Adoption Story: Meet Landry & Emmylou

Adoption Story: Meet Landry & Emmylou

Seeing Emmy was love at first sight — the same might be said for seeing her owner, Landry…

Let’s start with some introductions: tell us your name, title, and how long you have been with FP.
Landry, Merchandiser — 4 years at FP, 7 years at URBN.

How long had you been thinking about adopting/getting a pup?

My family has always been an animal family. We had three dogs and a cat growing up — three of the four were strays that wandered up to the house. We also took in countless birds and baby squirrels that fell out of their nests, so I knew it was only a matter of time before I got an animal when I was on my own!

Tell us about meeting your pup. Was it love at first sight? What brought you together?

Seeing Emmy was love at first sight. I was living in Jackson, MS at the time and my roommate’s grandmother posted online that she had found a puppy on the side of the road and it needed a home. She was covered in ticks and fleas and her hair was totally matted. I think it was a total of 5 minutes before we reached out to say I would take her. We drove up to her house a few hours away the next day, stopping on the way to get all the puppy essentials. She was so frightened and nervous at first, but she eventually let me hold her, and she slept on my chest the whole way home. :,) I lied to my landlord and lost my security deposit but it was worth it.

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

Her name is Emmylou and she is about 6 years old now.

Any idea of the breed?

I did one of the mail-in dog DNA tests and it said she was a mix of Retriever, Husky, Schnauzer, with the largest piece of the pie being “mixed breed groups” which translates to “we’re not really sure tbh.” Most people who see her think she is a Golden Retriever.

Her favorite toys?

She’s not really a toy dog, she is very food motivated. The only time she is interested in a toy is if another dog has one — she will try to sneak over to steal and hide it.

Funniest quirks?

She has more “quirks” than she has normal personality traits. She refuses to sleep anywhere except under my bed at night. She is scared of cameras, men, and anything that has small wheels (skateboards, trashcans, strollers). We are working through it, though — she has come a long way! She is very shy with new people at first, but when she starts to feel comfortable she gets really excited and her personality starts to come through. ❤

Favorite activities to do together?

We both enjoy eating and lounging at home with minimal chance of encountering the things that scare us.

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

Your July 21 FP Horoscope!

Your July 21 FP Horoscope!

Courtesy of our resident astrologer, Tracy Allen…

For the month of July, the stars are asking that you do one simple thing: compromise. Because there’s something to be said — and gained — by finding the middle ground in every situation with which you’re faced.

Click here to read more, and find out what this month’s horoscope has in store for you.

XO

Free People Blog

In Dependence

In Dependence

Or…how best to live the life that suits YOU.

By Bethany Toews, who we are blessed to call a colleague and friend.

 
I never imagined I would own a home. I didn’t dream the American dream. I dreamed of wilder things. I watched adults with suspicion. Waded through the world of their awkward omissions. Too few seeming to say or do what their heart was insisting. So much effort made in the direction of what was expected at the sacrifice of what was longed for. I didn’t want that for myself. The American Dream felt like a collective hallucination. Pretty little rows of white picket cages. I didn’t want one of those.
 
I wanted freedom. 
 
The word free stems from the root word pri meaning ‘to love.’ The same root for ‘to help’ and ‘friend.’ Freedom finds its meaning in the midst of, not away from others. How we might create and share that kind of freedom is a question my bones ache to answer. 
 
This past year has affirmed for me my love of freedom. I’ve been reminded many times of my younger self and her belief in freedom as the promise that continues to make me want to get out of bed in the morning. 
 
Don’t believe anyone who tells you you can’t live a life you want to get out of bed for.
 
I spent plenty of years dreading the alarm. A full-body No welcoming each morning. Doing my due diligence until I couldn’t anymore. Who are these dues owed to anyway? Worth asking. I did what I didn’t want to do because that’s what all the institutions taught me I was supposed to do. ‘Suppose’ means “something placed underneath.” What are you placing yourself under? Worth asking.
 
How to get on top of the mountain of ‘supposed to’s’ to gain a clearer view? The mountain of grow up fast so you can make a life by making money so you can make something of yourself. As if we aren’t already something. My heart doesn’t want to get a degree so I can get a job so I can get married so I can buy a house so I can have children so I can buy a boat I don’t have time to take out on the water. My soul doesn’t seek to spend my life avoiding disaster and insuring everything just in case I fail to. I want more for my life than an insurance policy.
 
