This is Why We Rescue

Happy Endings

Roxie, our first Foster in Minneapolis

Roxie, our first Foster in Minneapolis

With the help of my incredibly tolerant and kindhearted fiancé, we’ve been fostering dogs through Pet Haven in Minneapolis.

Our last Foster ended perfectly. Roxie found her forever home with an awesome couple who loves her, walks her, trains her and is setting her up for a healthy, happy life.

While I was so sad to see her leave, I was so excited for all that was to come in her life.

But that’s not the case for our most recent foster.

Empty-Handed

Today we had to surrender our foster dog, Missy. And I’m heartbroken. We’re incredibly disappointed that we couldn’t make the difference that we wanted to make. The difference that would save her from the shelter system and place her into a forever home…

Missy, our most recent Foster

Missy, our most recent Foster

Missy had been abandoned twice, unfairly and under false claims. We took her in believing it would be a great match and excited to help her find her place in this world.

Ultimately, we weren’t capable of offering her the help she needs while also maintaining a healthy environment for our own dogs. Long story short, we had to make the call that we couldn’t provide her what she needed to be rehabilitated and set her up for a successful adoption.

Then this morning, I was the one that abandoned her. I felt as though my heart was ripped out of my chest and was replaced with guilt and sadness. It’s the worst feeling I’ve felt in a long time.

Not for the Faint of Heart

I try to take an it’s-not-personal-it’s-business approach with animal rescue, but when you have a heart for animals, it’s extremely difficult to leave your emotions out of it. And, you see how well that worked out for me this time.

The truth? Our hesitation and delay in returning her to the shelter system is that she could likely become one of the 1.2 million dogs that are euthanized each year in the US shelter system. After all, she was on the euth list before we rescued her.

Nauseating… isn’t it.

Our hope now is that another rescue or adopter can step up to the plate, help rehabilitate Missy and live happy ever after. We pray it happens this way, although we are very aware of the reality of the situation.

Being Brave

So why do we rescue if it it’s so difficult? Well, saving lives takes work. And, even though we weren’t able to get the outcome we were hoping for, we still made a difference. A huge difference.

Missy went from being stuck in the shelter to living a good life for a while. She went running every morning, played with squeakers, chased squirrels (and cyclists 🙈), ate bananas, napped in the sun and stole my seat on the couch (and popcorn) while we binge-watched Suits.

So while it was a lot of work and caused some heart-break in the end, it was worth every bit of it. And, we will most certainly do it again.

Now What?

For those of you still reading this, (thank you by the way), there is so much to be done!

  • If you can adopt, please do.
  • If you have pets, spay and neuter.
  • If you have an extra dollar, donate!
  • If you have time to volunteer, do!
  • If the facts come as a shock, read up!
  • If you feel touched, please share.

But mostly, keep that chin up. With an incredible amount of animal lovers out there, we can make this shelter situation better.

A Special Thanks to Activists

I am especially grateful for those out there doing so much for those in need and I am always inspired by the dedication that so many have to help others.

Whether dogs, cats, people or nature…whatever your passion is, thank you for being brave enough to make a difference.

Xo,

Melanie

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When One Chapter Ends…

…Another Begins

I can’t believe that after five-and-a-half years, today will mark my last day at Vortala. This chapter, long in the making, now comes to an end. And while I may have cried a few tears lately saying “farewell” to my closest team members, I am filled with joy and forever excited to begin my next chapter in chiropractic college.

To My Team,

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Friendships like this, last a lifetime.

While some may describe Vortala as an internet service, to me, it’s so much more than that. We don’t just develop websites; we better people’s lives. We don’t just work nine-to-five; we work until the job is done. We’re not defined by our jobs; we’re defined by our passions. And most importantly, we’re not just co-workers, we’re the truest of friends.

Our bond is strong because, at Vortala, our jobs are just a small fraction of what we mean to each other. We go far beyond helping each other with tasks at work and over the years have truly become tight-knit friends. We carry each other through every single up and down of life and support each other in our journeys… because that’s what friends do.

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Sarah, you are by far, the best mentor I could have hoped for.

