What to do if you find a stray dog [video + resources]

what to do if you find a stray dog

In this video, I talk about something that I get a lot of messages about on Facebook: what to do if you find a stray dog.

I live in Houston, where the stray animal population is horrendous. In Clear Lake, where I grew up, I never noticed it. But now that I live in a more depressed/less developed neighborhood, there’s no way to ignore that this is a huge crisis in Houston. (Stats: http://www.unityforasolution.org/fact-sheet.html)

Since I moved to an area where I can’t ignore the problem, I’ve adopted two dogs and fostered around 20 dogs. Two of the dogs I fostered were off the street with no rescue organization, and through that and helping other people, I developed my own process for helping street dogs.

I’m no expert, but I feel comfortable enough about the process that I can make educated suggestions.

Make sure to keep reading below for more information and resources!


The resources I’ll list here are NOT an extensive list at all. These are the services I’ve personally used.

Healthy pets Healthy Streets: Healthy Pets Healthy Streets is a collaboration between BARC, Emancipet, Friends for Life and Snap to provide FREE spay and neuter services for dogs and cats.

The catch is that you have to wake up at the butt crack of dawn and drive to parts of town that change each month and wait in line. If your animal doesn’t get taken care of that day, they will give you a voucher to schedule the free service later. They also provide discounted health services as well. For more information, call 311 if you’re in Houston or visit www.HoustonBARC.com

Thrive Affordable Vet Care: Thrive is way more convenient than standing in line for the free spay/neuter, and the spay only costs $65 (as opposed to $200+ at traditional vet).

If I were to take a dog to my personal vet to get them fixed and vetted, it costs upwards of $400. IF I go to Thrive, it’s about $175. TOTALLY worth it, and excellent service. It’s much easier to fundraise $175 than it is $400.

BARC Houston Affordable Wellness: BARC provides affordable wellness as well, just as affordable as Thrive. It less convenient for me, but I’ve taken at least two dogs there before and had a good experience.

More About Rescues…


BARC is the City of Houston’s open admission animal shelter. By law, BARC has to accept every animal that comes to its door. This is a huge reason why they have historically been a high kill shelter—they simply haven’t had the resources of organization to save more lives.

They’ve been working tirelessly to increase their live release rate. In 2009, they initiated a massive effort in improve their live release rate, and are making steady progress. They had live release rates of over 91% for the first quarter of 2017. (Press Release)

If you find a dog, you can turn it into BARC. The good thing about this is that the dog will receive basic vet care and be evaluated. There is a 90% chance they will be adopted into a loving home or sent to a rescue to help them get adopted and/or rehabilitated. If you’re unable to care for a found dog yourself, or can’t find another foster, taking the dog to a shelter is not the worst thing you can do.

The dog will be much better off in a shelter than on the street fending for itself.

Here are some of the rescues I’ve worked with in the past. These aren’t full reviews of my thoughts on each rescue, but simply comments on my expereicne asking for help.

One thing I didn’t mention in the video:

I don’t reach out to rescues unless I have a foster and at least some funds in place, since the #1 reason rescues say “no” is because of lack of fosters. 

Another note: every rescue I know of is overwhelmed, and most have a primary mission or goal—they focus on a certain area, or type of dog, or specific needs, etc. So, I’m never upset when I don’t receive responses, but I think it’s helpful to clarify for readers/viewers that you should have low expectations.

Goodlif3 Bully Rescue

I just found out about Goodlif3 Bully last year. They rescue pitbulls and other bully breeds. I mention them first after BARC in this article because they’ve been one of the few rescues to respond promptly to my inquiries. A friend of mine recently picked up a stray pit bull and decided to foster him, and Goodlif3 agreed to help market him and let him attend adoption events, even though they didn’t have room in their program.

Friends for Life

I love what Friends for Life does, but have been unable to get assistance for any rescues I’ve had, even ones that had funding behind them. I’m guessing the dogs I found didn’t fit their mission. My friend that is fostering a pit bull currently received a response from FFL on her current foster, and they might be working with her to help rehabilitate the dog and network him.

Scout’s Honor Rescue

Scout’s Honor Rescue is where I adopted my first personal dog from, Atticus. They’ve offered to help me with found dogs in the past, but I haven’t receive responses from any inquiries in the last few months. This is probably because their primary mission is to pull dogs from shelters.

Pup Squad Animal Rescue

Pup Squad is where we adopted our second personal dog from, Yuki. Their mission is to help mamas and puppies, but despite that they’ve offered to help network a dog of mine that didn’t fit their mission.

