After seeing the success of the cute dog shaming posts, a man decided to put his own spin on the sign-wearing-dog photos.
A few months back CJ Miyake, the founder of Los Angeles-based Rescue Strong, a lifestyle brand that gives back, took to Instagram for a Leverage Love campaign (#leveragelove) in which he asked people to post pictures of their dogs wearing signs telling the world what their pup does for them, while helping to raise money for local rescue group Ghetto Rescue.
“Our animals play so many different roles for everyone and I thought it would be nice to share some of that on social media,” Miyake tells This Dog’s Life.” I wanted to raise awareness for rescued dogs, their potential to change our lives and help raise money for one of my favorite rescues.”
With is success, Miyake decided to do it again, this time naming it Leverage Love 2.
“I love this campaign,” he tells us. “The stories were so powerful the first time we ran it that I’ve been wanting to do another one for a while.”
Miyake asked owners to share stories about how their rescues impact their life, donate to Ghetto Rescue (suggested $5 donation) and stated his company would match up to $500 and provide gift certificates to the winners.
The response was huge, with many people expressing how their dog has helped them through life – everything from making them smile to being there while they fight cancer. The campaign managed to raise more than $1,400 for the week-long campaign.
Miyake selected three but said it was the “toughest part as I loved them all.”
Winner: a reason to live
She gave me a reason to live when life didn’t feel worth living. I had always struggled with depression and anxiety, but they heightened when I was diagnosed with a “rare” auto-immune disease that dramatically changed my life. Cali has been by my side through it all, the good days and the worst! She is by far THE best medicine. She rescued me❤️ • • • • • • #leveragelove2#teamrescuestrong#cali#love#pitbull#puppy#pitbullsofinstagram#dogstagram#amstaff#staffy#mybully#bullybreed#mentalhealth#therapydog#dogsarethebestmedicine
Winner: follow your passion
My submission to @cjiro / @rescuestrongsupplyco’s #LeverageLove2 campaign. ➡️ If I hadn’t walked out of an overcrowded municipal shelter 5+ years ago with a sick, emaciated, terrified young dog, I might never have begun my rescue journey. Learning and loving with Beau inspired me to live this life of dog rescue and pit bull advocacy, and recently to leave the grueling corporate job that was outside of my values and passions. ❤️#TeamRescueStrong A photo posted by AJ ~ rescuer.foster.advocate. (@ourpitstop) on
Winner: reminder to cherish every day
Miss Daisy has given us so much more than a chance to rescue a lonely, abused girl. She has taught us the struggles life will throw at us. She has taught us to never, ever, give up. Daisy has shown us what true love is. She has taught us way more than I could fit on a piece of paper. Most importantly, she taught us to cherish every day that she is happy, healthy and seizure free, and support her every day that she is feeling sick at every moment. #teamrescuestrong #leveragelove2 #K9EpilepsyAwareness LeverageLove2 Project ? @rescuestrongsupplyco A photo posted by Sara Vincent (@sarabettyv) on
Here are some of the other amazing things dog do for us:
Act as an antidepressant
“I am my mom’s antidepressant, and my deaf grandparents’ ears, and my great grandma’s very best friend” —– We’re late to the game, but couldn’t sit out of such an amazing campaign with an even more amazing message! Thank you @cjiro for providing us with an outlet for reminding everyone of the ways we rescue our humans ❤️ #leveragelove2 #teamrescuestrong A photo posted by Jackson Bean (@jackson_the_pittie) on
Are there to comfort those dealing with awful diseases
Never in our wildest dreams did we think we would ever have a dog this small. Diamond was our first foster & our first foster failure. She makes us laugh every day with her antics….even on the bad days❤️#leveragelove2 #teamrescuestrong #chihuahua #chi #bigearsrule A photo posted by Jan (@vegchick) on
Lucy chose us to be her humans almost 3 years ago. Four months ago, she played a part in my breast cancer diagnosis (she seemed to know before anyone else) and has been looking out for her mama ever since. While she only cuddles on her own terms, she has shown us that cuddling with mama on those yucky days after chemo comes easy. She may not be able to speak, but she reminds us everyday just how much she loves us…and we ❤️ her. #leveragelove2#whorescuedwho #queenlucy#pitbullsofinstagram #jackrussellpitmix#rescuestrong #adoptdontshop#cuddlepartner #americancancersociety#fightlikeagirl A photo posted by Luna and Lincoln (and CJ) (@cjiro) on
And chronic diseases
#leveragelove2 is a campaign to promote the joys and benefits of adopting a rescue dog. So here is mom sharing her story: I adopted Boo during the hardest period of my life. I was one year into an unsuccessful search for a diagnosis for the condition (we later discovered it was POTS) that ended my varsity running career, cut me off from my main source of social support in college, and called into question my ability to pursue any of the careers I was studying for. I got permission to have Boo as an emotional support animal, and he exceeded all expectations in fulfilling that role. No matter how bad life gets, Boo can always brighten my day with a sleepy cuddle, a cute yawn, a happy snort– because when all the big things are going wrong, even the smallest of wagging tails is enough to turn a day around. A photo posted by Boo The Eyeless Floof (@blindboo) on
Help deal with the anxieties of life
College hasn’t always been the greatest experience for me. My social, and overall, anxiety sky rocketed, and I missed my four legged family like no other. Bringing Ginger up to #UCDavis was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. She’s always by my side–even when I am up all hours studying! I take her most places with me as she keeps me calm through my most anxious times. This girl barely survived parvo, and ended up as a foster with me through the @sdhumanesociety when she was only 5 weeks old. The connection was instant and I don’t know what my life would be without this rescue pup. Ginger, thank you for all you do for me, and always being by my side. #leveragelove2 #teamrescuestrong A photo posted by Ginger (@loveabull.ginger) on
Reminds us the importance of family
My rescue babes mean everything to me, and I found it really hard to put in to words just exactly what they add to my life. This little girl reminds me to laugh, even when life doesn’t give you much to be happy about. Kenz reminds me daily to slow down and enjoy the quiet little things. My angel babies radiate a positivity that is hard for me to put in to words, but here’s my best effort! ???☀️? #leveragelove2 #teamrescuestrong #rescuedog #adoptdontshop #blacklab #lab #labrador #puppy #world_of_labs #dogsofinsta #texas A photo posted by McKenzie & Athena (@blacklabs_intx) on
Even when defined as four-legged friend.
Sawyer is the first puppy we rescued. It was an eye opening experience. There are just so many dogs that need help. We decided to become a foster family ❤️ We are very excited to get our first foster puppy this weekend. I will post plenty of pics when the little princess arrives ? #leveragelove2 #teamrescuestrong ______________________________________________________#rescue #adopt #foster #donate #educate #pitmix #mutt #rescueismyfavoritebreed #ilovemydog #mydogiscutest #handsome #bestfriend #puppy #dog #dogoftheday #picoftheday #instagood #instadog #dogsofig #dogsofinstaworld #puppiesofinstagram #rescuedogs #rescuestrong #cute #wearegettingapuppy @rescuestrongsupplyco A photo posted by Sawyer? Scarlett ? Harper ? (@scarlett2therescue) on