We all know the incredible roller coaster that is the process of bringing a new dog into your life. There’s the first day of adoption, where you both look at each other and wonder if you might have made a mistake. There’s day two, where they find your underwear and subsequently eat it. Day three, when they’ve accepted you as their new normal. Day five, the best day, when they lose it when you walk through a door, even if you were only gone for two minutes.
For you, it’s a pivotal moment in your life; adjusting to a life with a new best friend. But for them, it’s not just waking up every day in their new forever home. It’s that they get to wake up, period, as any fellow dog rescuer knows: when you rescue a dog, you’re saving a life.
It’s a moment in your life that, whether you know it or not, marks a turning point. A memory in the making that you’ll be able to look back at definitively and say: that was when everything got better.
Take Jenna. Jenna is one of the four incredible ladies of Indaba Digital, the kick ass content marketing agency that recently took over all things creative and social for Thank Dog I Am Out.
Aside from being dog lovers, these ladies are experts at all things digital, creative, and social. They’ve completely taken over our social accounts to reach even more dog crazy people and help us save even more dogs. Jenna is how we were introduced to Indaba, and through us, Jenna met Brookyln, her canine ride or die that hasn’t left her side since her rescue.
We can’t say enough amazing things about these talented, intelligent ladies; they’ve completely changed the game for us – to the point where we don’t know how we did it without them! To learn more about the incredible ladies of Indaba Digital (and they’re equally amazing dogs), check them out here.
Read on for Jenna and Brooklyn’s full story, below:
I’ve been waiting idly until I was old enough, financially secure enough, i.e. peak adult enough to get a dog. I knew the responsibility of bringing a dog into my life was much like committing to a 10-15 year relationship.
The first dog that came into my adult life was Harley. He was a boxer and he was 95 lbs of love that tested me in ways I didn’t know was possible. Harley was beautiful and had an uncanny ability to make you feel all the feels while wanting to cry at the same time for his inability to listen. I learned a lot from him in an incredibly short amount of time. Harley crossed the Rainbow Road at an extremely young age. Losing him taught me a lot about unconditional love and what it means to just be there for somebody.
It took me a while to even think about bringing another dog into my life. I knew that my next furry companion needed to be a rescue. I had a wish list: small, spunky, and ready for adventures, but other than that, I was open to what the universe would present to me. IT also didn’t help that my office companions have dogs and seeing the joy they bring into their lives every day produced a near constant ache in me that I didn’t realize had been building over the last 7 years.
I came across Thank Dog I Am Out Rescue, and from there, as they say, everything seemed to fall into place. I filled out an application, waited (rather impatiently) while I poured over photos on their social feed while gushing with co-workers. We ooh’d and ahh’d at the photos of the 60 dogs TDIAO was rescuing from high kill shelters. I fell in love with a few (how can you not) but made myself promise to be open minded, reminding myself that it wasn’t just me choosing a companion; it was a dog choosing me.
When the call came in, I don’t think anyone could contain me: I was selected to be one of the lucky attendees at their #save60onnov6 event. Everything from there fast tracked. I told my co-workers I would be bringing a dog into the office the next week. I let my boyfriend know he’d have not one but two loves of his lives in a short amount of time. And mentally, I prepared for the unknown. Taking that step off a cliff and hoping that there’s something beneath my feet.
November 6th fell on a Sunday. I don’t think I slept for more than two hours the night before; I was too excited about the prospect of finding a new best friend the next day. I walked into an airplane hangar filled a high that can only be the pure, untainted joy of the goodness that an entire building full of dogs brings. It was an incredibly organized event and I was overcome by the sheer care and prioritization that went into making sure that each and every dog receives undivided attention and understanding: from how to interact with them to how to approach them, every volunteer there was working on behalf of the dog’s well-being and it was beautiful to see so many empathetic, caring people under one roof.
After what felt like hours (but was really just a matter of minutes) I made it onto the floor. My heart said: run around and hug them all; my mind said: take it easy, Jenna. Still, the knowledge that in this very room, in one of these pens, was my dog. With so many imploring eyes and wagging tails, it was hard not to get caught up in their eyes. How was I going to pick just one? How would I even know? I began to panic: what if I didn’t find one? What if none of them chose me?
I passed the second grouping of dogs and that was when I saw her. Curled up on a volunteer’s legs, her chocolate eyes deep and full of something that I recognized right away: need.
Without my mind even registering, my body had already walked me over to her pen where I asked to see her. I was welcome into the play area along with this soulful face. She looked at me with unsure, but curious eyes, a hesitation that made my heart ache. I smiled and knelt to her eye level and I was met with a bound and besieged by kisses. That was it – it was her. If ever there was a time to believe in love at first sight, this would be it. She was the dog I was meant to have in my life. It took all of 2 minutes.