K911 Animal Rescue

K911 Animal Rescue scooped up a mama and puppies that were in my neighborhood. I had to connect with a friend of a friend in order to obtain their help, but the whole little family was scooped up and rescued thanks to K911. I’ve asked for additional help since then and receive sporadic responses.

Rescued Pets Movement

Rescued Pets Movement probably rescues exponentially more dogs in Houston than any rescue because of their model of sending animals to out of state rescues i high volume on a weekly basis.

They offered to help a dog I was fostering that a friend found, but a crucial email was sent to a group that didn’t include me, and we adopted out the dog without knowing an out of state rescue had already been found. While it was a simple mistake on their end, I haven’t received responses to inquiries for help recently.

Lola’s Lucky Day

Lola’s Lucky Day helped with a past foster that I had, that ended up getting adopted out locally. Lola’s planned to include her on a future transport of out state, but I was on a time crunch due to travel and preferred to have her in a new home sooner than transport was available.

Feeling stuck? How to Get Out of a Rut [Video]

how to get out of a rut

Feeling stuck? Here are my tips recently for how I got out of a rut!

PLEASE leave your comments below on what you’ve done to get out of a rut, or on what tip helped you the most! Here are my personal steps, in a nutshell:

1. Develop a routine
2. Lower expectations
3. Practice
4. Change something!

LulaRoe! IS It Worth All the Hype? [Video + Info]

LulaRoe! I tried it…

I love a lot of it, I like some of it less. Have you tried it? What did you think?

Stay updated here for the date of the online event I’ll host, and comment below if you’re interested in attending so I can include you.

I uploaded a sizing chart below, but this link is great. That link also includes all the different pieces, most of which I haven’t tried.

Haven’t heard of LulaRoe? Here is what they say about themselves:

LuLaRoe strives to continuously find ways to Bless Lives and Strengthen Families. Believe it or not, your favorite LuLaRoe piece has its own story. The production and development that goes into each style, print and design touches the hands of thousands of artists and craftsmen around the world. From Korea to Guatemala, to the US and Vietnam, together we are blessing the lives of over 100,000 families.

Arriving in the hands of our Customers, each piece embarks on its own journey, complimenting the story of the beautiful person wearing it. Live the LuLaRoe Culture and Join the Movement. Simply Comfortable – LuLaRoe

Their clothes are known for the colorful prints, cozy styles, and layering capabilities. Watch the video to see what I thought!

lula roe sizing

Fall 2016 StitchFix Unboxing and Try-On!

stitchfix unboxing and try on

Hi guyz! Um, sorry it’s been so long since I did a video. I got a dog and took a few months to focus on how to restructure my life.

I haven’t done StitchFix in a while because my last two boxes were suuuuuper mediocre. I didn’t even post the last one! But I love everything about Fall and figured there would be a few options I liked, and there were!

My referral link if you want to try StitchFix: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3743176

Here is my first StitchFix: http://youtu.be/GI1rKHoC5nA?list=PLcnCv20IK_nQOTzPmaVkG9INinyh23DVR
Here is my second StitchFix: https://youtu.be/74vdSDk9dAw?list=PLcnCv20IK_nRbNgPS4d20VAp0q0xGD7h7
Here is my third StitchFix: https://youtu.be/-75sLmNUJyQ?list=PLcnCv20IK_nRbNgPS4d20VAp0q0xGD7h7
Here is my fourth StitchFix: https://youtu.be/uT1ILZDzj5c

Houston Events! Week of 6/1/15

Hi internet friends! People always ask me how Chris and I find out about events in Houston, and honestly, a lot of it is through Facebook. Once I went to a few events, I started getting invited to interesting things. For your convenience, I am going to start posting Houston events once a week! This will be a random, sparse assortment of what I think is interesting. It is by no means a complete list of Houston events.

They, Who Sound – June 1, 2015 Avante Garden

is a weekly series in Houston for experimental sound-making, improvised music, free jazz, noise, noises, electro-acoustics, psychedelia, field recordings, the recitation of words, the reading of words, the projection of light, ?, improvised dance, performed behavior, the performance of art, and the recitation of phonemes.

They, Who Sound happens every Monday at Avant Garden, 411 Westheimer from 7:30 to 9:30pm.

The lineup for Monday, June 1:

  • Damon Choice (Houston) – vibraphone
  • David Dove (Houston) – trombone
  • Ryan Edwards (Houston) – guitar, voice


Painters Painting – June 3, 2015 The Menil

Painters Painting (116 min.) Emile de Antonio, director *Rothko Chapel Plaza

A collective film portrait of the legendary figures who redefined the post-war New York art world. The conversations weave a brilliant portrait—with Barnett Newman at its center—in which can be seen the genesis of Abstract Expressionism. An entertaining way to absorb the context in which Newman’s paintings were made.