You all have been with me through so much over the past years and I wouldn’t have made it to where I am today without you. Thank you for all the help, guidance, understanding, love and support you’ve shown me and I can’t wait to rejoin your team down the road (on the flip side).

If you ever need some cheesy quotes, someone to talk to, or a little company, you know where to find me!

Wishing you all the best that is yet to come,
Melanie

Piney River Ranch

falling in love (truly, madly, deeply)

Oh, What an Adventure It’s Been

January 2014 began a whole new chapter for me. I packed up my life in LA on a whim to start fresh in Denver, CO. I didn’t have somewhere to live, I didn’t say goodbye to everyone and to be honest, I wasn’t ready to move away.

Af first, I was broken. Broken-hearted and unsure of who I was and what I was capable of.
Also, I was hesitant. Hesitant that compared to LA, I would be bored in Denver. (Sorry Denver, but I’ll redeem myself soon)
Then, I was scared. Scared I wasn’t strong enough to start fresh on my own and scared of the unknown.
And, I was sad. Sad to leave my LA friends, my life and my unfulfilled LA bucket-list.

Now, I realize this move, and all that it encompased, was an opportunity for me to find my joy again. And oh, how I was wrong about Colorado…

Falling in Love with Life in Colorado

Downtown Vail

A quiet morning in downtown Vail

Earlier this year I promised that I would make this the best year. This self-made promise has been a great reminder to always say “yes” to new experiences so that I would really make the most of this year.

And, to be completely honest, I cannot even begin to tell you how delighted I’ve been lately.

I’ve loved the opportunity for a fresh start here in Colorado, the chance to heal and become a better me, new adventures and experiences, rekindling my faith, taking care of my mind and body, meeting incredible people and the joy I’ve found in my heart. All of this coupled with an incredible state of beauty and this adventure has me falling in love with Colorado, hard.

And, I just can’t get enough.

My Colorado Happy List

The view from the top of vail mountain

A peaceful moment at the top of Vail

A close friend introduced me to the concept of a “happy list.” To create this list is to remember the little things in life that bring us joy each day. To count our blessings and remember that happiness is sometimes made up of many little moments.

And, while it’s a forever-project, I thought I’d share a few things on my current Colorado Happy List:

  • the crisp, fresh mountain air in the mornings
  • a chocolate-covered coffee bean on caribou coffee mochas
  • a really intense trail run in Boulder with Ruth
  • chilly mornings spent waiting in line at Snooze, coffee mug in hand
  • running in colorado and colorado runners
  • the spring storms that scare and excite you at the same time
  • hip hop classes with the ladies, followed by mimosas and a night out
  • breathtaking sunsets at Daniels Park, or anywhere for that matter
  • the crunch of fresh snow on the coldest days of winter
  • the sounds of downtown Denver in the evening
  • seeing Stig come alive on hikes, in dog parks and running in open spaces
  • Subaru’s and Subaru drivers… it’s what makes colorado, colorado
  • all the free poop bags ( <—it’s the truth, deal with it)
  • Linger rooftop and a hand crafted cocktail at the end of the day
  • anytime I look up and am awed by the beauty of the rockies

Living Without Darkness.

It is in our darkest moments that we must focus on the light. And, some say, that the stars cannot shine without darkness.

So, here I am. I’ve had my darkest moments and now I’m ready to shine and come out stronger than I’ve ever been.

Now I feel alive, like I’m finally living life again. I feel happy. I feel blessed. I feel ready to take on the world. And, I feel like for the first time in a while, I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Xoxo,

Melanie

Piney River Lake near Vail

Piney River Lake near Vail

love your life

losing who you are…

I’ve had a lot of conversations in the past few months with friends regarding people “losing themselves,” being defined by whatever is going on in their lives… children, animals, fitness, etc. Conversations, social media outlets, photos…they all so accurately reflect our current fascinations.

And these expressions seem to really gets on people’s nerves for some reason.

Somehow, I find myself really defensive when this topic comes up. It’s probably because I know it’s something I do as well… dating, my dog, marriage, running, divorce, God…you name it. I quickly let my identity be overtaken in the excitement of whatever new chapter is upon me.

Guilty as charged.

