Dolly's story

Dolly, a love story.

Dolly was our four legged co-founder and HHD's reason for being. She passed on 3 July 2023, heading into her 14th year. She'd grown even more beautiful with age, remained arthritis free, and greeted everyone with smiles and wags right to the very end. On her final day on this earth she let us know it was time, and her end of life was calm and peaceful. We know that so many of you have been through this pain and we send our deep hearted love. 

No words can say how much we loved Dolly.

"Dogs' lives are too short. Their only fault, really." - Agnes Sligh Turnbull

(It's a really big fault.)


Here's the original story that we wrote for Dolly. It was last updated in March 2023:

Dolly young labrador

Hey, I'm Dolly. In 2012 when I was 18 months old (that's me in the pic), I was eating the very best premium grade dog food my family could find, it came from the vet. Then I hurt my hip playing with my bff Scott and found myself in a lot of pain.

I saw the vet and it turned out I had inflammation that caused arthritis in my joints, they thought it might be partly because I played so rough. So I got some pain killers (and I heard the vet whisper to my family that they were a short term fix and I'd likely be paralysed in 12 to 18 months!!!).

Lucky for me, my family thought my diet might be the problem. They started researching and created a new and different human grade breakfast just for me and within just weeks I didn't need any more painkillers. I could run and play and I had no pain.

That was 11 years ago (I'm 13 years old now)—and I still♡ my Happy Dog Food every morning, plus I get a meal of human grade meat at night. I also get veggies, occasionally chicken and a soft bone to chew on. That's basically what I eat unless I can also scrounge a treat or two.

I have no joint pain and I play and swim in the dam, I think that's pretty good for a 13-year-old Labrador! I reckon your dog will be that way too, Scott eats the same as me and he's just as healthy and happy as I am.

Dolly xox 

Happy dog Dolly labrador


From the Hey Happy Dog team:

Dolly does play a lot, that's true—and when visitors come or when she sees people she likes, she somehow leaps and bends and twirls in mid air, it's a sight to see :). 

But back then, she couldn't bounce or jump at all without hurting herself—which is more of a tragedy for Labradors than some more dogged breeds. And even though we were feeding her what we thought were the best foods on the market from vet clinics, we came to know that they were the exact things that caused her pain and almost killed her.

One vet thought it was the rough play, but it wasn't—she plays just as rough now as she did then, and she's doing great—it was the food. When we stopped feeding her the commercial dog food and put her on what was an early rendition of Happy Dog Food, she was off her pain killers in only 8 weeks and has never looked back.

Turned out that many of the gut-healing arthritis-busting darlings of the human health food world are great for dogs too! And the formula that saved Dolly's life (Happy Dog Food) is packed with them. Combined with a daily fresh human-grade meat meal, it took away her pain and brought back her joy.

Also—it never bothered Dolly, but we sure appreciated that her breath and her poos didn't smell bad any more. Bonus!!!

We, and Dolly, wish you happy times and good health! ❤️ 💛


Dolly the labrador resting

Every once in a while a dog comes into your life and changes EVERYTHING. - Anonymous