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Sispatches from Vermont: "For Andrew, Love Mom"

Hi, I'm Marie, better known as "Andrew's sister" around here.  I think you can probably imagine why. Andrew Himself calls me Sis or Sissef, which was most certainly his response to my calling him Brosef. It's just the two of us siblings in our family, and I'm nearly ten years older than him, although I certainly don't act like it most of the time. I've also never blogged before, but if you ask my mother, I have plenty to say, so I'm going to take the opportunity to share a little bit of my ramblings on a monthly (maybe?) basis. I'm calling it "Sispatches from Vermont." (GET IT?! Like DISpatches, except... okay you get it.)

This is a story about the early origins of Andy's Dandys and a mother's love for her son.

Woman with glasses and an apron looking down and smiling against brick background

Years ago my mom, Lucie, came to the family with this crazy idea.

"You know how Andrew always loves testing out recipes with me in the kitchen?"


"And you know how he adores Rosie?"


"Well... what if we started a dog treat company?!" 


In fact, I think we all probably stared blankly at her for a good ten seconds and then went about our business doing whatever we'd been doing prior. A dog treat company? It's true that Andrew loved testing out recipes with her in the kitchen. They'd gone on several baking kicks that involved very fancy and delicious cupcakes, to the gustatory delight of everyone in the family. And it's true that Rosie, our dog at the time, seemed to view Andrew as her master more than anyone else in the family. He gave her tons of love and attention, and well, we all know how dogs are. But: a dog treat company? Really? Still, my mother was determined. BOY was she determined. And a determined mother is a force to be reckoned with; I have come to understand this since having two children of my own.

In a matter of weeks, she and Andrew had turned our family's home kitchen into a full time dog biscuit recipe laboratory. It constantly smelled of baking dog biscuits. Dog biscuit ingredients were stacked in bins in her sewing room, which neighbored the kitchen, and which had been completely overtaken by the endeavor as well. Bins stacked high with dry ingredients on one side of the room, more bins stacked high with baked treats on the other side of the room. My poor father would occasionally venture in there and attempt to maneuver his way to the closet to retrieve wrapping paper or some other odds and ends, only to return moments later emptyhanded having abandoned his mission due to the "barricade of dog biscuits."  Rosie, on the other hand, was ecstatic.

A lot has happened between those early days and the present moment, but that's a story for another day. Today's story is about vision and steadfast resolve. It all sounds funny now looking back, but as I've grown into an adult and a mother myself, I recognize that fierce determination to build something good for your children. For my mother, it was beyond determination, it was a truth she held above all else: she was going to build this business for Andrew. That was what. was. going. to. happen. A place where, just maybe, he would thrive, hold a job doing something he loved, where he'd be supported by natural supports built into the structure of the business - people who knew him, an environment he could successfully navigate on his own.  She didn't know what the future would hold for him - how can any parent know, really?  But she was going to make sure there was at least one good opportunity available, should he choose to take it. And take it he did.

It all seems to have worked out pretty well.