Don’t Forget the Dogs

Posted on October 13 2022

iPhones are great for serving up fond memories precisely when you most need them. That was the case earlier this month while I watched in shock as a place where my family has spent so much time, was decimated by mother nature. Homes destroyed. Boats knocked about like toys. A causeway, twisted. Lives lost.

Some of my fondest memories were made on the shores of Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Island. My father “found” this sunny, laid-back community 20 years ago, with our dog, Buster, a big, friendly yellow lab riding shotgun as he drove along the coast in search of dog-friendly beaches.

“Chip, do you realize Naples doesn’t let dogs on the beach until after 5pm?! Five PM,” I distinctly remember my dad saying to no one in particular, the outrage almost comical, but real. “But did you know, just up the coast, Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel have not one, but FOUR dog friendly beaches? Now that’s a community where I can retire.” And so, he did, with Buster by his side.

Fast forward 15 years, his next dog, Bailey another yellow lab and my three children are making memories and friends (two legged and four legged) at the beach, on the water, at open-air restaurants, and at dog parks. Those are the memories I prefer to have when I think of the Gulf Coast.


"Bailey checks Amelia's spelling."   "Shelling on Sanibel"


When Hurricane Ian hit the coast of Southwest Florida with absolutely no remorse, I felt compelled to help and I knew exactly how. Top Shelf Dog was conceived on a beautiful Sanibel evening.

All-Natural Dog Food Company Provides Aid to Animals in Need

-More than 1,300 meals provided to dogs displaced by Hurricane Ian-

WELLESLEY, MA and FORT MYERS, FL – October 6, 2022 – Top Shelf Dog LLC today donated more than 1,300 meals to the Gulf Coast Humane Society, which will distribute the food to pet owners impacted by Hurricane Ian, including those who have lost their homes.  The meals will primarily be distributed to those in Fort Myers Beach, Matlacha and Sanibel, as well as other areas that have been devastated.

“Southwest Florida holds a special place in our hearts – It’s where we conceived the idea for Top Shelf Dog. We have family in Fort Myers Beach, and spend weeks every winter on Sanibel,” said Chip Bergstrom, CEO and Co-founder of Top Shelf Dog. “It breaks my heart to see anyone, human or canine, suffering.  We know that pets often become displaced and lack the aid following a natural disaster. Top Shelf Dog is committed to extending even more help and will continue to follow the lead of the good people at the Gulf Coast Humane Society.”

Top Shelf Dog food requires no refrigeration, which makes it the ideal meal in disaster areas. It offers the kind of balanced nutrition dogs require, particularly important during times of extreme stress.

“We are grateful for companies like Top Shelf Dog and the countless others who are lending support for our shelter animals and those displaced in the community,” said Kristin Sampson, Shelter Manager for The Gulf Coast Humane Society. “So many people have offered to help, but we still have work to do and needs to be met.”

About Top Shelf Dog

Top Shelf Dog believes that just like humans, all dogs deserve high-quality ingredients. We deliver on this mission by providing all natural, high-quality ingredients fortified with vitamins and minerals in shelf-stable packaging that minimizes the effort required to feed your dog a truly healthy meal.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook @TopShelfDog


Top Shelf Dog food is also available on Amazon.

About The Gulf Coast Humane Society

The Gulf Coast Humane Society is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) animal welfare organization serving Southwest Florida for more than 60 years. Our mission is to provide humane care for surrendered animals by offering refuge, providing medical care, and facilitating an adoptive home. Each year we take in more than 1,000 animals in need of compassionate care.

To donate please visit:


"A trip to Lovers Key, a dog friendly beach"