2018-03-01 / Community

Our Best FRIENDS: Zoey’s parking-lot encounter with future owner was no mistake


Madison Ratliff recently was promoted by Best Buy, which required a move from North Carolina to Southwest Florida. With Zoey, her lab/pit bull mixed breed in mind, Ratliff carefully checked out the dog parks in this area and decided on Bonita Springs. Now, “Zoey considers the Bonita dog park her home away from home,” she said.

Zoey is her constant companion and has a special relationship to Ratliff’s workplace.

Zoey is now about 65 pounds with a brown coat and hazel eyes, looking far different from the 8-week-old puppy that Ratliff took from a woman’s car trunk in a Best Buy parking lot five years ago. Zoey was the last of the puppies that were a mistake, according to the woman giving them away.

“I took Zoey and left her in the office until I could take her home. She’s my Best Buy dog,” said Ratliff. “I named her after the actress in ‘New Girl.’ Zoey travels every­where with me. We’ve been to Myrtle Beach, the Keys, Charlotte, Orlando, Jacksonville and more. She’s a road dog – always in the car buckled in the passenger seat.”

Zoey considers the dog park her home away from home. Zoey considers the dog park her home away from home. The timing was good for Zoey, whose entry into Ratliff’s life followed a breakup with a high school sweetheart. “I was much happier with a dog,” said Ratliff. Love has re-entered her life but Zoey remains front and center.

“Zoey has her own Instagram, @ Zoeybarkbarkbark,” said Ratliff. The dog is often seen on her Instagram posts with quotes in the background reflecting an interest in classic literature.

Ratliff trained Zoey with the traditional commands for sit, stay and general dog etiquette. One of Zoey’s more endearing traits is how she sits — in a pose with carefully placed pretty feet. While she does have dog toys, she enjoys rooting around with pillows and pushes them into the corner where she sits — pretty.

Zoey is quite friendly with other dogs. But if she sees a dog picked on by others, she will rush to that dog’s defense. She also sits on the benches at the dog park, observing the other dogs at play. She loves little children. One little girl gave her toy to Zoey and then began to cry. Zoey quickly dropped the toy to stop the tears.

If Zoey has a fault, it’s her lack of interest in the typical dog game of fetch. She will watch the other dogs at the park running after the balls and will do plenty of barking and running along. However, the point of the game never caught on with her. According to Ratliff, the look on Zoey’s face when Ratliff throws the ball says, “If you wanted it, why did you throw it away?”

Our Best Friends

If you have a dog that you think is particularly wonderful, contact us at info@swspotlight.com and he or she could be the next dog featured in this column.

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