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From a Chicago shelter to the green grass of Kansas

German Shepherd mix with a KU jayhawks bone

He’s a Jayhawk.

When I meet new people it usually doesn’t take long for the subject of dogs to arise. That’s due in part to my array of Moo cards, which feature a variety of precious doggy faces (including Charlie Machete‘s).

During a recent happy hour for the Social Media Club of Kansas City, I handed one of my cards to Jen Forrest, another local blogger. Her face lit up, and she immediately began to tell me the story of her dog Cody

She answered my questions all over again in the following Q&A.

Who is your dog and what is his story?

Cody is my little rescue pup (well not so much a pup anymore) – he is some kind of a German Shepherd mix and is around 1 and a half years old. My husband and I picked him out in Chicago at PAWS, a no-kill adoption center. We had been planning to get a puppy for about six months and spent a long time thinking about what type of dog we wanted. Since we lived in Chicago at the time, we thought a smaller dog would fit our living situation the best since we lived in a smaller condo. I always knew I wanted to rescue a dog, but my husband took some convincing.

When we went to the PAWS open house though, we saw “Frankie” sitting in a room with a mom and her son. Although he was a boy (we wanted a girl initially) and was around eight months old (we wanted a younger puppy), we immediately asked if we could meet with him one-on-one. Shy at first, he played ball a little bit and then came to sit on my lap and licked my face. We basically decided that moment he was ours. He was severely underfed and we felt we were just the right family to help him back to health and show him what life and love should be like.

german shepherd mix

What a face!

How did you know he was the dog for you?

While we originally planned to get a puppy, we realized through various discussions that our lifestyle wasn’t suitable for potty-training a puppy. Getting a somewhat older dog like Cody provided some benefits in that he was already house-trained, knew some basic commands, etc. He was also a great size – and since he was older, we already had a good idea of how big he would get (an important factor for condo living). His sweet little face and big brown eyes sealed the deal when he sat in my lap that day.

You had to move shortly after adopting Cody. What was challenging about that and how did you deal?

I was nervous about driving eight hours from Chicago to Kansas City – he had been in the car, but only for short trips to the vet, daycare and grooming. It was challenging to figure out how to transport him for such a long time. He also really wanted to climb into my lap for the first hour – so I had to make a small barricade between the front and back seats to keep him from getting in the way! We made sure to stop every 2 hours though to let him out of the car to stretch his legs, go to the bathroom and keep him from getting too much anxiety and I think that helped the most.

I was also nervous about moving him to a new home after he had just gotten settled in our condo in the city, but I knew he would love all the space and running off-leash in a background.

german shepherd mix in green grass

This. Is. All. Mine!

Now that he’s here, do you think he is a city dog or a suburban dog at heart?

He is definitely a suburban dog! When we first got to my parent’s house and let him in the backyard, he didn’t know what to do. When we started to run around, he literally ran his heart out for two hours. Now, he absolutely loves going outside, chasing his arch-nemesis (the squirrels), and playing fetch. He is a runner for sure, so having a dedicated space to run around is great and the walking trails around the neighborhood have also been fun to explore with him.

Since you’re now working from home, you get to spend the day with Cody. What’s that like?

I really love being at home with Cody during the day. He keeps me company while I work and I think he has really come to expect “going to the office” with me in the morning, which really means going to my dedicated home office space in our house. In the morning, he always runs up there after I get my morning coffee, so I think he likes it too!  I spend a lot of the day talking to him like he’s a normal person.

Does he help you accomplish your work tasks?

Whenever I need a break, he is there to help me relax and refocus. We’ll go outside and play fetch or go for a quick walk if I need a 15-minute pause. Of course, there are times when he’ll bark and I’m not on mute on a phone call, but it’s pretty far and between when that happens and most of the time people will laugh along with me and ask how he’s doing.

german shepherd mix on bed

It’s naptime.

What is the biggest thing you have learned from your experience adopting a rescue dog?

The biggest things we’ve learned about adopting an “older” dog like Cody is patience and dedication. More than that, it’s important to make a commitment to loving and helping a dog unconditionally no matter their past. The shelter really didn’t know anything about Cody’s past life before we adopted him at 8 months and we later learned he has some aggression issues towards men and other dogs.

We’ve taken on the challenge of helping him overcome these issues by working with a great trainer in Kansas City with Beyond the Dog. It’s not an easy task, but we knew also took on the responsibility of helping him when we adopted him. There has been nothing more rewarding than watching him make little steps of progress one day at a time. It takes a lot of patience, and I think that’s the biggest thing my husband and I have learned from Cody. He has probably taught us more than we have taught him!

Jen Forrest is a digital media maven by day and blogs for fun at Girl & Town. She recently moved back to Kansas after living in Chicago for eight years.  Sustained by style. Goes giddy for tech. Master tweetress. Inspired by smarties. Wired for new media. Borderline caffeine addict. And crazy for her German Shepherd mix, Cody.

Readers: Have you ever moved with your dog? What was helpful during that experience?

Machete Marketing: His own Green Business Cards

I’m kind of addicted to Moo cards.

At all times, I have at least three versions of Moo’s mini business cards on my person – one that promotes this blog’s Adoptable page, one that promotes this blog’s KC Pittie Pack page and one that promotes the KC Pittie Pack’s Meetup page (and features contact information for me and co-founder Emily of Our Waldo Bungie).

To be clear, three versions of Moo cards does not mean three basic business cards. Oh no, the beauty of Moo is you can have a bunch of the same business card, all with a different image on the front.

I like Moo cards so much that I got my colleague (aka Stephanie of Turtle Soup Daily) to design mini Moo knockoffs that we printed in-house to promote the marketing blog I manage at work.

So, really, for the past couple months I have had four Moo-ish business cards in my purse at all times.

And now you can add a fifth variety to the list: Full size, double-sided cards that show off foster dog Charlie Machete.

Thanks to a Klout perk (disclosure), I was able to get 50 Machete-specific cards and just pay for the cost of shipping. Because I already knew how nice the classic printing style is in the mini version, I opted for the recycled paper version this time.

As you may expect, the finish on the Green cards isn’t as sleek, and the cardstock is a little light. But I think the cards look great, and I’m always happy to go for the more environmentally conscious option on anything when I can.

Because I got the cards for free, I splurged a couple bucks for a cardboard business card holder in the hopes that a local business would let me set up a few Machete cards on the front counter.

You never know when someone might see that face and fall in love forever.

Big thanks to Amy at Fido Fetch Photography for providing images for the Machete and KC Pittie Pack Moo cards.

Foster dog Charlie Machete is available for adoption through Midwest Adopt-a-Bull.

If you want to order some Moo cards of your own, use this link for a discount: http://www.moo.com/share/qc56wq

Do you have business or networking cards? What do they look like?

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