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.
“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.
“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.
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