We are thrilled to have been included in Buzzfeed’s 25 times you were proud to be Canadian list!
We are thrilled to have been included in Buzzfeed’s 25 times you were proud to be Canadian list!
UPDATE: Lucy has now been adopted. Thank you for everyone’s support!
Thank you Daily Hive for helping us get Lucy’s message out!
Hosted by Jonny Staub of Virgin Radio, our #DontShopAdopt Walk aims at raising awareness for rescuing dogs from high-kill shelters. This event is the first ever for Thank Dog I Am Out and we have a TON in store for May 13th. Our walk is only 4 km long – it’s over and done within half an hour, so you have plenty of time to get your pawtay pants on and join the festivities. Can’t make it for noon? That’s okay! The walk only STARTS at noon, but you can join in anytime between 12:00-12:30. Just be sure you’re back in time for the Costume Contest at 1:00. We’ll have a BBQ, music from DJ Mike Woodhouse, prizes from TISOL on Grandview HWY, and SO much more. You’ll also meet the fab crew from the internationally famed rescue organization Soi Dog Canada who work tirelessly to save dogs being killed in support of the Asia Dog Meat Trade. Register HERE to join us Saturday, May 13th. $25 per adult; kids 16 and under walk for free. Help us save dogs at risk of being euthanized, abused, surrendered or neglected.
Whether you’re the parent of a dog, a friend of a dog-crazy person, or just want to come out to dance with some doggos, and win cool prizes, then you should iron your party pants because May 13th is our first ever Charity Walk and we want you to join us. Why? Aside from being really fun and a great way to both help and celebrate other dogs, there will be some really cool people there (aside from us, of course).
Here are the 5 types of people you’ll likely meet at our walk next Saturday.
Dog lover, not yet a dog parent, the Dog-less Dog Lover exudes triple the energy of a 5-month-old puppy – well-meaning, ready to get in there, but overwhelmed by the sheer magic of a world where dogs are everywhere. Their excitement cannot be contained or measured by any quantifiable number we know. They like dog puns and will go out of their way to cross a busy street to get to a dog that needs a pat.
As a dog-less dog lover, it’s tough out there. Everyone, especially in Vancouver, is coupled up with a dog, being happy and stuff. Walking around, leash in hand, a loyal bestie, posting adorable selfies together. The dog-less dog lover has life FOMO but they are dog-less for good reasons.
Whether they’re not financially ready, too busy, or just aren’t ready to enter a committed relationship, these dog lovers are happy to just snuggle up, feed off second-hand dog ownership, and go home with the knowledge that, one day, sometime soon, they too will be ready to commit to the best years of their lives. Until then, these dog lovers will be out in full force on Saturday, and you can expect that many of them will have stuffed treats in their pockets in order to present their most attractive selves.
Quote of the Day: “Can I pet your dog? Can I get them a treat? No, don’t worry, I brought my own. No…I don’t…I don’t actually have a dog.” *awkward silence*
Some say neurotic, we say conscientious. Dog parents love their dogs to the moon and back, obviously. We all want our dog to thrive in their short but magical lives. But among dog parents exists a small percentage of overly-conscientious hoverers, called Helicopter Parents. You will know them by their worrying side eye, the hesitation they exude at letting their dog do anything without their supervision. They are always within an arm’s length distance of their dog. They’ve memorized their Vet’s number but also have it on speed dial because that’s faster and helps them sleep better at night. They are currently contemplating installing a video camera in their home, not because they think their little one is getting into mischief, but so that they can check in every hour on how they’re doing, if they’re dreaming while they’re sleeping, etc.
Helicopter dog parents only helicopter because they love their magical boofer a sweet, sweet amount, and just want what’s best for them. Nothing should ever harm them or their pure souls. They will be there on Saturday, hovering on the sidelines, analyzing every movement their dog makes, showing other dog parents all 189 photos of their sweet baby while sleeping, but will also ready at a moments notice to swoop in should any perceived trouble occur.
Quote of the Day: “I think I’m going to go with the “Pet Minder 5000; it has the most battery life and also – CeeCee, baby, don’t do that – it has a built in microphone so I can speak to – CeeCee, no, that’s too far, come back right now.”
Their patient smiles, their nods of understanding to fellow tagalongs, the way they try to subtly check their watch so they don’t offend their very excited, very happy dog lover person. The partner of the dog lover probably likes dogs. Like, on a scale of 1 to 10, they like them around a 4-5. A “normal” amount. Dogs are cool, they’re awesome at being cute, and they’ll pat one on occasion, but they’re really just at the Walk to appease their partner, who just bought an “Adopt and Chill” t-shirt, has their very own Instagram account for their dog, and also cries in movies where the dog dies.
The partner of a dog lover would do anything for their significant other, even if they don’t share the over-the-moon, dog-crazy love that they do. They will follow them around as they hop from dog to dog on Saturday, in a similar manner to someone who follows their partner in a mall with all the shopping bags, waiting outside stores while playing Candy Crush on their phone. There’s probably 5 other things they would likely rather be doing on a Saturday, but they don’t care. The atmosphere, the dogs meeting dogs, the music, the food, their significant other running from dog to dog telling them how good they are – there’s no place they’d rather be than in a field full of woofers.
