The turtle and the hare.

Before I picked up the phone to #prisonbae, I had only two loves of my life, my dogs, Jake and Theo. King Jacob @kingjacobtheweiner and Prince Theodore.

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They are my two rescue dogs, but don’t worry I’m not one of those who runs around yelling “he’s a rescue, I’m a good person, they’re rescues, I’m a saint.” I also don’t do the whole they rescued me thing because honestly when I hear that phrase I cringe. However, I will say this; my 12 year old weiner dog, Jake is my soul mate and my heart dog. I adopted Jake at a time when I really needed a reason to get out of bed.. or a reason to stay in bed but regardless the companionship was so needed and so welcome. 20645324_10159409879115647_4815363705864021519_o

 

Theo, the 3 year old bully-mix mutt is my baby boy. He really thinks he is a human and he has the emotional issues of an abandoned toddler. He stays pretty close and I’m just fine with that.

 

 

For the first 27 years of my life I did not like dogs. In fact, I hated dogs. If your dog died or ran away, I would have absolutely no sympathy. I sound like an evil heartless witch, right?

In 2015 I was so desperate to find a way out of the black hole I had resigned myself to that I would try ANYTHING to climb out. This was my first diagnosed depressive episode, my parents split up, I was in love with my best friend (obviously not reciprocated) and my job was stressing me out beyond anything I had felt before. It was the first time I went on anti-depressant medication and the first time my mental health had effected.. and almost destroyed me. I remembered my brother saying him and his (now ex) girlfriend had fostered a puppy and of course I read the research correlating pets and mental health and thought what else could I possibly lose. It was time to take a chance on something because I could not possibly go on like this. Fostering would be easy. You take a puppy, feed the puppy, take it for walks and baths and then just give it to someone else. Easy, right? My first foster was a husky puppy I called Drake – so not easy. However, he did give me all of the endorphins and happy feelings and serotonin and I absolutely did not want to give him up. Keeping a husky in a second floor condo, not a great idea so I had to make the decision to let him go. This was a real turning point for me, a true act of maturity. Instead, I immediately went out and adopted a 9 year old long-haired dachshund who had been recently separated from his biological sister  and in foster care for over 6 months. Jake hates other dogs and can’t walk for longer than 10 minutes. He’s had quite a few health scares and as far as I can see he has about 6 teeth. In hindsight, this was not a perfect fit for me either. But he is perfect, and so adorable, and mine. 17952854_10158761377555647_8890506562777814150_n

Theo was a foster fail.. see that picture of them snuggling up there? With their adorable heads smooshed up against each other, sleeping so peacefully and so quietly? Their faces tilted towards me on the perfect angle. Like God himself came down from the heavens and placed them in my lap. That picture was taken one week after Theo arrived, when he was finally healthy and calm enough to rest in my bed. That picture was the moment Jake and I decided to keep him.

Who knew finding and loving a dog would open me up to so many experiences and opportunities. The friendships that I have made through the “dog world” are strong and ones I truly cherish. I have met so many dogs and learned so many skills because I took a chance on Jake. I’ve met amazing people, found fun and rewarding ways to spend my time and even made money doing it! I finally took a big risk – and this, my friends, was only my springboard because I took more risks after that and more chances and my future? Full of unknowns, but that’s what makes life interesting! The worst thing that could happen? You end up with a Jake instead of a Drake.

As #prisonbae always says to me, you gotta risk it for the biscuit.

Peace, Love and Handcuffs,

Shelly T.

 

 

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