Co-presented with the Rothko Chapel and Aurora Picture Show


PrintTX Opening Reception – June 6, 2015 Nicole Longnecker Gallery

PrintMatters is pleased to announce PrintTX, a juried exhibition of contemporary Texas printmaking to be held at Nicole Longnecker Gallery during PRINTHOUSTON 2015.

JUROR Karen Kunc lives and works in Nebraska where she is Cather Professor of Art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Kunc’s works are represented in many public and private collections, including: the Museum of Modern Art (NY); the Library of Congress; the Smithsonian American Art Museum; Walker Art Center Library; Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha; Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon; Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas; Honolulu Academy of Art.

She has taught numerous workshops around the world and served as a visiting artist to over 100 institutions. She has curated exhibitions of American art for Finland, France, and Egypt and frequently serves as a juror for national competitions.


Sebastian Montes “Emergent Visions” – June 6, 2015 G Gallery

Originally from Fort Worth Texas Sebastian Montes earned his B.F.A in painting and drawing from the University of North Texas in 2012 and recently received his M.F.A degree from the University of Houston. His process driven abstract paintings are inspired by the visual poetry that arises out of his experience of natural phenomena. Whether it’s a swarm of insects, a constellation of stars, or a stream of particles these emergent occurrences all share similar aesthetic and relational qualities. Beneath it all there is the notion that chaos and randomness can give rise to deeply attractive, intricate, and orderly structures. These types of complex phenomena are echoed throughout this body of work illustrating the cosmic connections that permeate our world and the universe at large.


Curly Girl Party – Products and Notes!

curly girl party houston tutorial

I’m posting this on my website because I think it would be nice to have for anyone who wants to reference it. For those who don’t know, I had a curly hair party! I reached out to Jessicurl and they gave me tons of samples to give away, and we have some great discussion and tutorials. (This post is not sponsored!)


I was so grateful to Jessicurl for their generous donation. For more information about the samples I gave out, in case you forget, check out their website. Each product is described in detail! Jessi also explains why she developed each product, which is kind of fun to read.


Flax Seed Styling Stuff:

Meghan made us a great styling product for everyone to try. The recipe is as follows: (keep watch for updates in case I get corrected)

  • 1/4 cup to 4 cups of flax seed
  • Boil for a half hour (?) and then cooled.
  • After it cools, strain the flax seeds out and you are left with a clear-ish goo
  • Add lavender essential oil to masque the flax-seed’y smell

Curly Hair Salon in Houston

I get my hair cut at Planet Curls in Houston Heights. The price is comparable to other salons but they ONLY cut curly hair. Charlie cut mine, but everyone there has great reviews online. Highly recommend for my curly girls!


Other Miscellaneous Products Recommended

Besides the amazing Jessicurl products (I am not getting paid to say this), we discussed several other great products.

  • Beach Blonde Sea Waves Sea Salt Spray
  • Lush Dry Shampoo
  • Coconut oil (but it at Indian grocers for more affordable options!)
  • Henna hair dye (Aisha’s near Hilcroft next to Bismala)

My Veedio

Lastly, I mentioned that I made a video in the past about my curly hair. I’m hesitant to post this because it’s outdated! I don’t use any of the same products, even though there’s nothing wrong with them. I still style my hair essentially the same, but keep your eyes peeled for an update and video tutorial JUST on styling. Planet Curls changed my styling ways for the better! Video is below.

That is all. Did I forget anything? Let me know! Or comment on the video or on Facebook! Thanks to everyone that came, and to Meghan for being a rockstar!

How to Fight With Your Boyfriend (Or Anyone) – Short Tutorial!

how to fight with your boyfriend

In this video, I talk about how to fight with your boyfriend! Or anyone, really.

This method of “fighting” is called a Clearing. When people normally fight, they tend to accuse each other of things without even realizing it. A Clearing allows you to think about the facts, the feelings, why the situation hurts, and how to repair the situation in the future. While it won’t fix everything, it WILL help both parties to communicate better without acquiring so many hurt feelings!

There are basically 4 steps to a clearing, and using these steps will make your arguments more productive.

