"When I first moved to Tennessee, I had a full time job at a vet’s office working 40 hours a week, and our office would help take care of some of the Big Fluffy dogs. A friend of mine worked here at the rescue, so I decided to start volunteering. I was basically working 80 hours a week between my real job and the rescue, but I got to see the dogs that I helped at the vet’s office get adopted. That’s why I stuck around.  After a while, Big Fluffy offered me a paid position, so I quit my full time job and started working for the rescue. I’m still here 60 to 70 hours a week. 

When I took the job at Big Fluffy, everyone thought I was crazy: I quit a full-time job to work at a nonprofit organization. But I took the job because I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I would dream about dogs at night, dream about all the rescues that we worked with. To be able make it a career was just perfect. 

Now I’ll go places, and people will know what Big Fluffy is and what we’re about. We grow as people by being able to see how mistreated these dogs were, and then getting to see them become beloved pets in someone’s home. We get to tell people what we do and raise public awareness. Big Fluffy Dog Rescue is one of the largest dog rescues in the area, and we save a lot of dogs. It’s very rewarding. Very. 

I remember my first time pulling a dog from a shelter. It was a little bitty white-and-brown dog. I got in so much trouble for pulling it — I wasn’t supposed to. But this dog was super scared and really timid. She wouldn’t let a lot of people get close to her, but we worked with her for a couple months and then she got adopted. I met her a year later, after being in her adoptive home in Connecticut. It was the greatest feeling in the world. You think, 'I saved that dog’s life. I was there for that dog when no one else was, and I was able to get it into a home and give it a second chance.'