Once unable to walk or eat on her own, Roxy regained her independence thanks, in part, to a green bean diet
Green Bean Queen Dog
Credit: Courtesy Tonya Doherty

Tonya Doherty is “forever grateful” to green beans, and that’s because the veggie acted as an additional nurse for Doherty’s dog, Roxy, when the pet suddenly fell ill in 2018.

In April 2018, Roxy’s health began to decline. With not discernible cause, Roxy slowly lost the ability to walk, eat and drink on her own. She was eventually diagnosed with inflammation of her brain and spine, though vets were unable to pinpoint what was causing the inflammation.

Instead of giving up on Roxy, Doherty dedicated herself to helping her beloved pet heal. One of the first steps Doherty took to get Roxy moving again was changing the dog’s diet. Doherty contacted top dog health professionals around the country and found that many of them recommended including green beans in Roxy’s diet.

“I took their advice and she instantly loved green beans. I think green beans helped save her life. When eating and drinking was almost impossible, the one thing she was always receptive to was green beans. The texture of the green beans made it easy for her to chew and swallow. There were many months that she could barely open her mouth. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to eat or drink. It was that she couldn’t,” Doherty told PEOPLE about how the canned veggie changed Roxy’s life, adding that she believes green beans also kept Roxy, who is known as the Green Bean Queen, hydrated when it was difficult for the dog to drink on her own.

Green Bean Queen Dog

Roxy never looked back. For the past two years, she’s been eating 4 to 6 cans of Green Giant No-Salt Green Bean every day.

“When she wakes up in the morning she will not drink water or eat anything until she has had her first helping of green beans,” Doherty said.

Aside from being delicious for Roxy, the diet has helped to ease her health woes too. Roxy has been walking again for almost six months. She is still relearning to run and go down the stairs, but is getting around on her own otherwise.

And while Doherty thanks green beans for helping to save Roxy’s life, the dedicated owner deserves a large amount of the credit.

“I was determined from day one to help her walk again no matter what it took,” the owner said. “I even said to her doctors at the time of diagnosis that she would walk again. I didn’t know how or when but I just knew in my heart that God willing, she would walk again.”

Green Bean Queen Dog
Credit: Courtesy Tonya Doherty

Doherty achieved this by using her hands to hold up Roxy and to help the dog walk multiple times a day for 17 months. The passionate pet parent also built a doggy swimming pool in her backyard out of a trough and started giving Roxy swimming lessons to help the dog regain mobility.

Through her green bean diet, frequent walking sessions and swim lessons — pool noodles included — Roxy gradually regained her ability to walk.

It was on Aug. 26, 2019, over a year since Roxy’s diagnosis, that Roxy took her first step on her own again. From there, Doherty retaught the dog how to walk, starting with walks on soft, padded surfaces, like carpet, and building up to grass and concrete.

Now, Roxy is enjoying outdoor adventures again. And while the cause of her inflammation remains unclear, Doherty feels that she and Roxy have found a way to manage the health issues.

Green Bean Queen Dog
Credit: Courtesy Tonya Doherty

“What matters the most, is that with a whole lot of love, faith and determination our girl is walking again and doing well right now,” Doherty said.

Also, this entire ordeal has led to the reveal of Roxy’s favorite food.

“She starts her day, and ends her day with green beans,” the owner added.

You can keep up with Roxy’s progress and her deep love for green beans on the pup’s Twitter account @rottenroxygirl.