Root beer and Rescue

Posted by Pia

Hello my animal-loving friends!

Remember the post where I said that pet adoption is good parenting? How it is a great way to teach kids pro-social values such as the importance of making a contribution to the greater good? Well, this week I have a great story to illustrate just that. It involves a rescued black lab-pit bull mix called Margo, root beer, science class, and a seven-year-old boy named Oscar.

Oscar and Margo

Oscar and Margo

As part of a science fair project in the spring of 2008, Oscar and his dad, Tim, were exploring how yeast and sugar combine to create carbonation. The father-son activity brought back fond memories for Tim: As a child, he and his grandfather made homemade root beer together from the very same ingredients. So naturally Tim suggested making root beer. Oscar loved the idea, and thus em-"barked" upon what would soon become a life-saving project.

Proud of the results, Oscar decided to name the root beer after the dog he was equally proud of, who stood by his side during his hard work. And so Margo's Bark Root Beer was born.

The Family

The Youd Family

Oscar served up his homegrown concoction at his school science fair, where a score of people suggested he market this new taste treat. Following a family meeting, the Youds decided not only to make a go of it, but also to contribute 100% of the profits to help dogs in shelters -- one of this family's passions. The new company's motto? "Root beer for people. Profits for dogs."

"My wife and I wanted it to be a good family experience and build on something Oscar was enthusiastic about, which was our family dog, Margo," Tim told me. An "only dog" at the time, Margo has since been joined by two shelter dogs (Bella and Harry Potter), three rescued cats (Oreo, Snickers and Bosco) and a rescued bunny named Citrus, in addition to her five human siblings. (I actually forgot to ask the names of the human family members!) Having a rapidly growing animal family is nothing new to Tim, who grew up with beloved shelter-dog siblings of his own.

Only months after their idea was hatched, Oscar's brew can be found in several stores, including Whole Foods locations in four states!

The glowing father enjoys watching the process unfold, "Oscar wants to be an inventor. He now sees that he can make something happen. He can see an idea through -- and with a little thinking, make a dream in to a constructive reality." Tim's wish to give Oscar an unforgettable experience -- one he might one day tell his own kids about -- seems to have come true as well.

It all gives me chills! I'm not quite sure who to thank most for that: the seven-year-old who loves his dog enough to honor her with a beverage in her name, the parents who raised a kid to see the inherent value in that dog -- enough to want help other like him -- or the dog who's zest for life and endurance through lonely times without a home taught a whole family the value of helping others.

Truth be told, I am not a great cook, but I'm learning that combining simple ingredients like cane sugar and yeast can create something much greater than the sum of its parts. I suspect the addition of a father's love, multi-generational concern for our furry friends and the belief in one's ability to make a difference were key ingredients in this recipe for a job well done!

In Kinship,

Dr. Pia Salk

PS: Does anyone have a similar heartwarming adoption related story they wish to share? We'd love to hear about it!

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Chelsea is a domestic shorthair from Molly's Mutts & Meows in Los Angeles, one of the shelters Margo's Bark supports.

1 Chelsea is a domestic shorthair from Molly's Mutts & Meows in Los Angeles, one of the shelters Margo's Bark supports.

Harry from Forest Hills, New York, is a black lab mix like Margo.

2 Harry from Forest Hills, New York, is a black lab mix like Margo.

Lil Star is a Chihuahua from Animal Advocates Allliance in Los Angeles, one of the shelters Margo's Bark supports.

3 Lil Star is a Chihuahua from Animal Advocates Allliance in Los Angeles, one of the shelters Margo's Bark supports.

Oliver Stone  is a domestic shorthair from Molly's Mutts & Meows in Los Angeles, one of the shelters Margo's Bark supports.

4 Oliver Stone is a domestic shorthair from Molly's Mutts & Meows in Los Angeles, one of the shelters Margo's Bark supports.

Rhett  from Staten Island, New York, is a black lab mix like Margo.

5 Rhett from Staten Island, New York, is a black lab mix like Margo.

Star  from Staten Island, New York, is a black lab mix like Margo.

6 Star from Staten Island, New York, is a black lab mix like Margo.

Toby from Staten Island, New York, is a black lab mix like Margo.

7 Toby from Staten Island, New York, is a black lab mix like Margo.

Comments (10)

  • What a fabulous achievement Oscar. I love to hear stories like this. Children & animals a powerful loving combination.
    I hope all these shelter companions find good and loving homes.
    They are so cute and need good homes.