Their Highlights v. Your Behind-The-Scenes

I post tons of photos of my dog and talk about him all lot. I feel guilty after I post a photo from a run but I just want to share the beauty along my path. And, honestly I don’t like feeling bad about it.

Nor do I want to feel guilty not blatantly posting the bad in my life. I believe in good energy and don’t want to bring others down for no reason. So, while I’m not hiding any secrets, I still remember to never compare my life with other’s, and vice versa.

But why is this so bothersome to some?

I can’t quite figure it out.

Are you obsessed because you’re posting baby photos to your Facebook feed (or dog photos <–guilty)? Have you lost yourself in your relationship because your profile picture is you and your partner (rather than just you)? Are you vain for posting fitness photos on Instagram?

No.

I’m realizing that it doesn’t mean you’re losing yourself at all.

Rather, you’re finding yourself in your present journey.

It’s defining the person that you are today, your passions, loves, and struggles. It’s being present in the moment, regardless of what others think about you. It’s embracing your beliefs and simply, embracing you.

And, it’s sharing your life with the world.

So cheers to loving the life you live, and letting other’s lose their way onto their newest path,

Xo Melanie

love your life

a moment in the park

a moment in the park

Fridays I like to take a break and head out for some nature time with Stig. Today, somehow, someway, I was able to snap a photo of him by my favorite tree.

They represent peace and life. And, to me, they’re absolutely stunning.

Wishing you the loveliest of weekends.

Xo,
Melanie

waiting for winter to pass

waiting for spring to pass through

Not all days are good, but most are.

Some days are a little gloomy, inside and outside. And with winter slowly seeing its way out, spring has never been more welcomed. Meanwhile, I’m learning to see the beauty in the gloom and keep my eyes on the horizon for better, brighter days.

I hope that somehow you see the beauty in the storm, too.
colorado windmill

Cheers to a lovely spring.

Xo,
Melanie

My 7 Quotable-Resolutions to NOT Repeat 2013

Well Hello 2014 (and Friends),

Thank You For Showing Up

...the best is yet to come.I can’t even tell you how excited I was to see the clock strike 12 on New Years. Why? Not because I was partying like it’s 1999 (more so I was watching a movie with Kobi, chowing on chinese and lounging in sweats, which was pretty much perfect…but I digress), because basically, 2013 sucked. And I wanted it to end, asap.

It was not my best year (a post for another time).

So, I found myself for the first time ever wanting Christmas to be over, so that New Years would pass and I could start fresh. (Why I needed a date on a calendar to start fresh? Good Q. But roll with me…).

I’m ready to make this year incredible and I’m pretty psyched about it. So, here I go. Here’s my no-pity-party-make-it-what-you-want reminders for the coming year. Feel free to join-in, add, remove, or ignore this list as you’d like.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go.

My Quotable-Resolutions to Kick A** and Take Names in 2014

1. Burn my candles, wear my nice sweaters, eat the chocolate and stop saving things for a special occasion. Today is special enough.
2. Choose happiness, every day. I’m done letting things keep me down.
3. Forgive. Truly-madly-deeply style.
4. Get rid of anything that isn’t joyful.
5. Stop getting in my own way (at work, in my relationships, at the gym and in my head).
6. Keep it in perspective, I have it good (as most of us do).
(My Fave) 7. Remember that today’s struggles are not permanent, the best is yet to come…

So no looking back anymore, just blessings and opportunities to make it an incredible year.

Cheers to an incredible year for us all,

Still Into You

Well Good Morning,

I’ve been anticipating the new Paramore album for months now, wondering how the music will change and evolve as they have experienced a turnover in band members…and well it didn’t disappoint. I was thrilled this morning to discover their lyric video for their new song… enjoy.

Favorite lyrics? “…some things just make sense and one of those is you and I.”

P.S. I immediately went the cheesy route and already dedicated the song to Gary (surprised?) Love you babe…

2012 | first friday toast

cheers…

to a new beginning

to the challenges we overcame and the lessons we’ll learn this time around

to another chance to change your life for the better

to the opportunities in the coming year, and the strength to make the most of them

to learning from our mistakes

and lastly, to chasing our dreams.

Wishing you an amazing year, xo.