Adrenaline high, I moved into the adoption room to begin the process. When the TDIAO team found out I had selected the dog formerly known as “Pickle”, their eyes widened with joy. “Pickle” was about a year old had survived Parvo and had recently had puppies, but was a complete goof and sweetheart. Then as if almost by magic, I was sitting in the back of the car, my boyfriend driving us both, a fierce protector for me and my new bestie. He peered into the rear-view mirror and asked, “Are you happy?”
Trying to keep the emotion from of my voice, I could barely squeak out “yes” before I buried my face in her fur, hugging her tightly, her forehead pressing sweetly into my chest as we drove away, as if to say: thank you.
New beginnings called for a new identity. I knew she needed a different name, something that represented everything I already recognized was in her: soft but edgy, cool but goofy, tough but sweet with a little extra spunk. After brainstorming but to no avail, an excited, equally dog crazy friend called to say congratulations and asked her what her name is. I had gotten n where. My little mini me deserved the RIGHT name – I just couldn’t think of it yet. So when she asked, she was met with a long, drawn out “uhhh” as my frustration mounted at not yet having the perfect name.
Without missing a beat, my friend said, “How about Brooklyn?”
And that was that.
We don’t know much about her history, but that doesn’t matter. We’ll never know how she wound up in a shelter or why her young life started out so rough, but that also doesn’t matter. All that mattered is that she was here, she was mine, and she wouldn’t go anywhere else ever again.
Since bringing Brooklyn into my life, I’ve watched her blossom from small and slightly timid to a complete cuddle buddy and Olympic gymnast. She can sprint like Hussein Bolt and tumble like Simone Biles; there are days I can’t even keep up with her.
Brooklyn comes to the Indaba office 3 days a week. She loves to cuddle with her office aunties at their desks while they’re working. She also has an Office Bestie, Ollie, who is also an LA rescue dog. These two are inseparable when together and only want to do what the other is doing. We aren’t sure if it’s because Brooklyn just gets along with everyone or if it’s that they both come from the hard knock life, but these two have a bond that goes deep (they have their own Instagram account: @talesof2rescues – follow them for cuteness overload).
When she goes on daily walks, without fail, she gets smiles and questioning looks; people want to know what kind of breed she is, how old she is, or even just pet her.
Her ability to love and trust is remarkable; it makes me wish that humans were able to forgive and love each other as easily as dogs can. Brooklyn has shown me every day that she is capable of living in the present and has been the best addition to my life, my furry partner in crime.
A couple months after her adoption, something incredible happened. I received a message from one of the vet technicians that treated Miss B for Parvo in California. Clearly, my little one leaves a mark wherever she goes. The technician wanted to know how Brooklyn was doing and sent a few photos of her stay at the Vet. I opened her photos and as I saw my Brooklyn staring up at me, tears sprung from my eyes. There she was, looking lost, her eyes carrying that same soul penetrating weight that drew me to her the day I took her home. The same eyes that said, unequivocally: I’m here, I need someone.
Though it’s only been four months, it feels like she’s been my sidekick for much longer. These days, Brooklyn’s eyes are full of different things. Mischief. Silliness. Sleep from a romp in the park. Desire for her mama’s chicken. Love for her Office Bestie. And in the mornings, full of love and giddiness at waking up in bed with her mama.
When people tell me they’re thinking of adopting, I light up. I talk their ear off. Because rescuing a dog does something to you. It fills up a part of you that maybe you needed or didn’t realize you needed. When a dog chooses you, they fill a void. Completing a part of your soul that had once been incomplete. And the truth is, on that fateful day, for reasons only the universe knows, Brooklyn recognized something in me as well. A need. A feeling. A look in my eyes that also said: I’m here. I need someone. And I am so honoured that she chose me. That this bundle of brindle’s face is what I get to wake up to every day.
But perhaps the most important thing that she reminds me of, every day, is what all dogs remind us: to let go of whatever happened that day. To let go and be here. Be excited and giddy and kind about what is happening in the moment. To always greet people with a smile and kindness in my heart. I rescued Brooklyn, but in many ways and more, it’s Brooklyn who saved me.
Want to help dogs like Brooklyn find their happy ending? We are a not for profit organization that runs on the kindness of fellow dog crazy humans like yourself. Please consider donating to our cause today. If not for a nice tax receipt or some extra karma points, then for dogs like Brooklyn, who need people like you and Jenna for a second chance at finding their furever home.