Suns out, duck face out. If there is one thing that every social savvy selfie-takers know, it’s that dogs = likes. Because duh. Dogs are great! We’ve had this conversation already and don’t need to go over the main points again, but as a refresher dogs are: cute, loveable, loyal, master of the always adorable head tilt, friend to all except squirrels. They are also almost always photogenic and will generate much likes, so wow.
So, in full force, the Instagrammers of Vancouver will be out on Saturday, hashtags at the ready, treats in hand to lure the eyes of a floofer, their thumbs already twitching at the perfect captions and emojis they will tap into their phone. The Selfie Expert knows that the trick to not looking like a fangirl who just met N*Sync is to count slowly to 1,000 between each one. It’s a fine art. Like a marathon, they must pace themselves so they don’t tire out or look too crazy.
If you’re opting the Celebrity Parent route and would rather no paparazzi take photos of your baby doggo so they can grow up normal without the pressures of fame and celebrity, then you can politely decline the Instagrammers request to take their photo. Or dress up your doggo for our Costume Contest – a proper disguise for you and your four-legged bestie will keep the paparazzi at bay.
Quote of the Day: “Your fur doesn’t really work with my filter of choice; can we move to a different light?”
The volunteers. The hands that went into food prep, the bodies that carried the signs, the balloons, the tents, the food, the coal for the BBQ. The sleepless nights, the stress and prep. The care and attention to detail that went in to creating an event that is dedicated to saving innocent creatures whose only fault in the world is loving their people too much.
These people are the active volunteers who dedicate their lives, time, pieces of their souls, and all of their hearts into rescuing, rehoming, and loving dogs who need a do-over at life. They are the hero we don’t deserve for how hard they throw themselves into each and every dog rescue, for how much they love, appreciate, and work at helping a shelter dog find their way from cold and alone to loved and at home. On Saturday, You will know them by their volunteer shirts or hats, by their ability to suddenly be in 4 different places at once while they manage the itinerary of the event, and by their extensive knowledge of where everything is. But most of all, you will know them by the complete and utter love they give unconditionally to each and every dog they encounter at the walk. The boofers and the floofs, the puppers and the doggos, every one of them has a story, a life that is worth saving, and they are the best kind of people we know.
Register HERE to sign up for our walk on May 13th! Registration is $25 per adult; kids 16 and under walk free. All proceeds go towards our rescue organization and helping other dogs find their furever home.
A HUGE thank you to our generous sponsors, donators, and partners who are helping make this pawtay as successful as possible.
Jonny Staub of Virgin Radio
You don’t know me but you might know my dog. He’s just like yours: soul piercing eyes, a heart of gold, farts that make you evacuate the building, and an unwavering sense of love and selflessness.
Ollie has been in my life for almost 7 years. I call him the face of love. Part lab, part basset hound, and all parts sassy, he is the longest relationship I have ever had, likely the only man I’ll ever need in my life – which is probably how he likes it.
I’m Kirsten. I’m a full-time writer, part-time dog high-fiver, who lives in downtown Vancouver. People ask me how I like writing for a living and I’ll tell them I love it, obviously, but after 30 seconds, I’m already telling them that I love my job most of all because I get to bring Ollie to work. Whether the conversation ends or continues after that will tell me if that person is a dog person or not and how much I should really tell them about the extent of my dog crazy-ness, which, is extreme.
In my Tinder profile, for instance, my dog is in more than half of the photos. A quick glance at my profile will show you that I mention the word “dog” 8 times. I also link my profile to my Instagram account, which might as well be Ollie’s Instagram account; more than half of the photos are of him and his face of love.
When I’m matched with men and they ask me what I do for fun, I’ll regale them with stories about my dog. Ollie comes with me on the first date as a pseudo litmus test: first to see how they are with him, second to see what he thinks about them. And, because I’m an awkward person by nature, when I run out of things to make small talk about, and I usually do, I revert to stories about Ollie. Or will show them photos of Ollie. Or will ignore them completely and rub Ollie’s belly. Which is usually met with: wow, you weren’t kidding when you said you’re dog crazy.
I won’t disagree. But I’d say I’m not dog crazy. I’m just crazy. I’m a crazy person. Who also happens to love my dog an inordinate amount.
I’m allowed to say I’m crazy because it’s me. And I am.
I live with Social Anxiety Disorder and Depression. Two mental illnesses that affect me in two completely different ways that often leave me utterly exhausted at the end of the day. One winds me up, takes my heart on marathons and has me obsessing over the most irrational things. The other drags me down with weights and has me obsessing with ideas of hiding away from everyone until I disappear forever.
You wouldn’t guess it if you first met me. That’s because I’ve spent more than two decades carefully constructing myself in a way that hides all my quirks and ticks in an effort to appear “normal”. And while my mental illness does not define who I am, it does affect me in ways that shape my life. It’s the reason, for instance, why I workout 6 days a week (yay endorphins!). It’s the reason I eat healthily, journal, read, see a therapist, have a dog (YAY), walk everywhere, meditate, be social even when I don’t want to, and take medication.
