A Tail of Freedom | Zoey’s Adoption Story
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For this Tail of Hope, we had the chance to speak with Zoey’s parents, Kyle and Heather, to learn about their life with Zoey and how she went from living her days mostly confined to a cage to their loving, active family.
City Life, But Not the Sweet Life
Zoey’s story begins in downtown Chicago in 2016. Sadly, she was often confined to a crate for up to 12 hours a day. Her owners worked full-time and didn’t have the schedule or lifestyle to accommodate a young dog’s needs. As a one-year-old pitbull boxer mix, Zoey had no outlet to release her exuberant puppy energy.
Realizing they weren’t in a position to be the best pup parents for Zoey, they surrendered her to Hopeful Tails Animal Rescue. Zoey didn’t know it then, but she wouldn’t have to wait long for her perfect forever family to show up.
A Growing Family Searching For Their Next (Fur) Child
Around that same time, Kyle and Heather moved to the southwest suburbs with their son and were actively searching for a furry family member. Their search led them to several shelters and rescues, ultimately ending at Hopeful Tails Animal Rescue.
While they didn’t have a laundry list of requirements for their future dog, one essential quality was tolerance of loud, crazy kids, as their family would be growing.
Heather describes it as love at first sight, “We knew immediately we wanted to take Zoey home when we met her!” However, they wanted to see how Zoey would take to their then 3-year-old son in the home environment.
Hopeful Tails allowed them to take Zoey home for two weeks on a trial to ensure she was the perfect fit they felt she would be. “Those two weeks flew by, and within that first week, we were begging to come back to sign the paperwork to adopt Zoey,” Heather joyfully recalls.
Then came the day everyone was waiting for – Zoey’s Gotcha Day! With her new forever family, her life was about to turn upside down in the best possible way.
Thriving In Her Big Family
It’s been nearly seven years since Zoey’s adoption in November of 2016, and even as an eight-year-old dog, Zoey has endless puppy energy.
“She is extremely rambunctious and so excited to go for walks ALL the time,” Heather shared. In addition to going on walks, Zoey gets a kick out of playing fetch (her favorite game in the world), chasing the neighbor’s dog along their fence, and greeting each of her family members (especially the little ones) when they return home from work or school.
Some of Zoey’s other quirky and loveable behaviors include barking at delivery drivers (even though half of the time they come bearing her treats, toys, or food), begging for food scraps at the table, leaping high into the air, and snuggling up with her family despite weighing 60 pounds.
Speaking of family, Zoey’s pack grew by two people over the last seven years! With two adults and three kids in her house, she’s never at a loss for ways to expend her energy. Heather notes that they’ll often find Zoey attempting to join their kids in playing soccer, football, jump rope, and many other activities.
Lessons from Zoey
Zoey taught her family an important lesson: “Everyone deserves a second chance, a new opportunity. Because sometimes we just need a new environment to thrive,” Heather noted.
Heather wants people considering adoption in the future to understand that adopting a dog is a life-long commitment that comes with a lot of responsibility – “But the endless joys that come from giving a dog a second chance and everything they add to your life are so worth it,” she emphasized.