Adoption Stories: Meet Michelle and Sonny

Adoption Stories: Meet Michelle and Sonny

Looking for online love led our Director of Photography to find her future husband, AND a new furry best friend!

Why did you choose your specific rescue and how long had you been thinking about adopting?
My partner adopted Sonny from Home at Last Rescue three years ago. I always wanted a dog but in many ways I felt more like a cat lady — until I met Sonny.

What is your pup’s name? How old is she and do you have any idea of her breed? 
Her name is Sonny and she is a 6 year-old Husky. 

Tell us about meeting your pup. Was it love at first sight? What brought you together?
I first saw Sonny cuddled up with her dad on Hinge. I fell in love with her and her dad right away and we haven’t left each other’s side since our second date.

Her favorite toys?
Any toy that belongs to another dog.

Funniest quirks?
I think she has learned to mimic the cat and Sonny cries for treats now. She wasn’t a vocal Husky until I came into the picture — now she has a lot to say, and I’ve been teaching her to say “I love you.” She also has a thousand derp faces, all hilarious. She was born with half a tail and only three paws.

Favorite activities to do together?
Playing in the snow!

For more Adoption Stories, click here

Check out all our pet accessories here

This post is in support of our long-time partner Best Friends Animal Society

Free People Blog

Care FP: What Does Visibility Mean To You?

Care FP: What Does Visibility Mean To You?

Introducing a very special — and local — Philly partner, The William Way LGBT Community Center…

William Way, a Philadelphia city planner in the 1980s, was instrumental in the revitalization of Center City in a myriad of ways. Way was one of the first high-level city officials in Philadelphia to publicly disclose his HIV-positive status. He also created safe space for the LGBTQ+ community, and shaped the William Way center — as it’s known today — which officially found its home on Spruce Street in 1997. Today, that center has grown into an incredibly important city resource as a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit, and is dedicated to encouraging, supporting, and advocating for the well-being and acceptance of sexual and gender minorities through service, recreational, educational and cultural programming – both in-person and virtually.

Resources for the LGBTQ+ Community

William Way supports trans and gender non-conforming individuals by offering free mental health and wellness resources, peer to peer counseling, support with enrolling in health insurance, accessing food assistance programs, and completing name change and other legal documents; referrals to health care and therapy providers; career and job services. You can also join their supportive virtual communities:

  • Peer to Peer Counseling: if you are part of the LGBTQ+ community and need someone to talk to, William Way Peer to Peer Counseling is a free resource. Call 267-416-0451
  • The Trans Resource Center: The Trans Resource Center provides a safe and tranquil space for members of Philadelphia’s trans and gender non-conforming community. If you want to join a weekly drop-in social for trans and gender non-conforming folks, Trans Way group meets digitally every Thursday evening. Find out more on their Trans Resource page.
  • Visit William Way’s calendar of events to access all of their community offerings.

 

 

What Does Visibility Mean to You?

  • Do you want to share your story? William Way is asking for folks to submit photos and answer the question: “what does visibility mean to you?” They are accepting submissions until March 31st via this email: trc@waygay.org

Lifting up LGBTQ+ Artists

Visit William Way’s virtual exhibition, highlighting the work of talented nonbinary artists. William Way partners with many LGBTQ+ creatives across artistic mediums, and through the pandemic developed their virtual exhibition. Check out their latest exhibition, Moving Pieces. You can also visit their ARCHIVES to explore past exhibits and other talented LGBTQ+ artists.

How FP Is Supporting William Way

FP supports the William Way community through advocacy, and product and art supply donations. This Spring we are donating over $50k worth of self-care products, as well as art and craft supplies for their trans Peer to Peer Counseling program, and their Creative Art Therapy community classes. As they look to reopen their center in the coming months, we will also initiate onsite community volunteering projects.

 

Free People Blog

Care FP: Support The AAPI Community With Us

Care FP: Support The AAPI Community With Us

Here’s how you can help the Asian American Community, whether it’s local or global…

To our FP Community,

We at Free People absolutely denounce discrimination of any kind, and we strive to build an environment that is inclusive for all. As we have become more aware of the rise of hateful occurrences towards the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community, we wanted to take the time to let our community know we stand in unity with you — with those of you within our Free People family who identify as AAPI, with those who are allies, and also with the greater community. In partnership with incredible organizations denouncing hatred and building up the AAPI community, we’re sharing resources for all of you to remain supported in this challenging time:

 

Stop AAPI Hate is a community platform that tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

A Community Reporting Resource

Access Stop AAPI Hate’s free community platform to report a hate incident right on their website.

Click here to report an incident.

 

Hollaback is a community organization on a mission to end harassment for all (nonbinary, young girls, BIPOC community, etc.), and provides resources for when you see violence in public. 

Providing Free Community Training

Hollaback provides free community training and resources including classes in Street Harassment, Bystander Intervention Against AAPI Community, and Conflict De-escalation Training.

Click here to sign up for one of their free trainings.