It’s the reason I speak up during Bell Let’s Talk and Mental Health Week (May 1-7). I do so because mental illness runs in my family. Because it affects some of the best people I know and love. Because 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental illness throughout their lifetime.
It’s why I faked sick for 3 weeks in elementary school. It’s why I faked sick for 4 in University. It’s why I used to turn to alcohol to numb my pain. It’s also the reason I have self-harmed, contemplated suicide, and, just last year, wanted my life to end and, in fact, had a plan to do so.
But I didn’t. I’m still here. And there’s a big reason for why. Actually, it’s the only reason. And he’s sitting beside me right now, snoring and emitting gas in his sleep.
In the short time that I have been blessed to call Ollie my best friend, my dude has been with me through countless life events (both good and bad) just as I’ve been with him through his own life events (good and bad).
I rescued Ollie 6.5 years ago. I was 22 and he was 6 months old and the only thing I knew about him was that he was saved from a high-kill shelter in California, a day before he was set to be put down. In his adoption photo, instead of the energetic, happy puppy he should be, I saw a sadness in face; his eyes had this weathered look that told me he had seen too much in his short life. I thought how good it would be to make this dog happy and see his eyes light up. It didn’t matter to me that I was a 2nd year University student with little to no idea of her future. I just knew I wanted to rescue a dog, that I wanted this dog, so I could show him life could be so good. It’s funny, now, how years later, Ollie has returned the favour tenfold.
I have had 6.5 years of goofy, sassy, Ollie love and watched him grow from an unsure pup to a wise senior that prefers couches over coffee walks, squirrels over cats, and has mastered the long-lost art of the judge-y side eye.
I have watched him run out onto a speeding highway and return unscathed. I was there when he had to be get stitched up after puncturing his chest. He has been to tops of Yukon mountains with me, swam in the ocean with me, peed on the side of highways with me. I have witnessed him get trampled by a moose, get chased by a ravenous goose, watched him side eye my tinder dates, and, most recently, seen him do somersaults over my passenger seat while we almost, but not quite, went over a cliff in Northern BC.
I am lucky to know him, feed him, house him, pick up his poop, and call him my friend. Because above being super cool, really brave, and having met a moose and lived to tell the tale, Ollie, bless his pure soul, saved me.
It is no secret to my family and close friends that I live with mental illness; I’m not ashamed of it. But that still doesn’t make it easy to admit or talk about. And that tells me a great deal. It tells me that talking about it is still in great need.
For people who don’t live with mental illness, it is easy to excuse and harder to understand. It’s because the battle that someone is fighting is completely invisible. Every day, someone with a mental illness wakes up and goes to battle with their mind, which, to me, makes them a badass motherpupper. But not everyone understands the symptoms of mental illness or why it’s something that grapples them so. And in an attempt to bridge a connection with this person who is struggling in ways that aren’t comprehensible, words often escape one’s mouth that, in I’m sure are well meaning, but do more damage than they intend. Words like just snap out of it. Have you tried exercise? Have you thought about just getting outside more? Smile! Let it go and be happy – there are people out there who are worse off than you.
I have heard many of these. In fact, I’ve heard all of them. And while their intentions may be good, the impression that is left is that I am burdening that person with something that even I don’t understand fully.
So, on days when it’s good, when I’m not in the clutches of its invisible claws, I live life to the fullest, like Ollie. Because I know that sometime soon, around the corner, there could be a bad day. And that I can try all the things in my cocktail of crazy remedies to make it better, which may or may not work.
The one thing I know of all my tried and true methods for self-love is that when all else fails, I have Ollie.
Ollie has seen me through and brought me back from the depths of dark places that I know I’ll likely revisit again. We all will. Mental illness isn’t something that can be shaken from your shoulders. It can’t be smacked out of you like ketchup coming loose from a bottle. It’s ever present. It’s deep and tangible. It looms. On good days, it feels like there is nothing wrong with you at all. On the bad days, the dark days, everything is a struggle and the weight of it is enough to make you believe the lies that it tells you.
Dogs have that magical ability to simply just be. They’re there, with a goofy smile or kind eyes that just kind of say, “Oh, hey. What’s up? Wanna go for a walk or something? No? We could eat? No? Cool. Well, whatever you want to do is really cool with me. Let’s just chill here.” And will be unselfishly happy to do so for as long as you want to. Because dogs just are. They are just. They will sit with you, love you, comfort you, just by being there, regardless of what you are doing or not doing. They are wonderful creatures who love you more than they love themselves and that is what makes them pure magic.
It’s no coincidence that people with mental illness report improvements to their wellness after being around a dog, even if it’s just for 30 seconds. Dogs simply live in the moment, unaffected by the complex emotions that humans do. Time is constant and linear and they move forward effortlessly in ways that I truly envy.
Ollie is the best remedy to every dark day I know. He’s the one thing that always brings me back to myself every single time I get to the brink of something that can never be undone.
Ollie has sat by me through 2 breakups and 1 soul crushing, air deflating heartache. He watched me through a hospital scare and sat by me for a 3-week recovery. He was there when I graduated University and had whimsical dreams of taking over the world with a good word and a pen full of ink. I held his fur when I was first diagnosed with major Depression, feeling a sad comfort that I had something to define the dark urges I was having, disappointed that I wasn’t “normal”, but calm that I had a four-legged tether to anchor me to my new world.
