Meet Roscoe: A Formerly Overweight Jack Russell Terrier with Skin Problems

11 years ago Ray Heglin traveled from his home in Omaha, Nebraska to a family’s farm just outside city limits.

With the help of his roommate’s black lab, Ray had overcome a childhood anxiety of dogs and was at the farm that day looking at a litter of jack russell terrier puppies, ready to adopt.

Roscoe Puppy - Amy Bradley“All the puppies came running at me, except one, and he’s standing there barking at the kennel that was in the middle of the pen, not caring what else was going on. He wouldn’t come over and he wouldn’t meet me, but I just looked at him and knew, ‘that’s him, that’s my new dog’,” said Ray.

That’s how Roscoe entered the lives of both Ray Heglin and his girlfriend at the time, Amy Bradley. Fast forward eleven years, and Roscoe seems pretty comfortable with his life, wearing a collar bowtie and sitting between his two owners in their new home in Omaha. Hanging on the wall above the small family are framed photographs of Ray and Amy’s recent wedding, complete with a tuxedo-clad Roscoe serving as the ringbearer.

Roscoe has the lean build of a 22-pound jack russell terrier with a splash of brindle across his muzzle, but unlike other dogs of his breed, Roscoe has a reserved energy. There’s no yipping at the door or nipping at the heels with Roscoe; it’s more a careful observance of his surroundings, and as he burrows deep into the most comfortable part of the couch between his Ray and Amy, you can’t help catch a glimpse of his big personality.

A Different Story Not Too Long Ago

The couple acknowledged that 11 years had given Roscoe a hint of maturity, but they also laughed at the moments it took him to get there. From deposit-losing carpet chewing to acrobatic feats of prowess in claiming countertop food, Roscoe and his behaviors have changed over the years, but the most visible transformation for this jack russell terrier has been his weight.

roscoe before

“He was big, he was close to 30 pounds,” said Amy. “We never thought he was alarmingly overweight, but he had some girth to him and it looked like he was always bloated.”

When they noticed Roscoe’s weight starting to interfere with his peppy lifestyle, as well as audibly hearing Roscoe having trouble breathing after scarfing down traditional dog food, the couple began working their way down the list of advertised “healthier” dog foods.

Alongside his bloating and excess weight, Roscoe’s allergies also began flaring up worse than ever before as he changed diets, eventually landing him at the vet, and sticking Ray and Amy with a hefty vet bill and new prescription dog food.

Roscoe’s new prescription dog food helped alleviate his allergies, but the bloating that occured from the kibbled food never ceased, and furthermore, the Heglin’s found it logistically difficult to get the prescription from the vet and pick up the dog food at separate locations.

“One Sunday, when I needed to get more food for Roscoe my vet was closed, and when you have a prescription at the vet, it’s not like you can go somewhere and get it elsewhere. We went to a local dog store instead and tried to figure out something temporary that would be good for Roscoe in the meantime.” said Amy.

Roscoe 7

Introduction to The Honest Kitchen

That day, while perusing the aisles of the Omaha-based dog store, The Green Spot, an employee pointed out The Honest Kitchen to Amy. The human grade quality and minimally-processed ingredients caught Amy’s attention, and since trying their first box of dehydrated dog food from The Honest Kitchen, the Heglin family has stopped their search for the perfect dog food and Roscoe has never been doing better.

Roscoefood

“When we switched Roscoe over to The Honest Kitchen we immediately noticed he wasn’t bloated anymore, he wasn’t gassy ever, and his allergies, the itching of the paws and bad hair, it hasn’t happened since,” said Amy.

Ray was quick to point out the other benefits that came with Roscoe’s switch to The Honest Kitchen, including the ease of storage and security with a box of dehydrated food versus a 10- pound bag of kibble, as well as the comparable difference and ease of backyard cleanup since Roscoe’s been eating the minimally-processed, whole-food ingredients.

Roscoe’s current favorite flavor is the whole-grain chicken “Revel” recipe, and although Ray mentioned that the costs for The Honest Kitchen and prescription dog food was comparable, the fret and money he has saved on vet visits is a welcome relief.

“The cost isn’t outrageous, and for me it doesn’t matter, because Roscoe loves the food, he isn’t bloated anymore, and we don’t hear him struggling to breathe after every meal. I swear by it now,” said Ray. As for Roscoe, he seems pretty content with where he’s at in life, nestled between his two owners on the couch—and by the looks of it, he’s there to stay.

Roscoe 9

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Meet the Author: Brad Lane

Born in raised in the great state of Iowa, Brad has lived on both sides of the country, from the Blue Ridge to the Cascades. He currently resides in Wenatchee, Washington working as a freelance writer when he's not spending time outdoors.

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