    Bravo Oscar.

    Until next time,

    Mrs. Bosley Chow Chow

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    What a lucky dog he is having a little boy to play with. I don’t have any little boys to play with; just a few of my mommy and daddy’s friends little boys. I really do have fun teaching them things like how to use the doggy door in the kitchen. I only had to go in and out four times before he caught on and tried it also. Two year olds are wonderful. If he were around here more often, I could really teach him more things. Almost time for daddy’s walk. Go to run for now.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • what an amazing story of an incredible boy, dog and product...I am so impressed with the desire of this boys heart, and what a great website...I wish Oscar, Margo and the Root Beer the best of success.
    Dr. Pia although my feral cat named Kitty was not adopted from an agency, her life was saved from certain death...her story here
    http://www.squidoo.com/feral_cat

  • Hello Ladies,Dr. Salk and Oscar, our new friend,
    Well Oscar, you and your Dad and Margo are the up and coming new Paul Newman company. You are the same thing, except they donate to alot of people charities and you are donating to animal charities. You are all to be commended and soon I bet you will have an entire product line, like Paul Newman and Nell. My Mom donates to no-kill animal shelters with 100% of her profits from dog biscuits she bakes. She just sells at a craft show, but every little bit helps. Oscar, you and Margo should be on the Jay Leno Show. That would get alot of business. Oscar and Margo and your family, you should all be very proud of yourselves. My Mom is going to look for the Root Beer at our local Whole Foods in Colorado, and if they don't carry it, we are going to ask them to get it in. What a happy day hearing this story.
    Love & licks,
    Basil

  • Hello Oscar and Margo: Oscar, you are such a very smart young man. How great to name your root beer after Margo. Gosh, I wish mom would name something to eat after me. I better ask her real soon. Maybe tonight! Hey Oscar, want to play in my fenced-in back yard?? We could chase each other and have such a grrrrreat time. Then momma could bring us some snacks and some root beer, but I would have to just drink water. Waaaahhhhhh!

    It's going to rain today, so I guess I'll go have a late morning nap. See ya later. By the way, how are you doing Cindy and Mandy??? Keep dancing. Love Gracyn.

  • Hello Friends,

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. Oscar, you are a true inventor, a role model, a very kind and loving human being, and a boy with a very bright future ahead. Margo is very blessed to have you as a brother. Keep up the good work!

    XO,
    Fisher Jimmy

  • Little Chelsea in today's photo gallery could've been my Edgar, everybody! (not exactly, but almost...) Awww. My dear little boy...

    Today's story makes my heart so full! Who would've thought that some simple gesture could create such a dominoe effect of good?! (And) what a menagerie that has evolved, with all the 'add-ons' and playmates for Margo (AND Oscar!)

    May the Lord richly bless the Youd family for their huge and giving hearts in adopting so many animals and selflessly giving back to the community with their philanthropic endeavors!

    =^..^=

  • Hi Dr. Pia, I just love this great story about Oscar and Margo. What a lucky dog Margo is to have such a loving and caring family. I wish with all my heart that ALL animals could have such a wonderful life as Margo, me, Francesca and Sharkey and many others we know have. That's the way it should always be. Thank you for helping to make our lives better. Love, Dudley Do Right xoxoxoxoxo

  • Oh Boy! Dr. Pia!

    This very handsome young man Oscar is the kind of kid we dogs would love to be adopted by! Margo looks very happy. Wonder if she gets to have soda? I'm sure the cats, rabbits and other fur balls would also love his attention and have it, too!

    Personally, the young inventor/animal lover reminds me of all the tasty things I'm not supposed to eat anymore...soda pop, Oscar Meyer wieners..even the cats names are making me hungry!

    But I give a big HOWL out to the Young family and their very special animal-soda-loving boy, Oscar. Now I don't feel all alone in this big old world without my Mello Yellow! (Yes, I'm still practicing sobriety!)

    Hey! Maybe Oscar will create a soda pop just for dogs! Maybe even name it "Soda Pup"! :)

  • OOPS! I'm sorry, I meant to type "YOUD" Family! :) THE WONDERFUL YOUD FAMILY!!! AND OSCAR!!! AND CRITTERS!!! I LOVE YOU ALL!!! :)

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