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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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

lil guy is all grown up

Happy Birthday Stig Nation!

IMG_3969

Stig as a pup and all grown up.

As today is Stig’s 2nd Birthday, I thought I would write about how far he’s come (rather than making a homemade bday cake, putting a hat on him and making him pose).

Feels like just the other day he was 16 pounds and easy to carry around. 60 pounds later he’s finally grown up and still causing trouble.

And, while he’s not been the easiest pup to raise, he’s worth it.

A Little Training Goes a Long Way

Thanks to Rocky Mountain Dog Training, his trainer Melinda, and a lot of hard work, Stig finished his private lessons last week. We worked on loose-leash walking, impulse control (for when he sees other dogs, rabbits or squirrels), and some fun tricks too (notice the “easy” button in the photos).

Next up I’d like to get him certified as a Canine Good Citizen and eventually a Therapy Dog by his 3rd Birthday. So, here goes to more hard work!

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Man’s Best Friend, and More

lebkuchen_loft_stig_bdayIt’s definitely true what they say. Somehow this four-legged guy has not only been a good companion, he’s given me a lot of strength lately…

Sometimes I think God gave me Stig as a reminder to be strong in times when I need it most. Because, with a tough past year, whenever I’m sad or lonely I’d look around and he’s right there…

Xo,
Melanie

Blessed by Bullies

A Desire To Serve

I have always been a “dog person” as I grew up with a sheltie, Cajun, and had 2 English Springer Spaniels (Champ and Skeet) keeping me company over the years. Champ has crossed over the rainbow bridge, but Skeet is my parents 3rd child next to me and my brother (seriously…he has more clothes and toys than me).

I have been wanting to rescue a dog for so many years, and since moving to California with my Hubby, we have yet to get a dog as our current apartment does not allow. (sad face) But, as our hunt for the perfect apartment has not yet been successful, we’re not giving up to find a perfect place to call home and start our family (with a 4-legged friend).

Over the past few years, out of curiosity, I began learning all about Pit Bulls specifically. I learned about their “nanny-dog” history, they’re current “bully” reputation, BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) and everything in between. Learning about this amazing breed, often victims of abuse and neglect, and their desperate need for understanding and second chances has landed them a special place in my heart. After learning the truth about this breed, far beyond the misconceptions about them, you can’t help but smile when you see them pouncing alongside their owners.

Long story short, I wanted to help. And, while I am unable to rescue a dog, I felt a little helpless (as my wallet was a little too thin to donate).

Ask And You Shall Receive
Holding a Pit Bull Puppy of Bullies and Buddies Rescue

I had heard about rescues in the Los Angeles area, but none that I could get to easily. Then, I finally came across a rescue group in my neighborhood, Bullies And Buddies. Bullies and Buddies is a Pit Bull-and-friends rescue supporting the animals-in-need of the South Bay area. Meeting Jennifer Rosen, the Founder of the rescue, and her amazing crew, was one of most exciting things that has happened to me, and a true blessing. They took me in, handed me a leash, and introduced me to some incredible dogs looking for a forever home.

I’ve been spending Saturdays helping them out with adoptions and it’s been so rewarding. As I cannot donate tons of cash, it feels so good to reach out and help someone other than myself. Fosters and Volunteers are what keep this rescue working, and anything helps (time, money, advocacy, and even your old blankets)! We have a lot of fun at the adoptions, and try to shine a light the entire rescue process.

It’s been so much fun meeting these passionate people and helping out the dogs in need. As easy as it is to fall in love with each and every one of them, it’s exciting to see them end up in a safe and loving forever home.

The dogs have taught me so much, and it’s been incredible to learn about their history and perseverance. We’ve watched abused dogs learn to love, bate-dogs smile and play with children, and a puppy covered in mites wiggle around and warm your heart. The things these dogs overcome on a daily basis inspires me, and reminds me what is truly important in life. I almost think these dogs have done more for me than I have for them, but that’s the blessing of animals, isn’t it!

So, take a moment to learn about the breed, donate, volunteer or foster, and let yourself be blessed by a Bully.

(A special thank you to the friends and family who listen to me talk about Pit Bulls… nonstop. I do apologize.)