  1. State the facts: The facts mean just what happened. Don’t add any emotion into it, any judgments, and opinions about what the other person did or why they did it. In the video I gave an example of an ex boyfriend: he said he was going to call and then he didn’t call. Another example could be at work: you asked a question and your boss raised his voice at you. Neither example involves feelings or judgments – you simply state the facts.
  2. State your feelings: Stating your feelings is just that – saying the way you feel. Keep in mind that saying something like “You don’t care about me” or “you don’t respect me” are actually not expressing feelings. Feelings are things like happy, sad, angry, hurt, etc.
  3. State the story you made up: This is my favorite step, because the story is usually the thing that causes me to get so upset. But often when we have arguments, we state the “story” as a fact. By literally saying “The story I made up is…” you are letting the other person know that this is part of why you got upset, but you are also letting the other person know that you recognize it isn’t the truth. “The story I made you is that you don’t respect me” will be a lot easier to respond to than “You don’t respect me” because you are no longer making an accusation, so the other person doesn’t get offended and communication lines stay open. Get it?
  4. State what you would like to happen in the future: The last step is to let the other person know how they can respond to you in a way that works better for you. This does not mean they will do it! Unfortunately, I can’t change anyone, but at least I can clarify expectations and see if we can reach a compromise. For example: if you say you are going to call, but then you can’t call, just let me know by texting me. Or, in the case of a boss yelling, let him know that it would be better for you if he would explain his reasoning in a calm tone.

That’s it! Those are the steps to help you have a productive argument.

What did you think of this video? Want more “How To’s”? I’m full of ’em! So just comment on the video and let me know.

How to Not Drink – Tips on Easy Ways to Avoid Drinking! Alison’s Notebook

how to stop drinking

Hi guys! I had such a sweet, positive response from my video on WHY I don’t drink that I decided to do a follow up on HOW not to drink.

When I first decided to stop drinking, it was a real challenge, especially in social situations. Now, there are a few things I do on a regular basis that make me feel confident, independent and empowered. If you don’t drink at all, or maybe are just taking a break from drinking like a friend of mine did for “sober January”, then maybe these tips will help you!

Please subscribe!

To see my other video on why I stopped drinking and why I stay stopped, go here: http://youtu.be/BCZNgKcfjqw

For a longer explanation: http://alisonsnotebook.com/2015/01/23/why-i-stopped-drinking-and-why-i-stay-stopped/

Third StitchFix Review! Find Out What I Did to Get My Best Fix Yet! | Alison’s Notebook Unboxing

stitchfix unboxing review video

https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3743176 – (Remember, 5th comment below gets a tiny gift). Last month, I received my third StitchFix. Since my last StitchFix was paid for mostly with referral fees I’d saved (thank you to anyone who clicked on my link!) then doing another one so soon wasn’t a big deal (on my pocket book).

One reason I was so excited about this one is because I’ve been watching other people’s videos, particularly Ellko (linked below) and she mentioned how she gets REALLY specific in her likes and dislikes. She also said she gets the same stylist every time, and that every Fix gets a bit better because her stylist is learning about her. And this made me realize that I needed to be a little more detailed in what I wanted out of my box.

In my last Fix, one of the items I sent back was a pair of skinny jeans, which got me thinking: do I *really* want skinny jeans in one of these boxes? No, I don’t. So, I made sure to specify that what I was really looking for were some unique pieces that I might not normally pick out for myself, and my Fix was on the mark!

This is the first time I bought all 5 items, which is always the goal because the 25% discount really adds up to a big savings. Actually, I wasn’t crazy about the $60 blouse, but it was cheaper to keep it than to return it because the 25% off added up to so much!

So, I’m definitely doing this again soon. I think doing this a few times a year really helps freshen a wardrobe up. Watch the video to see all 5 items!

Ellko’s Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ellkoNYC

Here is my first StitchFix: http://youtu.be/GI1rKHoC5nA?list=PLcnCv20IK_nQOTzPmaVkG9INinyh23DVR
Here is my second StitchFix: http://youtu.be/74vdSDk9dAw

Warby Parker Sunglasses Try-on Extravaganza! | Alison’s Notebook Review

warby parker try on review

In this week’s video, I try on 5 pair of glasses from Warby Parker for free with special guest, JUAN! Juan is someone I regularly go to for opinions and beauty + fashion advice, and in the video he gives his opinion of the glasses, how they look on me personally, and then he tries them on too. He cracks me up and I heart him.

Warby Parker – https://www.warbyparker.com – Warby Parker is an AWESOME online glasses company. They have super-mega competitive prices for prescription glasses, which is why I buy from them. I’ve never owned sunglasses since I’ve had to wear prescription, but at Warby’s price point, I feel I can afford to buy them and have them as an occasional accessory.

In the video, I make it clear which are my favorites at the end. However – I feel like I want to try more on before I make a decision.

What do you think? Leave me your favorite below! And don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE!