I know I’ve introduced myself before as Raina, editor of Apostrophe, but I’m also Raina, mama of Monkey, my 3-year old rescue dog.
I have a very vivid memory from my childhood. I was about 8 and the dog I grew up with had died earlier that year. She was amazing and had a maternal instinct that I’ve yet to see replicated. Her death was hard on my whole family but she thankfully lived a long, happy life with us. She was a hard act to follow.
But after nearly a year with no dog (and two daughters constantly nagging them about getting another one), my parents realized something was missing. So off to the humane society we went, my parents trying to keep us calm in the car with warnings that we may not be going home with anyone today. We’re just going to “look.” My sister and I were having none of it. We just knew. Today was the day. We were going to bring home a puppy and it was going to be The. Greatest. Day. Of. Our. Entire. Lives.
We walked in and there he was. His little Beagle/Dalmatian/Whippet mish-mash face smooshed through the bars of the cage he was in with his other brothers and sisters, just a few of them left from the large litter that had been dropped off earlier in the week. We took one look at him and knew he was The One. My mom leaned down, picked him up and for the next 13 years, he was my partner in crime, my nurse when I was sick, my secret keeper and my scapegoat for when I did something bad. He saw me through making the team, getting cut from the team, graduating high school, going away to college…a myriad of moments big and small. And he cost $40.
Back then we didn’t understand the concept of “rescuing” a dog. Everyone went to the pound when they wanted a dog. Designer, purebred dogs weren’t that popular and overbreeding wasn’t as much of an issue then. It’s not the same these days. There are so many amazing dogs who have never known the comforts of a real home, who have either roamed the streets or been made to work in puppy mills their entire lives (or other, unspeakable horrors). Rescuing rather than buying a dog is more important now than ever before.
Both of my dogs growing up were rescue dogs and as an adult, I never thought about buying from a breeder. Working for Lands’ End, a company that so ardently supports the same cause (the dogs you see in our catalogs, on our website and in all of our marketing are rescues) has only strengthened this conviction. I am not alone. Below, meet a few of my fellow associates’ rescue dogs. Dogs with personality and love and a lifetime of silliness to share. Dogs who listen to secrets and promise not to tell a soul, who know when we’re not feeling well and who warm us on those cold Wisconsin nights. We love them like family…because they are.
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