You Gotta Have Friends!

You Gotta Have Friends!

The old, and very true words “It Takes a Village” ring true for so many things in this life.

Every single day, we share and network dogs in need from all over the country using social media and dog rescue groups on social media. We all share, and we all also
help when we can, whether it’s contacting a rescue, offering donations TO a rescue who can take a dog from the shelter to safety, or even offering to foster or adopt a dog,
we all do what we can, because we love animals. This is a cause we are all very passionate about and dedicated to. “We” are made up of all kinds of wonderful people.
Some are members of a dog rescue, including a volunteer, and many others are just people who care enough to take time from their day to click ‘share’ on a post about a dog
who desperately needs to make it out of an animal shelter.

It always takes a village to save a life, and I feel so blessed and fortunate to be a part of that, and to have made such wonderful friends along the way.

Shiloh’s Dog Boutique was never meant to simply be another retail site online where we sold cute things for dogs. We always had a bigger mission in mind, which was to help
animals in need via donations we generate through those sales. I’m not surprised that it’s become so much the focus that even WE forget we’re a store that sells things, I’m
just blown away by the sheer amazingness of the people we’ve gotten to meet, and I wanted to tell you about some of them here.

Randee Goldman, the Founder of Lhasa Happy Homes has come to be our very dear friend these past few years, and she is a true saint to animals. Like many rescuers, the word
“no” is rarely in her vocabulary, and she works hard every single day to save the precious lives she has devoted her own to. Though she mainly rescues “small, fluffy dogs”
She has been known to help save all manner of dogs, and has a special place in her heart for dogs who are senior, injured, or special needs in any other way.
I love her very much, and have found myself very grateful for her help where many a dog was concerned. Her Foundation is one that we support, and hope that you will, too.

Lhasa Happy Homes is located in Southern California, in the Santa Monica area, but they rely on volunteers and fosters all over Southern California. If you are interested in
volunteering or becoming a foster home to help them rescue even more dogs, please do visit them at the links provided below for information on just how you can become a member
of that most wonderful rescue family.

Another amazing friend I am thankful for is Kelly Anne Gerth, the Founder of Rose to the Rescue, Inc. Located in San Diego, her rescue mainly focuses on the dogs of Tijuana.
They face needs and challenges that most dogs here in California thankfully do not. These dogs are horrifically abused more times than they aren’t, and there are precious few
laws or resources in Mexico in place to protect them. This makes them the victim of cruel people who know they will face no consequences for harming them, and what happens is too
unspeakable to even begin to describe to you here. I hope you will visit her on Facebook or join her dog networking group (which is dedicated to dogs across America) and show her
your support as well.

To me, she is my hero because she goes where angels fear to tread. She is quite literally pounding the streets of Tijuana and right in the trenches of abuse that most of us could
hardly fathom, much less know what to do about. She goes there more than once a week and saves these dogs, even when she has to chase them through sewers or dangerous neighborhoods
to do it! She then takes them to her wonderful veterinarians and rescue partners in Mexico, where they are treated for a range of injuries and medical issues you will rarely see
in a dog here at home. This is because healthcare, vaccinations, spay and neuter etc..are virtually unseen in these poor dogs. They suffer from mange, and Cancer, they are victims
of horrible abuse, they are tossed outside and forgotten about in the elements, and they spend their lives running and hiding from their abusers.

Kelly saves these dogs, and shows them that not every human is bad. She heals their bodies, but also their spirits, and patiently spends as many months and dollars as it takes
to bring them back to health. When they are finally ready, she brings them to the United States so they can be adopted by loving families, never to face that kind of abuse or
neglect ever again.

Rose to the Rescue Inc, We LOVE you, and proudly call you our friend.

The links for her Facebook page, along with her dog rescue networking group are posted below.

I’d be honored if you would join our growing community of people who care, and thank each and every one of you who follow us on Facebook, read these blogs,
and each of you who have been with us on this crazy little journey into small business and animal rescue support so far!

We’re very blessed and proud to count all of you among our friends as well!
Love,

Rachel Chappell,

Owner of Shiloh’s Dog Boutique
Shiloh’s Dog Boutique page on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ShilohsBoutique
Shiloh’s Dog Rescue Corner on Facebook (Our small, but growing networking group for dogs in shelters across the country)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/ShilohsCorner/

Our awesome friends, Lhasa Happy Homes small dog rescue in Southern CA http://www.Lhasahappyhomes.org
Visit them on Facebook too, at: https://www.facebook.com/LhasaHappyHomes

Rose to the Rescue, Inc. on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rosetotherescuedogrescue

Rose’s Dog Rescue Networking Group, called “All Breed Dog Rescue Network”- (We admin for that page, so we promise you’re invited!) https://www.facebook.com/groups/608003949297076/images6OA28YD2

Several arrested in alleged dog fighting operation in Apopka – FOX 13 News

Several arrested in alleged dog fighting operation in Apopka – FOX 13 News.