I want the life I’m living. Across the border from business as usual. Celebrating what’s messy and uncertain. What isn’t easily arranged into a slick PowerPoint presentation. I choose the freedom to believe less in what we’re told and more in the stories we’re telling—in all their glorious diverging. I want enough space for all the stories we don’t hear on the news. To see people coloring outside of the lines and snipping the strings that someone else is pulling. Dreaming is freedom from limitation. I want room for all of our dreaming.
 
My American dream keeps re-writing itself. I used to think that in order to feel free, I needed to shut myself off from the world. In order to believe what I believe, I had to keep it to myself. But slowly, slowly I am coming to understand that true freedom is having the courage to exist as you are within the web of belonging. To be witnessed in your truth. To dare sharing your dream that it might be woven more completely into the collective right to dream.
 
Sometimes our dreams will surprise us if we let them. They’ll lead us back to our childhood home on the eve of our 41st birthday. They’ll have us doing what we’d been taught were sure signs of failing. (I love myself for trying). I now measure my success as a willingness to give up what I thought I knew for the revelation of what is true. To remember who I am, before fear made me forget for a while. To have the strength to live from that place.
 
And so walking through the neighborhood of my past I remembered the me that used to run through the same streets. Me now and her then. Side by side. Comparing notes. No home, no kids, no boat. Just more questions and fewer answers. Two free spirits tethered into the wondering. Open. Listening.
 
I turned the corner familiar and foreign both and there it was, the next step—Shasta. A 1985 Winnebago. 144 square feet of endless potential. A home that could fit, no, support, the liberated life I am living. All of a sudden, I realized—my home could have wings!
 
One small step and one giant leap both. I knew what I was declaring when my partner and I sat down at a kitchen table and handed over a handful of hundreds to Fred and Peggy. A small fortune. Enough to own our own piece of mobile real-estate. Real AF estate. Analog to the max. A Tesla may get you there faster, but Shasta demands you pay more attention to the world through which you’re traveling. She lets you feel every bump in the road. No temperature control. No computer screen. Just free falling forward in the direction of the forever unknown. Five tons of freedom. 
 
Freedom, like all potent words, carries with it a weight. A sense that we don’t totally understand the complexities of what it means. Anyone paying attention is painfully aware that freedom isn’t freely given. The founding fathers forgot their mothers. So many limitations placed on their profound declaration. To have left any single person out of a universal claim. To have left love out of the equation. 
 
We keep forgetting what we already know. What we feel when we’re courageous enough to. The powers that be don’t encourage us to remember. The systems in place reward compliance and convince us it’s care. But I know what love feels like and it’s not a box you check on a form. We need to show the Establishment what love looks like by living it beyond their instruction.
 
During the first half of the twentieth century, the “experts” believed love in the form of physical affection didn’t serve any real purpose other than spreading disease. Then Harry Harlow came along to learn about love by torturing monkeys. Science seeking to measure in a lab what life lived proves everyday. Alas it seems that sometimes what we call ‘progress’ wields cruelty to gain some ground on understanding how we might be kinder.
 
In his experimenting, Harlow found that baby rhesus monkeys—if given the choice between a soft terrycloth monkey “mother”, or a hard wire monkey holding a bottle—would choose to spend the majority of their time with the cloth mother. A lot of suffering to discover the simple truth—a hug is its own kind of life-sustaining nourishment. Of course I don’t need a scientist to tell me that. My whole body knows.
 
Independence is about trusting what the body knows. Freedom is making the choice to honor that. 
 
Another important discovery made during Harlow’s research (and no doubt known for millennia by countless caregivers before he “discovered” what they had known all along) is that affection leads to security. And that security leads to the confidence to go out into the world. 
 
In dependence we find the strength to stand on our own. Independence isn’t about not needing each other. We need each other. We really do. It’s been a powerful shift for me to open more fully to that truth. To acknowledge that the human animal is still here because of our natural inclination to lean into each other. To look beyond the narrow pages of our high school history books to find a fuller picture of what it means to be human. When Darwin wrote of human evolution in The Descent of Man, he mentioned “survival of the fittest” twice, and love, 95 times. 
 