 

Artwork by Grace Owen.

 

Free People Blog

Adoption Stories: Meet Morgan & Otto

Adoption Stories: Meet Morgan & Otto

Our Visual Display Coordinator & Care FP Assistant wasn’t in a rush to adopt a pup, but the universe intervened. 

Tell us how you chose your rescue. How long had you been thinking about adopting?

I found a dog running loose in Philadelphia and reunited it with its owner. That lit a fire in me. At the time, my best friend had just bought a house and I was living with her. She knew I always wanted a dog so, as my landlord, she gave me the green light to get one. Just 3 weeks later I was browsing local rescues and Otto’s face popped up on Petfinder. He was located at Burlington County Animal Alliance (BCAA), and when I reached out about Otto, they told me he was already spoken for. But a few days later, they reached out to say that the adoption fell through and asked if I would be able to meet him. That’s when I knew it was meant to be!

What is your pup’s name? How old is he?

Otto! He is 3ish. When I got him they said he was 3, but I took him to the vet and they told me they thought he was still a puppy.

Was it love at first sight? What brought you and Otto together?

Meeting Otto for the first time was a whirlwind. BCAA doesn’t have an actual shelter — all of their animals are in foster homes — so I thought Otto would be coming from someone’s house. He actually came straight from a shelter in South Carolina. I met one of the volunteers at an adoption event they were hosting at Petsmart. When I showed up, one of the volunteers told me Otto had gone home with someone already, and I panicked! Shortly after, they reassured me he was still available, but just hadn’t arrived yet. When his transport van came rolling in, Otto was covered in dirt but super excited to see everyone. After meeting him I knew immediately he was coming home with me. He decided to take me on a walk through Petsmart and that’s when I realized I needed to buy a harness. He’s very strong! ☺

While driving home, I started panicking again when I  realized I was now in charge of a living being other than myself. So to keep us both  calm, I talked his ear off for the full 30 mins it took to drive back to my neighborhood. Poor Otto’s first memory in his new home was getting a bath…actually, it was of the two of us getting a bath, since the water went everywhere! My bedroom is on the 3rd floor and, at first, my newly adopted 40lb dog refused to go up the stairs. Luckily, after a bit of practice, he learned and can now at least go up to my room without being carried! He’s literally the best dog ever and the best thing to ever happen to me. I am beyond grateful for the universe bringing us together and I really can’t imagine life without him.

Any idea of the breed?

We did a DNA test. It wasn’t super accurate but, here is a list of his potential breeds – Australian Shepherd, Australian Cattle Dog, Lab, American Bulldog, American Eskimo, a plethora of herding dogs…the list goes on. We are constantly stopped on our walks by people asking what type of dog he is. I’ve just started calling him a super mutt.

His favorite toy? 

He has two — a bottle of rosé and his grunting hedgehog. He also enjoys ripping any appendages off of his toys. The poor hedgehog lost his felt toenails within minutes.

Funniest quirks?

At the dog park he prefers to scratch his back on shrubs/bushes rather than socialize with the other dogs.
He is 100% a mouth breather.
He enjoys hunting/eating flies that make their way into our house.
As mentioned, he doesn’t like stairs – so yes, when we go somewhere new and there are stairs, I have to carry him up and down multiple times until he has the courage to do them on his own.

Favorite activities to do together?

Going for long walks around town, snuggling in bed, and eating the dog-friendly ice cream I make for him.

For more Adoption Stories, click here

Check out all our pet accessories here

This post is in support of our long-time partner Best Friends Animal Society

 

Free People Blog

Yes, You CAN Drink Cocoa For Breakfast 

Yes, You CAN Drink Cocoa For Breakfast 

And see the world through Rose-Colored Glasses…

I was about to say that there isn’t a lot that excites me about winter, but that’s not necessarily true. The things that I enjoy about the season I REALLY enjoy:

The cold. I know, call me crazy but — I love to layer. It makes getting dressed so much more interesting.

Snowmen. (Or is it snowpeople?) They’re very underrated.

And hot chocolate. Because, what isn’t there to love about THAT?

Truth be told, I’d never think about drinking a cup of cocoa outside of a cold February evening. It’s always been reserved for post-pelting friends with some hastily made snowballs, or after shoveling my sidewalk clean. 

So when Lauren Haynes, founder of herbalism-focused wellness brand Wooden Spoon Herbs, told me that she drinks cocoa each morning, my DNA was kind of confused. Like, I had never really considered that possibility before?

”A Rose Cocoa Mocha works to open your heart and soul to the world around you,

let go of what isn’t working for you, and just ground into bliss and being here now.”

Turns out, cocoa can offer up even a bit more than “delicious breakfast companion: status. Enter: Lauren Haynes’ Rose Cocoa Mocha. This concoction requires only 3 (or 4) ingredients:

  • Rose Cocoa, which is made with ground pink rose petals, fair trade cacao, and sensual shatavari. A veritable bliss-builder, if you will. 
  • A caffeine-free coffee alternative (here, we used Wooden Spoon’s Herbal Coffee, made from burdock root, chicory and maca) to replace the energy buzz of a more traditional morning beverage. 
  • Sweetener. Lauren uses Rose-Colored Glasses. Not only does this tincture offer up a subtle rosy flavor, it’s infused with calming herbs like holy basil, hawthorn, and milky oats.

