You Only Live Once, This Is How I'm Doing It!

A herd of papillons

I found Niki while searching for other papillon owners. Not only did I find someone with one of the word’s most adorable dogs, I found one of the sweetest, most encouraging people I’ve ever met. She’s someone else that I’m sure if we knew each other in real life we’d be best friends. I can’t blame her for not wanting to give up beautiful Californian weather for the bitter cold winters in Chicago though.

Niki is the biggest animal lover I know. If it were possible I’m sure she’d have a whole zoo full of animals and would love every single one. I can’t wait for someday when her dream is a reality and I can take Phoebe to play with her herd of papillons.


When @skywaitress first asked me to write about a “Life Dream” I got really excited. I was so honored to be asked, and then I got all dreamy about what I could write. . .

Right now, like, at this moment, I’m working on fulfilling my life dream to have a wonderful career in a field I love; I’m currently in school for my LVN, I hope to one day get my RN, BSN, maybe even go on to become a Nurse Practitioner…

I have simple dreams, I’d like to get a good job, get married, have happy healthy kids. . . and a herd of Papillons.

The dream I’d like to share here? Is a dream I discovered about two years ago; I want to be involved in animal rescues and I want to help young adult pet owners. I’ve loved animals all my life, there have been horses, dogs, cats, birds, lizards, fish. If you know me at all, you know about Belle, my 4 year old Papillon who’s my adventure buddy, get to know me a little more and you’ll know that I’m a sucker for animals.

A couple years ago I was introduced to the world of animal rescue when I worked with Under the Angel’s Wings Rescue, out of Phelan, CA. It began as a few hours a weekend, but pretty soon I was spending full weekends up there with Adventure Papillon Belle right there with me, mucking stalls, feeding, watering, riding, handling, and grooming. Helping these horses who had been abused, been ignored, abandoned when they still had so much life, so much love left to give broke my heart. During my time with the rescue there was a cute Border Collie who found her way to the rescue, and quickly into my heart. I took her to the vet to get her checked out and check for a microchip, ended up reuniting her with her original family who had lost her during the snow storm. When the little kids piled out of the car and saw her, the happiness was unforgettable.

The second part of my dream? Is to start a foundation for young adults and college students who are good pet owners and animal lovers to be able to get assistance for quality preventative animal health care. Because the costs? Are ridiculously high when you’re not making a big or even reliable salary. When I brought Belle home I was 19. Not many people took me seriously as a pet owner, claiming the mentality that I didn’t know what I was in for and I would not live up to the responsibility pet ownership in college would require. Four years later? My little shadow is still one of the brightest points in my days. So I’d like to help people like me, I’d like to help them and help rescue groups. I would love to set something up with local vets to help pet owners get the heart worm, flea, vaccinations, and other care that the emergency pet funds overlook. I’ve seen the difference having Belle has made in my life, the calming ways and the cheering up on the bad days; I think just because someone isn’t 25 doesn’t mean they can’t adopt.

That herd of Papillons? Only kind of kidding, I’d love to be able to adopt and foster dogs, cats, horses, and maybe a few other farm and furry creatures. I hope in my future I have the home, the support, and the funds to make these dreams possible.
Follow her journey through nursing school and the adventures of her courageous papillon Belle on her blog:

And on twitter: @strawbrykiwi


Pillow flight on board


Loosened grip

1 Comment

  1. strawbrykiwi

    Thanks so much for the sweet introduction and letting me be part of this! Someday we'll meet "for reals" and Belle and Phoebe can play! 🙂

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