cast of 2017 on The Groomer Next Door Podcast​.

Ep. 160 Kohl Harrington​/Pet Fooled​

Ep. 161 The Farmer's Dog​

Ep. 162 PetChatz​

Ep. 163 Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation​

Ep. 164 vetcbd​

Ep. 165 Senator Dan Brown​

Ep. 166 Kansas City Better Business Bureau​

Ep. 167 Pet ID & Drivers License Tag -​

Ep. 168 The Two Crazy Cat Ladies​

Ep 169 Mercy For Animals​

Ep. 171 Edmonton Police Service Clan​

Ep. 172 K9 Cuisine - Dog Food Free Shipping​

Ep. 173 Dr. Barbara Royal​

Ep. 174 Darwin's Natural Pet Products​

Ep. 175 Stacey Bone DVM PawFriction​ returns

Ep. 176 John Redshaw Rolla Animal Shelter​ returns

Ep. 177 Wheel of Fortune Ranch

Ep. 178 Paws With A Cause ®​

Ep. 179 Tazz Latifi​

Ep. 180 & 200 Susan Thixton Truth About Pet Food​

Ep. 181 Brandon Zavala Apollo Peak Pet Beverages​ returns

Ep. 182 Ketopet​

Ep. 183 Dr. Harvey's​

Ep. 184 Neon Litter​

Ep. 185 M.K. Clinton Barking from the Bayou​

Ep. 186 Primal Pet Foods​

Ep. 187 Kimberly Morris Gauthier​

Ep. 188 Judy Morgan D.V.M​

Ep. 189 PetMio​

Ep.190 Long Living Pets Research Projects​

Ep. 191 Pet Food Institute

Ep. 192 AAFCO

Ep. 193 & 198 Dr. Laurie Coger​

Ep. 194 Fetching Foods​

Ep. 195 Pet Perennials​

Ep. 196 Jessica Sleater Andersen Sleater Sianni LLC​

Ep. 197 Billy Hoekman Answers Pet Food​

Ep. !99 Debbie Torraca Wizard of Paws​



December 30, 2017

This is our 200th episode of The Groomer Next Dioor Podcast. We have a lot of people to thank for this accomplishment, but I will save that for another day. Our very special guest is an accomplished women who is the inspiration for many in the pet community. She's my hero and I am so proud and honored to be fortunate to speak with her. For our 200th episode please welcome Susan Thixton to the podcast.

I joke that I am an ‘Ellie Mae Clampet’ (if you are old enough to remember the TV show The Beverly Hillbillies); ‘critters’ have always been a big part of my life.  My first dog as a child was a red Doberman named Duke.  My grandfather used to take me to obedience classes each week, and I competed with him in obedience trials.  Back then, it was standard to teach dogs using force (do this or I’ll hurt you methods).  Even at 11 years old, and in defiance of those who were teaching me ‘how to train my dog’, I refused to hurt my best friend.  My kind methods of training paid off, out of a possible 200 points, we consistently scored 199 and 199 1/2 in competitions.  Duke was my best friend and he was treated with respect; he returned the love ten fold.

At 15, my parents bought me a horse for my birthday.  I went from showing dogs to showing horses.  And yes, Duke went to the barn with me almost every day.  My respect of animals continued with my horses; I had the number one Quarter Horse gelding (neutered male horse) in the State of Kentucky for several years.  I went to college on a horsemanship scholarship; taking three horses with me to school.  A good friend teases me that ‘normal’ girls go to college with three hair dryers, I preferred three horses.

Down the road a few years, at 27 years old, I started my own business, The Pet School in Louisville, KY.  The Pet School was a dog obedience school that did things differently; I taught basic obedience lessons to spoiled rotten house pets.  The very same kind and respectful methods I used to train my own pets.  Needless to say, there were many other pet owners who wanted to treat their dogs respectfully in training; my business did well.

Within a few years I added a boarding kennel to my business.  Using the same logic I always had with my animals, I wanted a kennel to be different than what was offered at the time; a facility that kept the dogs and cats safe, but that was as close to home as possible.  I’m proud to say that my kennel was the very first all indoor/all suite pet boarding facility in the U.S.  Every ‘room’ had a window, and every pet got to play each day during their stay.

My number one assistant, was Sam, a female spoiled rotten Rottweiler.

I’ve been blessed with many special animals in my life, Sam was one of the extra special dogs.  She was commonly a headrest for my children growing up; she even helped them learn to walk.  And, she worked with me every day, being the ‘demo’ dog in all my obedience classes.  She had a sense of which dogs were intimidated; she’d wiggle over to them and kiss them to calm their fears.  Alternatively, if another dog attempted to be a little bossy with their classmates, she quickly let them know she was top dog in the classroom.

When Sam was eight years old, I noticed a lump on her pelvic area.  A trip to my trusted Veterinarian showed it was bone cancer; I had two weeks to tell her good-bye.  The worst news was the veterinarian I had known and trusted since I was a child, told me the probable cause of Sam’s cancer was from the chemical preservatives in her food.  The food that I gave her.

I couldn’t believe what my veterinarian, Dr. Bruce Catlett, was telling me.  This dog food was the number one pet food in the U.S.; it was a ‘trusted’ company.  What I did next, changed me forever.

Dr. Catlett told me that these chemical preservatives were (and still are) added to pet foods to extend their ‘shelf life’; to keep them fresh for longer periods of time for retail purposes.  I called the pet food company; I asked them what the shelf life was on this food.  I’ll never forget it – they told me the shelf life was “25 years”.  That’s more than three times as long as my dog lived.

The chemical that killed Sam – was ethoxyquin; it is still commonly used in many dog foods, cat foods, and pet treats.  The pet food company that killed her, is still one of the top pet food companies; although they no longer use ethoxyquin in their foods, they use many disease causing ingredients including dangerous chemicals.

Dr. Catlett came to my home and put Sam down.  I dug her grave.  Her most favorite thing to do was play ball.  She had a ball in her mouth when she took her last breath; and she was buried with it.

Sam’s death changed me forever.  From that day forward, I have studied pet foods, pet food ingredients, and the regulations that govern them.

Today I hold advisory positions on two AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials – those that develop pet food regulations) committees – the Pet Food Committee and the Ingredient Definitions Committee.

And how did the ‘Caped Crusader for Safe Pet Food’ get started?  A few years into advocating for safe pet food, a dear friend gave me that name and it stuck.  My youngest daughter drew the Caped Crusader image.

But isn’t just one person – it’s thousands of people who work together helping to make pet food safe.  The brightest veterinarians and scientists, along side of thousands of determined petsumers – we are all part of the team.


Episode 199 “WIZARD OF PAWS”

December 23, 2017

Hello Pups and Kittens and welcome back for the 199th time to The Groomer Next Door Podcast. This week we have an exceptional lady on the podcast,

Debbie Gross Torraca has authored many chapters in veterinary textbooks, and writes for professional journals as well as magazines dedicated to the dog enthusiast. She is a regular contributor for Clean Run, Dog Sport, Working Dog Digest, Dogs Naturally, and various breed magazines. You may have seen her on Good Morning America or heard her on Ask Martha’s Vet with Marty Goldstein. She has been quoted in many newspaper articles, television shows, professional journals, and magazines.

She was a speaker at the Second,Third and Fifth International Symposiums for Veterinarians and Physical Therapists and at Brian Mulligan’s First International Symposium on her application of the Mulligan principles to dogs and produced an educational dvd on these principles with him.

She has taught at many veterinary conferences including the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS), North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC), Atlantic Coast Veterinary Conference (ACVC), and many state conferences.

Debbie has produced four DVDs to date in conjunction with Clean Run Productions: Strengthening the Performance Dog, Stretching the Performance Dog, Osteoarthritis and Your Dog, and the famous Get on the Ball Two. She has published a book, Canine Physical Therapy, focusing on manual therapy.

A long time member of American Physical Therapist Special Interest Group, Debbie has held the office of President. She is also a member of the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM). She is also an active member of the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America, the American Bullmastiff Association, the Clumber Spaniel Club of America, and various other local dog clubs.

She is one of the founders and core instructors for the first and only university-based program in canine physical rehabilitation, University of Tennessee’s Certificate Program in Canine Physical Rehabilitation. She teaches throughout the year for this program with live courses and webinars.

I believe EVERY dog deserves the best quality of life for the longest time possible – does not matter if they are 8 weeks of age or 18 years of age. Wizard of Paws focuses on that with every animal that walks in the door.

My education started in human physical therapy but while I was going through physical therapy school, I quickly realized that my family dog as well as all other animals could benefit from the science of physical therapy as much as people could.  As I continued with my human physical therapy career, I kept the dream of treating animals in the back of my mind while focusing on the sports medicine and orthopedics. While I was doing this, my quest for animal therapy continued and I studied as much canine anatomy, movement and treatment as I could.

Rachel Paige Elliot and Curtis Brown were and are still some of my favorite authors. I became fascinated with the movement of dogs – both normal and abnormal.  As this fascination grew, so did my desire to work with animals. I started seeing a few dogs per week for various ailments and it quickly grew.

Over the years, I worked at a veterinarian practice and reduced my hours at my human clinic.  At some point, I realized my mind and heart was with the animals and left the human practice.

I have been very fortunate to have so many people support me along my journey – and have made everlasting friends.  Our family owns a multitude of dogs inclusive of Portuguese water dogs, clumber spaniels, a cocker spaniel, a standard poodle, a ‘famous’ bullmastiff, a French bulldog, and a recent loss of a seventeen year old Labrador retriever. My love for animals has expanded over to my daughters and I could not be more proud.

I have the most amazing staff – and they follow the same principles inherent in the practice. Every dog deserves a through evaluation, assessment and treatment program. Whether it is that dog competing for best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club or a dog that needs to learn how to walk again – they deserve the best! Our best compliments are referrals from other clients.

Wizard of Paws Physical Rehabilitation for Animals is a team of professionals dedicated to the rehabilitation, conditioning and wellness of our canine friends. Wizard of Paws was founded by Debbie Gross in 1996 and has gone through many changes over the years. The Wizard of Paws clinic offers a variety of services for dogs related to physical rehabilitation, conditioning, and wellness.

Collectively the staff owns over 66 dogs! Read more about these amazing folks on the Wizard of Paws staff page. The experience they offer is second to none. Our facilities were specifically designed to meet the demands of all canine rehabilitation clients. Attention to detail has been key, and the facility offers state of the art equipment. Two members of the staff are CCRPs, Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioners, and others are working towards their certification.


Welcome to Toto Fit LLC, K-9 Balance & Core Work Products

Every dog can benefit from core exercises and the benefits will help them live the best quality life for the longest time possible.

Whether your dog is a professional couch surfer, your faithful walking companion, a senior starting to lose their muscle mass and balance, or a competitive performance dog, maintaining core strength is an essential component of a healthy, sound life.  The good news is: Core fitness exercises are fun and easy to integrate into your dog’s daily routine.


n an effort to conserve natural resources and pass savings onto you, we don’t put our products in expensive boxes. As part of our #FreeResources policy, exercises for individual pieces of equipment can be found in our website BLOGS, available to anyone. This is how we can bring you #Quality #CanineFitness products at an #AffordablePrice.
And because all our #PURPLE inflatable products are Latex, Lead, BPA and Phthalate Free, we feel just fine about Zoe holding that Smooth TotoPAWD™.



TotoFit Burst Resistant Quality INFINITIES: deflate S-L-O-W-L-Y when punctured. The original BRQ process was developed by our manufacturer in 1998.




December 9, 2017

Hello Pups and Kittens and welcome back for the hundred and ninety eighth time to The Groomer Next Door podcast. This week we're so lucky to be rejoined by the ever charismatic and exceptional Dr. Laurie Coger DVM. I'm so happy to announce Dr. Coger will be a reoccurring member of the podcast. Throughout 2018 and so on Dr. Coger will continue to share her knowledge and gift of conversation with us all.


Episode 197 “ANSWERS PET FOOD”

December 2, 2017

Hello Pups and Kittens and welcome back for the hundred and ninety seventh time to The Groomer Next Door Podcast. This week we're joined by an amazing man whose with a great company. This week on the podcast "BILLY HOEKMAN".


Billy Hoekman is the Natural Science Coordinator for Answers Pet Food. He is involved in nearly every aspect of their nutritional and educational focuses. Including working with farms, product development, nutritional analysis, developing educational materials, in store trainings, and social media. He routinely speaks around the country in places ranging from pet stores to public libraries to Veterinary Colleges. He also does health and nutrition consultations and is a frequent contributor to Dogs Naturally Magazine. He currently lives in Los Angeles California with his wife Emily and their dog Lua.

ABOUT ANSWERS PET FOOD and their passion i creating a higher standard of pet food.

We are a small company based in Pennsylvania.

We still do the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing. Starting out, we knew there needed to be a higher standard of quality nutrition, food bioavailability, and a more humane way to source farm animals in the pet food industry.
Knowing the state of operations and quality of food that were currently on the shelves, we didn’t want to be an industrial large corporation that out-sourced materials or one of the so-called raw food companies employing harsh processing techniques like high pressure processing or freeze-drying. We knew it was time to offer a humane, sustainable way of organic, pasture-raised farming that protects the food state, environment, animals, and our pet’s well-being. From Farm to Bowl, this is how Answers Pet Food was created.

Our vision is to reinvent how pet owners think.

Our standards are set by science and socially and environmentally conscience principles. We’d like pet owners to re-examine how to meet their pets nutrition requirements and health care needs.

Our mission is to be more than a pet food manufacturing company.

We’d rather be an ethical, social, environmentally conscience and best practices based movement in the raw pet food industry.

Our goal is to improve the probability that our pets live longer, happier and healthier lives.

