Dog People

Sally Snacks was inspired by my first dog Sally. My blog  (Hey Kerrie, I finally did it! ) is inspired by the people I met because of Sally. Specifically, "Dog People".

 If you're reading this, you get it. You're the person at the party who wanders around talking to strangers  (because Dog People are friendly) until you find a person who has a dog. You know what happens next - phones are pulled out for pictures, diets and allergies are discussed, and IG accounts are exchanged. You stop looking for other people to talk to, because you found a member of your tribe.

I first fell in love with dog people when Sally had cancer and I drove her to radiation five days a week in Culver City.  The first time we walked into the lobby and saw it was full of other people and their dogs, I cried. I felt like I shouldn't have done that. I didn't want to upset the other people who were obviously going through their own difficult time. And then I met a woman who talked to me. She was older, maybe in her 60s and she had a beautiful, 6 year old Golden Retriever named Maisey.  She was from San Francisco and was  sleeping on the floor of her brother's apartment in Malibu for the five weeks of Maisey's treatment.  

Then I met a couple who drove two hours each way from Pamona with their 15 year old Beagle and a young woman who begged her boss to let her leave work every afternoon for her Boxer.

I'm not saying radiation was a fun way to meet other Dog People, but it was the first time I didn't feel alone.  I found solace in a group of other people who were compelled to go to any lengths necessary for their dogs.  

From the beginning of Sally's cancer diagnosis, it seemed like everybody in my life thought I was crazy. If they didn't outright say so, I knew what they were thinking. She's 11, you're really going to put her through this? You can't afford all this treatment (They were right, I couldn't but I had a GoFund me campaign that covered every  dollar of her 20k radiation treatment). And in the end, everybody wanted to me to euthanize my dog except her canine nutritionist (shout out to Marc Ching), because I felt in my soul that she wanted to go on her own.

So in the lobby of Sally's radiation vet, I found a community where I no longer felt crazy for loving my dog like she was a kid.  I was soothed. There was a sign at the desk in the lobby that read "There is Hope" and a giant poster on an easel with pictures of all the dogs titled "Radiation Graduates." With the same desire I used to have for winning an Emmy I now had to get Sally onto that board. And we did 

Since then Sally has passed and I am no longer a writer or a teacher, I'm an entrepreneur.  Wow. Trust me, I never thought that would be my path.  But it all started because I had to help other Dog People by giving them something as simple as a healthy delicious dog treat that makes your dog's tail wag. 

The tag line on my first bag  read "Because Nobody Cares As Much As You Do."  I learned that when Sally was sick. Don't get me wrong there are wonderful vets out there (shout out to Dr. Rosenberg), but  nobody can care as much as you do about your dog. We have to take responsibility and be an advocate for our dog's health because obviously they can't. I believe it's part of the sacred deal that was made thousands of years ago between the wolves who protected our caves and the people who threw them food. The only difference today is that they protect our hearts and we do our best to take walk them, love them and feed them well. 

It took me a year to get another wheaten, Hazel,  who often shows up on Instagram. Hazel obliges me by taking pictures and looking straight into the camera, as if she's cool that this is the life she was born into with me as a mom.  

Because of Instagram, I have met hundreds of amazing Dog People.  Sometimes their pups have cancer, but often you guys inspire me by sharing your home-cooked, dog food recipes, the birthday parties you throw for your dogs, and the fundraisers you have for your friends whose dogs need surgery. 

Some people say social media is negative. To them I say I feel bad that you are not a "Dog People" (I know I should have said Dog Person, but I'm working on a catch phrase here). Dog social media is the most positive, supportive place I ever see. 

And it goes beyond our phones. It seems like every weekend there are 3-4 dog events Hazel and are invited to. From "Doodle Romps",  to exhibitions of dog photography , to a group hike during the recent "California Poppy Bloom",  Dog People have given us a community. We humans are also pack animals and maybe especially in a city like Los Angeles it's hard to find that. But not for Dog People. 

So this blog is dedicated to you guys. My Dog People. Stay tuned to meet and be inspired by each other as I interview them and their dogs (What Dog People doesn't enjoy a good anthropormophizing?) 

 

xx Lisa