This isn't a true story. But it sure as hell is an accurate metaphor.
When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.
Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.
"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."
Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."
That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."
The phrase "shower thought" began appearing in the public lexicon somewhere after the turn of the century. Know Your Meme traces it back to around 2004 and its first appearance on Urban Dictionary was in 2009 when Mr. Kageka submitted an entry for "showerthought," defining it as "an idea, thought or concept" that comes during part of a "morning routine."
They're defined on Reddit's popular "Shower Thoughts" forum as "miniature epiphanies you have that highlight the oddities within the familiar."
These thoughts seem to seep into our consciousness when we're doing a mundane task that doesn't require too much thought but allows our mind to wander, like when we're taking a shower or brushing our teeth.
During these routine moments, the prefrontal cortex relaxes and your mind goes on autopilot, giving all of the bizarre brilliance we've subconsciously stored the chance to express itself.
For some of us, the thoughts come and go, we may smile a bit and then get on with our day. Others believe it's their duty to share their shower thoughts with the world and they post them on Reddit.
Here are some of the more amusing recent entries:
"Somebody is probably mad at you for taking away their username," —chizhi1234
"People that fake having a mental disorder clearly have one," —UltimaBahamut93
"If you simply carry a mug with you, you'll look like you belong anywhere," —Peanutbuttered
"The generations in their older 20s and early 30s that vehemently hate TikTok is the beginning of millennials beginning to hate everything that young people do," —crackshotslapshot
"Dryer lint is the average color of your clothes," —Tragouls
A TokTokker by the name of @doublejynx has taken things a step further and recorded videos of himself coming up with shower thoughts every day for 365 days. In every video he shares a few of them, so he's come up with more than a thousand over the course of the year.
His true brilliance is being able to have so many when it's impossible to force yourself to have a shower thought. They come out of nowhere like a beautiful breeze or the sound of birds chirping.
Here are 18 of his best videos. Take a look at the entire post because there are some hidden gems in there.
"You might have made a decision that saved your life, without knowing it."
Day 265 of 365 shower thoughts - THE LAST 100 DAYS
"If he wanted to, Jeff Bezos could technically be Santa for a very large portion of the world."
Day 338 of 365 shower thoughts
"If you add every number in existence, you'll just get zero."
Day 317 of 365 shower thoughts
"You can still see for a short time after being beheaded."
day 1 no.2?
"Every decision you've ever had led you to me."
Day 365. Thanks everyone for the incredible support over the year, here’s some of my favourite shower thoughts READ COMMENTS
"There is a small percentage of rain that is made up of your tears."
Day 358 of 365 shower thoughts
"You could be wearing the clothes you die in."
Day 352 of 365 shower thoughts
"Why are there sidewalks in the movie Cars?"
Day 234 of 365 shower thoughts
"Your reflection is always slightly younger than you."
Day 320 of 365 shower thoughts @nathanwalsh44451
"Everything you do could be the last time you do it."
Day 311 of 365 shower thoughts
"You are traveling at least 1,000 miles per hour right now."
Day 305 of 365 shower thoughts
"Every human in history has looked at the same sun you have."
Day 302 of 365 shower thoughts
"What would happen if the atoms of a person somehow rejoined in the same exact way after they died?"
Day 302 of 365 shower thoughts
"Greek mythology was the Marvel Cinematic Universe of the ancient times."
Day 278 of 365 shower thoughts
"There's a waterfall of poo in every skyscraper."
Day 271 of 365 shower thoughts
"Ghosts aren't very effective against blind people."
Day 263 of 365 shower thoughts
"We've woken up thousands of times and are still not used to it."
Day 256 of 365 shower thoughts
"The older you get, the less people will attend your funeral."
Day 251 of 365 shower thoughts #foryou #showerthoughts #deepthoughts #mindblown
When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."
"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.
The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.
"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."
Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.
Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.
Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.
She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.
Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.
Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.
"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."
"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.
Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.
"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.
"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."
"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."
"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."
"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."
Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.
She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.
That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."
Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."
To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!