October 4, 2011

The following post was written by LIFE+DOG magazine contributor Kate Smargiasso in July, 2011, following a two-month journey of recovery after rescuing Olivia from the streets of Houston. The Honest Kitchen sponsored part of her recovery by sending Zeal and supplements.

“It has been over two joyous months now since we’ve had Miss Olivia in our lives. What a fun, HAPPY and super excited girl she is. It’s so good to see this girl run around and enjoy life as compared to the state she was in when we rescued her. From literally not having any hair and missing a layer of skin in many areas, to a blonde bombshell…what an amazing daily transformation we have witnessed. I was so excited when I saw her white tipped tail grow in – love those!

Pictures speak a thousand words so below is her first day “BEFORE” picture, as well as her current up-to-date “AFTER” picture. I guarantee this is the same sweet dog and no, I have not retouched the photos.

As I lay here typing with all of my four-legged babies sleeping next to me, Olivia is having a puppy dream. I wonder if she’s dreaming of her sad homeless days or her current “let’s play everyone” life. I hope it’s the later and that she’s been able to lock those sad memories into an area she never has to access again.

It’s quite amazing how a dog can forgive. I’ve heard too many abuse stories to where I am amazed that some dogs will ever trust again, but they do. Dogs do not hold a grudge, they will not judge you and will always be there whenever you need them – no questions asked. Human beings can learn a multitude of things from animals, including forgiveness, compassion, unconditional love and so many other positive traits. I hope that people are listening and paying attention to our furry educators as they are excellent teachers.

The fact that Olivia was able to recover so quickly was due to an excellent diet, of course great vetting and loads of love and support. I talk about proper nutrition often and will continue to do so since I wholeheartedly believe it can make such a large difference in your animal’s overall health. Sure, you can feed your dog a run of the mill food and it will survive and hopefully live a long life. However, if you feed an excellent food, like The Honest Kitchen (who graciously sponsored Olivia’s entire road to recovery), you will see an amazing difference in not only their skin and coat, but in the brightness of eyes, their ease of ability to digest, increased energy levels, etc.

Humans can survive on junk food—fast food and the many other terrible things we can put into our bodies—but when we’re on an excellent nutritional diet we feel better, look better and live healthier lives. It’s no different with our four- legged friends!

Also, skin allergies, excessive scratching, ear rubbing and other irritations could be the direct cause of a food allergy. You should discuss all options with your trusted veterinarian to determine what’s right for you and your pet.

Read, learn, and educate yourself on everything you need to know about our beloved animals and how to help them reach their peak of physical and mental wellness. They depend on responsible people to better their lives and you know they would do the same for us if they could.

Also some great news – Olivia received second place in SNAP’s (Spay-Neuter Assistance Program) Tales of Two Cities contest. Thank you to everyone who voted for her. We are both very appreciative!”

- Kate Smargiasso