Make Your Dog A Hero

BY Taylor Rebhan

Shinola’s partnerships with the Michigan Humane Society and photographer and professed animal lover, Bruce Weber, have taught us a few things; there’s nothing like the unconditional love of a pet.


Geoff Hicks, Systems Director for Bedrock

For more than six years, Sophie has helped Geoff see the value of life every day. “Sophie is a hero for those suffering medical challenges,” says Hicks. He continues, “As a special needs dog, Sophie has a severe type of Megaesophagus, a condition where her esophagus is stretched very wide, larger than her stomach, preventing her from being able to swallow normally. She is hand-fed canned food in a specially made chair so she’s vertical enough to allow food to reach her stomach. After eating, she sits with Mom or Dad upright, in a wide chair and watches TV for 30 to 45 minutes while she digests. Sophie’s patience with this twice-daily routine has given her the gift of tolerance, and empathy that she shares with her community, visiting those who are ill or medically challenged in hospitals and senior homes. Her presence, smile, and wagging tail brighten the spirits of most everyone she visits. There is a special warmth I get when I look into her eyes.”


Jalil Kizy, Watchmaker 

Jalil and his Pit Bull, Layla, have been together she was barely a newborn. “When I got Layla I initially thought I was the one helping her, by taking her out of the bad environment that she was in. She’d been taken from her mother very early at less than 4 weeks old; she was malnourished, and seemingly destined to become a bait dog. When I heard her story, I was disgusted. I couldn’t fathom why anyone would want to do this. I wasn’t looking for a dog or any other complications in my life, but I had to remove her from that situation by any means,” explains Jalil. 

“It turns out, while I thought I was the helping hand, Layla has been helping me learn quite a bit as well. She’s a great friend, super affectionate, upbeat, playful, but most of all—loyal. She cries when I leave for work, jumps for joy when I come home, and is always by my side. While teaching her new tricks and discipline, she teaches me patience and discipline right back. She is helping me to slow down and enjoy the simple moments. She brings joy and happiness to my family, friends, and anyone she meets, even some who typically don’t like, or are afraid of dogs, love Layla. She can really bring out the smile in people,” says Kizy.  


Casey Sigg, Customer Service & Repairs Representative 

Casey’s mother had wanted an Afghan since she was a little girl in the 1970’s; eight months ago her dream came true when Casey returned to Michigan with a glamorous looking puppy one night last October. They were immediately impressed with not only his dashing good looks but also his voracious love of the outdoors, “Drake likes to run wild. He loves getting muddy and pounces on the opportunity to explore the neighborhood swamp. This summer he graduated from chasing squirrels, to chasing deer—much to my mother’s disdain” Sigg continues, “Drake is a hero because he’s a stellar seeker and well, obviously, has a beautifully groomed coat.”


Rina Movsisyan, Keyholder at Shinola’s Detroit Flagship Store 

Rina looks to her tiny hero for love and support; “Bug is our hero because she has brought nothing but joy into our lives from the moment we laid eyes on her. Her warmth and love are irreplaceable and she shows it with endless cuddles and kisses. She is the smallest dog with the biggest heart and personality you’ll ever meet.”

Shop the Shinola Pet Collection, and treat your hero to some classic style. And be sure to share your own hero’s story socially with #ShinolaPet.  

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