Mel and her floofs
Who is the person behind all the ‘floof’? Tell us about yourself, where you are from, what you are interested in and how you came to be the lady behind Puddin’s Pantry?
Oh gosh…it can all just be about the dogs, right? Lol
I’m from downtown Wollongong, NSW. I enjoy cooking and creating different things with foods which has definitely been an influence for Puddin’s Pantry. I like the challenge of creating a fresh food, dog friendly version of what we would eat. It gives me a creative outlet and I find it quite therapeutic. Hopefully it also inspires others to add some fresh food to their pooch’s bowls
What dogs do you currently have? Tell us about their age, breed and some of their quirks?
I have three Belgian Shepherds.
Puddin who is 11 years young and has been the love of my life and my once in a lifetime guy since he stole my heart when he was a few days old. He has taken me on the most wonderful journey with lots of adventures together from confirmation showing where he is a Supreme Champion and multiple Best in Show winner to some herding, agility, rally and endurance test fun along with TV and advertising work. One of our most loved past times though is undertaking therapy work with children who have various challenges to help them live their best lives. Puddin’s funniest quirk is him howling like a wolf when we have morning cuddles and I tell him how much I love him <3 …..no sleeping in for my neighbours lol
Then there is Matisse…my 4 year old fun loving, life is a party, never growing up ‘Peter Pan’……..his whole life is quirky! Lol
What can I say about my Tisse Pops….he is the smartest guy who has helped me become more creative and think well outside the box in my training……cause who likes plain old boxes anyways! Lol. He lights up every room he walks in to with his infectious happiness and super expressive face and subsequent funny facials he pulls…..I often joke that we always know exactly what Tisse is thinking as it is written all over his face! lol. His favourite past time is to give the biggest bears hugs where he will actually pull you in with his paws and give you the best ear clean you have ever had….oh and if you have a ponytail in he will also happily pull that out for you! Followed very closely by helping to carry in the grocery shopping from the car!
Now there is also a Ravel puppy! He is 13 weeks old and channels the inner cheekiness of all the puppies in the world and presents it to me every day! Lol
He loves pickled gherkins, belly scratches, loooooottttttts of kisses……and taking his blanky to his teddies and tucking them in…..but don’t let that sweetness fool you! lol
There are different types of ‘Belgian Shepherds’, what attracted you to the Tervuerens and now a Groenendael?
The Belgian Shepherd Dog is a unique breed with four varieties distinguished by coat type, length and colour. These are: Groenendael (long back coat), Tervueren (long fawn coat), Laekenois (fawn rough/tousled coat) and Malinois (fawn short coat).
The Belgian Shepherd is a herding dog, but are now also involved in many facets of the dog world, including police work, rescue work, obedience, agility and showing, while also making a wonderful companion for all the family.
For me, my first foray in to Belgian Shepherds was actually with a rescue Groenendael named Bear. He won me over in no time and the rest is history! My second Belgian was also a Groen, named Koda. Both Bear and Koda are now passed. Then came Puddin, Matisse and now little Ravel.
Do they vary much in personality?
While there are definitely common personality traits across the varieties, like how they all lean in for a hip scratch or push their nose under your arm for a cuddle, they all still have their own personalities that shine through.
Where did ‘Puddin’s Pantry’ originate from, what inspired you to make such incredible dishes?
It all started as a bit of a fun way to encourage people to consider adding a bit of fresh food to their dog’s diet. I like being creative with food and find it a good stress reliever too and like the challenge of creating things that look like they would be served in a 5 star restaurant! Lol….If you ask Puddin, that’s is exactly how it should be!
Do you participate in any dog sports? If so, what kinds?
Over the years we have participated in a range of things – flyball, obedience, agility, herding, noseworks, rally-o, tricks and confirmation showing. With restrictions easing in NSW, we are looking forward to getting back to rally, tricks and showing adventures!
What does a regular day look like for you and your dogs?
Well….that depends on which pooch I am speaking for! Lol
Puddin – Good morning Mumma, how lucky you are to have yet another day in my awesome presence! Since you are awake, you may now get my yummy fresh food breakfast ready…..and then you may wipe my face to ensure there are no crumbs (cause his Royal Highness can’t be seen with crumbs on his face lol)….then you may give me a brush and condition my coat……then you may drive my ‘Puddin mobile’ (car) and take me to the park for a fossick and sniffari…….then you may wipe my feet and get me a drink. Then you may fluff my pillow ready for my nap…and it’s a bit warm today so can you please put the air conditioner and fan on, thanks!
I’m awake from my nap now….you best get doing my stretches and range of motion exercises in prep for my conditioning exercises……..now you may get me another drinky please…oh and don’t forget to re-fluff my pillow ready for my afternoon nap……and once you have done that you can then give me my massage…..oh, and don’t forget to start getting my dinner ready! As a mature gentleman, I like my dinner at 5pm on the dot please! Then we can just chill and snuggle watching some tv and I will give you that endearing, I love you soooooo much look to say thanks! (and to guarantee it all happens again tomorrow!).
Matisse – GOOOOOOD MORNING MUMMA!!!!!! Isn’t it a great day to be alive! Let’s go on some adventures mumma! We can go for a bushwalk, then do some training, then do some conditioning exercises, then do a sniffari in the backyard, then I can help you carry in the shopping, then I will pass you the washing to hang out and pick up any pegs you drop, then we can play tug, then I can have a puzzle toy…..then I will have a power nap and then I am available for whatever you need mumma! Wooo we got this!
Ravel – Hey Mumma, so I had this dream that I ignored the great toys you got me and decided to chew on the coffee table instead while you weren’t looking for two seconds…..
Oh wait! What do you mean that wasn’t a dream??????
Soooo ummmm what about my other dream where daddy left his shoe on the ground and being the helpful little dude I am, I retrieved it for him…but somehow the strap got ‘broken’ in my efforts???
GASP ~~ No! You say that wasn’t a dream either?????
Tell us about little Ravel, is he really the devil reincarnated?
Hahahaha he can be!!! He is so cheeky and very much goes by the beat of his own drum. We are having fun getting to know each other and me learning what makes him tick and then bringing this in to our training sessions.
His name for the first few weeks changed from Ravel to ‘No’ or ‘Oh dear’ as he looked at you to make sure you were watching while he walked towards any said object he should not be chewing….past all the subjects he should be chewing like fun toys etc…to chew on the things he should not be chewing on! Little ratbag! Lol.
I am looking forward to our journey together with lots of fun adventures!
Are your dogs on Antinol?
How long have they been on Antinol?
Since it was first available. We trialled it with The Balanced Canine Sydney and were super pleased with the results and have remained on it since. All three of my boys take it!
In addition to the maturing gracefully support for Puddin, they all take it for it’s amazing range of benefits including immunologic support, brain function, cellular health and inflammation support.
Have you noticed any changes or benefits from Antinol?
Yes absolutely. Particularly for my Puddin. It definitely helps to support him mature gracefully and lessen the impacts of some of those things like arthritis that can present in our mature pooches.
Sam and the team at Antinol have always been amazing and are so passionate about helping our dogs live their best lives!
What are your goals with your dogs in the future?
To keep them as happy and healthy as I can and living their best lives. We are looking forward to getting back to some of things we really enjoy with showing and competing.