If you have an Instagram account, you’ve no doubt seen the super cute face that belongs to Wyatt the Great Pitty. Sadly, the first few months of Wyatt’s life weren’t ideal. But, when his “Ma” and “Pops” adopted him, that all changed. Wyatt now spends his days surrounded by love, lounging around on lazy Sundays and frolicking in the water when the sun is shining. And he uses his local celebrity status to make a difference in the lives of animals in need. We were honored to have the opportunity to visit with Wyatt and “Ma” (also known as Sophia) at Lady Bird Lake over the weekend. So we asked them a few questions while we had the chance. We went right to the good stuff: FOOD!
Grocery Pup: Why is feeding Wyatt a high quality doggie diet important to you?
Sophia: “A close friend of mine often makes the joke that Wyatt has a better life than her children do. It’s always said in a playful manner but there is something to be said about this. I don’t have “human” children so Wyatt is my child. I’m his mom. And as his mom it is my duty to not only protect him and keep him safe, but to keep him healthy and happy. Just a few months after his dad and I adopted him, Wyatt got very sick and we weren’t certain he was going to pull through. Thank goodness he did, but the cause of his sudden sickness was a result of a treat that we’d given him. Unbeknownst to us, we thought this was something healthy and safe for our pet — it’s a common treat people give their pets — and it almost took Wyatt’s life. That kind of experience will make you move forward with caution and so we are very particular about the food we give him. He doesn’t have food allergies per se, but his tummy has proven to be sensitive to certain things. So as doggie parents, we want to ensure that our child lives a long, healthy and fulfilling life. It’s very important to use to feed him only the best healthy dog food!”
Grocery Pup: How did you hear about Grocery Pup?
Sophia: “As you know, Austin has a very tight-knit animal community. For as big as this city is population-wise, everyone seems to know everyone in the dog world. I love that about Austin. I heard about Grocery Pup from a few pals in the community. Word of mouth is one of the best forms of building brand recognition, so you are doing something right. If my fellow dog-lovers vouched for you, then I had to check it out for myself!”
Grocery Pup: When you shop Grocery Pup, you’re supporting a local Austin business. Does location matter?
Sophia: “For my family personally, location does make a big difference. We are small business owners ourselves and do our best to support fellow business owners within our community. Putting our money back into the Austin economy is of great importance to us. In our opinion, there is no shortage of business for everyone within Austin and if we can be a part of someone else’s success, why wouldn’t we want to help?”
Grocery Pup: This one’s for Wyatt: What’s your favorite Grocery Pup flavor?
Wyatt: “Definitely the Bitchin’ Beef Stew! I’m just a good ol’ Texas boy who loves his beef! When Ma poured the food into my bowl and then forced me to pose for a photo before giving me the okay to eat, I nearly lost my mind. The veggies weren’t too bad either.”
Grocery Pup: What’s your favorite part of being a local celebrity?
Wyatt: “It’s funny that you ask this question. I don’t think of myself as a local celebrity. I just have lots of furrriends in other dogs of Austin. But every once in a while, a stranger will come up to my humans and ask if I’m Wyatt the Great Pitty and it really throws us for a loop. It’s a pretty cool feeling. I’m not going to lie.”
Grocery Pup: You’re often helping to raise awareness of some great pet-related organizations. Do you have any fun events coming up?
Wyatt: “I sure do! I think everyone in Austin pretty much knows my rescue story at this point. I come from a background of abuse and neglect. Luckily, I was saved from that situation at about four or five months old. But as someone who has experienced firsthand just how brutal life can be for pups like me, Ma and I decided to live our lives as best we can to help others in need.
“Last year we founded and organized our very first fundraiser — the #WeAreOneATX Calendars for Charity Fundraiser — where we partnered with local photographer Ruff Adventures to photograph 13 area pups to be featured in a custom calendar that we then sold to raise money for shelter pups. We raised over $2,000 for Dogs Out Loud. This year, the planning of the second Annual #WeAreOneATX Calendars for Charity Fundraiser is in full swing. We have an entirely new cast of dog-models and our theme is VanderPUP Drools, which is a cheeky spin on Bravo’s Reality TV show “Vanderpump Rules.” Ma is a total junkie of the show.
“We’ve partnered once again with Ruff Adventures who took all of the adorable photos for this year’s calendar and on December 9th we’re having a kickoff party to reveal the calendar at Lustre Pearl East. You can pre-order your calendars now, and the purchase of your calendar will enter you into our raffle where we’ll be giving away a ton of really great gifts for your pups, including a Grocery Pup sample box! You’ll also receive a complimentary drink ticket to use during the event. They’ll be photos with Santa and local vendors to do some holiday shopping. It’s going to be a great event. Come on out in your sassiest cocktail attire and help support the cause! This year, the money raised will benefit an organization called Bailing Out Benji. They are a national non-profit with a chapter here in Austin, and their mission is to end puppy mills! You can definitely learn more about the event itself by visiting the event page on Facebook: VanderPUP Drools – 2nd Annual #WeAreOneATX Calendars for Charity Fundraiser.”
Thank you, Wyatt and Sophia. We can’t wait to see you at the #WeAreOneATX event!