When we pulled Jack straight from the city pound 6 years ago, he was a pile of bones. His eyes were sad, and he sat at the back of his crate as we passed him by – several times, actually – to play with and consider the happier, wiggly smaller pups nearby. When we pulled these smooshy, tinier dogs from their cages, however, they wanted nothing to do with us. We brought them outside, and that blissful moment of freedom took over those smooshy, tiny bodies, and they would run, quite literally, like the wind. They writhed away from us, and after several failed attempts to make a connection, we were thisclose to leaving the slammer empty-handed that day. As we were walking out, we passed by Jack yet again (with a paper tag on his crate that read Jimbo), but this time we doubled back and said, well, maybe we should play with this one. Just to see. I mean, look at how sad!
As a staff member brought Jack – er, Jimbo? – to the small playpen where we waited, he practically sprang from her arms and right into Scott’s lap. We barely had a chance to coo before he was licking our faces and crawling from Scott’s legs to mine. He couldn’t knead his body – his paws, his belly, his big head! – into our hands hard enough, and we were signing the papers to bring him home five minutes later.
It couldn’t be more true when we say that Jack changed our lives. We didn’t know why passersby would cross the street on our morning walks, and we quickly found ourselves spiraling down the internet rabbit hole researching things like ‘Pit Bull’ and ‘bully breed’ and all of the misunderstandings that are associated with them. On the flip side, we also found blogs and Facebook groups and television shows that love their big, beefy dogs as much as we do! Soon, we had fallen into a community where dogs ruled the roost in the best possible way. We were joining doggie group walks and making friends with puppy foster parents, and although we’d always been pro-rescue, we found ourselves diving head first into that world. It didn’t take long before we began giving back to this community we love so much.
And, well, then came Chunk. A girl who speaks for herself, and a noodle we love so much, it just can’t be considered normal. Add that to our senior rescue kitties (both hailing from our college days; I still remember bargaining with my landlord that I would clean the common hallway if he would just consider allowing me to have a cat), and that brings our pet total to four. Our lives are so full of warm, fluffy, fuzzy contentment!
I digress. All that to say, this winding path of pet love is a big part of many of our friendships today, and it’s the reason why we’ve found ourselves in a position to help with an incredible new project. Let’s talk about it!
One Tail at a Time is a local rescue doing amazing things, and they’re on a mission to make Chicago a no kill city. From the beginning, OTAT has been a foster based rescue, but by the end of this summer, they’ll be swinging open the very real doors to their own adoption center! A place for more rescuing, more fostering, more word spreading and, as a result, a whole lot less euthanizing in city shelters. We were asked by their director Heather if we would be willing to donate our time to makeover the space, and before she could complete her thought, we were all, okay, people, no time to waste! Someone hand us a paint brush!
We have a One Tail notebook where we’ve been keeping track of the needs/wants since we first sat down with Heather in April. At the top of this notebook is the word QUIRKY. This will be a space where joyous, difference-making will happen, and we all agree that this adoption center should make you feel good and silly and happy down to the core. We’re going to have so much fun with this.
So! Remember that sofa we pulled from a trash pile? It has lovingly been dubbed the Garbage Sofa, and this sofa will be the back drop of every photo of every dog that is getting their second chance with a rescue family. All those smooth talking pups that have undeniably wriggled their way into the hearts of their new moms, dads, sister and brothers will sit on this sofa as a forever family before starting a life with endless kibble, tennis balls and warm beds. Say cheese! (Are these two the poster children for their own Hey Girl meme or what?)
Of course, Garbage Sofa will be getting a makover of its own, because, you know, we’re already drowning in fabric swatches as it is. We’ll be documenting and sharing the process for the One Tail Adoption Center over the course of the summer, and we’ve already got a great team of collaborators and sponsors that are helping us to realize their vision. You can learn more about One Tail at a Time, The Adoption Center and their goal to raise $70,000 in 70 days right here. Yeah!