At 27 years old, I came to the realisation that my love of animals could be played out in my working life and I began working to protect the rare and endangered animals of the world at the Fauna and Flora Preservation Society in London. I remember the day I held a baby pipistrelle bat in the palm of my hand, and shook the hand of Sir David Attenborough, while I served this great organisation - who still live on today under the name of Fauna and Flora International. When they moved to Cambridge I completed my four years study to be a Naturopathic Nutritionist, however after returning to NZ with my two daughters, I found myself a few years later uttering these words to an oncologist “Don’t be silly! Of course I haven’t got cancer, I’m a naturopathic nutritionist! I couldn’t have lived a healthier life!” So here I was, the girl who had lived life on full speed, being forced to stop, and smell those flowers. As part of my recovery after the initial operation and subsequent radiotherapy Mike and I bought an amazing but run-down property in the beautiful valley of Makarau. It didn’t take us long to fill it with animals, following the footsteps of our cat who had adopted us two summers earlier. When five years later I faced hospitalisation again with a broken lower jaw, from disintegration due to radiation treatment I announced I needed a project.
Mike Pattison's SnapShot
I was blessed with a childhood on a commercial garden in rural NZ. The air was fresh, the food organic and the work was hard. It’s only in recent years I realised just how good we had it. I went on to become an engineer. Not a university graduate, but a proper Engineer. Working iron, with hands and tools, to repair and build things for both industrial and domestic use. Engineering is a great trade. It forces you to have an enquiring mind, it teaches logic and ultimately it imparts confidence that you can take whats bad and make it good.
Six hours of emergency surgery for Crohn's in my 20's saved my life and each subsequent visit to the operating theatre forced me to contemplate the fleeting nature of life, knowing there was a pretty good chance I wouldn’t come out alive. Adversity didn’t teach me to be bitter, it taught me to be grateful.
Along with Maria we have re-engineered our lives to allow us both to engage again with the natural world we love. We have studied organics, bio-dynamics, permaculture and biological farming practices and armed with this knowledge, have developed a small range of completely natural solutions containing billions of the beneficial micro-organisms which are found naturally in our soil and water. Our probiotic solutions have proven to be incredibly effective remedies for bacterial and fungal diseases which cause distress and suffering to the domesticated animals we all care so much about.
It is our great pleasure to dedicate the next part of our lives to making these remedies available to all those who have tried in vain to alleviate the suffering of their pets.