 

 

Nice work, Officers!!!!!

 

Let’s hope and pray every single dog recovered from the scene will be given amazing vet care and a second chance at life with new and loving families.

 

Vick’s dogs showed us that happily ever after is very possible for even the most scarred, traumatized dogs.

 

Let’s hope no one gives up on these guys!

 

We’ve been Youtubing!

You’ll have to pardon my lack of editing savvy and camera skills, but Shiloh does have her own channel on Youtube now, and while we’re planning better content to come, we recently did a little OraPup Review.

We plan to make some videos revolving around DYI dog treats, other product reviews, maybe some canine fashion shows..who knows? It seems like a really fun way to share in a like-minded community of dog lovers, so we look forward to getting some better stuff up there soon!

OraPup, “Tastes Better than Butt!”

 

 

We also made a “Dog Tag” Video where we answered 20 questions about Shiloh.

 

And, we’re happy to report that we were able to help rescue a dog in Arizona, so of course I made a little video about his rescue story here too!

 

 

Hope to see some of you give us a visit on Facebook or the Youtube!

xoxoo

Shiloh’s Dog Boutique

http://www.shilohsdogboutique.com

How to End Puppy Mills

Hello, dear readers!

Someone on our Facebook page was upset over a post about puppy mills, and wanted to know how it’s been allowed to go on for so long, and who had the power to stop it. The answer is actually really simple. WE have the power to stop it. Consumers have the power to make or break ANY industry, and puppy mills are not immune to our all-powerful shopping fist.

There are thousands of ‘commercial breeders’ (and those are ony the ones actually registered with the USDA). So, for all these thousands of facilities, how many inspectors do we have? The horrifying answer is about 85. So, when we wonder how they get away with so much mistreatment, and why so many agencies such as the Humane Society have to step in and pick up the slack, this would be why.

Yes, the problem is MASSIVE, but you, and I have all the power we need to stop it. We can do it using only our mouths and wallets, in fact. I have compiled a handy-dandy list of everyday, simple things we can all do, and it doubles as a set of talking points to share with your friends, family, co-workers, strangers in line at the grocery store, and anyone else who will listen.

 

1. Puppy mills operate under a nice veil of secrecy thanks to the sale of dogs and cats online being oh, so easy and currently legal.

Don’t buy a dog or cat online, and if anyone you know is even thinking about doing that, hit them in the head with a magazine and say “NO!”.

2. Write your city, county and state authorities and urge them to ban the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores. Cities across America are doing this, so urge your authorities to join the good fight. This is literally as simple as googling the person, then shooting them an e mail.

3. Feel free to write the federal government, and ask them to ban the sale of dogs and cats online. There are several agencies which may have power, but ultimately, your Congressman or Senator will be a good go-to. I realize asking most of them to DO anything is a hard sell, but you know what they say. The squeaky wheel gets greased.

4. Do not shop in any pet store that sells dogs and cats. Not even for pet supplies or a shiny new goldfish. Just don’t do it! Some pet stores work with local animal rescues and offer dogs and cats for adoption. This is a wonderful thing, and something we should support, but make sure they don’t sell any animals, and that the rescue group they claim to be offering pets for is one you can actually meet with and contact. A reputable rescue will make you formally apply and go through their process, so if anyone gives you a price and is ready to hand over a dog or cat, that’s NOT a rescue animal.

5. Please don’t fall for the ‘designer dog’ craze. Maltipoo, Puggle, Morkie, Goldendoodle, etc..these are all simply mixed breed dogs. They are wonderful, but they are not ‘special breeds’ despite what someone may tell you. Our animal shelters and rescues are literally flooded with dogs of all mixes (and lots of purebred dogs too) so always go to your local shelter or peruse petfinder.com to find rescues in your area who will likely have the ideal dog for you.

6. If you’re looking for a dog or cat and want a specific breed, leave your criteria and interests (and all contact info) with your local shelters and rescues. Just because they don’t have what you’re looking for on Monday does not mean they won’t have it soon!

