ADOPT DON’T SHOP

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Today, I want to shift the focus slightly away from clothes and talk a bit about something else that’s dear to my heart.

I’ve always been an animal lover, which comes as no surprise given that I grew up with dogs (I haven’t gone a single year of my life without living with a dog). But I’ve never actually had a rescue pet before (rescue pet: an abandoned pet adopted from a shelter or foster home), and it wasn’t until this year that I got to experience it, and you could say my outlook on life changed as a result.

Puppies and kittens are unbelievably cute, but we also need to remember that there are so many older animals who need the same love and family. Too often, people buy puppies and raise them, only to discover that the little pups grow to be too big or too wild, or that they cost too much to take care of, and consequently, the dogs end up on the streets and/or in animal shelters (and keep in mind that many shelters do euthanize). That’s why if you were to visit your local shelter, you’ll see more adult and senior dogs – usually mixed breeds – than young, pure-bred ones. Sadly, you’ll also see many that were previously abused. All of these are in desperate need of loving homes, and you’d essentially be saving a life by adopting them and giving them the life they deserve.

As for my own experience, I brought home a senior dog from a kill-shelter back in January of this year. If you looked at photos of her from before, you wouldn’t believe it’s the same dog! She was severely thin and underweight and came with multiple packages – canine bronchitis, mammary tumors, enlarged heart, deafness in both ears, and slight cataracts, not to mention extremely dirty, matted hair and a broken spirit from a history of a hard life – but after eight months, I’m so glad to say that her transformation has been amazing. From her actions, and even her appearance, you really would have a difficult time believing she’s 14 years old. Granted, the transition from shelter life to indoor life can be difficult and present many occasions of stress for you (the first month was the worst – and most expensive – for me; it was almost like there was a new baby in the house and I honestly had some nights when I questioned whether I had made the right choice for myself or not), but so many rewarding moments make it all worth the while. It’s such an inexplicably good feeling when you realize that you’ve changed someone else’s life for the better and they love and appreciate you for it, even if they can’t physically tell you that. It’s definitely no easy feat, but it’s undoubtedly a rewarding one.

And now, a new senior citizen has taken up residence here, thanks to H. It hasn’t been long enough yet for me to share stories, but I will say that it’s been interesting so far, at least for me. I never saw myself as a cat person (and if anyone were to ask me, I’d still say that I’m not fond of cats), but this white fellow has burrowed his way into my heart to my own surprise. He’s incredibly mellow and sweet, and the fact that he only has 4 teeth and a host of scars on his body yet still goes about each day normally like a true survivor make him all the more special.

But that’s enough about me. I just wanted to take advantage of this post to bring some attention to those animals in need, so here’s a great site should you ever wish to consider pet adoption. Also, I highly recommend you look into Hope for Paws, a 501-C3 nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing dogs and other animals in need of good homes. The stories are so heartwarming and inspiring that they remind my cynical self that there are still indeed good, selfless people out there! Bottom line is, the next time you find yourself in a position to take in a pet, please carefully think about it: make sure you are 100% capable of taking in an animal, do your research, and please look into adoption rather than buying from breeders/pet shops! After welcoming new pets into your house, always treat them like family, because that’s exactly what they are. Also, don’t forget that it isn’t just dogs and cats that need good homes. There are countless mistreated and abandoned horses, chickens, rabbits, and even pigs (amongst others) that need your help. In fact, it’s my dream to own a ranch one day and take in as many rescue animals as possible.

As for the outfit seen in these photos, it was all about being casual, staying comfortable, embracing simplicity, and recycling old items (shirt last seen here, shorts last seen here). I did get these new sunglasses recently from SunglassSpot, an online retailer that offers great quality shades for an amazing deal – $5/pair for a flat domestic shipping rate of $5 for up to 6 pairs. If you’re like me and have a face structure that only works well with certain frames, you’ll love SunglassSpot’s return policy, because you get to have 365 days to deliberate about your new shades for a full refund. Head on over now to check out the great assortment of sunglasses for sale!

Whew! Thanks for bearing with me on this long post. Scroll on to see my look of the day, and follow me on Instagram for more photos of the pets in my life!

Other inspirational animal links:
Susie’s Senior Dogs: page for adopting senior dogs (great stories)
Wolfgang2242: A guy named Steve and his life with 7 dogs, a pig, cats, chickens, & pigeon – all rescue
The Dogist: photo-documentary series of dogs (check out Give A Dog A Bone)

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Top: Only (see more Only printed tees here)
Shorts: Express
Booties: Chelsea Crew
Bag: 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target (similar)
Accessories: SunglassSpot sunglasses, Folli Follie bracelet (love this, this, and this)

Photos by Herman

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