Woof and Well Award winner announced
We are delighted to announce that Sarah and her dog Roxy have won the Vet's Kitchen Woof and Well award. This award was launched in recognition of the contribution dogs have made to our health and wellbeing throughout the pandemic and beyond.
Photo credit: Andrew Lamb
Sarah Rhodes, 41, from Briggate, North Walsham, adopted 6 year-old Roxy into her family in 2020 after Sarah’s mother and Roxy’s owner sadly passed away at the age of only 63.
“Roxy belonged to my mum who lived in Cheshire,” says Sarah. We received a call to say mum had fallen at home. She appeared very unwell and without any prior signs, she was diagnosed with a brain tumour. She returned home 3 weeks after diagnosis and I stayed with her for 11 days until she passed away. We decided to bring Roxy to live with us. My mum had been ill without anyone really knowing because of lockdown so she hadn’t been feeding Roxy properly and she only weighed 14kg. Roxy was very depressed and was traumatised after she was left home on her own for 5 days while mum was in hospital without any of us being informed. We were not even sure she could bark.”
Sarah and her family then spent the following weeks and months encouraging Roxy to eat and gradually getting her interested in life around her again. They joined a local Husky and Malamute owners group and Roxy has slowly come out of her shell and made friends, learning how to be a happy and spirited dog once again – and finding her voice! In return, Roxy has repaid her new family for their patient care by bringing a smile to their faces while coping with heart-breaking challenges.
Roxy has spent her life from a young puppy supporting and bringing joy to the humans around her. She supported Sarah’s mother after the tragic death of her husband and during her battle with breast cancer. Since joining Sarah’s family, Roxy has been a constant reassuring presence of love and loyalty.
“As a family, we have had some tough challenges since mum died,” says Sarah. “The month after mum passed away, my oldest daughter's best friend took her own life - she was 15 - which was absolutely devastating and Roxy supported Lily, curling up on her bed with her and just knowing when she is needed. My younger daughter was diagnosed with triple curve scoliosis two months later and had major spinal surgery and Roxy kept her company during her recovery.”
Roxy has taken her family out on long walks which has been invaluable for their mental health. “She has been so good for us all,” says Sarah. “When things got bad, we’d take Roxy somewhere and have a nice walk. We wouldn't have done it if we didn't have her. I would have just laid in bed if it hadn't been for Roxy getting me out of the house.”
Roxy and Sarah’s story won our hearts at Vet’s Kitchen from the dozens of incredible entries into our Woof and Well award. They will now enjoy a well-deserved dog-friendly hotel break as well as the coveted Woof and Well winner’s trophy.
“We thought it was time to give our dogs recognition for their love and loyalty.” says Laura Shears, MD of Vet’s Kitchen. “Humans and their canine companions have always made for a winning team and more than ever in recent times, we have relied on them for the emotional support we needed. Roxy and Sarah’s entry is testimony to this powerful bond and their story is one of courage, loyalty and finding joy in spite of very challenges circumstances.”
Sarah said: “Roxy has brought such comfort and amusement to us with her funny ways that it has made everything much easier to cope with. I feel so proud to see this dog who previously just curled up in a corner come totally out of her shell and share her beautiful personality with us.”
Photo credit: Andrew Lamb
Congratulations again to Sarah & Roxy from the Vet's Kitchen team.
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