Meet Rue: An Overweight Rescue Turned Healthy, Happy Companion

4 Years ago Ashley picked up Rue at a local animal shelter.

Immediately she got Rue a checkup at the vet and they let her know that she was probably about 6 weeks old. Ever since they brought her home, she’s always been a bit of a wild child, causing mayhem in her wake. When she’s not causing trouble, Rue has been a loving companion, by Ashley’s side through some of the toughest times in her life. The two have a strong companionship and it is immediately obvious after spending just a short amount of time with the two of them that they were meant for each other.


The Weight Started Packing On

When Rue was a couple of years old, she started gaining a ton of weight, showing signs of poor health conditions, and her energy levels dropped tremendously. Ashley took Rue to the vet for a check-up as soon as she noticed. The diagnosis was that she simply was overweight; this caused her low energy levels as well as frequent knee slips. These painful issues made Rue wary about jumping and running. This caused her to become even more lethargic and she didn’t like to jump around or play for very long. Ashley says, “I noticed she was overweight and it was really daunting, the vet said I’d like to see her at 15lbs, which was 11lbs lighter. It felt like so much pressure, you feel like a bad mom, like how did I get here?”

Rue before THK

Rue before THK

Changes Needed to Happen

Ashley says she felt terrible.

“It kind of felt like, ‘oh my gosh, it’s like she’s on the biggest loser, all of a sudden mom’s gotta get her life together.’ As an adult even when you see human kids that are overweight you say, ‘come on where are the parents, what is going on?’ All of a sudden I was like ‘oh my gosh, she’s literally my best friend; she’s been with me through thick and thin. She’s been there for me, so I’ve gotta be there for her and we gotta figure this thing out.’” This is when Ashley set out on a mission to figure out how to help her loving companion.


Ashley says she began by sticking to strictly recommended food portions from her current brand, Blue Buffalo. She also began going on long walks with Rue. None of these seemed to do the trick, and even after months, there were minimal changes. Eventually, Ashley put Rue on the Blue Buffalo diet formula to help with Rue’s weight issues. She says that almost every night at 5am Rue would wake up and vomit bile. After asking a friend in vet school for advice Ashley found out her worst fear: the food portions were actually starving Rue and causing the nightly vomiting.


Research Time

At this point, Ashley put on her detective hat and began researching her current food brand. She found out some pretty scary things. One significant finding was their inhumane way of testing the food.

“If I won’t buy cosmetics tested on animals, I’m not going to feed my dog food that is tested on animals,” she said.


It was at this time that Ashley reached out to her social network and asked for any kind of help. This is when her good friend Kristina recommended The Honest Kitchen. After some research, Ashley made her first purchase: The Honest Kitchen’s Whole Grain Chicken dehydrated dog food. Ashley says Rue just gobbles the food up and will lick the bowl spot clean, “I feed her the lowest amount, she gets 1 cup, but she’s full and she’s happy.”


The Results

After having Rue on The Honest Kitchen for about 2 months, she saw the changes. Rue was shedding the weight and no longer got tired so quickly. She had enough energy to run for much longer than she had in the past, and her knee problems went away. Ashley says Rue even managed to jump up on the kitchen table for a treat once, something she doesn’t condone, but she’s happy to know that she’s able to jump that high. Before switching to The Honest Kitchen there was no way she could perform such a feat.

“I kind of feel like I got my dog back,” Ashley says, “And it wasn’t like I lost her or anything like that, but to know that she was healthy, she was finally healthy and happy, and in a mom way there is nothing that feels better.”


Veterinarian Bills Dropped

Ashley noted that since switching to The Honest Kitchen she doesn’t need to go to the vet nearly as often. In fact, she used to have Rue on the most expensive health maintenance plan her pet hospital. Since the food change, she has been able to bring her down to the lowest one, saving her about $20 a month on her maintenance plan, not to mention all of the specialty check-ups and health issues she no longer needs to worry about.


Currently, Rue is happy and healthy at 16 pounds. She runs around, plays, and is just an overall happy dog. She loves to chew on deer antlers and still licks her bowl of The Honest Kitchen dog food completely bare.


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Meet the Author: Tucker Allen

Born and raised in Arkansas, Tucker spends a lot of his free time outdoors. You can almost always find him traveling with his trusty companion Squeaker the Shih Tzu. Tucker is the man, he’s often referred to as the myth, and he also believes he is the legend of his own time.

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