What is Purveyor Spotlight?
The Purveyor Spotlight features real people who are making a difference in the lives of our pets.
At Brindles, we source premium quality treats, toys, and accessories. We are 100% dedicated to partnering with a select group of independent purveyors, artisans and small businesses that share in our philosophy. Many of the purveyors we spotlight are "up and coming" - they don't fit on the shelves of some big box retailers. Like us, they cater to discerning and knowledgeable pet parents who want the very best for their dogs.
Each Spotlight includes a featured purveyor interviewed by Mr. Brindles, the canine connoisseur for the modern dog.
Laughing Paw Farm
Many of our fans know the Brindles team can often be spied traveling north of the city to their beloved Hudson Valley, at the center of New York’s locavore movement.
While exploring the fairs, festivals and farmers markets that attract an increasing number of urbanites upstate in search of green pastures, we met Patricia McGrath of Laughing Paw Farm.
The story behind her treats and the love she puts into them each day fits perfectly with our philosophy at Brindles. That is why we are delighted to feature Laughing Paw Farm in our inaugural Purveyor Spotlight.
A micro-farm located in the humble hamlet of Wassaic, Laughing Paw Farm is at the heart of the Hudson Valley in Dutchess County, New York. Patricia, a country girl, born and raised, left New York City several years ago in favor of a small bit of acreage - - enough for a few hens and her dogs. Today, they are the inspiration behind Laughing Paw Farm’s PB Wheaty and Yam Oaty dog treats.
Like you, Laughing Paw Farm believes that what you choose to feed your canine companions should be as wholesome and nutritious as what you choose to feed yourself. These human-grade treats are handcrafted in small batches using locally-sourced ingredients produced through sustainable agricultural practices.
An Interview with Patricia McGrath,
Laughing Paw Farm
Q. Thanks for stepping into the spotlight today, Patricia. Tell us more about yourself - you are a country girl, turned city girl, that turned country again - did I get that right?
Yes, you've got it! It's hard to keep a girl in the city once she's been down on the farm, Mr. Brindles.
I spent a good portion of my career in New York City though. As an Animal Curator for the Wildlife Conservation Society, I looked after the nutrition, training, and enrichment programs for the animals in my care. I also have a passion for teaching and taught classes in Animal Behavior and Conservation for the master's degree program at Hunter College and, more recently, in the Psychology Department at Vassar [College].
I hold a PhD in Animal Behavior as well as an undergrad degree in Farm Management.
Q. You must have had some lucky animals in your care over the years. And I think I know of a few more. Tell us about Zeus. And Aengus, and Boudica, and Thor, and Brutus...
Yes, I’ve been rescued by five dogs over these past several years! And, each one has taught me something special. Aengus & Boudica are my proud American Shelter Dogs. Thor, a Dogo Argentino who just happens to be deaf, and Brutus, a Cane Corso, are more recent additions to our family. My beloved Zeus, a Dogue de Bordeaux, also a rescue, passed away in 2012. He was the inspiration to begin Laughing Paw Farm and to make my own treats.
Q. Zeus must have been one paw-some fellow. Fast forward, you now have two signature flavors, PB Wheaty and Yam Oaty. How is a pup to choose?
In my PB Wheaty treats, we use organic flour from Farmer Ground in Trumansburg, NY and Bob's Red Mill. We also love Once Again Organic Peanut Butter - they're members of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York - - just like us at Laughing Paw Farm.
Now, my Yam Oaty recipe starts with using organic sweet potatoes, of course! And where better to get apples than right here in upstate NY? We are so lucky to have these ingredients locally.
What you won't find in our ingredient list are preservatives, chemicals, or artificial ingredients of any kind. Ever. We promise.
Q. Tell me, how did you begin sourcing the ingredients for these recipes?
It's quite simple. All of the ingredients can be counted on your fingertips. That was very important to me. And, we list our sources directly on our website so you can know everything that goes into our treats.
Some of my favorite ingredients come directly from my farm, like the eggs from our small flock of naturally-raised, free-range Ameraucana hens. Yes, they're the ones that lay the eggs with the beautiful blue and olive colored shells. Makes us happy just looking at them and, oh, so tasty!
Q. Everything is local and so fresh. How do your treats hold up on the shelf and in shipping?
Thanks for asking, that’s a really great question. Our treats are handmade in small batches - - we bake to order, especially for Brindles. That means that we only offer them in New York right now.
Don’t forget - our treats contain no preservatives. They should keep just fine in the original packaging right on your countertop for 30 days (but be sure to hide them where only humans can reach!).
Q. So, what is next for you at Laughing Paw?
You know, our flock of beautiful Cayuga ducks (a NY breed of course) have just started laying and I'm experimenting with a new duck-egg based recipe.
And, I always have my eye on new shapes for our treats. There are some really fun cookie cutters by Hammer Song (American made, of course) that may just make their way into my kitchen for the holiday season.
We are excited to be partnering with Brindles, and sticking to what we do best - - local, handmade treats with human-grade ingredients...I’d guess I’d say, “Stay tuned, Mr. Brindles!”