With the addition of some oat milk (and rose petals, if you have handy), be prepared for a seriously creamy cocoa indulgence, with strong notes of savory chicory and maca to zen-ify your day. 

Time to step aside, chia porridge/yogurt/tofu scramble — there’s a new breakfast buddy in town.

Rose Cocoa Mocha 

Ingredients:

1 tbsp Wooden Spoon Herbs Herbal Coffee or herbal coffee of choice

1 tbsp Wooden Spoon Herbs Rose Cocoa

1 cup oat milk (or milk of choice)

35 drops Wooden Spoon Herbs Rose Colored Glasses

Dried rose petals (optional)

Moka pot or French press

Method:

Fill base of Moka pot with water. Scoop herbal coffee onto Moka pot filter plate. Place on stove to brew. If using a French press, scoop herbal coffee into press and fill to your liking with boiling water. Pour and set aside one shot of Herbal Coffee espresso. Warm oat milk in a small pot on stove. Scoop Rose Cocoa into mug. Pour espresso Herbal Coffee over Rose Cocoa. Pour hot oat milk into mug. Add 35 drops of Rose Colored Glasses into mug. Use hand frother or whisk to stir together ingredients. Sprinkle with dried rose petals.

Lead image by Nastassia Bruckin.

Free People Blog

Adoption Stories: Meet Ana and Yaya

Adoption Stories: Meet Ana and Yaya

And learn how our Senior Managing Director of Creative rescued her sweet girl. 

Why did you choose Saved Whiskers Rescue Organization and how long had you been thinking about adopting?

Well, for one thing…I’m always interested in adopting! I have 4 cats now, but over the years we have had dogs, chickens, bunnies…and yes, most of that at the same time. 😊 I’m not sure how I came across this rescue specifically, but Pamela does an amazing job with a small organization while making a huge impact. She’s based in South Jersey and does great work taking care of colonies and finding homes for many cats.

Tell us about meeting your fur baby. Was it love at first sight? What brought the two of you together?

I stumbled upon some social media posts from SWRO about a cat colony living in the rocks under the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I was so intrigued I had to reach out to them. 

What’s your cat’s name? How old is she?

This girl is Yaya. I actually named her Yayoi (Kusama) since she was born at the Art Museum, but my kids had trouble saying it, so she quickly became Yaya. She’s about 7 years old now.

Any idea of the breed?

I’d go with American Domestic Shorthair, but basically — Cat. 

Her favorite toy?

She’s not overly playful, she prefers to stare at me aloofly and with judgement but will happily cuddle with my youngest son.

Funniest quirks?

She’s incredibly shy and has the gift of invisibility when guests are over.

Favorite activities to do together?

She loves to bathe in sunlight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more Adoption Stories click here

Check out all our pet accessories here

This post is in support of our long-time partner Best Friends Animal Society

Free People Blog

Adoption Stories: Meet John and Cinder

Adoption Stories: Meet John and Cinder

Read on to learn how our Senior Photographer met his very own Cinderella… 

Why did you choose NY & NJ Bull Terrier Rescue and how long had you been thinking about adopting?

I really wanted a dog so I started looking into different dog breeds. I fell in love with English Bull Terriers for their personality — they are known to be super goofy, playful, wannabe-big-lapdogs — they are also extremely cool-looking. This led me to start looking at the breed’s rescues and found a local one, within driving distance to where I lived at the time. The rescue no longer exists today but I am grateful it did then, because it brought me to my baby girl. 

Tell us about meeting your pup. Was it love at first sight? 

Once the NY & NJ Bull Terrier rescue posted a photo of her, I knew she was it. I went to meet her and I left with her the same day. We’ve been together ever since. 

What is her name? How old is she?

Her name is Cinder, short for Cinderella. I didn’t name her, the rescue did, but I think the name suits her. She is going to be 14 years old this April but you wouldn’t think it the way she plays sometimes. 

Their favorite toys?

She’s pretty good at rotating them, digging through her toy basket and surprising us with a different one each time. She got a pink flamingo for Christmas that she played with until we welcomed a new puppy to the family. Now she is too fascinated with him to play with her own toys, but I’m sure that’ll wear off.

Funniest quirks?

She is a very goofy dog. I will find her in the bedroom by herself, doing the zoomies on the rug. Sometimes when I first take her outside, she gallops instead of walking. She also loves to lay in the sun… 

Favorite activities to do together?

Playing tug of war is by far the number one. She would do that all day every day if she could! 

For more Adoption Stories, click here

Check out all our pet accessories here

This post is in support of our long-time partner, Best Friends Animal Society

 

Free People Blog