October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, and we here at HLAW love our pups! So much so that when we asked for submission from our Ambassadors on the subject we got more than enough. So from now until Tuesday, we are running a shelter dog story! Today we welcome Ambassador Emily to the blog who tells us about how she was rescued.

Growing up, my family had a cat. I was incredibly close with my cat (weird to some people, I know!) and she lived over 20 years. After I graduated college and moved to Lake Tahoe as a ski bum, I lived in a house with 6 other people. There were a couple of dogs and a cat that lived there two. I spent all of my time when I was working outside. Whether it was hiking, skiing, or on the river. Its where everyone was at and its why we lived there.

Many of my new friends had dogs and it seemed to fit the lifestyle. At the extremely responsible age of 23, I felt that I had a good job, a wonderful life and a new awesome boyfriend. I had the urge to now get my own dog. Being an empath, I felt that rescuing a shelter dog was the only way to go. Every life deserves a home. Randomly, one snowy day, I was looking for something to do and wanted to go look at dogs at a shelter. My boyfriend Billy (now husband) reluctantly drove me there knowing that you can’t just “look” at dogs at the shelter.

There was this little black labish mix pup that was so amazingly cute and full of energy. I bonded with him right away. The shelter had named him Tank because of his strength as they found him living in a snowbank with no explanation. In doing their necessary due diligence, the shelter explained the application process to me. I filled it out and my boyfriend rolled his eyes, hesitantly not wanting to be a part of this situation, but I could see his deep love for dogs in his heart. We drove home and that was that.

The next day, my friend Ali whom we also lived with, was encouraging me to get the dog. She had an older dog in the house and said she would help me care for and train the pup. Knowing that I needed to rescue little Tank and that we belonged together, I did everything necessary for the application process. Ali and I drove back to the shelter. Naturally just coming from a day of skiing, we had our ski pants on. When we opened Tank’s kennel door, he instantly started bouncing around the walls with excitement, attacking us with kisses and enthusiasm. He peed on Ali’s ski pants. She turned to me and said that I had to get him. So I did. As Billy was still getting used to the idea of me getting a dog, he couldn’t hide the instant bonding. Because Billy and I lived together and did everything together, Billy partnered in the care.

We changed Tank’s name right away to Brody. He was about 4 months old when we adopted him. We think he is a lab-pitbull mix, but may never know. This December Brody turns 12 and tears come to my eyes as I write this piece.

Since day one of meeting little Brody, the love that he and I have shared has been unexplainable. He has been by my side through many seasons in my life- moves, marriage, kids, jobs, losses, triumphs, etc. Fortunately, Brody fit right into our lifestyle. He loves snowshoeing, running alongside us skiing the backcountry, hiking 14ers, riding the bull on the raft through big rapids, rolling on sandy beaches and laying by the campfire.

We believe that his favorite season is winter. We joke that the time he spent living in a snowbank is engrained him. When it snows, he comes alive and rolls in any patch he can get. He has also connected with the amount of risk in adventure in the woods and has come out with some injuries. Brody has had a few surgeries: one to remove porcupine quills lodged in his nasal cavity and throat, two to remove a stick that somehow entered in his leg and caused deep pain, and a knee replacement after tearing his ACL jumping off our deck chasing deer and elk out of our front yard.

It is noticeable to me that Brody is slowing down. While he is still always up for the adventure, he doesn’t necessarily fight to lead the trail and his recovery time from a camping weekend is about 5 days of sleep. Fortunately, he has the time to do so. When we lived in Tahoe, it was common that bears would break into houses and one of our landlords warned us of this in a specific house. When I heard things rustling about outside at night near the front door, I taught Brody to bark. It was great at the time but has since backfired when the FedEx person delivers our regular amazon packages. He is forever my protector of the front door, but one of the sweetest souls I have ever known. Others note that, even on the trail. Strangers will walk by and commonly say the exact same thing; “What a sweet dog you have.” To see Brody bond with my daughters, despite being ridden and poked incessantly in the eye, just melts my heart.

 

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HLAW Ambassador Jessica (@jessbee15 ) here. Did ya’ll remember to set your clocks ahead last night? Not me, oops. I’m not sure about you, but daylight savings time always takes a little bit for me to get used to. In the meantime though, here’s some lovely Colorado pics from my trip to Marble inside the White River National Forest. This was a shorter hike to a waterfall, but it was steep and slippery. And, yikes! A cougar had been spotted in the area the day before. One of my favorite parts of hiking is the possibility of wildlife viewing even if it means it might be a cougar, or bear, or moose. The key is to be prepared and know what to do and how to keep yourself safe. Happy Trails! #hikelikeawoman #teamhlaw #hike #hikecolorado #colorado #whiterivernationalforest #optoutside

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With each up and down in my life, Brody always seems to know just when to come over, look me in the eye with a big jawed smile wagging his tail and then just lie by my side. We know that our days with Brody are numbered as he naturally ages. Whenever we can get outside, he is still right there with us. This year on my 35th birthday, I had the opportunity to go on a hike by myself and I was so excited to enjoy the views with my outdoor companion; Brody. The love that I have for Brody is indescribable. I am a firm believer when they say, I am not sure who rescued who in this situation.

Emily Marquis is a Celebrant, Life Coach, Yoga Instructor and Writer. Find more of Emily’s work at www.emilymarquis.com.

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