About Us


I have been a crazy dog lady since the moment my parents brought home a little sheltie mix puppy for my 2nd birthday.  His name was Teddy, and our love was true. Since then, I have loved and lost too many dear furry friends.  When I moved out on my own in a dog-friendly apartment, I started fostering for One Tail At a Time based out of Chicago.  It took me 9 wonderful dogs before I fell too deeply in love to say another goodbye.  Yes, I am a failed foster mom thanks to this guy:



He was the light of my life. Our time was cut far too short, but I will always cherish everything he game me in that short time.

10.26.10-7.2.17 (Estimated birth year: 2006 to 2007)

Rufus is a 10-11 year-old super mutt.  We’ve heard it all: boxer, hound (beagle?  basset?  plott hound?), lab, corgi, etc.  Whatever he is, I know one thing to be true: he’s my best friend.  At times, Rufus can be tentative and rude when meeting new dogs and people.  Other times? He warms up immediately to the strangest of strangers.  We have no history of his past, but this is what we do know:

Rufus (previously Brindle Boy by his beloved shelter moms) was found as a stray with no previous history.  He then sat in a shelter in southern Illinois for five months before I spotted him in an email sent by One Tail’s intake coordinator, Anna.  I was immediately smitten by his beautiful brindle coat and the side tongue he was rockin’ in the attached photos.  I then asked Anna if it was ok if I inquired about him with the intent to foster.  She gave me the ok, and I started an email relationship with the shelter’s manager.  After a few emails back and forth, transport was set up and we met him in a college parking lot on the night of October 26th, 2010.  He was shy, curious, and pretty aloof.  Anna’s famous last words: “I can almost guarantee this isn’t your forever dog, but hopefully he’ll be an easy and quick foster and we can find you guys the perfect dog.”  Oh goodness.

After fostering him for several months (and one meet-and-greet with potential adopters gone all sorts of wrong), we decided he was a keeper and officially adopted him around the 18th of February, 2011. Best decision ever.


This blog is a way for me to share my favorite photos, stories, adventures and products – all things dog. Finding like-minded dog lovers has been such a joy since I started writing in this little space and I hope to make many more friends along the way!

I hope you enjoy our little world.


14 thoughts on “About Us

  1. Hi, Vanessa! I just saw your comment on Love & A Six Foot Leash and wanted to check out what rescue you work with in Chicago. After reading your story, I just had to shoot you a note. We just foster failed this summer with a dog we got from One Tail at a TIme. He also came from Southern Illinois as a stray – and we coincidentally enough named him Rufus! (Formerly Skeeter – the crazy chow mix with the enormous underbite – you might have seen his picture on OTAT’s FB page).

    Failing was pretty major for us as we already had a household with three senior dogs, but what’s one more? He’s doing great despite a few small challenges and he’s a great addition to our pack. 🙂

    • Oh my gosh! I know exactly who Skeeter/Rufus is! I remember commenting on his picture as soon as OTAT posted him on FB – so jealous of your adorable guy. One Tail is in fact the rescue we fostered for. Rufus was our 9th foster and our first fail. He’s got his quirks, but I love him to pieces. OTAT remains my favorite rescue ever. We now live just outside of Portland, Or. We moved in June. What a small blog world it is 🙂

  2. Oh, how have I not read this? I myself have always wondered what type of pup Rufus is. I’m not good with guessing breeds unless it seems totally obvious–and even then I’m sure I’m often wrong.

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