Shelter Sunday – April 10

I’m out of practice with photography and editing, but man was I dying to practice! I’ve been wanting to feature some of these guys since Easter, but I just needed to sun to come out and join us. The following dogs are adoptable from the Tallahassee Leon Community Animal Service Center. They’re spunky, sweet, and full of love. While they don’t seem to mind shelter life too much (it certainly hasn’t dampened their spirits), they are so deserving of a home of their own.

BryanOur first boy is Bryan, who has been a resident at the shelter since Christmas eve. We love him to death and honestly can’t figure out why he hasn’t found a home yet.

bryan 2Bryan is a regular in our ‘rough and rowdy’ playgroups. He’s energetic and loves toys, but he can be a little mouthy, so his perfect home would be inhabited by someone who is willing to work with him. And someone who shares his love of fun, of course!

parkerSpeaking of regulars in the rough and rowdy playgroups, Bryan’s BFF Parker is also looking for a home! Unsurprisingly, he shares his buddy’s love of toys, romping around, and all things fun.

parkerParker actually used to be named Dopey, which is pretty accurate. He’s goofy, and would make the perfect comedic sidekick for anyone!

chloeChloe is also ready for a second chance at a home. She will play fetch for hours, as long as you don’t mind having to chase her down to get the toy back every time!

maseyMasey, who shares similar beautiful brindle markings with Chloe is a little more chill. She’d just love to curl up at your feet or by your side for a Netflix marathon. I’m inclined to suggest Malcolm in the Middle, if you missed out on it however many years ago.

sadotSadot’s quite a looker. He’s a bit in between the fun loving antics of the boys and our laid back Masey. He’s a puppy, so he has energy and enjoys playing, but he’s a people person, for sure.

kingFinally, we’ve got King. You may notice a little bald spot on his side, but he doesn’t! This boy is handsome and he knows it. He’s another play group regular, but he’s happy to stop playing long enough to pose for a royal portrait.

Want to see more? Our Facebook page has even more photos. Interested in these dogs? You can see them and all their friends at

As always, feel free to share to help these babies find new homes!

Spring has sprung!

Happy Spring, everyone! Are you enjoying the trees budding with fresh green leaves? The rainbow of flowers just starting to blossom? How about the natural soundtrack of song birds and kids outside playing? I AM! I live for cold weather, but change in general is magical to me.

Obligatory picture of flowers

See how excited I am? FLOWERS! THOSE ARE NEW!!!

Hopefully your Spring is starting off a little smoother than mine. I’ve recently come down with Pneumonia. Yes. Literal Pneumonia, which is a first for me, since I’m younger than 80 and live in 2016. And I’ve recently learned that this body is allergic to at least one thing. As sassy as this vessel is, my poison is of course antibiotics, specifically Levofloxacin. Uncool.

Despite going back to work the morning I was diagnosed with the big P, I did opt to stay home for the combination of the infection and my first ever allergic reaction. What a slacker, I know.

Aside from my health (or lack there-of) so much has changed since our last post! Old Man cat (Ojii-chan was his official name in our home) was returned to his rightful family just before Christmas. This was sad for me, as I was admittedly excited about keeping him, but it was definitely the right thing to do. If I found someone’s kid, it would be very wrong to keep them; same goes for a pet. (Not that I want someone else’s human spawn anyway.)

I also changed careers, which was a long time coming but also felt like it was never actually going to happen. This may come as a big shocker to absolutely nobody, but I am thrilled to announce I work for my local animal shelter!! FINALLY!

I am beyond excited to experience animal rescue from yet another new point of view and so far it is already enlightening. I expect this will change Dream Big, Bark Loudly a little bit, but not fundamentally. I still advocate spay and neuter and training, and now I’ll be a little louder about the importance of microchipping, too. Not to mention, since I’m back down to only one job, hopefully I’ll be better about actually writing here. All work and no play sounds great until it doesn’t, which is pretty much immediately.

As per usual, my aim is to be down to earth, welcoming of any audience, and so optimistic it verges on naive. So if you ever find yourself burning with questions about the inner workings of animal shelters, animal laws, or the sad life of a twenty-something lady nerd, seek me out. I’ll be real with you.

Our Christmas Cat – An Open Letter

To the person who owned our Christmas Cat:

On Friday, I found your cat. He walked with a limp and looked, for lack of a better word, ragged. He was friendly and had a notched ear. I was sure he was a feral, but he seemed like he needed help. So I scooped him up and carried him into my home. I gave him food and water and a safe place to sleep. He is skin and bones and so full of love.

Feral KittyToday, I took him to the vet. They informed me he is likely at least 15 years old. He is obviously too thin, missing many teeth, nearly blind, and likely suffers from numerous age related diseases. It seems I took him in just in time for his final months. My humble apartment will be his retirement home.

