I recently decided to leave the rat race to pursue my dream - owning my own business and devoting my life to dogs. On Earth Day 2011, I realized that dream and opened up NoPo Paws here in Portland, OR. NoPo stands for North Portland, which is what we NoPo'ers call our little neck of the woods. My passion is not only caring about dogs - but also caring about our earth. Therefore, both store and website are focused on sustainable and eco friendly choices for our beloved pooches. What's the sense of caring for our animals if we don't care about the earth on which we all live, right? For me, the two go hand in hand.
No about me section would be complete without a little bit on my family. I am extremely lucky to have an amazing husband supporting me on this journey of mine. Not only is he my greatest fan and supporter, he is also my inspiration. He has devoted his life to public service, educating our at-risk and under-served youth. Someday, I'll convince him to run an organization with me devoted to rescuing dogs and training them to become therapy dogs that help at-risk youth through training, care and reading programs. One thing at a time, right? Maybe that's retirement-talk.
My life wouldn't be complete, or on its current path, without my amazing pack.
Maggie is a black lab who amazes me with her intelligence. She's certainly smarter than your average bear! Her issues with aggression, allergies and incontinence forced me to become a much more informed pet owner. I loved and appreciated the learning that I had to do to enable her to be her happiest and healthiest self. That in turn, helped me realize how much I truly thrive on dishing dogs and what a fulfilling career it would be for me.
And then there's Sadie. She's my pitbull mix who came with her own set of behavioral problems. She's not nearly as smart as Maggie but what she lacks in raw intelligence, she makes up for in eagerness to please and her ability to love. I've never received such unconditional love as what she offers up on a daily basis. It was because of Sadie that I started to volunteer at my local shelter. I don't know if life would have led me down the rescue path without her but she certainly pointed me in that direction. In her honor, a key focus of the rest of my life will be rescuing pitbulls and educating the public about this wonderful breed. That is the least I can do to pay her back for all that she has given me. I dream of a world where one day, I can take my pitbull for a walk and not receive one dirty look!
Our newest member, Hurley, is an amazing St Bernard/Golden Retriever/Something with a Curly Tail mix. At the time of this writing, he is only 3 months old. He spends every day in my store with me, on his journey to become a therapy dog and NoPo Paws' mascot. At least that's the plan. That's the thing about life - the best laid plans yada yada. He is showing tons of promise with his exemplary behavior in the store, his love of people especially children, and his amazing attention span. Now it's up to me to mold him into the best dog he can be!
So that's me and my family. I hope you enjoy the tails I have to tell about them and anything else I might blog about on the way.