In all the years I’ve been involved in the pet world, I have heard about a huge event called the Global Pet Expo. I had never made a point of going until this year – when curiosity got the better of me and I decided to make the trek from Vermont down to Orlando, Florida and the convention center where the Pet Expo is held every year. Several of the companies that support my educational efforts and sponsor my website have booths so I knew it would be a chance not only to see “what’s new” in the pet world, but to meet the people behind the email addresses I work with all year long!
I soon discovered just how astoundingly huge the Orlando convention center is – the length and breadth of many football fields, I would wager – and of course the booths I wanted to see seemed to be at wickedly far ends of the enormous space, so I was zigzagging like a ball in a pinball machine to visit them all! It was hard not be jealous of people who had somehow procured a Segue or electric cart to ferry themselves hither and yon.
I had good fun at the booth for Precious Cat litter – which is a nice family-owned company that makes behind Cat Attract and other special litters and is an underwriter of my NPR radio show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, too!). They had procured copies of my book THE CAT BIBLE for me to sign and give away as gifts to convention-goers. It was sort of funny the way people said, “No!” when they strolled by and I asked if they were cat lovers – but then their reaction changed when I said that was a shame because they could have had a free copy of THE CAT BIBLE!
But the nicest part of my visit to the Expo was being able to hang out at the HALO booth and get to meet some of the folks who develop new products and bring them to the world. These folks seemed so proud of the way Halo makes food – with a consciousness of the origin of ingredients and a commitment to never lower their standards – in a world where I am sure compromises are made on an hourly basis by some pet food companies looking for a competitive edge or a way to lower prices while keeping profit margins high.
Not so with Halo – there is a high bar they have set for themselves and strive to respect – from the original concept of the recipe for the food, through Ellen Degeneres’ principles about nutrition and wellness – right down to the executives and sales team who carry out that mission in every bag and can. It was gratifying to meet the HALO team, people who I saw proudly interacting with the pet storeowners who came by the booth to learn more about the food and talk about their customers’ enthusiasm for it.
Being at an enormous Expo composed of thousands of individual companies – many of which were pet treats and foods booths – it felt great to be allied with a company that is distinguished by a belief that you are what you eat, and your pets deserve food that has quality ingredients, no rendered products – no meat meal – in it. And a team of people out in the field who clearly share pride in that decision. It made me happy to be going home to doggies whose only kibble is HALO in the various flavors of Spot’s Stew.