Meet Zoey: From Westminster Rescue to Queen of the Castle

From Westminster show dog to neglected rescue and from malnourished adoptee to queen of the house, Zoey the Shih Tzu’s life has been a bit of a rollercoaster. Anyone who meets Zoey will immediately see that she is the one in charge, at least among the two dogs and one cat with which she lives.

The Rescue Show Dog

It wasn’t always that way, though. When Marie Tan, Zoey’s owner, first brought the Shih Tzu home, Zoey wasn’t in great shape.

“You could tell she hadn’t had proper nutrition for a while,” said Marie. “Her coat was dry and her fur was really dull.”

Before being rescued, Zoey was a show dog. She had even been to the Westminster Dog Show. But years after retiring Zoey as a show dog, her former owner was unable to take care of her, and several of her purebred litters, so Zoey was given up for adoption at age 6 and found her way to Marie’s home.


A New Home

A couple of months removed from losing her old Weimaraner, Marie was considering the adoption of a new dog.

“My vet emailed me and said [that] there’s this Shih Tzu that’s going to be available,” said Marie. ”I kind of went back and forth for a while because she was so shy and … wasn’t very friendly and she didn’t want anything to do with people.”

Despite being uncertain at first, once Marie took Zoey home she knew what to do.

“[I was asked] if I would foster her and I took her home and just fell in love with her,” said Marie.

Dehydrated, Constipated, and Skittish

Zoey was underweight, chronically constipated, had unkept-looking fur, and remained skittish around other people.

Having been a show dog, Zoey was used to drinking from a bottle, somewhat akin to how you would give water to a hamster.  Show trainers do this with show dogs to keep them hydrated without messing with the fur around their mouth. As a result, Zoey had never learned to drink from a bowl, and was always dehydrated on top of everything else.


Finding a Solution

“The vet said she needed extra moisture [and] suggested a canned or some sort of moist food,” said Marie. “I wanted to be sure that I was getting her the best stuff, something nutritious that would be good for her in the long-term…and just looking at the ingredients in even some of the higher-end canned foods I was just unsure of what I’d be feeding her.”

Marie had previously heard of The Honest Kitchen’s products when she had visited a dachshund festival. “There was a booth with samples and I remember how much my earlier dog had just loved the stuff,” said Marie. “So I thought I need to give that a shot, so I ordered one of the sample packs. She really liked it, and it was the first time she was really eager to to eat her food.”

Marie says she loves being able to know how much water she puts in each meal, which helped Zoey to become more hydrated.

“[The Honest Kitchen food] helped with her energy level, she really put on a nice amount of weight, she definitely was more active and she started to play and things like that,” said Marie. “She seems to notice the way she looks so I think that with the food her coat was getting shiny and her hair was growing out and you can really tell that she was really starting to feel more confident.”

The Honest Kitchen for Everyone

Marie wanted to get her other dogs, Tucker, a ten year old dachshund, and Greyson, a three year old male Shih Tzu, on Honest Kitchen as well.

“Tucker started to lose some weight, so I emailed [The Honest Kitchen] customer service and they suggested more protein [with] Thrive,” said Marie. “It was perfect, he gained weight and they all loved it.”

Now all of Marie’s dogs are on the Limited Ingredient Chicken Recipe, and she even has her cat, Mosquito, eating the Grain Free Chicken Recipe.

Zoey finally seems to be herself again. She alternates from dozing off on Marie’s couch to strutting around the middle of the room, ever the center of attention. Now that Zoey is on The Honest Kitchen, she seems happy, healthy, and is once again the queen of the house.


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Meet the Author: Jon Skinner

Jon Skinner enjoys the outdoors, and he can find no better way to do that than with his family's Goldendoodle Cody. When he video calls home, first priority is seeing the dog, second priority is seeing the family.

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