When I adopted Daisy almost two years ago, I was working at a small, start-up magazine covering the outdoor industry. A perfect fit if you don't count a misogynistic boss who grossly underpays and takes advantage of new college grads as a problem. But I digress.
The absolute best part about the job was that I got to bring Daisy to work with me. She had a bed next to my desk and spent the days snoozing and scoping out anyone who passed by our small office space. When I got writers block or was feeling stir crazy at my desk, I just gave her a nod and we took off for a quick walk to clear my head.
As most writers know, finding your niche in the world of words is not easy. You oftentimes find yourself taking work just because you have to. Hence my brief stint as a software telemarketer. Making sales on commission is an adrenaline rush; getting hung up on and yelled at repeatedly, not so much. Sadly, this was the first time Daisy and I had to spend our days apart.
At long last, I find myself working from home. With an amazing mentor, the fabulous National Geographic author Marybeth Bond (AKA the Gutsy Traveler), and my own blog that I get more excited about with each passing day, I finally feel like I have found my path. And Daisy is right there next to me to experience it all.
My journey, along with the discovery of many Instagram accounts featuring creatives and their canine companions, has inspired me to share the stories of these individuals who have devoted themselves to creating quality goods and a unique brand with a little help from their dogs.
So, meet Meghan and Motley!
Meghan is one of the ceramic designers who started Mazama, a collective studio in Portland that creates hand-thrown and beautifully glazed cups, mugs and bottles. Motley is an 8.5 year old pit bull that came into Meghan's life 6.5 years ago from a shelter, and now spends her days cozying up to the 2,000 degree kilns at the Mazama studio.
"Motley had a rough start as unfortunately many pit bulls do, but she has proven to be a resilient spirit, " Meghan explained. "She was able to overcome some behavioral hang ups with training and lots of love."
"I am a big propionate of animal rescue, especially for pits and bully breeds. Many of these dogs are misunderstood, and can make amazing family pets, given the right circumstances. Granted, they are not for everyone; pit bulls are strong, need a lot of exercise and demand sensitivity and attention from their owner to thrive. I hope that everyone gets a chance to meet a pit bull in a loving home and see what great pets they can be."
Having Motley at the studio with the ceramicists and potters of Mazama brings a certain energy to the dynamic. "I always joke that pit bulls have two settings: High and Off. This is true of Motley; she is either running around trying to get someone to play tug-of-war or zonked out next to the kiln soaking up the warmth," said Meghan. "Everyone gets a kick out of having a studio dog, even when she is trying to get them to throw a ball and they are busy throwing a cup on the wheel! Motley ends up with some colorful clay marks from being pet by potters."
Let's not forget about the beautiful products thrown, fired and glazed at the studio by hand each day. Their love of drink at Mazama comes through with each ware's designed purpose; the subtle-curve and stackability of the Large Belted Beer Cup, the Sake Server formed to cradle a set of Sake Cups, and the Serving Bottle perfectly stopped with a cork for wine or water, for example. You can purchase their goods directly from their website. I'm currently coveting the lovely Ink Sake Server and Cups.
"For me it has been a great reward to help start a business where my best furry friend can come to work every day. Previously I worked at a large company where there were no dogs allowed. Now I get to spend every day with my best pal, and it has been really fun for me, and Motley is so happy to get endless attention," said Megan. "We put in some long hours at the studio and it's great having Motley here to keep us company. At the end of a long day at Mazama, Motley likes going home to a tasty kibble dinner, then continues onto the couch where she hogs up all the room and wants to be snuggled until she falls asleep. It's a pretty good life! And she deserves it."