Me + Cocoa
The day I rescued Cocoa
The start of my journey with animal advocacy began simply. It began with Cocoa.
A new college graduate from California, I decided to make a big-girl move and head to the East Coast. I landed a job at QVC and was dancing for the Philadelphia 76ers. My new grown-up life seemed pretty great, but something I had been struggling with that entire year (behind closed doors) was anxiety disorder. I was headed back to Los Angeles to visit my family for a much-needed visit, but the weather had a different plan for me: my flight was cancelled, and I left the Philly airport crying like a little baby. I was so sad that I wasn’t going to get to see my parents and siblings.
Instead of sulking that weekend, I decided to go to the animal shelter to walk and play with a few dogs. Although I’ve always had an affinity for animals, this was the first time I had stepped foot in a shelter. At that point, I didn’t know about the differences in shelters, and I certainly didn’t know about the issues associated with animal rescue or other animal-related subjects. As I walked into the cold cement room, all the dogs began barking and howling behind their cages. It was an overwhelming sound, and to see these poor animals without homes was more than a bit depressing. Just as I contemplated leaving, I saw her.
A 6-month old shepherd (ish) puppy was curled up in the corner, hiding from it all. She was staring at the ground and shaking. Even after I took her out to let her run in the play area, she still wouldn’t budge. This poor baby had not only been abandoned, she had been abused. I was 23 years old at the time and had no business acquiring and taking care of a dog. I reasoned that I couldn’t do it with my work schedule, and I especially couldn’t do it financially. But ya know what? I did.
I know God sent me to that shelter for a reason. I haven’t had a single panic attack since the day I rescued her. Cocoa has been with me for four years, and she has changed my life more than I have changed hers. It is because of Cocoa that I am so passionate about animal rescue.
Me + Cocoa
It is so important to educate ourselves and others about animal rescue. Over 7 million companion animals, like Cocoa, enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those 7 million, about 2.7 million of them are euthanized due to lack of funding and space. This breaks my heart. It’s because of this and because of Cocoa that I will forever be a voice for those animals.
I hope you join in my journey!