7. Report, report, and report! If you suspect any dodgy breeding activity in your area, witness any kind of animal abuse or neglect, do not hesitate to report it! Your local police department and/or animal control will always allow you to make these reports anonymously, and this includes dogfighting. In fact, special hotlines have been set up for the reporting of dogfighting, so don’t be shy!

8. Last, but never least..educate. Yourself, your friends, your family, and anyone you can.

 

Here are some absolutely wonderful resources.

To report puppy mills, contact the USDA. http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome

The Humane Society of the United States also wants to know if you suspect a puppy mill! www.hsus.org

(They’re very accessible and friendly, and will usually respond promptly with more help and advice to make sure your report goes where it should)

 

National Mill Dog Rescue, inspired by a very special girl named Lily, has done amazing work saving thousands of animals from puppy mills, and educating the public about these horrible places. Here is their Facebook information: https://www.facebook.com/NationalMillDogRescue?fref=ts

Their official site is here: http://milldogrescue.org/

They, along with the HSUS have some very gripping, educational, heartbreaking and amazing videos all over Youtube. They take you along as they expose puppy mills, and show you firsthand the condition the dogs are found in. But it’s not all tears, because they also show you all the happy endings, amazing transformations, and the recovery of even the most severely abused, injured or starved dogs.

So, the short answer to a very long question is: YOU!

You can stop this.

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Rachel Chappell,

 

Owner of Shiloh’s Dog Boutique

http://www.shilohsdogboutique.com

“Where Fashion Meets Compassion”

Find us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/ShilohsBoutique

 

What Is This Facebook Thing?

I ask myself that a lot, actually. Shiloh’s Dog Boutique is an online retail site which offers a lot of pet apparel, beds and so on, and while we do donate a good chunk of all proceeds to rescues, to see our Facebook page, you’d think that’s ALL we were!

 

https://www.facebook.com/ShilohsBoutique

But, is that a bad thing? I lean toward no. As a small business owner, I suppose I view tax season as the unofficial ‘end’ of a year, so I find myself reflecting on the gains and losses we’ve had since the last time I went to sit down with my accountant with a huge box of stuff.

We’re currently not doing any big-budget advertising as we felt it would be wiser to invest in our own product line which we are trying so hard to get off the ground. We had a huge setback my lawyer reminds me not to talk about until the litigation gobbly gook is complete, but I am happy to report we have found one,and perhaps even two very local manufacturers, and are in the process of all that.

But, back to Facebook. Obviously, every business with a page wants to promote themselves, reach an ever-widening audience, and perhaps even sell their product or service. I won’t lie, that really WAS the initial goal, and still is A goal, but things are happening. You start out focusing on how many likes your page has, and if you’re like me, you paid for Facebook ads for a long time trying to build that audience. Then you’re thinking “Hm, we have over two thousand likes, but no one is talking! Why aren’t they talking?”

I won’t go into the complicated evaluations of the Facebook ad results that others have written, but it’s enough to say we no longer pay for Facebook ads at all. As a result, I’ve lost about 4 page likes, but..my audience is actually engaged! Is it because the likes I’ve retained are more genuine than the ‘robot’ or drive-by likes you’re getting through paid ads? I don’t know, I just know something is changing!

They’re discussing things I post, messaging me, and just WAY more active overall. So, it’s not about the numbers anymore, and it’s even become less about “Okay but does this page lead to sales?” because what we seem to have built is a small, but loyal and close community of pet owners and animal lovers who share in the discussion of things we care about.

That may or may not lead to more success in business, but I’m damn grateful to have them! I love sharing posts with our friends and reading their comments and opinions. The more regular posters, I’ve even come to feel like I know a bit, and we’ve networked a lot more this past year with the very rescues our pledges are meant to support.

So, nope. My Facebook page has not led to any dazzling numbers on the accounting ledger, it’s actually resulted in something of far greater value to me.

When I look at any Facebook page, I ask myself “What do you promote?” and on some (many with WAY more fans than my page) I see a person or company promoting themselves, their products, and occasionally tossing a cute photo or meme on there for some laughs. Nothing wrong with that, and I’m sure they make more sales than I do, too.

When I look at our page, I feel like I should be reminding people more often that, you know..we’re a store and stuff, because I can see how they’d forget!

We promote DOGS! We promote rescue. We share wonderful (and sometimes tragic) stories of animals, and the people who love and save them. We promote heroic soldiers and their dogs, and likewise with police officers and the K9 officers who help them in their work.

