If you know me, you know I like dogs. I am the girl dressed for a night out and still squatting down in the elevator to pet a pup, you know? All dogs fall into the category of “Humans Don’t Deserve Us,” but I have the most love for rescue dogs.
My first real experience with rescue dogs was volunteering at a local municipal shelter at 17 years old. It was terrible – rural Kentucky, open access – which means a lot of dogs no one cared about, and a lot of euthanasia. I continued volunteering with homeless animals through college, but switched to an amazing no-kill shelter in Cincinnati. I liked knowing that the dogs I spent time training, walking, and loving would either be at the shelter next time – or have a new home. Since then, I’ve volunteered as a foster home for puppies and senior dogs, worked events, and ultimately found two amazing dogs that bring so much happiness to my life.
Most recently, I walked into the Anti-Cruelty Society with my friend Christine (The Rescue Runway) to shoot some content with the intention of getting some sweet homeless pups more exposure. The first pup we took out to model happened to be the little chihuahua you see above.
I should preface this by saying I never thought I would be a chihuahua person. I like big, cuddly, mutts that have a look all their own. To be honest, I always saw most purebred dogs like a mass-produced Michael Kors bag – there’s a million, they all look alike, they break down pretty quickly, and you only buy one if you don’t know better.
To me, rescue dogs are that vintage Chanel bag you stumble on. You may have never even known you needed it, but there it is – unique and totally perfect.
I understand wanting a particular breed if you think it will get you certain traits in a dog, but after working with thousands of dogs in the shelter environment and a veterinary clinic, I would encourage people to expand their search and be open to new things.
I had to take my own advice that day at the shelter. I thought chihuahuas were yappy, nervous, prissy little things – and ended up falling in love with one. Ivy’s owners dumped her at 10 years old in a shelter. I have a soft spot for senior dogs, and I’m thrilled to be her “retirement home.” She’s living the good life now, and my hope is that this post inspires at least one person to consider adopting a senior dog.
And if seniors aren’t your thing? You just might find your soulmate in a regular, “we have no idea what he is” dog like Leo. He was my first rescue, and is the happiest part of every day. He, without fail, finds the person in the room that needs the most love and sits patiently.
With all the information we have access to, it still shocks me that not everyone adopts. Because….why? Why would you not choose to save a life? 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. shelters every year – do you really think there isn’t one for you? 1.5 million of those animals are euthanized, often for no reason other than bad luck and bad owners.
If you have any questions about rescuing or getting involved with volunteering/fostering, feel free to ask!