Moreover, that the current world’s population will leave a more peaceful, better educated and cleaner planet to future generations to come. We promise, despite the corporate climate of profit and greed in the pet food industry, to always put your pet’s health first.

Our unique process sets us apart in the pet food industry.

Our nutritional vision is to make the best pet food available. In the results of our research, we found that the best way to accomplish this was by using fermented raw foods. Since the birth of our company in 2009, we have enjoyed organic growth all over the country thanks to the fantastic results in animals switching from processed, raw or so-called raw foods to our fermented diet.

Why fermentation?

Unlike any other raw diet, Answers Pet Food enhances the nutritional value of raw food through the process of fermentation. By utilizing kombucha (fermented organic decaffeinated green tea), raw cultured whey, cultured raw goat’s milk and kefir, we created our own category by becoming the first and only fermented raw pet food diet in the industry.

The importance of our fermentation process.

Good bacteria is needed to create a thriving gut, and we believe that bacteria is the number one missing ingredient in pet food. We inoculate every one of our foods with good bacteria and allow them to thrive. These bacteria go to work pre-digesting the food, making it easier for your pet to assimilate nutrients. They also create new vitamins, enzymes, and organic acids that simply aren't present in non-fermented foods. Good bacteria fill up the food and also inhibit the growth of bad bacteria. Safety through inhibition— just like nature has done from the very beginning. Fermentation is the most natural and effective way for us to make our products as safe and healthy as possible.

Fermentation’s health benefits.

Our raw fermented pet foods are formulated to create a healthy gut. Fermentation is a huge supporter of immune function. It increases B-vitamins, digestive enzymes, antioxidants, and lactic acid that fight off harmful bacteria. It's also the ultimate source of probiotics.

Made with fresh air and sunshine.

We go the extra mile to ensure that every step of the process is done humanely and ethically.

Nothing affects the overall nutritional quality of pet food more than how its ingredients are being treated and sourced. Growing and farming organic food isn’t easy

Keeping family farms alive.

We support small, multi-generational family farms that, in turn, support the communities in which they live in. Our farmers are concerned with animal welfare and environmental consciousness. We love working with these farmers, as they take pride in raising their livestock and crops in a traditional manner more consistent with quality and sustainability. The focus for us and our farmers is not about how much we produce,
but whether we produce it correctly and are making every effort to reduce our carbon footprint.

To ensure the fundamentals of our cooperative initiative, we use farms that are independently audited by the Global Animal Partnership to protect earth’s land, water and animals. We also visit these farms ourselves on a regular basis.


FDA Warning: Store-Bought ‘Bone Treats’ Could Kill Your Dog

November 28, 2017 — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning regarding the purchase and use of store-bought “bone treats”. The FDA claims the danger goes beyond the risk of regular bones.


What’s a ‘Bone Treat’?

The FDA reports it has received about 68 reports of pet illnesses related to “bone treats”.

Bone treats differ from regular uncooked butcher-type bones because they’re processed and packaged for sale as “dog treats”.

Which Products?

A variety of commercially-available bone treats for dogs were listed in the reports including items described as:

  • “Ham Bones”
  • “Pork Femur Bones”
  • “Rib Bones”
  • “Smokey Knuckle Bones”

No specific brands are mentioned in the FDA bulletin.

The processed products may be dried through a smoking process or by baking. They may also contain other ingredients such as:

  • Preservatives
  • Seasonings
  • Smoke flavorings

According to Dr. Carmela Stamper, a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the FDA…

“Giving your dog a bone treat might lead to an unexpected trip to your veterinarian, a possible emergency surgery, or even death for your pet.”

So, if you’re planning to give your dog a stocking full of bone treats this holiday season, you may want to reconsider.

Illnesses Reported

Illnesses reported to FDA by owners and veterinarians in dogs that have eaten bone treats have included:

  • Gastrointestinal obstruction (blockage in the digestive tract)
  • Choking
  • Cuts and wounds in the mouth or on the tonsils
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Death

According to FDA, approximately 15 dogs have reportedly died after eating a bone treat.

How Widespread Is the Problem?

To date, reports submitted by pet owners and veterinarians have included about 90 dogs. Some reports included more than one dog.

In addition, FDA has received 7 reports of product problems such as…

  • Moldy-appearing bones
  • Treats splintering when chewed by the pet

How to Keep Your Dog Safe

FDA has included the following tips to help keep your dog safe:

    1. Chicken bones and other bones from the kitchen table can cause injury when chewed by pets, too. So be careful to keep platters out of reach when you’re cooking or the family is eating.


    1. Be careful what you put in the trash can. Dogs are notorious for helping themselves to the turkey carcass or steak bones disposed of there.


