|Love at first sight!|
I can't say the past year has been without its stresses like trying to find work and figuring out what to do if we didn't find work. At some point during my job search I realized that I didn't want to go back to the type of office work I had been doing for many years. This is when the new ideas started to germinate and after some pretty good ideas were nixed, the Lola 4 Pets idea was born. Kind of a no brainer really.
For the last several years, I had been an active volunteer at LA Animal Services as a dog trainer and adoption counselor. I got my training certification from Animal Behavior College and thought about a full-time dog training career. Unfortunately with a huge mortgage I didn't have the flexibility to focus entirely on dog training so I did it on the side and at the shelter. I continued my regular job that afforded me a huge discount at the vet so, it seemed like the best way to go. I decided to keep the status quo.
Even with a big perk like a 75% vet discount, Los Angeles starting to get to us with our inflated mortgage and few prospects as to how to improve our quality of life. I felt so stressed by work and by not having time to do what I wanted. The economy continued to flounder which made it seem like a bad time to relocate, but we just decided to do it and throw caution to the wind. The only plan we had was to move. We knew we had to do something once we got up here. Our failure to find traditional work but wanting to stay in our new found paradise is why we started to consider all the options rather than depending on that old annoying status quo.
Chris and I have no regrets about our move and we are still in love with the mountain and all it's beauty. Now that we are working on Lola 4 Pets, Chris is going to do the web store, we feel we have a higher purpose than to just make a living. It's more like a way to do something we can feel really good about. If it fails, it would be sad but at least we can say we tried to follow a dream!
I still have things going on in Los Angeles. One of them is a non-profit called Shelter Animal Advocacy Fund, LA (SAAFLA) that some fellow volunteers and I organized. http://www.saafla.org They are a great group of people and we've done some very good work. Most recently we had a fundraiser to fund microchips for dogs whose family can't afford it. This was part of a larger project by Downtown Dog Rescue and The Amanda Foundation. I was interviewed about it on this cool blog, http://www.laimyours.com/19386/a-word-with-lola-mcknight-of-shelter-animal-advocacy-fund-los-angeles/. It was a very successful event!
Now I'm also working with the MC SPCA (http://mountainspca.org) as their outreach director. They are wonderful people who do so much to help the community with few resources. I admire everything they have accomplished for both dogs and cats. Impressive! I am proud to be on their board and I look forward to doing a lot of community outreach at the store.
The most important thing about me is that my passion truly is animals. I love talking about them, training them, learning about them and from them. Having an animal-related business is my dream come true. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to help animals in our community by offering great products along with my expertise with the goal of creating a thriving local business that also helps improve our local economy. I look forward to serving PMC and the surrounding areas for many years to come.
|The Board of Directors of SAAFLA|
|Ice cream social at the MC SPCA Thrift Store|