Our Pet Plus™ cycles project was born out of our team’s love of pets and the joy they bring to us each day. Over the next few months, we’ll be posting the stories of the pets who inspired the idea. Today, we’ll meet Zoey, a 2-year-old Whippet who’s as cute as can be.

Zoey was a Santa puppy for Tara Hudson and her family. On Christmas Eve, 2019, Tara’s son Nash got a letter from Santa with instructions and an address. Excitedly, the family drove to Charleston to pick up Zoey because, of course, puppies aren’t allowed on the sleigh. That evening was one of the most memorable Christmas Eve’s the family has had.

Tara, who works at Alliance Laundry Systems, and her family had their dog Riley for about 15 years. Riley eventually passed away from a rare disease common among Whippets. The family went three years without a dog, but eventually knew they needed to add a furry friend back into their lives.

“As Nash grew up, he talked endlessly about wanting a dog,” Tara said. “The Christmas of first grade, Santa came through.”

Timing could not have been better, Tara said, because the next spring, COVID shut just about everything down, making it easier to be at home with a puppy. Zoey the “wild child” (as Tara calls her) loves to play. She’s very active for short bursts of time but will then need a short rest before getting back to playing with her toys, chasing squirrels, and taking walks.

“She loves to jump around,” Tara said. “She’s really spunky, wild and super super hyper.”

Whippets are related to greyhounds, so it’s safe to say Zoey is pretty quick. She will run circles around the yard, over and over again, Tara said. She’s even gotten off her leash. Luckily, some friendly neighbors always bring her back home.

Most of Tara’s coworkers also know Zoey, too, because like most pets of parents who work from home, Zoey has a new way to meet the people in Tara’s life: Zoom.

“Her favorite thing to do is come on screen at the most inopportune time when I’m on a Zoom call,” Tara said. “She’s lucky she’s so cute.”