How Wags and Walks and Winnie Changed My Life


Hi everyone! My name is Rachel, and I’m part of the Wags and Walks social media team. I’m so excited that we’re starting the W&W blog back up, and that I get to share the story of how I found this amazing organization, and what it taught me about dog rescue (and about so much more).


It’s pretty appropriate that I help out with social media for Wags and Walks, because that’s exactly how I found my dog. And that post that you see above is how it all started. I had been following Wags and Walks on Instagram, and knew that I wanted to adopt a dog… I was just waiting for the right one. And when I saw this post, I fell in love with that fluffy black dog on the left. In the screenshot above, you can even see my comment about putting in an application! I was lucky, and got to meet this sweet girl the very next day, and ended up taking her home with me. I had no idea how much this would change my life for the better, and open up a whole new world to me… the world of dog rescue!


                                                                                                      The day I met Winnie

                                                                                                      The day I met Winnie

Growing up, I always loved dogs and knew I wanted one of my own eventually. Our family dogs growing up were purebreds from breeders, which was really all we knew about. And I loved them so much… they were my sisters, my best friends, my babies. I had no idea about the world of dog rescue, and neither did my family. Since I grew up with fluffy dogs (wheaten terriers and Portuguese water dogs to be exact), I knew that when I got a pup of my own, I’d want one like that. What I didn’t know was that I would be able to adopt a shelter dog, instead of buying from a breeder, that would be everything I wanted and more.

Winnie’s second day at home with me

As I went about my search for the perfect dog, I knew exactly what I wanted. My dream dog looked just like my parents’ black Portuguese water dog, but I wanted something smaller that I could travel with. And I’d already decided that adopting was the way to go, so I had been searching online for months to find my perfect pup. Imagine how excited I was when I saw Wags and Walks’ Instagram post featuring this adorable little black fluff with a white chin (who looked exactly like my parents’ dog). I was in shock… how could a dog this perfect be in a shelter? She was exactly what I was looking for, and I couldn’t believe that she was available for adoption. What I didn’t know then was that every single day, there are thousands and thousands of absolutely perfect dogs sitting in shelters across the country, through no fault of their own. Growing up, I had this idea that shelter dogs ended up in a shelter because something was wrong with them… either they were aggressive, had health issues, or were just too difficult to live with. However, over the last 9 years that I’ve lived in Los Angeles, I’ve seen most of my friends adopt adorable, sweet, loving, well behaved dogs that I’ve completely fallen in love with. My friends’ rescue dogs have come in all shapes and sizes, which is what convinced me that my perfect pup was in a shelter out there somewhere, just waiting for to me to find her.

Since I adopted Winnie almost a year ago, I’ve learned a lot about dog rescue. It breaks my heart that over a million dogs are euthanized in shelters each year, just because there isn’t space. I was also shocked to find out that 25% of shelter dogs are purebreds. So no matter what kind of dog you want, no matter how specific, Wags and Walks can find that dog in a shelter for you. I’ve also learned that dog rescue isn’t only about saving a dog’s life - for every dog that is saved, a family is completed. I can’t explain how much happiness Winnie brings me. She makes me smile and laugh every day, has taught me patience and responsibility, and has made my life infinitely better. When I think about how many shelter animals have found homes through Wags and Walks, I just think about how much happiness these dogs have brought to all of their forever families. To me, and to countless other dog lovers out there, the pure love that comes from a relationship with a dog is unmatched. So every time a new Wags and Walks dog finds a home, I get so excited when I think about how much happiness their new family is in for.

I can’t even describe how lucky I feel to have found Winnie, my perfect pup match, and also to have found Wags and Walks. This is an organization of purely selfless people, who work day and night to save sweet dogs from high kill shelters. It’s been incredibly inspiring to see the ladies of Wags and Walks in action, and I’m so honored that they let me be a part of their team. I hope you’ll keep reading our blog, to find out about our adoptables, see pupdates of our alumni, get training tips and tricks… and of course, to see cute puppy photos and videos.

So, make sure you’re following us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat (username: wagsandwalks).  Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter, and check our website for available dogs. You never know when we’ll find your perfect pup at the shelter.

Team Wags