How it All Began: A Pugloaf with a Snaggletoof

The ACC in New York City found a blind and deaf pug wandering the streets. They turned to a local rescue to take him in and provide him with emergency care, but his intake photo spread quickly spread online. With every view, the pug community’s collective heart grew for a pug perfectly named Emoji. Despite the long list of medical issues, one person, in particular, fell head over heels: me aka Lady.

Closely following every update from his foster home, I struggled with the conflicted love. I wanted to adopt him immediately, but I didn’t know if I could. I wanted to care for him, but wasn’t sure what to expect. I grew up with senior and special needs pugs but questioned if I had what it took to care for a special needs pug. Realizing the extensive support from my family and local pug community, I took a leap of faith and submitted my adoption application. Some would question my experience–or lack thereof– and thought someone in their mid-20s couldn’t possibly care for such a needy senior. Others couldn’t fathom adopting a dog with so many health issues or a dog “with not a lot of time left.” Fortunately, I listened to the people who provided judge-free support.

32 Months

Nothing could fully prepare me for the journey I was about to embark on. Emoji and my journey lasted 32 months. 32 months filled with every emotion imaginable and a lifetime worth of unconditional love. During our time together, I showed an honest look at what it was like to live with a senior, special needs pug.  We advocated for senior adoption by being open with our low points while celebrating our highs. It wasn’t until Emoji passed that I began to truly see the impact of our story.

By encouraging an open dialogue and offering a glimpse into our lives of messy walls and constant vet appointments, we inspired others to open their hearts and homes to senior dogs. It helped me realize Emoji and my story wasn’t over and it’s my job to carry the story into a new chapter focusing on his legacy of advocating for senior and special needs adoption.

New Chapter: Emoji Endowment

My vision for Emoji Endowment is to continue nurturing an open conversation about life with a senior in hopes of encouraging others to consider senior adoption. I will cultivate a collection of honest glimpses into other senior adoption stories. Each story is different and provides a unique set of life lessons. One story may and will mostly resonate more with you than another and my hope is that you find the confidence to start your own story and join the senior community.

I will also be reflecting on the things I silently struggled with because I was too afraid to share. I realized that in order to have an open and honest conversation, I need to share these things and allow myself to process and share what I learned.

If there is one thing I learned from my time with Emoji is anyone can open their heart and home to a senior or special needs dogs, all they need is the knowledge and encouragement. Emoji’s Endowment will be there to help you no matter where you are in your senior story. Whether you’re considering senior adoption or you’re processing your grief, Emoji’s Endowment will be here with the support and information you need to be confident to make the best decision of your life.

Emoji's Endowment

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