  1. Talk with your veterinarian about other toys or treats that are most appropriate for your dog. There are many available products made with different materials for dogs to chew on.

What to Do?

Dr. Stamper adds the following advice…

“We recommend supervising your dog with any chew toy or treat, especially one she hasn’t had before. And if she ‘just isn’t acting right,’ call your veterinarian right away!”

U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to



November 25, 2017

Hello Pups and Kittens and welcome back to a Thanksgiving hangover epiode of The Groomer Next Door. This week we're so fortunate to speak with one of the TOP attorney's in the United States. This week We're very fortunate to speak with Jessica Sleater. Before we get to know Jessica I would like to thank Dr. Laurie Coger for her inspiration to this episode. If it wasn't for Dr. Coger's Healthy Dog Expo in April of 2018.

Who is Jessica Sleater?
Jessica J. Sleater represents clients in complex litigation in federal and state courts across the country. Ms. Sleater has significant experience in representing the rights of consumers and shareholders of companies in class actions, derivative actions and appraisal actions. In relation to this work, she has been counsel of record for shareholders on a number of significant decisions and settlements, including N.J. Carpenters Pension Fund v. infoGROUP, Inc., No. 5334-VCN, 2011 Del. Ch. LEXIS 147 (Del. Ch. Oct. 6, 2011), which recovered $13 million for shareholders. She also represents bondholders in their litigation against Argentina following its 2001 default, and her argument before the federal district court in Manhattan was profiled in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. She also represents business owners and their companies in commercial litigation. Super Lawyers recognizes Ms. Sleater as a New York Metro area “Rising Star.”


Ms. Sleater is currently representing pet owners, who purchased a high-end pet food that led to the sickness and death of one of their dogs in the class action, Mael, et al. v. Evanger's Dog and Cat Food Co., Inc. et al. In another class action alleging a racketeering scam, Cisneros v. Petland, Inc., she represents customers of a national pet store retail chain, who purchased animals that were certified as healthy, but were not. She is currently representing customers of toll roads in California, who received receipts that disclosed more than the last five digits of their debit and credit cards, in violation of federal law, in Cohen v. F/ETCA, et al. She also represented consumers, who purchased e-liquids used in e-cigarettes that omitted the presence of certain toxins, in Greene, et al. v. Five Pawns, Inc.


She helped develop one of largest class actions of the housing crisis on behalf of homeowners for failed administration of mortgage modifications, In re Citimortgage Inc. Home Affordable Modification Program HAMP Contract Litigation. Ms. Sleater also assisted in the creation of the legal theory for class actions involving misleading labeling of certain products as “natural,” when they are composed of genetically modified ingredients in Briseno v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., Gengo v. Frito Lay North America Inc., Bevans v. General Mills, Inc. She was also counsel for plaintiffs/respondents in an appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court that resulted in an unanimous opinion for plaintiffs on a statute of limitation issue in Merck & Co. v. Reynolds.


Earlier in her career, Ms. Sleater worked for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority-New York City Transit and was an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Missouri. During law school, Ms. Sleater served as a law clerk for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. Also while in law school, Ms. Sleater was selected as the Editor-in-Chief of the Saint Louis University Public Law Review and served as an officer of the Public Interest Law Group.


Ms. Sleater recently wrote two articles on the legal industry that were published by Law360, The Rise of the Small Firm Class Action Business Model and Where are All the Women in the Plaintiffs' Bar?." Ms. Sleater also co-founded the Women’s Entrepreneurial Plaintiffs Lawyers Network (wePLn), a group for women practicing in the plaintiff’s bar that seeks to foster collaboration, business development, and career growth.


Ms. Sleater is admitted to practice in the courts of the States of New York and Missouri, as well as the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.


Outside the office, Ms. Sleater volunteers as a mentor to homeless teens and serves as a member of the Associate Board of Covenant House. In 2012, she was selected as the Corporate Mentor of the Year by The Mentoring Partnership of New York. She also volunteers with RAINN (the Rape Abuse Incest National Network) to help survivors of sexual assault. She is also an activist for animals through various non-profit groups and has two rescue dogs.



Episode 195 “PET PERENNIALS”

November 18, 2017


Hello Pups and Kittens, first of all let me wish EVERYONE a very Happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful for my family (4 and 2 legged), this podcast, and all of you who listen each week to our stories. On this Thanksgiving week I am going to have the u;timate discussion. The conversation no one wants to have. We're going to discuss bereavement.


