by Dennis Dalman
Two years ago, when he was 8 years old, Brayden Goebel of Freeport was so shy and insecure he dreaded being around most people.
He suffered from autism, attention-deficit disorder and frequent anxiety. Then along came what’s called PAWfect Treats – PAWfect being a near-rhyme-pun with (dog) paw for “perfect.”
Now 10 (as of July 27), Brayden is much more confident, a bit more sociable and outgoing. His mother, Kayla, gives PAWfect Treats a large part of the credit.
“There’s something about dogs and those treats that has such a calming effect on Brayden” said his mother.
When he was 8 years old, Brayden, with a little help from his mother, decided to make some homemade dog treats for their three dogs. Kayla did some online research, looking for recipes. She finally found what seemed like an easy-to-do one.
Into a mixer, Brayden and Kayla put measured amounts of peanut butter, flour and water, then mixed them up into a dough. After rolling out the dough, Brayden used an embossed dog-paw-shaped “cookie” cutter to cut the treats, then baked them on a cookie sheet in low heat until they were dried. When cooled, he put them into a PAWfect Treats bag.
The treats proved to be a hit with the Goebels’ three dogs and with other dogs throughout the neighborhood. It wasn’t long before the treats started selling like hot cakes thanks to good word-of-mouth from happy customers.
Brayden very much enjoyed making the treats and selling them. He, with Kayla by his side, sells them to loyal customers throughout central Minnesota: Sartell, St. Joseph, Avon, St. Cloud, Rice, Albany, New Munich, Big Lake, Albertville, Delano. He also sells them at county fairs and at vendor events and dog-related shows throughout a wide area.
Most of his sales are home deliveries to customers who request the treats, with mother Kayla serving as “chauffeur.” Some customers pick the treats up at the Goebels’ home.
Charlie and Ava, the two beloved pets of Annie Kinzer of Sartell, both love PAWfect Treats and Brayden’s “Pupcakes” (healthy cupcakes).
“To celebrate Ava’s fifth birthday, we got each dog pupcakes,” Kinzer said. “I call the PAWfect treats ‘cookies,’ and Charlie gets super-excited when I ask him if he wants a cookie,” Kinzer said. “He actually takes his time and savors every bite. Ava, on the other hand, inhales hers as fast as she can. I’m glad we found a treat they both like and can get excited for.”
During a July 22 delivery of a bag of treats to “Skippy” at a Rice residence, Skippy’s owner, Marty Dubbin, was happy after Brayden offered one of the treats to her dog.
Skippy nibbled and then devoured the paw-shaped treat.
“Skippy likes them!” Dubbin exclaimed. “She is the fussiest eater, but these treats she likes!”
Kayla vividly remembered a recent sale in Zimmerman. A man there has a dog that is dying so the man and others devised a “bucket list” for the big black dog, whose name is “Bear.” Kayla and Brayden suggested they make a “cake” for Bear. Brayden made one; they brought it; and happy Bear loved it. The owner was as happy as his dog, Kayla said.
Brayden is a student at Rice Elementary School. During most of the week, he stays with his father, who lives in Rice. On weekends, he lives with his mother, who lives in Freeport.
Kayla works at a Catholic Charities group home for adults in St. Cloud.
Brayden has made thousands upon thousands of dog treats. More recently, he has been making little cakes and cupcakes for dogs, too. Besides making and selling Pawfect Treats, he likes video games, hiking, listening to music and doing 500-piece jigsaw puzzles.
He does not like hot-muggy days. Last year, he and his mother visited DisneyWorld in Florida.
“It was so hot we had to leave in 20 minutes,” Kayla said. “It was just awful. I cannot stand heat either.”
To order Brayden’s treats, visit his Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/braydenspawfecttreats, text 320-290-6123 or email email@example.com.