The Whole Story
  • Story
  • Mission

The whole story started small … with bright blue eyes, silvery-grey fur, and a personality that could fill a dog park.

“Birdie” joined Wholesome Hound co-founder Molly Havig in 1999 in Atlanta, where Molly was working as an attorney. Birdie was an energetic Weimaraner, and Molly was an exhausted newbie lawyer, but they quickly became inseparable, living together for almost fifteen years in Atlanta, Tampa, and Washington, DC (they even lived for a short time on a boat on the Potomac River).

One of Birdie’s favorite places, however, was Naples, Florida, where she got to visit her grandma Jeannette and Uncle Marc (a local veterinary surgeon) and laze around the pool (where we learned that dogs need sunscreen too!).

During those long days (and nights and weekends) sitting behind a desk in her law office, Molly fantasized about getting out of the law and doing something she loved. Having grown up in Naples, Molly knew that she wanted to get back to the beach, but she didn’t want to continue to practice law.

After fifteen years and much soul searching, Molly decided to “retire” from the law and move back to Naples. Unfortunately, Birdie had passed away by then, but Birdie’s long, healthy and joy-filled life was the inspiration for the Wholesome Hound.

Wholesome Hound co-founder Stephanie Zaiser had her own inspiration: a sweet and lovable Golden Retriever named Winston, who liked to escape through any open door.

“Winnie” was so human that he actually knew he was a dog.

Steph’s brother and sister-in-law brought Winnie home to her in 1996,  just before she left for Bloomington, Indiana to begin a master’s program in journalism. Like Birdie, Winnie was Steph’s constant companion for almost thirteen years in Bloomington and, later, Boston.

Steph also grew up in Naples and both Steph and Molly went to Lake Park, Gulfview, and Naples High.

Inspired by two very special dogs, Molly and Steph opened Wholesome Hound in early 2015.

Wholesome Hound sets the standard of excellence for independent dog and cat food and supplies retailers.

We care about the members of the community we serve as much as we care about the products we sell to them.

We never knowingly sell a product that has not been made without strict adherence to the highest standards of quality and ethics.

Putting our customers first, providing consistently outstanding and responsive service, and doing whatever we can to prolong the healthy life of our customers’ beloved canine and feline companions informs every business decision we make.