Our Guest: Lori Davidson, B.S., Author

Co-FounderWhile Remy’s inspiration for Cherished Ones’ first product was her lab – Lori’s was her baby boy kitty - “Snookie”. After losing two 16 year old Bichons within months of each other she rescued a cat from a local shelter. Snookie’s affectionate nature reinforced her desire to help all rescue animals find loving homes. Lori brings to Cherished Ones 25+ years of sales experience, the last few spent as a business development consultant focused on elder law, plus ten years in education (instructing ESL, Health Science, Homebound, Adult Ed and Alternative Ed). She also co-authored Chicken Nachos, a book on emotional and verbal abuse. Having exposure to elder issues, children's causes and domestic abuse has deepened her desire to honor those we love daily. Business experience aside, Lori believes raising two (cherished) daughters on her own provided the real life skill-set necessary to create and operate a successful business from the ground up.

Lori struggled after losing two 16 year old Bichons within months of each other. It took a while before she felt ready to open her heart to another baby. Christmas season of 2008 found her shopping at a local pet store, looking for gifts for her grand-kitties. On a whim she walked past the cat holding area for the local animal shelter. There he was, looking at her through the bars of his crate. Lori knew better, but held him anyway. Having second thoughts about the responsibility she and a friend headed to lunch. All Lori could think about during lunch was that cute little face and after a quick lunch she and Snookie were heading home. Lori marvels at how quickly her little man took over the cottage. As with most cats, he enjoys waking her early so he can be fed. Snookie does this by tapping Lori’s face gently and saying, “Mom.” When Snookie wants to be let outside he runs to the door and meows, “Out.” If it is inclement weather Lori will tell him, “Tomorrow.” Much to her surprise Snookie will mimic “tomorrow.” Not one of her friends believed this until they heard him for themselves. Lori refers to Snookie as her dog-cat, as he even comes when he is called. (Of course in reality this means he runs top speed until he’s within sight, then he saunters the last few steps so he won’t give the impression that he cares. He is a cat after all!) And as Lori’s daughters point out, “Snookie is the son mom never had.” Lori feels blessed to share her home with this little cherished spirit.

The team at Cherished Ones, the makers of Pet Perennials understand fully the emotional, psychological, and physical effects that losing a pet can have.  Our founders, Remy Bibaud and Lori Davidson have both experienced this kind of loss.  Their own experiences were the inspiration for these one of a kind, living memorial products. 

All "Pet Perennials" organic, flowering products follow a patented process that can include a small portion of the cremated ashes of  a beloved pet along with a nutrient rich planting matrix and pet friendly flower seeds to yield seed wafers.  The seed wafers can be planted to grow colorful flowers that will be enjoyed season after season wherever one choses to create a living memorial.  Pet Perennials can be ordered as a custom, handcrafted option or the MiY Pet Perennials Kit.  If ordering our "custom" product rest assured that your pet's cremated ashes will be handled with respect by one of our technicians while making your "Custom" Pet Perennials.  Pet Perennials products are patented. 

There is no “right” or “wrong” way to use Pet Perennials since they contain perennial flower seeds, once sown they will bring a smile and enjoyment to you each year.  A "custom" product order includes 24 wafers, therefore you are not limited to when or where you plant them. You can give some of the wafers to family and friends, or order them their own batch.  The MiY Pet Perennials Kit enables you to make approximately 12 seed wafers in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

  • Do you have a favorite place where you liked to walk your dog?
  • Is there a special trail where you enjoyed riding your horse? Or a pasture that he liked to roam?
  • Did your cat have a particular tree that she climbed? Or a place in neighboring woods that she visited?
  • Perhaps your rabbit liked to hide among the plants and shrubs in your backyard?

These are all perfect locations to sow your Pet Perennials seed wafers. The possibilities for planting are endless because you can take the wafers wherever you wish.  No matter where you decide to sow them, we believe that everyone will delight in the colorful flowers that bloom as a result. Pet Perennials are also available as pre-made seed wafers that do not include any cremated ashes.  They are perfect gift for a friend or family member commemorating their new pet, or honoring the loss of a pet.


What is in a "custom" order of Pet Perennials?
In both the "custom" product and the MiY Pet Perennials Kit a small portion of a beloved pet's cremated ashes can be mixed in with our planting matrix and wildflower seeds (perennial and annual).  The planting matrix is made of the highest quality, nutrient rich planting compounds.  All of the organic materials are hand melded to form seed wafers that can be planted later. 

When do you use Pet Perennials?
Pet Perennials do not "expire", however we recommend using them within 6 months to one year of purchase. You will want to keep them in a cool, dry    place and away from water or liquids if you do not intend to plant the seed wafers right away. Premature contact with liquids could begin the germination process.

How do you grow Pet Perennials?
You do not need to plant the Pet Perennial seed wafers; in fact you simply place them on the ground in the areas where you wish for them to grow (we call it "sowing"). DO NOT COVER with earth or soil.  Water and sun is required.  For those that live in apartments or condominiums, you can sow your Pet Perennials in flower pots or window boxes with good potting soil to be displayed both in and outside of your home.