And you know what? That’s our business model, so I’m going to view this as success.

I started Shiloh’s because I wanted a way to help animals that didn’t involve actually bringing more of them into my home. I had rescued and volunteered and fostered, and here’s how my two foster attempts ended:

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Jax, and Pippi. The best failures I’ve ever had.

So, clearly, I needed a different way to support the amazing work of animal rescue groups, and Shiloh’s was born.

Social media professionals and salespersons would probably tell me I’m doing it all wrong, and that if it’s not ending in sales, my content is all kinds of messed up. They’d point out lots of things I’ve done wrong, I’m sure.

But where Facebook is concerned, I have no regrets. I’ve met some great people, networked with amazing rescues, and shared a whole lot of their adoptable dogs, events, happy endings, and urgent needs on my page. Together, we have cheered on the recovery of police dog Bruno recently, and have cried happy tears together over the rescue miracle videos we’ve posted, which were made possible by the very groups I created Shiloh’s to help support.

Our Shiloh is a puppy mill survivor, and all of our other dogs are rescues, after all. This is the very stuff we’re made of!

We offer custom coupon codes. If a purchase is made using those custom codes for a certain rescue, then those pledges go to them. If purchases are made with no code used, I choose a good and worthy group, and a donation is then made. I like this system, because it allows groups to share codes with their friends, and fans, which then means consumers have an absolute say in where their donation percentage will go.

Moving forward, I think the wonderful community we seem to have joined on Facebook will be wonderful to share our progress with. When a style of ours is actually completed, I will immediately want to share it with them. When we do our first big trade show as a vendor, I’ll want to tell them all about it. The moment our products are being carried by retailers, I will be so thrilled, I won’t be able to help but let everyone know.

We stand for several things, from making our products in America, to supporting other companies and products who make their things in America. Supporting small business in general, promoting and supporting animal rescue..sharing the joys and sorrows of animals and those who love them, etc.

Most of all, we support each other as friends and fellow animal lovers, and that is the foundation I hope to build upon.

So, that’s what we’re promoting. Love, rescue, community..and some dog products. 😉

At the end of the day, those are the things I feel good about, and take pride in.

Sales are necessary to generate those donations, but we’ll get there, and we will do it because of the community we build. They will make it possible,and hopefully take as much pride in it as we do.

A business consultant asked me what my goals are. I told him “To get enough donations generated through sales one day that I can show people a before and after photo of a dog who was saved, and tell them “You did this.”.

He just stared at me a moment, and asked me if I could be more financially specific..

It all seems clear to me, but I suppose there is no space on a ledger marked “Love and Rescue”.

Guess we’ll make our own, then!

 

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“Where Fashion Meets Compassion”

www.shilohsdogboutique.com

 

 

 

 

The Shiloh Family

Every good blog should begin by introducing you to the thing or person you’ll be reading about, right? Some of you already know us from our Facebook page, so if that’s you, hi! Welcome to our blog!

I thought I would start with a more intimate portrait of Miss Shiloh herself, and of course her furry “siblings” who make up “Shiloh and Company”.

This is Shiloh as a puppy.

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You can probably see why I fell so madly in love with her, I mean..just look at that little face! Knowing she’d survived a puppy mill just made me melt that much more.

I had always had male dogs, so a little girl was a new experience, and opened up an entire world I’d hardly given much thought to in the past..dog fashion! Of course, we’d always bought our belated Shih-Tzu sweaters in the Winter, and other basic things like that, but this…this was a whole new world for me, and I got hooked.

By the time Shiloh turned two, she had nearly as many outfits as I did, and I wanted to start my own business. One which would be fun and creative, but would also benefit animals, and thus Shiloh’s Dog Boutique (www.shilohsdogboutique.com) was officially born. I won’t bore you with every little detail, because..they’re boring, but we’ve finally reached a point where we offer a lot of great stuff by various designers, are working toward our own label, and have been blessed to make those monthly donations as we pledge.

We’ve taken part in auctions for rescue groups and for individual causes, such as dogs in need of funds for vet care. We’ve gotten to participate in the celebration for our local dog park’s grand opening. It’s been a bumpy ride at times, and continues to be, but we’re making headway!

Enough about me though, this is supposed to be Shiloh’s intro.

Random Shiloh-ology.

Her middle name is “Rose” because the first time she explored the yard, she marched right up to the rosebushes and took a chomp from one of them.

She had a lazy eye and a gap in her teeth, but grew out of both things.