He moved up north with me and then back down south with me. Sustained injuries in a car crash with me. When my mental illness took me to haunting places that pushed the boundaries between thought and action, he was there. Just being a dog. Every time my fingers twitched on a steering wheel, when I eyed a bridge with adrenaline, when I thought how easy it could be to finish my cup of coffee, go outside, shut my eyes and walk in front of a passing bus, I thought of his face of love. His eyes, his fur, his soft woofs while he sleeps, and always always always Ollie brought me back to being here.
Ollie is the one purest, good thing that I have in my life. His health, his happiness, his entire being depends on me. If I did something to myself, if I left, if suddenly I was no longer a presence, he would be alone. And I could never do that to him.
For how little I love myself in those moments (which, with a lot of daily work, time, and care, are now few and far between these days) for how strong the desire I have had to end everything, always, I feel this strong anchoring, the four-legged tether to this 7-year old sack of love, gas, and gracelessness.
I saved Ollie 6.5 years ago. But Ollie saved me, too. And he saves me every day. He is my constant; my northern star. On the days when it’s hard and the weight of my invisible battle is a pressure on my chest that cannot be moved or shrunk or stilled, I reach for his fur and he meets my hand with a gentle bob of his head or a heavy sigh that I choose to interpret as his way of saying do not worry, I am here.
Please join us May 13th for our first ever #DontShopAdopt event, where we will walk to raise awareness of the importance of dog rescue. Because, most often, it’s not just one life you are saving. Rescue goes both ways. We have so many incredible dogs that need your help, who need saving, who, like all of us at some point in our lives, are scared, alone, feeling lost, and need someone to reach out, remind them they are not alone, and to just be there.
If you’re struggling with mental illness, please: reach out to someone. You are not alone. A friend, a co-worker, your doctor. There are anonymous hotlines you can chat online or call where you can speak to someone – sometimes all we need is someone to listen (dog or human) and often, though it may seem small, it can make a difference.
This week, on Save Me Saturday, we’ve got a whole new batch of doggos coming up, all very cute, very wise, very much in want of someone with a lap for cuddles. Is this you?
All of these beautiful, magical floofs will be available this month for you to meet, love, and be best friends with. We will be giving our patient pre-approved adopters a first go at meeting them. Any doggos who did not select their new, furver home will be available for VIP (Very Important Paws) Meet and Greets at TISOL Grandview Hwy on the National Adoption Weekend, April 21-23.
Meet Patches. This guy wants you to know it’s totally cool if you finish all the guacamole – he’s not really allowed to have avocados anyway. Patches is a goofball with a penchant for dad jokes: why do chicken coops only have two doors? Because if they had four, they would be chicken sedans! Hey? Hey?
Patches likes long walks on beaches where there are endless seagulls and seagull poop to smell. Also likes holding hands and conversations about philosophy.
Stewie’s ear game is strong and he needs you to know that he knows how good looking he is. At 8 months old, he already knows how to manipulate people with his good looks and charm, but he only ever does it for good, like, to get an extra cookie or pat. Stewie thinks snuggles are great, cats are overrated, and his least favourite season is winter, for obvious reasons.
Milo is 4 going on 50 because he is so wise, maybe wiser than Gandalf, but don’t tell anybody he said that, he doesn’t want people to think he’s vain. Milo wants you to know it’s cool you have a cat because he also likes cats – who wouldn’t? The way they smell like magic, how they poop in indoor sandboxes, and bring everyone dead birds.
Ethan is an 8 month old male poodle terrier who likes sunshine, rainbows, and everything wonderful – like kids! Kids are great, kids are fun, he loves kids because they get what it means to run and jump and play and laugh like him. Why can everyone be like kids? Ethan prefers snuggles over seriousness, high fives over handshakes, and crunchy peanut butter over smooth. Because duh?
Happy is 1.5 years old and thinks you could use a little more fun and a lot less no-fun in your life. He is open to what that looks like, but has a few ideas: running in circles really fast, chasing a ball, rolling in the grass, and also sometimes staring intently into your eyes to convey how much he loves you. He’s open to discussion, though, on other fun, playful things you guys can get up to. Non-negotiables: ball throwing and loving you like you love cake. Also prefers females but open to a nice, mellow non-female.
Charlie is 1 in human years, 7 in dog years, and thinks that life, so far, is pretty neat. One time, he met Ellen DeGeneres on a plane and they both talked about how hard it is to be so charming on command. Charlie loves kids, is great with cats, and thinks he looks best in soft, natural lighting.
Az girl is 4 and is a Gemini who hates peas. She got pregnant at a young age and auditioned for MTV’s 16 and Pregnant. They told her she wasn’t dramatic enough. Az likes Drake, prefer Dominos over Panago, and thinks Ryan Gosling was the best thing to happen to cinema.
If any of these magical floofs have caught you eye, you should get in touch with us and we’ll do some matchmaking!
Hi. I’m Cora. Want to be best friends and roomies?
