This is Lando.
We met almost a year ago at a humane pet shop in Los Angeles called Bark n' Bitches. The pet shop has dog food and accessories as well as adoptable dogs you can play with, foster, or adopt from Jimi's Angels.
All of these dogs are rescued from high kill shelters in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Kern counties where the euthanatia rate is as high as 85%. Many were never taken to the shelter by their owners. They were picked up on the streets as strays by animal control.
What I love about Bark n' Bitches is that the dogs are so well socialized. Because they don't live in cages, they play with other dogs and people all day. It is an environment similar to a doggy daycare where the dogs run around and play together except humans can play too.
This is where Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid come to play with pups in the summertime. It's a really trendy place and you can tell the dogs are treated really nicely and get tons of affection.
What I don't love about this place is that they don't take care to groom the dogs or walk them often. There are many organizations devoted to beautifying dogs that need homes, but this isn't one of them. Also, the dogs would "do their business" anywhere on the floor of the store, which leads to an unpleasant smell and a poorly potty trained dog.
I went to play with the pups one afternoon with a girlfriend. She scooped up Lando and put him in my arms and said "I think you're really going to like this one." I had been pretty afraid or uncomfortable around dogs to this point, but Lando was so sweet and sleepy I fell in love.
I came by the next day to foster him. I thought, I'll just give him a bath and a nice meal and bring him back to the pet shop next week.
He wasn't easy. He peed outside my kitchen daily, he had extreme separation anxiety and couldn't be away from me for a minute, and he hated the bath.
But he stayed by my side or in my lap for the entire week. He had deep emotive brown eyes. And he loved me.
That was it. After a week taking care of him, I was hooked.
Now, it's impossible to imagine a time when he wasn't my little pup. We're inseparable and in love. Having a dog changes your life, takes so much time, and is really challenging. But it's worth it.