up close and personal.

I’ve been looking forward to this blog post since I shot these photos with our first ever rescue dog, Stanley. Growing up, we had a Labrador Retriever from a kennel in Montana. My parents learned of his breeder from a friend and immediately put a down payment for the next litter. Five months later, Jackson was shipped in an airplane from Montana and arrived at O’Hare international airport. He quickly grew to tolerate toddlers pulling and poking him and was the steadfast lab my parents dreamed of. We got our second dog, a Sheltie named Chino, from a local breeder and our third dog, JJ, from the same kennel we got Jackson from.


I tell this story because it is a common one. Shipping an eight-week old puppy on an airplane breaks my heart now, but it was so normalized growing up. Majority of the shelters, as we know them today, didn’t exist in Chicago until the early 2000s, making rescuing dogs fairly uncommon.


In 2004, I began volunteering at Heartland Animal Shelter as part of a high school requirement. I would walk dogs that otherwise would only be let out once or twice a day. I continued volunteering long after the requirement was fulfilled and into my college days. If you’ve read this post (my first!) then you’ll understand my journey into pre-vet medicine.


When Cappuccino left us at 15 years old, we knew we needed to find another playmate for JJ (and because what household only has one dog? Answer: normal ones). At this point, I had volunteered plenty and had understood how rewarding it is to adopt a dog in need of a home. I was grateful my family was willing to take a trip to PAWS Chicago (“only to look”…lol good luck with that) to meet a few dogs.


The Rescue

When Stanley walked into the “meeting” room at 4 months old with a cone on his head and a smile on his face, my purebred kennel family became a melting pot of dogs. Stanley (named after the Stanley Cup of course) has transformed our family. A stark difference from his could-have-been future in Iowa amongst hundreds of stray dogs, I am happy to report he is the favorite child and enjoying his pampered life in the burbs with his sidekick Hattrick.


If you’re looking to support PAWS Chicago, be sure to attend the PAWS Chicago Animal Magnetism event on Friday, March 24 and help thousands of dogs find their forever homes. Yours truly will be there and so will many, MANY, dogs. What beats that?



A good midi skirt is a solid investment. I’ve worn this skirt so many times, I should probably retire it. The red makes any day a little lighter and can be easily paired with my majority black wardrobe, the one I’m wearing is from Zara but I’ve found this similar one from ASOS for $32. This evereve top is a welcome addition to my spring wardrobe and I get complimented on these Jessica Simpson ballet flats every time I wear them. 



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