I have been wanting to write you this letter for months, but haven't quite been able to find the words.
First of all, I would like to say thank you. Thank you for providing food that is high in quality, palatable, and appropriate for so many types of situations that you might find yourself in with your pet. From general good health and good food to food that nourishes and becomes almost therapeutic for pets that are in need.
My Chewy was a pet that was in need. Chewy was my best friend for 14 years and was the light of my life. I found him as a wild dog that was an actual member of a pack living on Grand Anse Beach in Grenada. I went to vet school there and we met during my first semester. We became fast friends and then we became family just as quickly.
Before I came along, Chewy was relegated to eating whatever he could find in the trash or on the street. He had the hardiest of constitutions for his entire life and ALWAYS had a voracious appetite. I used to think he would eat anything because of his time spent as a wild animal without a dependable meal to rely on. Even after 13 years of living with me, I think he still felt that he needed to eat what he was given quickly to make sure he didn't go hungry.
This is why, when he didn't eat his prescription diet food, I panicked.
I am a veterinarian, so naturally, I thought that the prescription food I was giving my dog was the best thing that I could do for him to help him through his illness. I was wrong.
Chewy, being the trash dog that he was, had been extremely naughty and had eaten an ENTIRE dishtowel. This was not Chewy as a young dog, this was 17-year-old, Chewy. Yes, I said 17.
When the surgeon called to tell me that Chewy had ingested a dishtowel and the "mass" that we had found in his stomach was actually a foreign body, I was stunned, relieved, and then worried.
How could my sweet boy endure this major procedure at his age?
He did because he was a fighter and because he had the nourishment that he needed to battle his disease.
When we got him home from the hospital, he was on a plethora of medications and on a low-fat prescription diet. He had gall bladder disease in addition to his gastric foreign body, so his gall bladder was removed along with the infamous dishtowel.
We (my husband and I) got him home and were dismayed when he continued to vomit and act like he didn't feel well.
And then, he stopped eating his food. Something that he had literally NEVER done before. He was still eating treats and interested in eating OUR food, so I knew that hope was not lost. I also knew that I had to get him a better diet.
If Chewy didn't want to eat it, there was definitely something wrong with it.
I went that afternoon to a local pet boutique and looked at THK recipes and found your Zeal diet. It had everything that I wanted for him. It was low in fat (for his lack of gall bladder), it was nutritious (he was a senior guy with lots of medical issues), it was fish based (he had food/skin allergies with chicken and beef), and it seemed like it would be soothing for him to eat.
And I got home with it and the BEST part? He ABSOLUTELY LOVED it.
In fact, he could not get enough of it.
Meal time became his favorite time again. He couldn't even wait for me to spoon the food into his bowl. This meant that a lot of it would end up all over his face, but neither of us cared. He was happy.
And his vomiting stopped.
And I felt so much relief knowing that he was getting the nutrition he needed when it was so critical.
THK Zeal was our food of choice for 7 months. And I know that it would've been our food of choice for so much longer had Chewy lived longer than that.
Chewy passed away 7mo after his surgery from lung cancer and that was and continues to be, one of the most devastating events of my life, but I feel so much solace in the fact that he always had a good meal and that he had access to the best food that I know of...
The Honest Kitchen.
Thank you so much for making such a wonderful and conscientious product. It truly impacted our lives at a time when we needed it most. And for that, I will be forever grateful.
Dr Courtney Belden, Brian, and Chewy