She doesn’t just love food, she turns into a crazed beast at the sight of it. Ever seen a shark on TV when their eyes roll back as they zoom toward the bait? That’s her with a cookie.

You cannot say the word ‘cookie’ around her unless you intend to give her one. Instead, we actually spell it, lately I suspect she’s figured that one out, too.

Shiloh does not know how to growl. She makes her ‘ugly face’ which I’m sure she imagines looks very scary and mean, and combines that with odd, random sounds that bring to mind images of a drugged hippo or something. She just looks like a demented Jack O Lantern when she does that, so naturally, we laugh. Don’t tell the dog trainer..he thinks we’re scolding her each time.

When Shiloh walks, her back end just naturally sways. Yes, she has booty. I’m always tempted to make Youtube videos of her walking to the tune of “Lady Humps” but remind myself that it would be inappropriate. Or..would it? Yeah, no that’s probably in bad taste, but I still sing it to her when I’m walking behind all that jiggly fluff.

And this, is our darling Oliver (“Ollie”). We adopted him from a shelter in Orange County CA when he was about two years old. They said he’d been a stray. Whomever lost this precious boy, it was certainly our gain!

75382_4591022566533_1427750990_n

Ollie is about five years old now, and this photo pretty much sums things up! He’s a perfect lounging companion, howls along with squeaky toys, tolerates his adoring ‘baby sister’ Shiloh like a good sport, and is just generally an absolute joy. A pudgy little pooh bear. A perfect pumpkin every Halloween thanks to his roundness. He loves car rides, but you must always lock the window button or he WILL find a way to step on the buttons, then, when the window comes down, he kind of tries to make a break for it. We had at least one terrifying moment in the car before realizing it was no accidental fluke. Evil genius can take many forms, you know.

Oliver inspires me to design soft, comfortable hoodies for the full-figured gentleman. As you can see, he rocks those clothes.

This is Pippi, our little redheaded wonder.

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(Halloween Costume day at agility class)

I was volunteering for a local dog rescue group when they called one day to ask if I could go to the South Los Angeles animal shelter to get this little six month old puppy. “She has a broken leg and has been there for three weeks.” They told me. Before I could say anything, they added “If no one picks her up by 4 today, they’re going to kill her.”

We took her in as a temporary foster. She immediately saw an orthopedic surgeon and had her leg repaired. She was spayed and received all of her vaccinations. We took care of her cast changes, check ups, x rays..the constant battle just to keep the darn cast ON her little leg for four week or so..and did our best to foster her. Temporarily.

That was two years ago or so now, so I suppose we failed Fostering. We have no regrets.

Pippi is our very feisty one (redheads!) and tends to play mother hen with the other dogs even while she kind of pushes them around sometimes. She loves agility and is an absolute natural, and is a very good listener. She definitely makes life more interesting.

Speaking of interesting..meet our failed attempt at Fostering II.

Jax!

IMG_0227

Jax was rescued from a shelter after being left there by his former owner (backyard breeder). His brother had already been adopted, and there was Jax. Sound asleep and pretty oblivious to everything going on around him. I took him because he supposedly already had a home waiting, but when that fell through, I wasn’t too sorry over it. Jax is one of a kind! He finds mischief everywhere, and is constantly making us laugh. He has this constant expression of wide-eyed confusion, but I think he’s smarter than he lets on. Very sweet, affectionate, silly and just so much fun. Shiloh does not like anyone disturbing her when she’s sleeping, so naturally he does it all the time, and is rewarded with her ‘ugly face’ for his efforts. No one can rock a hat like our Jax!

Our home is full. With love, with laughter..with dogs. We have our limit, so you can see why I choose now to show my support for rescue in a more financial and less literal way. We are endlessly grateful to each and every customer, not only for being our customers, but because they make our donations possible. They may be small some months, but we hope to see them become larger and larger as Shiloh’s Dog Boutique, and her upcoming clothing line, Shiloh and Company progress.

Without you, we couldn’t do anything. When you buy a sweater or collar or even a squeaky toy from Shiloh’s, you do so much more than that. You are a vital part of what we do as a company, and as dog lovers, and we hope you will always be proud of what you help to accomplish.

We heart you!

The entries to follow will likely revolve around news, updates, and recounting another crazy day with our beloved furballs, so I just thought we’d cover the important stuff in this one.

xoxoxoxoxo

www.shilohsdogboutique.com

Find us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/ShilohsBoutique

 

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