I’m a 1.5 year old female Mountain Mix. I don’t know what that means but people tell me I’m adorable and it sounds like that’s a good thing? I know I’m young, but I’m very mature for my age. People say that a lot and you probably have whiplash from the last 18 or 19-year-old girl you rented a room to who promised she was mature beyond her years while also complaining about how Sapphire, Tiff, and Jules totally went out without her last night.
Full stop: I’m a gentle, old soul who loves nothing more than a night in with sweatpants and a cuddle buddy (that’s you!). I’m very laid back, very quiet – just ask my current roommate. You’ll never have to worry about me playing my music too loud or bringing people over at weird hours of the night.
I don’t drink. I don’t party. Pugs > drugs.
I don’t have thumbs, so I can’t cook. I also can’t help you with the dishes, but I don’t eat people food, so you’ll never have to worry about me sneaking into the fridge in the middle of the night and finishing off your pizza.
I’ll also never hog the bathroom (cause, like, I go outside, LOL) and I don’t require regularly scheduled showers. I don’t care if you hog the TV or binge watch Gilmore Girls – just so long as I can snuggle with you and we can agree that Jess was the best boyfriend Rory had.
Not to sound like a diva, but I’d prefer if your home had a fenced yard. It’s a long story and a bit embarrassing, but loud noises kind of freak me out. Now would be a good time for me to explain a little bit more about my past, I guess…
I just got out of a violent past. So, I’d prefer my roommate, or main person of contact, to be female. It’s not that I don’t like men, or that I’m mean to them. I’m just healing right now and need a safe space to learn how to be myself again. So please don’t be offended if you bring your boyfriend over and I ignore him – it’s not him, it’s me.
I come with practically nothing! So you don’t have to worry about moving furniture around or finding your measuring tape to see if we can add another bookshelf to your already crowded living room (LOL, cause I don’t read so I don’t have books, hence, no bookshelf). The only baggage I come with is the emotional kind. Ha. Get it?
I’m not picky. I like my home to come with a roof, four walls, and maybe a couch to shelter me from the elements. Everything else that comes with the place is a convenient bonus! All that is important to me I’ve comprised into a basic list, below:
Important to me:
-You’re pro dog
-You have a fenced yard
Not so important to me:
-Your cleanliness level
-The long hours you spend in the bathroom
-The inordinate amount of time you spend on the couch
-If you’re Vegan/Vegetarian/Omnivore
Oh, it’d be cool if you were there, too from time to time – I don’t need you there all the time, just like, to open the door (again, no thumbs) so I can get outside, tell me I’m pretty, rub my belly, etc. In return, I’ll be there for you, through the good and the bad. I’ll be the best roommate you’ve ever had and then some.
I think I’m pretty awesome (the people I’m couch surfing with do, too) but I just thought it was worth mentioning here. Just in case you were worried about my levels of awesomeness, don’t be. I’m 10/10 awesome. 11/10 cute.
I cannot talk, but I can listen. And I listen very well! I’ll never deflect the course of our conversation with a comment or gripe of my own life. How can my life be bad? I’m with you!
But don’t take my word for it! Here is what some of my current and past friends/roommates had to say about me:
“Cora is a lovebug! She wants to be wherever I am. She loves you at 110%.” – Michelle
“I wish I lived with Cora because she is super easy to be around!” – Anonymous
“She is to die for. She just wants to play and run around and be a happy dog. You can see her slowly coming out of her shell everyday.” – Jill
“Cora is the best roommate – she knows how to have fun but also when to give you your personal space. She doesn’t judge. She’s just there!” – Julianne
“So reliable, so trustworthy. A complete sweetheart and friend to the end. My soul sister.” – Leigh
If any of this sounds at all appealing to you, if I’ve sold you on my levels of awesomeness, we should talk. I don’t have Facebook, Instagram. I also don’t have an email, or a phone. And you can’t do a credit check on me because I don’t have a credit card.
If you want a next-level roommate who will share your low-key love of bacon, adventure, friendship; if you want someone who will drop everything on their plate, even if it has bacon on it, to be with you; if you want a loyal friend who will listen, be kind, and there, then where have you been all my life?
Show of hands: Who here knows the feeling of true love? Not like unrealistic movie love or way way unrealistic and weird sparkly vampire love. It’s also not the I love you because you’re my sister and I have to kind and it’s not like I love you even though you forgot to take out the garbage, hunny.
We’re talking true, unfaltering love. Magical love.
Unflinching love from a someone that, even when you’re stressed out and not paying attention to their complete joy of seeing you, still thinks you’re the greatest person, like, ever. Even when you get mad at them for trying to get your attention when you’re clearly in the middle of something very important on your phone. Even when you come home and ignore their shouts of excitement at the sheer joy of seeing you walk through the door.
That is real, magical, no-matter-what love, the kind that we are lucky to come by once in a lifetime. It’s uncompromising. And if you found it, you know exactly what we’re talking about. If you haven’t, that’s okay. It’s out there. It just comes in the eyes of a dog. Your dog.
Anyone who has or has had the privilege of calling a dog their friend can attest to their magical abilities to love without abandon. Because dogs are literally made of magic. The way they love you no matter what you did or didn’t do. Because your dog doesn’t hold grudges. They don’t get mad at you for ignoring them. For refusing to throw the ball again. For not getting excited with them when you walk through the door. They love you at levels of 110%, all the time, 24/7, even when they’re sleeping.