Margaret Mead noted that the first sign of civilization wasn’t the tools unearthed in her searching, but rather a healed human thigh bone. In the animal kingdom a broken leg generally means death, no longer able to run from danger or hunt for food. An injured animal left would not survive long on its own. That Mead found a mended femur meant that someone had tended to the one who fell. Walked to the river for water for the one who couldn’t. Shared their food. Provided safety for the recovery. Cared beyond mere survival.
 
All the broken bones that have healed to get us here. We are here because we’re divinely designed to depend on each other. We are still here because we tend to and defend each other.
 
Independence isn’t about freedom from dependence. Independence is freedom from control. The right to pursue what is true beyond what the powerful few set to be so that they might benefit from it. That’s why people set out over treacherous waters headed to strange lands. That’s what keeps someone walking through the desert at night. That’s what propels one to leave what they know for what they hope is possible. The liberty to decide for themselves how they wish to spend their precious time on this earth.
 
What would you give up to gain freedom? What safety net are you tangled in? Does your body know what freedom feels like?
 
I see the gift this past year has offered. A break down of what had previously felt set in some kind of worn-out stone. A nauseating boat ride to unknown shores. Whether or not we wanted it, we got a forced shift of perspective to ponder the lives we’d been living and whether or not they fit. A nagging insistence, every moment is a chance to imagine another way. 
 
That’s the simplest expression of what I think I might be doing. A woman rambling down the road, getting passed by everyone in a hurry to who knows where. I used to feel sorry for what I have become. And I’ve never felt more real. And so, I am rethinking everything. Taking showers in truck stops. Asking new friends for favors. Ignoring signs and parking overnight in parking lots telling me not to. I’m doing the things I was taught I shouldn’t.
 
I’m risking the rewards that come from shedding the ‘shoulds’ in favor of the ‘what ifs’ and the ‘coulds.’ A life of possibility. A life of freedom beyond what I’m afraid may or may not happen. Living towards my aspirations by making choices that lead in their direction. The life we’re all longing for isn’t found in flimsy textbooks. There’s no manual for what hasn’t happened yet. The world we all deserve is found in our willingness to go where we do not know but believe is within reach. It’s found in letting go of what they’ve said is so, for what we hope to see. A declaration of independence that includes every dream.
 
 

Free People Blog

Adoption Stories

Adoption Stories

Two of our favorite BFF stories (that’s Best Furry Friends)…

APRIL & SMOKEY

One boy’s pet allergies led to our Paid Social Coordinator finding her new best friend…

What is your pup’s name? How old? Any idea of the breed?
Smokey is 2 years old, and I think he’s a Pug, Terrier, and maybe Beagle mix. I just sent off a DNA test so I should have the real answer soon!

Why did you choose your specific rescue and how long had you been thinking about adopting?
I am a huge dog lover and always knew I would adopt one once I was ready. I had been stalking Petfinder with no luck but came across Smokey via a private rehoming situation. His original family had adopted him from the Faithful Friends Animal Society in Delaware but their son developed severe allergies to him during quarantine.

Tell us about meeting your pup. Was it love at first sight? What brought you together?
My boyfriend and I went to Delaware to meet him and I instantly fell in love. He was a huge goofball, and was so happy to be around people — I knew he would be the perfect fit. He laid in my lap the whole car ride back and ever since we’ve been attached at the hip.

His favorite toys?
Anything with a squeaker, especially stuffed toys or tennis balls. He loves to play tug of war with a good rope!

Funniest quirks?
Smokey is a little guy with a big personality — he has a ton of quirks! My favorite is when he gets the zoomies and runs around the house making a little grumbling noise the entire time. He also loves Chapstick and will come running when he sees someone put it on.

Favorite activities to do together?
Smokey LOVES to cuddle — if he could sit on my lap all day, he would. Hi favorite activity is definitely watching TV in bed so he can get pets all day long. We also love to go on walks around the neighborhood, play fetch and visit my parents so he can play with their dog!

 

KIM & GUS

Kim is our Senior Buyer of Beach/Endless Summer/Swim, and she’s been with Free People for the past 10 years. A couple of years ago, she moved to Savannah, GA. With more outdoor space at her disposal and a desire to stay active, she went in search of a dog…

Tell us about Gus. How old? Any idea of the breed?
He’ll be 3 years old in September, and he’s a German Shepherd, Poodle, American Staffordshire Terrier mix.  

Tell us about meeting him. Was it love at first sight? What brought you together?

