In honour of Mother’s Day, Poppy’s Picnic has teamed up with our ambassador and soap star, Gemma Oaten, to highlight the special role mothers play not only in human lives, but also how much joy our four-legged friends can bring to pet parents. In this second part of our two part blog series, Gemma talks about her special bond with her Schnoodle, Ruby Tuesday, and how seriously she takes her role as a pet parent:
In the spirit of Mother’s Day (and Pet Mummy’s Day!), it’s amazing to think back to the first time I met my wonderful best friend, Ruby Tuesday who has changed my entire life for the better. She is my priority. Ruby came into my life at a time when I have never felt more lost and lonely and she has saved me over and over again. I was in a very destructive relationship, but because of Ruby I was able to find the strength to leave and not only save myself but save her too.
The Christmas of 2017 was one of the saddest and hardest of my life in recent years, but she was there for me and gave me not only unconditional love, but also a purpose when I felt I had lost myself, and materially had lost everything. She gave me a focus. I had to make this all work because of her. She makes me work smarter, laugh harder, and my heart so much fuller.
Being a single dog mummy isn’t easy at times as it’s just Ruby and I in our little flat, but you find that so many people around you loves dogs too and are willing to help when they can. In London you can take dogs to most places and that’s what I did with Ruby from day one so it makes everything so much easier, she loves the tube and the local pub! I am lucky that in my industry I can take her to meetings and even when I have been doing theatre work. Everyone loves her!
Being a dog Mum for the first time can be a little scary at first but eventually it becomes second nature. Dogs know when you’re in a panic, so being calm and assured is essential. From day one I knew I wanted the best for her, and to be the best version of myself for her. I would talk to other pet parents I knew, watched programmes on dogs and read books. I quickly learnt to trust my own judgement with Ruby. She knew I was in control and felt safe. It was such a beautiful progression for us both.
One of the key moments of our bond growing was when I started to feed her Poppy’s Picnic, a biologically appropriate fresh, raw dog food diet. I had seen Dylan on Dragons’ Den and was so impressed with his passion for dogs and how their diet affects them. I felt a real connection with Dylan as a person too and wanted to know more so I reached out to him. And thus began a really wonderful friendship, all because of our pooches.
Ruby was never a big eater, she used to be on dry food but I found that some days she hardly ate it so I would end up giving her more treats in between. I knew this wasn’t right and it was proving costly! The first time she tried Poppy’s Picnic, it was gone in 10 seconds flat. I couldn’t believe it! I had to get her a slow feeder bowl as she loved it that much. It was so easy with the delivery to freeze the batch and defrost when I needed it. I really enjoy the process of getting her food out and ready to serve because I’m actively giving her something I know is nourishing and equally given with love.
Even after just a couple weeks of her having Poppy’s Picnic, she already seemed calmer and more content. She now has two meals a day, less treats and has more energy when I take her out. She settles more when work from home or take her to rehearsals and the icing on the cake is that her poos are smaller, less smelly! I love that her coat is shinier, she likes a bit of glamour, like me!
I want Ruby in my life for the longest time possible, so I only want to give her the best for her diet. I would never go back to dry food, and neither would she! My parents saw the positive changes in her as well and so decided to try their Poochon puppy, Willow on Poppy’s Picnic. They too saw the difference almost immediately. Poochons are known for the brown tear stains around their eyes and within a few weeks that improved too!
This Mother’s Day, Ruby is with my parents in Hull as unfortunately I have so much work on, but it is only fair that she is with her Grandma and Grandad rather than a dog sitter! I hate being apart from her but I know she is so happy when she has her stay-cations with my parents and gets spoilt rotten with love and affection!
My mum is my best friend, and my other best friend Ruby loves her just as much as I do. It’s priceless. For Mother’s Day I have gotten my mum a beautiful framed picture taken by the brilliant Penelope Malby. I wanted to get her something special and this I know will melt her heart.
When I am reunited with my Ruby in a few weeks that will be my gift as a dog parent. We get so much quality time together at our home in London, every day feels like Pet Mummy’s Day to me! I am so blessed to have her in my life.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the two-legged and four-legged mummies out there!
Click here to read the first part of the blog series and here about Gemma’s special relationship with her mum Marg and her influence on Ruby Tuesday. Click here to shop Poppy’s Picic fresh, raw dog food.