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For the love — and health — of dogs

Canine Caviar, which provides nutritious food for pets, will host fundraiser Saturday in Huntington Beach.

August 19, 2013|By Rhea Mahbubani
  • Posh Pooch Inc. owner Melesssa Austin and Canine Caviar co-owner Gary Ward at Posh Pooch Inc. in Huntington Beach on Monday. Posh Pooch Inc. and Canine Caviar will collaborate Saturday to host the first Aloha Pawmehana red carpet fundraiser to help support the Cancer Research Foundation. Visitors are encouraged to bring their pets dressed in Hawaiian attire.
Posh Pooch Inc. owner Melesssa Austin and Canine Caviar… (KEVIN CHANG, HB…)

John Littlefield feared for the life of his pet, Miss Coco.

The 5-year-old Maltese Shih-Tzu seemed to be allergic to everything and itched — seemingly nonstop.

Her condition prompted Littlefield, co-host and designer on ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," to begin researching healthy food options.

Enter Canine Caviar.

According to the product's website, this is the only alkaline-based dog food in the United States, meaning it increases the oxygen level in the blood and keeps at bay poor digestion and diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

"If humans should have a proper pH balance in their food, why not animals?" said Littlefield, who owns a rescued mutt, Max.

The Burbank resident plans to demonstrate his support for Canine Caviar by attending the group's first annual Aloha PAWmehana in Orange County from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday. Organized in collaboration with Posh Pooch Inc., a specialty retail and pet grooming store in Huntington Beach, this event aims to raise awareness and benefit the Canine Caviar Cancer Research Fund (CCCRF).

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Max and Miss Coco, guests at a similar event in Highland earlier this year, will be there, Littlefield promised.

Canine Caviar co-owner Gary Ward, of Norco, has been a longtime dog owner. It was Moguls, the pet of Ward's brother-in-law and business partner, Jeff Baker, who crystallized the creation of their company in 1998.

"Moguls was receiving cortisone shots every three weeks in the summer to combat allergies," Ward, 43, said. "His vet had told the family that he might live to be 7 or 8 years old. But his organs were beginning to shut down, so they were also asked to think about putting him to sleep."

The Great Dane lived for 17 years, Ward exclaimed, all because of Baker's determination.

While working at a German pharmaceutical company, Baker was part of a team tasked with creating flea medication. Toward this end, pet foods were broken down and their ingredients inspected.

Realizing that dogs were being fed low-quality fare, Baker came up with his own recipe — and it worked. This "aha" moment eventually paved the way for Canine Caviar, which, as a lifestyle choice, boosts the immune systems of Fidos everywhere, Ward said.

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