But most of all. They love you. Just for being you. They love you so fully, without exception, making you feel like you, there, sitting at that computer screen, are the most important person in the world.
Sadly, the reality is that not everyone thinks the same way. Not everyone shares the same views of dogs a dog as this community. But the hardest reality to swallow is the knowledge that out there, right now, is a dog being abused or neglected at the hands of someone who has taken for granted the magical abilities of their dog. And this dog, because it is so good and worthy of so much more, will love that person and those hands, no strings attached, because that is all they know right now.
Which is why this rescue organization exists. To change the lives of dogs who were shown a cruel fate at the hands of someone who didn’t recognize love in the eyes of their dog.
We know we can’t change their past. But together, we’re helping to rewrite their future.
Take Wes. Wes is the newest addition to our available TDIAO family and the perfect example of how the past cannot define a dog. We’re still getting to know him, so we can’t tell you everything just yet, but what we know so far has us marvelling, as we always do, at the amazing resilience and grace of dogs. Because Wes’s past is hard and we don’t know how he survived it. The point, however, as with each of our dogs, is that he did.
Here is what we know:
Wes, like our Cora (also still available for adoption) comes from a horrific hoarding case – the photos above are a small glimpse of his past. But like Cora, the history of abuse he suffered at the hands of the person he trusted most is not what defines him. Far from it.
The photos of Wes don’t do him justice. He is a gentle dog with a quiet temperament who loves easily and is learning to live fully. An old soul with a knack for putting a smile on your face, Wes is the epitome of strength and calm in the face of all that he has witnessed. This boy is so well-mannered and we can’t hear nothing but fantastic things about how well-behaved and mellow he is.
In the week that he has been in our California team’s care, Wes has transformed dramatically. From a confused, out-of-sorts dog to a dog so giddy that his tail is a dangerous weapon, our sweet boy is now more than ready to be loved. His eyes light up in recognition of his temporary humans and in anticipation of your touch, his body literally curls towards your hand as if there was never such a thing as a pet in the world – which, for Wes, sadly may have been the case.
This Old Soul just oozes joy and gratitude and every day we see him unravel a bit of his shell, revealing the sweet, gentle bear that we knew was always there, just waiting for the right time and person to find it.
It’s easy to marvel at the ability a dog has to forgive and forget. It’s harder to forget what they went through. But, if Wes has forgotten, that means he has forgiven; that he is ready to love fully at magical proportions, the only way a dog knows how: at 110%, all the time, 24/7, even while he’s sleeping.
On Sunday, Wes will be placed into a kind, patient foster home, a home that knows exactly what it means to have in their company a creature of magic so bursting with love and gratitude. And with that comes the knowledge that no one, ever, will hurt this dog again. And for dogs like Wes, they know, just like how you know, that this is exactly where they need to be. And if that isn’t a happy ending to a love story, than we don’t know what is.
Want to help dogs like Wes? There are so many like him out there right now, waiting for real love, wanting to learn to forget their fears and trust again. Help us help dogs like Wes and Cora and consider donating to Thank Dog I Am Out today – your kindness goes a long way in helping us save our four-legged friends.
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.
Sometimes, we wonder what it would be like to be a dog. Don’t lie, you totally do as well. That’s because dogs know the secret to a good life is a belly rub, someone to tell you you’re pretty all the time, and a poop in the woods.
They also know that that the key to ultimate happiness is living in the moment. To be only concerned with things that are happening now, not what happened last week, what will happen next week, or what happened that one time in the fourth grade with the scissors and the hair and the accidental mullet. *shudders*.
Ah, the simple, living-the-moment life. It’s an instinctual, beautiful approach to living, one that dogs have nailed down, and one that we envy. Dogs seek very little in order to be truly happy. Unlike humans, who worry about rent, bills, what to say to a new tinder match, where their life is going, where their bottle of Red went, when they’ll have downtime to binge on Gilmore Girls, dogs take the “Don’t worry, be happy” path of life. Where food, a home, the occasional squirrel, and you are the only things they care about. Dogs won’t hold grudges. They won’t’ worry about that haircut that wasn’t even a haircut. They forgive, they forget, and they move on.
Or at least, most do.
Meet Cora, a 1.5-year-old Mountain mix who is learning how to live in the moment again, which, at its heart, looks more like simply learning how to be a dog again.
Cora is a beautiful soul who comes from a violent, hoarding situation. Raised in a home that saw no kindness, structure, or proper care, this sweet soul learned early on that her present was a limited, dark surrounding that held little to no love or joy. Cora developed a “flight” instinct, choosing to fearfully submit to threats and violence or shut down completely when presented with a stimulant that triggered her.
She has only known harm and chaos from an angry, male dominant home, a home that neglected her, harmed her, and often left her and the several other animals to fend on her own. As is often the case in typical animal hoarding scenarios, Cora’s basic needs were not met, and when she was rescued, she was living in unsanitary, unhealthy conditions, and was malnourished.
