Tag Archives: chance

Two girls, two dogs, two bags = BOGO Bowl

They say things happen for a reason, and Sara Henderson and Susan Hollar believe that’s true. Something good has to come from the bad – why else would two dogs be horrifically abused in different ways, if not to bring about good in the world?

Sara knew she wanted to make the world a better place for animals – she even put that exact phrase on a vision board in 2008 – and she started the process in 2009 when she founded the Pet Project Midwest. Susan knew she wanted something different out of life, but wasn’t quite sure what that would be until she heard about a dog that had been shot and left to die at the river’s edge. The more she heard, the more her heart responded, and soon, she found herself mom to Duke, a handsome dog with bright, intelligent eyes and royal blue Walkin' Wheels to help him navigate his new world. Things fell into place.

In late spring 2011, Sara’s love of animals brought her into contact with Susan, whom she’d never met. Sara read about a dog in Topeka that was tied to a railroad track and left to die. Fortunately, Chance did not die, despite run-ins with two separate trains. His spirit and happy disposition got him through and put him into the Facebook universe where Sara found him. Unsure about the realities of caring for a special needs dog, Sara reached out to Duke (not yet knowing his person’s name) and quickly Susan and Sara became friends as Susan helped Chance and Sara find their new footing.

So when Sara came up with a crazy-sounding idea in fall 2011, one of the first people she shared it with was Susan. “What if there was a dog food company – a high quality dog food company – that gave away a bag of food for every bag that was purchased? And gave it locally?”  Susan thought the idea was brilliant and immediately announced her intention to be part of the company were it to come about.

Six months later, BOGO Bowl was born. Now these two women, and a crew of folks equally committed to the concept of healthy food for all dogs, are spreading happiness and dog food across the country. With fun titles like Food Fairy, Warehouse Goddess, Consumer Barkitect and Chief Foodie (“If you’re going to work long hours doing something you love, you need to have fun!”), the team at BOGO Bowl wants to put high-quality food in every dog bowl across America, whether the bowl is in a comfy home or a caring shelter.


Meet Chance

Say "Hullo" to Chance.

On the way to the airport to be flown to Des Moines

Chance is part of why BOGO Bowl became a reality. Last summer, May 31, 2010 to be exact, I adopted this handsome little charmer. He's an Iowa emigrant, coming from the far-off world of Topeka, Kansas.

I didn't mean to adopt him. I was still recovering from a broken heart. Bear (aka Bubba, Bubbalicious, Bubba Bear, Bubbawubba, Luv Butt, Stinky Pants, etc. etc.) passed away one year to the day before I "met" Chance on Facebook. I was far from over the loss, in fact spent much of May 10th wiping my eyes because even when I was chatting with a friend on the phone about flowers or lunch or what have you my eyes were still brimming with tears. Looking at Bear's twin sister, Lady, cracked my heart in two. He was my heart, she my soul, and part of me was missing.

And then I saw the little squirt with the sheepish look and the funny ears and the beautiful eyes and my heart expanded. The break didn't repair, but there was suddenly more room. And even as I tried to find him someone to love him, I knew, in the back of my mind, that someone was me.

Part of what got my attention was the fact that Topeka, where he's from, has a high 'kill' rate. Animals in shelters are ended very very quickly because there's a tremendous lack of resources to care for them until they find a furever home. Did you know the average cost to rehome a pet is $12.50 per day? No? Neither did I, for quite some time.

Anyway, in Topeka, there just aren't resources to give the animals time to find their new families, so they are euthanized (sounds much nicer than killed) after only a few days. Amazing people step up trying to help, but the demand outweighs the people and the homes and the hours in the day and the dollars to spend on food.

Fortunately for Chance, he had those ears, and he had me at first look. But there are So.Many.Animals. who don't have someone, at least not quickly, not quickly enough to save them.

So that's part 1. Part 2 is that in late 2009, I got together with 4 amazing women (and later more amazing women and an amazing man or two) and we put our brains together and created an organization called The Pet Project Midwest. It rocks. You should check it out. Our second program (iowapetalert.com was our first) was the pet pantry. Boy did we learn a lot, fast. Demand for our help outpaced what we'd expected almost instantaneously. Since April 2010 we've helped almost 3000 animals and more than 1500 families by providing temporary support in the form of food and supplies.

So, take my history with the Pet Project, add to that one adorable boxer/pittie mix (don't tell those *hats in Northern Ireland) named Chance who had already suffered more than any creature should have* and yet has the MOST positive outlook on life I've ever seen, and I really couldn't help getting where I am now. My passion, my life, my reason for being, is to ensure that no loved animal has to leave its home because his or her people can't afford food, and no animal in a shelter should be killed because there aren't enough resources to give him or her time to find the right family.

BOGO Bowl is about keeping families together and creating new families. Sure, we want to make money, but guess what? If we make a lot of money, we're going to give a lot of it away! In grants, in food. What other reason is there to make money... care for your family, buy cute shoes, enjoy good wine, and help others. Right? Well, that's how I see it anyway.

I can't resist another picture. This is Chance and one of his best buds, Yukon.

So that's it. Why BOGO Bowl is, and what we want to do. Handsome dogs deserve to lay on the deck and feel the sun on their heads.

* Chance and I, we don't like to obsess about the past. But facts are facts.In early 2011, he was for whatever reason tied to a train track by persons too cowardly to admit to such stupidity. When one is tied to a train track, they are quite likely going to suffer some damage. He did. His head healed, but his back end is not quite as functional as it used to be. As far as he's concerned (and I'm with him on this) he's perfect. Happy, healthy, WAY too energetic! on occasion, sweet, loving, charming, and full of mischief. For Chance, Life Is Good. I agree.