Hey guys! Remember when I went to PAWS Chicago and almost adopted a dog??
Yup. That happened ?
But how can you blame me?! I mean… LOOK AT THIS FACE!!! WHAT?!
Okay I’ll back up for a second to give you some context. A few weeks ago, my friend Danielle asked me if I would “help her out” and do a shoot for PAWS with Kelly, Maya, Jena, Alaina, and a few of the dogs at their Lincoln Park location. Since that sounds like my ideal day, I’m pretty sure I responded with something ridiculous like “yes yes a THOUSAND TIMES YES!”
For those of you who have never heard of PAWS, it is the largest No Kill, humane, adoption organization in the Chicagoland area. Since PAWS was founded, the number of homeless pets killed in the city has been reduced by 77 percent. To put that in perspective, there were 42,561 pets killed in 1997, but less than 10,000 in 2014. All because of these guys. How inspiring is that?!
Even more than saving these wonderful animals, they also give them all of the medical care they need. They also operate the Lurie Spay/Neuter Clinic and GusMobile mobile spay/neuter van, which performs more than 18,000 free and low-cost sterilizations to low income communities each year. AND they do all of this without any city, state or federal funding. This place and the work they do is absolutely incredible.
And then I met this pup…
I’m sure you all expected me to love a day with dogs, daydream about when I’m going to get one, and even joke about taking one home… but you might not have expected my heart to EXPLODE for one in particular! I know I certainly didn’t! I arrived at the shoot with very rational thoughts… this is so fun, but I’m not looking. It’s cool. I even laughed when Adam texted me to only bring 2 or 3 home. Come on, I have self control. Have a little faith!
But then Danielle handed this girl to me and it was all downhill (or uphill?) from there ? Capri, a lab/retriever mix, was everything you could want in a puppy (soft, fluffy, so so sweet), but most of all – homegirl just wanted to snuggle!! Most other pups want to play, run, explore… but this little lady just wanted to chill in your arms and love you! I honestly couldn’t get enough of her. Such a cuddle muffin ? (Yes, I love ridiculous puppy talk.)
How did you leave PAWS without her?!
Believe me, for a moment, I really thought I might just go for it and adopt her. But I made the responsible decision to go home and calm down. I called my boyfriend and we talked through all of the reasons why now isn’t the right time, and how I didn’t have to feel guilty about leaving her there because a pup that adorable will get adopted in a heartbeat. To be honest, I knew all of these things in my head, my judgement was just clouded by cuteness for a sec there.
I’ve had a few people say “but is there ever a good time to get a dog?!” and while they have a point, here are the biggest reasons why I let her go…
- I’m traveling a lot this summer and I don’t want to leave the puppy too much during his/her first 6 months with me. I want to be around so we can enjoy each other!
- My boyfriend’s apartment building doesn’t allow dogs. Sure, we could have tried to sneak her in – but if they caught (and fined!) him, that would be it. I could never go to his place with her and he could never help me out and dog sit for me… and both of those things would be a total bummer.
- I’m SO busy right now. I’m typing this right now at 9:45pm on a Monday night after working since 7:45am with breaks only to eat lunch, dinner and shower quickly… adding a puppy to the overwhelm might not be the smartest idea.
But despite all of those reasons, I am so glad I fell in love with this sweet girl because it made me even more sure that within the next year, I want to adopt a dog. My family got our black and yellow labs from a breeder, and I’m so glad that we gave those incredibly wonderful dogs a life full of love… but after visiting PAWS, there’s no doubt in my mind that I want to adopt a puppy that really needs a home. There are too many animals that need our help, and I’d love to be even a tiny part of the good that PAWS is doing in our city. Plus, I know it would fill my heart so much if I could give one of them a loving home.
So, stay tuned. I’ll start thinking about it again in the Fall… and I’ll obviously keep you all updated ?
And just in case I haven’t made you totally melt yet, look how cute she was with Baby Emma!!!
There are a ton of other dogs at their location in Lincoln Park, so if you are thinking about getting a dog, I highly recommend you look there! The black pup I love is Capri, a 2 month old female lab/retriever mix, but keep scrolling to see Rimo (3 month old shepherd mix), Darla (4 year old female lab/retriever mix), and Mia (8 year old female doberman/shepherd mix).
Also, if this post makes you want to get more involved – you can learn more about donating and volunteering on their website. They are also hosting an awesome celebration for PAWS Chicago supporters (and their pets!!) on March 24th called Animal Magnetism. Get your tickets here!
Have any of you adopted from PAWS? Or adopted a pet at all?! I’d love to hear about your experiences!
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Photography by Katie Kett