Please keep in mind that perennial seeds will take a season or two to "flower" from the time of sowing, however they will germinate within approximately 7 to 14 days along with the annual seeds.  Germination means that seedlings will sprout from the wafers. It will look like green plants and stems once grown.  The annual seeds that have been added may flower within 5 to 7 weeks to provide quick color and enjoyment in the meantime.  However, green plant like growth equals success!!  Keep in mind that the environment and soil in which you are disbursing the seed wafers has an impact so be sure to sow them in areas where the earth or potting soil is clear of chemicals, pests, and weeds.  And, remember don't forget to place them where they will be exposed to sunshine and water regularly.  If planted outside, water regularly where rainfall is limited. For more information see the Planting and Growing the Product section below.

Other ideas:
Not quite sure what to say to a person who has lost a pet, or what you might do to let them know that you care? Consider purchasing a gift voucher for Pet Perennials for any pet owner who has chosen cremation for their beloved friend. We are certain that they would appreciate your kind gesture every time they see the blooms.   How about our Make-It-Yourself Pet Perennials Kit?  It is a one-of-a-kind crafting project that the whole family can enjoy.  Please visit our shop where you can purchase and send a gift voucher to your special family member or friend andl learn more about the MiY Pet Perennials Kit. 

Product Options

Pet Perennials offer two wildflower seed mix options - the Butterfly Hummingbird perennial seed mix and the Pollinator perennial seed mix. Both mixes are safe for pets. When ordering your Custom Pet Perennials be sure to select the seed option that you desire.  The MiY Pet Perennials Kit includes the Butterfly Hummingbird mix.

Butterfly Hummingbird Wildflower Seed Mix   

Bring beautiful wildlife into your garden or meadow with the Butterfly & Hummingbird Seed Mix. It contains 12 wildflowers, both annuals and perennials that will attract winged friends. This mixture is designed to provide stunning color all season long, year after year. It will burst into blooms the first year with the annual wildflowers and provide color in years after with the perennials.

This is a specially designed mixture of 12 easy-to-grow wildflowers that butterflies and hummingbirds love. The mix includes both wild annuals and perennials, so bloom will begin just 3 to 4 weeks after sprouting, and should return year after year. The full flower list is below.
When and where to plant the Butterfly and Hummingbird seed mix:

It is best to plant your Pet Perennials in spring or early summer, or in late fall after frost for spring blooms. If you live in a warm winter area plant your Pet Perennials at the beginning of the rainy season. Choose any bright sunny spot. Butterflies and hummingbirds will find your bright flowers once they bloom.

Regions: Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, West, Pacific Northwest

Seeds included:
• Chinese Forget-Me-Not
• Wild Cosmos
• Rocket Larkspur
• Purple Coneflower
• Rose Mallow
• Baby Snapdragon
• Arroyo Lupine
• Lemon Mint
• Black-eyed Susan
• Scarlet Sage
• Catchfly
• Crimson Clover             

Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix

This easy-to-grow mixture contains 17 wildflowers, both annuals and perennials, that are easy to pollinate. Pollinators are critical to our ecosystem and pet lovers like you can make a big difference by making sure there are plenty of flowers for them to feed on. This mixture contains 17 wildflower, 10 annuals for first-year color, plus 7 perennials for second and successive years' bloom. This mixture contains 17 wildflower, 10 annuals for first-year color, plus 7 perennials for second and successive years' bloom. The full flower list is below.            

Regions: Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, West, Pacific Northwest

Seeds included:
• Butterfly Milkweed
• Patridge Pea
• Lance Leaved Coreopsis
• Plains Coreopsis
• Cosmos Sensation Mix
• Purple Coneflower
• California Poppy
• Blanket Flower
• Dwarf Sunspot Sunflower
• Meadow Foam
• Dwarf Lupine Pixie Delight Mix
• Perennial Lupine
• Arroyo Lupine
• Bee Balm / Wild Bergamont
• Lacy Phacelia
• Mexican Hat
• Crimson Clover

Custom Pet Perennials Order Process

We understand how precious your pet was to you that is why you can feel confident that your pet is respected and in very good hands through out the entire process.  Once your order has been placed through the Cherished Ones online shop, the order fulfillment process will begin. There are three stages to fulfilling your custom, handmade Pet Perennials order.

Stage A    Once your order has been placed you will be sent an instruction kit by mail to help you prepare a small portion of your beloved pet's cremation ashes.  You should have received an email with the same instructions attached to it after you placed your order online.  The instruction kit includes a labeled container for the cremated remains and a pre-paid mailing envelope.  You will send the package back to us.  Postal tracking is included on the returned item.  Your pet's cremated remains are identified by an order number, as well as their actual name as given to us by you at the time of order.  Rest assured that this identification information remains with your custom order throughout the entire process.   