A hoarding situation is defined as a “living environment where a person or person accumulate animals in numbers that exceed the person’s abilities to provide for the basic needs of the animals, resulting in animal suffering.” Despite all that they’ve witnessed and experienced, though, dogs in hoarding situations can often recover physically.
And that’s just what Cora did. She bounced back into a healthy, loveable dog, who, during the initial inspection, looked like the ultimate family companion: gentle, kind, a bit quiet, but with a loving temperament. Through all her suffering, Cora’s sweet disposition endured, and from the get-go, we knew that Cora, with some time and patience, would only need a little work to get her to remember that people can be good. We thought this would be a matter of weeks.
We were wrong.
It happens sometimes. Feral dogs come in a variety of personalities. Because Cora had never been socialized properly and because she came from a hoarding scenario, her new surroundings, the people, the dogs, it hit her all at once. Cora shut down completely. Upon her arrival in Canada, Cora grew more fearful, shy, and distant, showing confusion and disorientation at basic things like being outdoors, going to the bathroom, or even being on a leash. And the reality hit us: our beautiful Cora was feral.
A feral dog is a dog that was once domesticated that have little or no contact or bonding with humans. They typically avoid, submit, or shut down when faced with situations or people. They don’t know how to do “normal” dog things, like being out of a cage. They don’t know what stairs are, what noises from TV are. Kids, vacuums, doorbells, a sudden movement, a bird flying by a window. They don’t know how to play with toys, how to accept petting, or walk on a leash. Little things that should have been integrated into her puppyhood that were robbed of her due to the unfortunate hand that the universe dealt her.
Think of Cora like a puppy. She’s new to the world. She’s experiencing things for the first time, but not at a puppy curiosity level, where the new things are intriguing and exciting. She’s experiencing them through a fear filter, a fear she’s learned from the hands of cruelty.
Cora lives a half world: one in the present and one in the past. She constantly questions her every day, torn between her instincts to move forward and her learned fear of people.
But that’s not the end of her story. That’s far from it.
Cora needs a lot of work, but she is already making strides with her foster family. Cora is taking daily walks with her foster human, Michelle, and foster bruh, Lou. They go for jaunts in the woods, take time outside on busy streets to familiarize her with things like cars and pedestrians. Just last week, she took a long car ride out to Whistler! She may not have fully embraced cars, yet, but she’s completely embraced Whistler.
Our beautiful girl has a long road of recovery ahead of her, but she has an incredible team behind her, who love and reward her for every obstacle she encounters, no matter how small. She still has a few months of work ahead of her, but soon, this gal will be looking for that furever home to show off all she’s learned about being a dog.
If you’re interested in adding Cora to your Squad, here’s what you need to know:
Cora needs a mellow home environment, a place that is stable and calm physically as well as mentally. She also needs her main human to be female, as she cannot fully move past the abuse she suffered at the hands of her previous male owner (this doesn’t mean she’s aggressive with males, just that she deflects properly by ignoring them). It would also be a huge bonus if you have a cool-as-a-cucumber doggo for Cora to continue learning from.
She also needs a home with a secure yard. When Cora is afraid, her first instinct, no matter how much love and trust she has in her person, is to run. It’s just how she is hardwired now. She also needs a firm hand while on walks, as little things can set her off and make her want to run, like fireworks, a car backfiring, or even garbage trucks.
Cora has zero aggression, which is the best possible outcome considering her past. She will deflect properly when presented with things that she doesn’t like. But when stressed, she will choose to run, hence needing someone firm, vigilant, but patient.
We would also love our applicant to be willing to work closely with Cora’s foster family, since we know the transition from her foster home to her furever home will take time.
But above all, Cora needs people behind her that are cheerleaders. To help her remember how to be a dog. That love her to the preverbal moon and back and remind her every day that she is worth loving. Who appreciate her complex past, as we all carry one, and that don’t mind the extra work it may take to earn her trust and prove that she can believe in humans again.
Cora is on her way to becoming a well-adjusted member of her foster family. In the next few months, she will graduate into a dog looking for her new home. She might need a little extra help along the way. She might need a lot of help other days. But Cora has a lot of love to give. She just needs someone to believe in her.
If you think you’re the right fit, if you want to be the one to not only give her a second chance but also help her to live in the present again, to remember what it’s like to be a dog again, then we want to hear from you.
With the drama, stress, and the very real horror that we see in the dog rescue industry, you need a partner in crime who is compassionate, strong, and capable of happy moments and hysterical giggles in a big pile of bleak and unrelenting stress. For that and more, I am entirely in the debt of the magical soul that is one, Jill Bekar.
People ask me all the time how I got into my line of work. And there are lots of things I tell people when they ask me how they can get a career in dog rescue – aside from telling them not to do it. Just kidding. Kind of.
First, I’ll ask them if they want to work with dogs or if they want to rescue things. If it’s the former, I’ll tell them to first rescue a dog and then turn them into an Instagram Celebrity. Because if you’re going to teach your dog to do one trick, teach them how to make money. Have you seen Menswear Dog? He’s a Shiba Inu with a better wardrobe than literally anyone you know and makes more than in one month than you would in a year. Yeah. So. Teach Fido how to do that.
