Natural Paws

Local Entrepreneurial Dog Overcomes Eye Loss Using Agility Training

An Arizona dog has had an extraordinary life, with ups, downs, and a new start. Sweet Pea is a Cocker Spaniel with the cushy job of Chief Aromatherapy Officer of Natural Paws, a local Arizona start-up company built for and around Sweet Pea in 2005. She tragically lost an eye to glaucoma in 2010 and began struggling with self-confidence, while her playful puppy attitude began to diminish. That is, until she began what would turn out to be her therapy; Agility For Fun at Villa La Paws, where she will graduate with her first filmed course run on Friday, August 5, 2011 at 11am PST.

Since 2005, Sweet Pea has been making special appearances at local events such as the Phoenix Pet Expo and Tempe Festival of the Arts, greeting attendees, doing tricks for treats, and of course, showing off her paw pads. “She loves coming to events,” says Elyse Horvath, owner of Natural Paws and Sweet Pea’s loving mom, “she’s actually got a dedicated fan base. If we open our booth at the Art Festival and she’s not there, our customers give us a really hard time about it!”

Sweet Pea was diagnosed with a very aggressive case of glaucoma in the summer of 2010, causing her to lose her right eye within a month of diagnosis. After the surgery, Sweet Pea physically felt much better. “You could tell she wasn’t in pain anymore; we felt like we had our Sweet Pea back, even though she was now working with impaired vision..” recalled Horvath. “but we soon realized that she was nervous in social situations…her confidence just wasn’t there.”

After attending the grand opening of Villa La Paws’ agility facility and speaking with agility coach Wendi, Horvath decided that the Agility For Fun class was just what Sweet Pea needed to get her groove back. After the very first class, Sweet Pea was like a puppy again. Her confidence brimmed, she became much more playful at home, and her whole demeanor improved. Sweet Pea fell in love with agility, and is ready to return to “work”, greeting at the Natural Paws tent events as the sweet girl everyone has grown to know and love.

Natural Paws is the company behind the Sweet Pea’s Paws line of natural and organic remedies for dogs’ dry, cracked paw pads and skin ailments. The line has been carefully developed with human-grade botanicals to give dogs the natural elements needed for relief and recovery. Essential oils and herbs provide holistic benefits, neutralizing allergy symptoms, infections, and inflammation, while building skin strength, while providing gentle aromatherapy. Natural Paws ισ dedicated to helping dogs in many ways; directly improving their comfort and well-being through natural products, and giving to dogs in need by donating to local rescue organizations. More information can be found at

Villa La Paws has 2 locations in Phoenix. More information can be found at

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