Stage B    Once the small portion of remains from your pet have been received at our fulfillment center, your custom order will be made. You will be notified by email that the package has been received. Our melding process is done by hand so that your Pet Perennials order is made separately from any other order. Please allow two to three weeks for your order to be handmade.

Stage C    When your order has been completed it is packaged and shipped back to you in a pre-paid shipping box.  The shipment is tracked as well.  You will be notified by email that the completed order has been shipped.

That's it!  All that is left to do is for you to sow, grow and enjoy your Pet Perennials.                     

Planting and Growing Pet Perennials Products

One of the best things about wildflowers is how easy they are to grow. Here are some easy planting steps for you.

When sowing seed wafers timing is important. Although your seed wafers may be planted anytime and in any condition, please consider the following suggestions, especially when planting in a garden. We recommend that you check for your last frost date and plant after this has passed.

Sow in the fall or early winter- for best results. If you missed the season don’t despair, you can sow them any time and they will sprout when germination is triggered naturally, perhaps the following year. Perennials require “wintering” to properly flower. Annuals are added to the product so that the celebration of love seeding life might begin soon after the planting!

Choose a spot that gets 6 or more hours of direct sun a day. If you are sowing in your own yard or garden then prepare your soil by clearing the area of all existing growth. Simply dig up everything that is growing, turn the soil and rake the area flat.

We recommend placing the seed wafer onto the soil, but DO NOT bury them. If you are disbursing them in places that you are unable to prepare, you do not have to prepare the area beforehand. The wafer provides the soil to keep the seeds and seedlings safe and to begin germination which usually occurs within 7 to 14 days, possibly up to 20 days. The matrix surrounding the seed will eventually meld in with the earth around it.  Perennial flowers will germinate and become seedlings, but will not flower until the they have "wintered".  When the germination process begins the seedlings will look similar to weeds, please don't pick them.

If you are sowing in your own yard or garden, water to keep the soil moist, but do not soak. You should do this until the seedlings are about 4-6" tall. After that, the seedlings will survive on natural rains. If you are experiencing very dry weather, water more often. If you are disbursing the seed wafers in places that you are unable to water, the natural rains should be enough to moisten them for germination if rains are normal.  Drought prone areas make it more difficult for this to occur so consider germinating them before disbursing for best results.

Tips for Germinating Out of Season

To assist in the germination of the seeds during a dry season or to expedite germination without allowing for nature’s seasonal wintering, try wetting and germinating the seed wafers before planting by taking the following steps:

1. Place the seed wafers between layers of paper towels, placing the towels over and under the wafers on a plate or flat surface. Sprinkle a small amount of water over the top paper towel. The seed wafers will absorb the water from the dampened towel. Let the seed wafers absorb the moisture slowly, so the moisture penetrates evenly and deeply. Over-watering may result in transforming the wafers into a pile of mush.

2. After an hour or so, the seed wafers darken with the absorption of water. Sprinkle some more water on the top layer of towels. The sprinkling of water mimics spring rain and/or snow melt. When each seed ball has absorbed adequate moisture it will appear darker and will have the texture of a grape. The goal is to MOISTEN the wafers, not saturate them. REMEMBER: If you added too much water, you might end up with mush. If so simply allow the wafers to air dry for a day or so. And if they have lost their shape, the wafers may be formed into balls.

3. Place the seed wafers (without the paper towels) in a baggie or sealing container.

4. Place them in the fridge. The mixtures we use in our product generally do best with 2 months of cold-damp stratification. This process mimics nature’s seasonal wintering.

5. Check occasionally and remove and plant any wafers that are visibly growing. After two months, remove any wafers still in the fridge and sow as normal. Don't let them dry out after stratification! Wafers are best sown in a rainy season, or if planted in a garden or container, water regularly.



Product Disclaimers: Cherished Ones uses only the highest quality seeds and nutrient rich soil matrix when customizing your order, however results are not 100% guaranteed for every seed that is included in each wafer. Additionally, we cannot control adverse weather conditions or assume responsibility for non-adherence to planting suggestions or your personal care choices whether grown on the earth or in containers that could result in compromised stratification results. Cherished Ones recommended shelf life for the product before planting is six months to 1 year.  Our products use only a small portion of your loved ones cremation ashes, however please check your local ordinances to see if there are rules or suggestions on planting and disbursing of cremation ashes.  Cherished Ones seed wafer products are not edible, please do not place in any location where they might be mistaken for pet or human treats!