Get to know Marjon Tondravi, founder of Give A Dog A Bone, and learn about her efforts in providing a variety of charitable organizations with funds and support.
Pepi: Marjon welcome and thanks for chatting with me. You bring joy to pals all over the world, so please share with us a little about yourself.
Marjon: Thanks Pepi. My husband Joe and I, our four dogs and two cats live in Boston, USA and our passion is saving animals in need, but I also own the dog cookie parlour: Give A Dog A Bone.
Pepi: While I’m sampling your cookies, please tell us something about your cookie treat project.
Marjon: I started baking cookies for my own dogs and realised I could branch out into baking cookies on a big scale while donating 100% of my profits to my favourite shelters. All ingredients are healthy for dogs, baked fresh, low calorie but still delicious and perfect for dogs with stomach problems or on strict diets. And picky eaters love our cookies.
Pepi: *crunch, crunch, crunch* These cookies are amazing! Let’s come back to talking more about your cookies in a minute. Why do you work so hard?
Marjon: Last December my husband and I volunteered at Soi Dog Foundation, Thailand where we learned about the dog meat trade (DMT) for the first time. We were so upset to learn most of them were stolen pets who still had their collars on and loved people. While we were there, out of 400 dogs, one DMT survivor ran to the fence and barked at me non-stop, with a huge smile, until I responded. I couldn’t get him out of my mind.
Pepi: I think he did voodoo on your heart. It’s what we do when we recognise our forever family.
Marjon: After we arrived back in Boston my husband agreed we should bring the little DMT dog survivor to our house to live. We named him Yogi.
Pepi: I believe Yogi had been on ‘The 1,000 Dog Truck’ that crosses the Mekong River for Vietnam every night of the week, carrying 1,000 (mostly stolen) dogs. What happened next?
Marjon: When people fly to America or the UK from Thailand, they can arrange to have a rescued Soi-Dog dog accompany them as cargo; this is what happened with Yogi and as soon as he arrived from Thailand, he recognised me immediately. Not long after, we saw a photo of Lilly and knew we had to save her too. Lilly was also on one of the 1,000 dog trucks headed to Vietnam, but she was close to death when taken off the truck. Even though we knew she was the girl for us, it took months for her to be healthy enough to survive the air travel, but she did and we love her dearly. She was worth waiting for.
Pepi: Is there anything about dog-meat-trade dogs you would like to say?
Marjon: DMT dogs make excellent pets because they were already pets before they were stolen and are their desperate for human company. My dogs are wondeful pets! Of the survivors, many have suffered badly and need medical help. I want everyone to know dog-meat-trade dogs are not damaged dogs; they are stolen pets who need help.
There are two ways to import your dog: either wait for a flight volunteer who is flying in to your area or pay to fly your dog as cargo. Using a flight volunteer is the cheapest way. Using my cookie money, I’ve begun sponsoring flights for DMT dogs to come to America, to be fostered /adopted. Please contact me if you are interested in learning more.
Pepi: What a wonderful gift you are giving to both dogs and people. Did it take long for your DMT dogs to settle in as pets?
Marjon: Yogi settled in right away and loves everyone but Lilly had almost died so we we knew we had to be patient for her healing. She’s rebuilding her trust in people and no longer hides when people come to the house and both of them LOVE toys.
Pepi: Are you involved with any American animal rescue shelters?
Marjon: Yes, the Attleboro Shelters in my town, in MA. They work on very little funding and do a great job so I support them by setting up cookie stands at all their events and donating 100% of the profits to their shelter.
Pepi: What are your most popular cookies and do you have them for cats too?
Marjon: Best sellers are Banana Biscotti, Peanut Butter and Oatmeal, Cheesy Garlic, Cinnamon Buns and Pumpkin Peanut Butter. My cat menu is almost finalised and will be available very shortly.
Pepi: Can pals order Cookie Baskets for gifts?
Marjon: Yes, I’ve lots of gift ideas including birthday gifts for dogs! I also take custom orders and special orders for holiday seasons. Cookies are normally $6 for small items, $12 for small baskets or boxes and $15 to $20 for gift baskets. If people only want treats, it’s $12 per pound. I live in America, but for pals living in Australia or Europe, we have special bakers in the area to fill those orders. It’s now a global project that brings joy to dogs worldwide.
Pepi: Even if pals don’t want to adopt a DMT dog, I hope they think about ordering dog treats from you because 100% of the profits go to help DMT dogs.
Pepi: Thank you so much Marjon, for sharing your inspiring story with us.
For further information about Soi Dog, contact email@example.com is Soi Dog Foundation‘s adoption coordinator and she can help you find the perfect dog for you. SDF will take care of all the paperwork and flight arrangements. USA and Canada have no quarantine periods but Europe has a three-month quarantine. Australia (and possibly New Zealand) does not allow entry for DMT dogs at all.