I found his picture while scrolling through Petfinder — I think my love for German Shepherds and wire-haired dogs is what got my attention! He was rescued by a woman from a shelter in South Carolina who bought his whole litter off of a questionable Craigslist post. They wouldn’t allow her to see the mom or come to their location to get the pups, so she knew she needed to get them out of there ASAP. Ideally, he would have stayed with his momma longer but it was not a good situation. When we got Gus, he was very young, underweight, and he was missing patches of hair due to excessive fleas. He also had a really bad case of roundworm which was so severe we thought he had Parvo! Luckily, he recovered super quickly!

His favorite toys?
Ball for life!

Funniest quirks?
His long beard 😊

Favorite activities to do together?
Long walks, swimming, trips to the mountains. If he were answering this question he would absolutely say throwing the ball. 😊

Do you want us to feature your own Adoption Story? Email blog@freepeople.com for details! 

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 Emily & Stella

Adoption Stories: Meet Emily & Stella

Read on for the heartwarming story of how a bullied cat found her way into the heart of our Customer Experience Manager. 

Why did you choose your specific rescue and how long had you been thinking about adopting?

I have two Persian kitties… I just fell in love with the breed. Our older cat, Lily, came to us by way of a friend of a friend who couldn’t care for her any longer (Persians require a lot of brushing/special grooming attention/extra vet needs). After a few years, I wanted Lily to have a friend. I was uncomfortable getting a kitten from a breeder since so many cats need homes, so I joined a Persian rescue network on Facebook and kept an eye out for adoptable kittens. After a few months, Stella appeared at Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals, which is located in the Philly suburbs. She was only 9 months old at the time and it seemed like fate. I submitted an application and waited a few weeks… I think she was in high demand. But, the shelter wound up calling after checking our vet references and we were able to go in and meet her!

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

Her name is Stella! That was her name at the shelter and we kept it. It seemed quite fitting for her. They called her “The Glamorous Stella.” She is 4 years old.

Tell us about meeting her. Was it love at first sight? What brought you together?

Oh it was absolutely love at first sight. Stella is very timid and was getting bullied by the other cats at the shelter, so she had her own walk-in cage. My husband and I went in to see her and she came right up to us and started rubbing against our legs and purring. I remember my husband looking at me and saying, “Well, I guess we have a second cat now.”

Any idea of the breed?

She’s a “Lilac-Point Persian.”

Her favorite toys?

She’s totally obsessed with her climbing tree and her catnip banana. She also likes a good feather on a stick. Stella is extremely tolerant of her 2.5 year-old human sister, who really likes to try and get her to play!

Funniest quirks?

When she is getting ready to settle down, she kneads her paws and sticks out her tongue. At first I was nervous that something was wrong with her because she looked so ridiculous, but I consulted with our vet and it turns out that it’s totally normal, just very silly-looking.

Favorite activities to do together?

Stella loves to follow us around and act like a decoration. She’ll drape herself on the sofa or even sit in the center of the kitchen table like a centerpiece. The best thing about Stella, though, is that she is an incredible therapy animal. If I’m having a bad day, she will always come over and sit next to me or on my lap and purr. We’ve had a rough past year and I have no idea what I’d have done without her as my little companion!

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

An Earth Month Challenge For Every Day Of The Year

An Earth Month Challenge For Every Day Of The Year

Adopting new habits to make the world a little greener. 

Studies indicate that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. 

So for the month of April, and in honor of Earth Day, the FP Community was challenged to a game of Earth Month Bingo, in hopes of encouraging small changes that support the planet in meaningful ways — with enough time to make them (hopefully) stick. 

(For those who participated and submitted a winning Bingo card, a winner will be randomly selected to receive a new FreeCycled Tee or a National Parks pass!)

We resolved to implement these earth-friendly habits into our everyday routines starting on April 1st through Earth Day, on April 22nd. Here’s what happened:

DAY 1

Never one to shy away from a challenge, especially when they involve improving my habits and, consequently, helping the environment, I’m eagerly joining the FP community and going through the list. 

Some of the items are simple and — I’m happy to discover — already part of my routine:

DON’T WASTE WATER  Hearing the faucet running while I am brushing my teeth is enough to make me crazy! I didn’t have a dishwasher growing up, everything was washed by hand, and my father was a stickler for not wasting anything that could rack up a high bill. “Turn that water off!”. Not wasting water is ingrained in me, so I can cross this off the list. 

REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE & REUSABLE MUG. For this I have to thank Free People and their generous Earth Day gifts. Two years ago I received a beautiful ceramic mug, and last year an awesome water bottle that I’ve even been using at home because it is so practical. Checking these two off the list as well. 

RECYCLING GLASS & CARDBOARD. I just moved to an area where recycling is mandatory, so one of my first kitchen purchases was a double trash can with a recycling bin. Having separate receptacles when I go to throw something out is a great reminder to recycle. Check! So far, so good. 

Now, let’s get to the tricky part.

GOING VEGETARIAN is a challenge I want to pursue this month, but one I know will be tough. I really love food, all types of food. Steak frites, a juicy cheeseburger with fries, a plate of fresh oysters, a delicious BLT… I could go on forever. Despite this, I know there are multiple benefits to going veg, and saving animals is only one of them. Avoiding meat and fish will force me to add more color and variety to my plate, providing me with all the vitamins and antioxidants needed to ward off numerous ailments. But did you know that runoff from farmlands is one of the greatest threats to water quality today? Being a vegetarian is good for our body as well as the environment! This will likely be the toughest adjustment for the next three weeks, but I am eager to try it!

DAY 5

I had a big argument with my roommate today (aka my fiancé) over paper towels. 

I know. *Eye roll*! 

Through the years I have learned to pick my battles, believe me, but it’s Earth Month, and I am taking this challenge seriously. I just don’t understand  the need for ten sheets of paper towel when there is a perfectly clean towel hanging on the oven! He claims it isn’t sanitary but I disagree. I grew up having a cloth towel in the kitchen for drying my hands, or drying clean dishes, and I am very good at ensuring it is regularly washed. I’ll start locking the paper towel rolls away just to keep him from being so wasteful. For now, all I can do is make up for it elsewhere, so the challenge continues. 

DAY 13

Spring is here and it has brought us some beautiful sunny days! To take full advantage of the sunshine, and keep my lights turned off, I decided to move my desk to a different room, right in front of the screen door into our yard. I am not the only one loving this recent furniture reshuffle. Whenever I leave the door cracked to enjoy the NATURAL LIGHT and the fresh air, my dogs love to lay at my feet, enjoying the breeze with me while also watching out for dogs walking by our house. 

DAY 17

Earth Day is fast approaching and I am proud to say I have stuck to a vegetarian diet. Truth be told, I miss some of my favorite Italian staples — pasta Bolognese, lasagna… hearty, warm dishes that nourish my belly and my soul. The Italian in me can’t help it! But it has been fun to try out new veggie recipes. One of my favorites is just as hearty as some of my favorite dishes, but it’s meat-free and easy to make! Shakshuka — a classic North African and Middle Eastern dish — features poached eggs in a hearty, spiced tomato and pepper sauce, topped with tangy feta cheese and fresh cilantro, served with thick slices of country bread for dipping. It originated as a breakfast dish, but I’ve enjoyed it for dinner multiple times this month and it is as delicious and nourishing as it sounds. For the recipe, click here

DAY 21

It’s the last day of our Earth Month Challenge and I am proud of myself for being able to check off quite a few items off my Bingo card. Some of the other changes I adopted this month:

PAPERLESS BILLING. I’ve been practicing this with some of my bills. This month I simply went through the rest and made sure no paper bills would be coming my way ever again. 

DOUBLE-SIDED PRINTING. On the busiest printing day of my week (Monday), I avoid printing anything single-sided. And recently I even avoided printing in color. The less ink and paper I use, the better I feel. 

SPREAD THE WORD & CLEAN UP. Last summer I moved to a small community in NJ’s Pine Barrens. Right out of a fairy tale, the neighborhood is nestled among trees, dotted by original log cabins from the 1920s, and connected by trails. To top it all off, there are multiple lakes which offer the residents five different sized beaches complete with docks. This month, I reached out to the community to organize a Clean Up Day to get our communal places ready for the approaching summer season. Tonight I will be attending my first community meeting to finalize the details of the event. 

DAY 22

HAPPY EARTH DAY!!

The FP Community Earth Month challenge ends today, but every day of the year is a great day to help our planet by changing our habits. 

Save this Bingo graphic and challenge yourself or your friends! Let us know about your experience in the comments.

 

Stay tuned for more of our Sustainability initiatives by visiting our Care FP page, and check out our Care FP Collection here

Free People Blog

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