I am not telling you this because I assume you’ve dumped him. In fact it’s quite the opposite; I believe you loved this boy. You see, when my vet scanned him for a microchip, they found one. But it was incorrectly registered to a dog on the other side of the country. The phone number associated with it was disconnected, and thus the owner unreachable.

bathtime for the new catI feel heartbroken for your cat. I’m sure he misses you, and for his sake I have to assume you miss him too. I just want you to know that even if I never find you, I will give your baby the same love you did way back when. I will make sure his bowl is always full of food and his bed stays warm and dry. Anytime he meows I will come running. He can’t see me, but I’m making sure that he feels the love you would give him if you could. I am sorry you’ve lost your baby, and that I haven’t been able to find you. Please don’t worry about him. He’s got a home for Christmas.

Family time with Christmas CatSincerely,
Your kitty’s loving caretaker

Beach Bums

Have you ever followed people on Instagram who post beautiful photos of their dogs in lush forests or on towering mountains? No, I’m not self-promoting. My Florida dog has never seen a mountain. And if we want to avoid death by mosquito, we steer clear of forests, too. Which is really a shame. However, we do follow some of these lovely dogs online, and get major wanderlust. Thanks a lot, guys!

Brady (former foster dog) and Lana (personal dog) go hikingSee how deep that ‘forest’ is? It’s just a swamp lined with trees. Still pretty but not the same. I am getting major vacation blues. The cure?

Loki and Lana playingCute pictures of dogs on the beach, of course! Specifically, our (mini) photo session from Gulf Shores, Alabama!

Lana at the beachLana and Loki pose for a photoLoki's beach portraitLoki's beach photo seshLoki's close upHappy weekend, everyone!

“What’s a Loki?”

My parents spent a good amount of time after their beloved Terrier mix, Desi, passed before they were ready for another dog.

Desi, our beautiful girl

Forgive the blur, I didn’t do much serious photography until after this beauty died.

When the time came, they kept a keen eye on the local animal shelters’ websites. A few dogs caught their attention at the Escambia County Animal Shelter, so they drove over to the small facility to meet them.

They left with a large, white “Lab/Anatolian mix” named Alvin. Long story short, the vet thinks Pyrenees mix (yasssss!) and his new name? Loki.

Loki, AKA my new brother

Loki, AKA my new little brother

I assure you, I know darn well who Loki is, but if I’ve learned anything because of this dog, it’s that more people need to watch The Avengers. Not Thor. I am not recommending Thor.

Loki in the sandLoki, despite being a frost giant, has voiced no complaints about living near the beach. In fact, he was able to slow down enough for a quick photo session. I am very excited to share those in the near future.

Loki and Lana on the beachStay tuned for updates on Loki, fun doggie photo sessions (also on our Instagram), and more!


Work Hard, Play Hard

If you’ve been following either on the blog or on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed I talk a lot about playgroups at the Tallahassee shelter. I love them and they are a blast, not to mention a nice throwback to my days working at a dog daycare.

Cookie and Domino playingDingo and Bella Playgroups make life more bearable for shelter dogs. Even if just for 30 minutes a day, they get to escape the confines of their small kennels and stretch their legs. They make friends, exhaust themselves, and work their brains. And when it’s all said and done and they’ve joined a family of their own, they’re more socially adept than they would have been without play time. This is a huge deal, even if it just means walking by another dog on leash is easier for the new owner.

Domino, Cookie, and Peaches playing

Domino the goofiestShelters around the country are implementing playgroups. I’m sure the same people who taught us are responsible for a good number of the other shelters, too. I’d like to thank Dogs Playing For Life! for taking the time to demonstrate to the staff and volunteers at our local shelter how to lead safe, efficient playgroups to benefit our pups. (In fact, last week was their second year presenting in Tallahassee, so many people were soaking up their advice again.) They are great at what they do and have helped so many shelters provide enrichment without tons of added costs.

Dingo, Venus, Steve-o, and Thumper playingCookie and Domino having a blastI highly recommend checking out their website if you’re interested in learning more! They have many helpful and entertaining resources. Want to help them provide shelters in need with no-cost training seminars? They are a 501(c)3 non-profit and always appreciate donations. (Not at all a sponsored post y’all, I truly believe they do wonders for shelter dogs!)

Thumper and Venus

Thumper, Dingo, and Steve-oWant to see more photos of the Tallahassee shelter dogs playing? Because I sorely need practice in fast moving photography, I’ve created a ‘Playgroup’ Facebook album on our official fanpage. Feel free to peruse, maybe you’ll even fall in love with a dog you see!