– Coming Full Circle –
Holly: I remember that you came out to shoot Vespa at Danielle’s parents’ for the first story. Afterwards, Danielle recommended that you get in touch with Alex Ostrow for another story because she had been active with rescue organizations.
Me: Right, and I was just so impressed with her because she has two dogs and two cats and I had never met anyone who could really make that work in the city. So after I shot that story, I started to seriously consider adopting. I’d wanted a dog since I was a kid, but there was always a reason why I couldn't have one – whether it be apartments with roommates, fear of upsetting my cats or working long hours. But now, years later, my life is definitely more settled.
Holly: Prior to watching you go through the adoption process, I was following Alex and Social Tees on Instagram and had started to become slightly obsessed with all of the available dogs. (laughs) So I filled out an application "just in case." Danielle and I had talked about waiting until we were in this apartment for a year. But then you adopted Stevie (who was being fostered by a woman named Leora) and we came over to meet her and she was just so sweet! I thought, “Wait, we might need to do this sooner rather than later!”
– The Power of Social Media –
Holly: After you took Stevie home, Leora posted a photo of their new foster, Winnie, and you tagged us. When I saw her I thought, “Oh my god, she's so cute!” But the only reason that we got Winnie, even though we were ahead of the game by being pre-approved, is because you’d sent me a screen shot of her after Leora had given her a bath and put her on the couch. I saw it and screamed internally. Social Tees didn’t even have her up so I went onto Leora’s page and tried to get some info. Then I contacted Social Tees and said, “I just saw this dog come through. She’s not listed anywhere but a friend of a friend is fostering her and my application is in, here’s the dog’s name.” So we were the first in line for her.
Holly: Social Tees has a really in-depth application, where they ask you a number of questions. It's a really thorough vetting process, which is good. But I was dead set on getting her and thought, “This is THE dog, if we don’t get her, I can wait until they have another dog come through, but this is the dog.” So I messaged Leora on Instagram and introduced myself and said, “You just fostered Michelle’s dog and she’s our friend and I’m really interested in Winnie" etc. So she also put in a word to Social Tees. We still went and met with Leora and she said, “I just have to let them know that you’re good people.”
Holly: I'm guessing that Winnie wasn’t up on the Social Tees site yet because she came from California in a clumping of 15 other dogs. They probably hadn't had time to list them. Then, the Instagram account @dawgsofNY had taken a photo of her and posted it. By the time I saw it we’d already said we’ll take the dog. And I think it happened less than a week from when we first saw Stevie at your apartment. I think it was a week to the day. If Winnie had gone online (on Petfinder or Social Tees) she would have had 1,000 applications. She’s just a little sweet perfect animal. (laughs)
– No Time to Waste –
Danielle: When we saw her, we had plans that weekend and we totally canceled everything to pick her up.
Holly: Social Tees said we should hurry and do it now. They had so many dogs that needed foster homes and they were probably hoping that Leora would take another dog, which she did. So they encouraged us to come check her out as soon as possible. I went to sign the papers the next day. I was so excited that I went to Social Tees way too early by mistake – before they opened!
I got there and picked up her little license and registered her. It was freezing and I walked the wrong direction (afterwards). I so disoriented and excited that I walked farther away from the train! I had to tell myself to calm down.
– Questionable Beginnings –
When we got Winnie, Social Tees gave us her intake papers from the Delano. I found the name of the shelter and emailed them and the only thing they knew was that she was a stray puppy picked up from the street. She could have been part of a litter that was abandoned. The only records that they keep said that she was picked up by Animal Care and Control as a stray and they’d given her one vaccination. That was it. I think she was owned by someone, maybe a breeder because it looks like she had an umbilical surgery.
– Final Thoughts? –
Danielle: I think we were really lucky that Leora was Winnie’s foster mom. She was so well behaved from the start and Leora taught her basic commands, which was very helpful.
Holly: She was also incredibly helpful with me because I was asking her a ton of questions like, “How old is the dog? Is she ready to go? Can we take her now?” She was so patient and Instagrammed me back, telling me everything about her, telling me how great she was, and how sweet she was. I just so happy that we did it. It was a little bit scary in the beginning. It wasn’t super tender the whole time, even though she’s a really easy dog, so calm and so perfect. You just hit your stride eventually, and it’s like she’s always been here, on this couch, on this blanket. (laughs)
– Social Tees –
“Social Tees Animal Rescue is a not-for-profit, strictly no-kill 501c3 organization in the East Village of NYC that takes abandoned animals from kill shelters and provides them with safe haven and veterinary care before placing them in proper forever homes.”
– Thank You –
Special thanks to my friends, Danielle and Holly Dunn-Lobosco, for participating in this project not once, but twice. I should note that they were also instrumental in helping me navigate the process of adopting my own rescue, Stevie. I must have sent each of them two dozen photos of adoptable dogs, but they were always more than happy to weigh in, and provided glowing references when I finally did make the decision. I can't wait until our two pups can finally meet!