If raking in the dough with your dog’s perfectly timed selfies isn’t your thing (not all of us like to be millionaire’s, it’s cool), then that leaves you with: rescue. And if you don’t mean in the Fire Rescue/Park Ranger sense, then I’ll usually try not to dash your hopes and dreams with the truth. Because while rescuing dogs has its rewards, while we do occasionally bathe in the pure joy that we made a difference, there is, like anything, another side to it.
It’s called reality. And it can be soul crushing.
When you’re in the business of rescuing dogs from death row, your job is essentially 24 hours, on TOP of already working a full-time paying job (because news flash, rescuing dogs doesn’t pay the bills) and you need all the energy you can muster to fight for the dogs who need you. Or there’s Jill, who works full-time, has a husband and a kid, AND still manages to get out there with me at 3:00 AM, battling snow storms and sleep to rescue dogs in need.
That’s the reality of dog rescue. There’s no punching out at 5, setting your phone on mute, ignoring emails until Monday while you take a weekend trip to the Island. If you do all the above, it’s not just one or two important emails you miss. You miss an opportunity to make a difference. And sometimes that difference is life and death to a dog who deserves every ounce of a second chance at finding unconditional love and a furever home.
That’s reality. And that’s why Jill is more than just a Volunteer. More than our Adoption/Foster Coordinator, she is my partner. My friend. My ride or die and my hero.
Jill has been with me since the beginning of Thank Dog I Am Out. In fact, her dog, Sydney, one of our very first rescue dogs, and Sydney’s story and arrival on TDIAO’s doorstep is how we met.
Sydney’s story, like nearly all dogs we rescue, was a sad one. She was found, starving and near feral, with her companion, Annie on a California farm that had burned down, killing their humans. These two were left alone for months to fend for themselves until Animal Control rescued them, and, in a rare move in animal rescue, placed them in two separate shelters. A classic story of loss, love, and separation, it tugged at my heartstrings, and, as it turned out, Jill’s.
At the time, we didn’t know the two of them were rescued together. We found Annie and relocated her to a rural farm on the outskirts of Vancouver for her to live out her last days – Annie was very sick, and the only thing that could be done for her was to make sure that she lived out her days as peacefully and happy as we could.
We soon learned that it wasn’t just that Annie was terminally ill and mourning the loss of her past life. She was mourning the sudden void of her best friend, Sydney, who, after some digging, we were able to locate and bring up to Canada.
It was our hope that just as we saved Sydney, Sydney would save Annie, who had completely shut down. I understood before their meetup that if it did not work between the two dogs, if too much had transpired in the time of their rescue and transportation, that I would have to let Annie go, a decision I did not come to lightly. Refusing to eat, refusing to walk, hiding from other dogs; she had no quality of life. In hindsight, I realize now that we were placing all our hopes on Sydney.
Jill, in the meantime, watched the tale of Sydney and Annie and their pending reunion on social media. A dog lover and ardent rescuer, Jill fell in love with Sydney, and for good reason. Though this sweet girl had a lot of issues to overcome, Jill saw the spirit within her and knew that all this gal needed was a confident, caring hand to help her remember what it was like to be a dog – goofy, loveable, carefree, afraid only of the vacuum cleaner and sometimes their own fart.
When the two were finally reunited, we were all in tears – the change in Annie was so evident:
We discovered that not only were they a bonded pair, they were mother and daughter. From hopeless to full of life, Annie lit up at the reappearance of her friend. And though Annie only lived for another 6 months, she lived them out in complete joy with Sydney, who Jill fostered – and then adopted.
Life doesn’t always go the way you’d expect. And if anyone knows the truth behind this statement, it’s those in the business of animal rescue. Case in point: Jill thought she was simply adopting Sydney, but just as she gained another furry member of the Bekar Clan, so too did TDIAO adopt Jill into our cool, quirky, sometimes crazy (but always in the best of ways) family. And we have been inseparable ever since.
Jill embodies TDIAO – she is TDIAO. She is the heart, soul, and wheels of our organization. As the Adoption/Foster Coordinator, full-time rescue partner, and “almost” Founder, Jill is the most committed dog crazy person that I have ever had the pleasure of walking the earth to rescue magnificent floofers with. You don’t always get to do the thing you are more passionate about in life. Some days, I wish I never got into dog rescue. Most days, I count myself lucky I get to make a difference. Every day, I count myself twice as lucky that I have the highest honour of doing it all with Jill.
So. When I tell people not to get into dog rescue. When I tell them to think about doing something else, anything else. What I’m really telling you is don’t do it unless you can commit to it. 100%.
Don’t do it unless you are willing to have your heart broken a million times and then sewn back up with every dog you rescue.
Don’t do it if you’re more of a cat person.
Definitely don’t do it if you’re allergic to dogs.
And definitely – definitely – only do it if you can find in a person the wonderful, dedicated, heartwarming partner in crime to help you get through the dark days. To encourage you that everything is worth it, even if it doesn’t feel like it. Who can remind you that just one dog saved is all the world’s difference to that one dog. To laugh, cry, scream, and sigh, and giggle like 12-year olds over dog memes with you. If you can find that, times it by ten and never let it go. That’s what I’ve found in Jill. And to me and the 663 souls that she has helped save so far, it is all the difference in the world.