"Charity begins at home but shouldn't end there," says a Scottish proverb. Now, I'm not Scottish, but I do have a soft spot for those who can't help themselves, especially our friends of the equine and canine kind. So, when Buckaroo Bling was just starting off, I decided to - once I had some sales - donate a portion of the revenues to two causes: horse rescue and dog rescue.
Choosing a dog rescue wasn't very hard. For over 14 years, I've been involved in Setter rescue. My first rescued Setter was a field Irish, a sweet elderly gal, who was found abandoned in the California High Desert. A good Samaritan found her, cleaned her up, and I just happened to come along and adopt her after falling in love with her sweet personality. Then, I adopted a failed show dog - a bench Irish Setter, and several years down the road, I found an Irish Setter rescue organization that was willing to transport a rescued Setter all the way to Alaska, where I lived at the time. That was my sweet Susie, who inspired me to get involved with rescue even more.
After moving to Kansas, I discovered there was a great need for help transporting rescued Setters from the South to their waiting foster homes up North, and the "doggie underground railroad" just happened to run through Kansas most of the time. Mr. Buckaroo Bling and I transported many a Setter, both Irish and English, on their way to foster homes, and then, he (Mr. Buckaroo Bling) said he wanted us to adopt an English to "keep company to our dear old Susie" when we were both at work. That's how Gage, the sweetest and silliest English boy ever, came into our lives, and he came from Above & Beyond English Setter Rescue. Once he settled in our home, we became even more involved with this organization, screening adoption applications, guiding potential adopters through the process, transporting more Setters, springing them from local "jail" aka Animal Shelter, and even serving as a temporary foster family. So, when the decision to donate a portion of my sales to dog rescue was made, it wasn't hard at all to decide who to send those donations to. Above & Beyond it was!
Pictured above: Dottie, our current Studio Security Manager
Finding a horse rescue to donate to was a bit more difficult. Although I have been a horse lover most of my life, I've never had the opportunity or appropriate conditions to have one of my own. I didn't have any connections in the equestrian world, and I had to do a lot of virtual pavement pounding and research before I found a rescue that would be a good fit. Since I was supporting a national dog rescue, I wanted to find a local, Montana based horse rescue to support, and that wasn't an easy task. Horse rescue in this area is mostly done by individuals, and I wanted a registered non-profit organization to donate to, and one that had an online presence or local presence I could easily monitor for any potential red flags. For months, all my search efforts came up empty, until in the early fall of 2019, I saw a flier in a local bakery window advertising a fundraiser for Freedom Horse Farm and their rescue effort. After getting in touch with the three amazing ladies who run this registered non-profit, I went to visit one of their recent BLM Mustang rescues, which completely sealed the deal. I fell in love with sweet baby Ella, and the rest was history. At the moment, I am one of Ella's official sponsors while she is doing horse assisted therapy at the Farm and, soon, getting trained in dressage. Due to the big virus mess we had in the whole country, I wasn't able to donate as much as I had hoped, but I still can't wait to be able to go visit this sweet little lady again.
Baby Ella, the rescued Mustang
So, now you know that, when you shop Buckaroo Bling either online or at our live events, you're also helping save lives... literally. Charity does begin at home, but it doesn't have to end there.
What are the charities you donate to? Why? Let me know in the comments below. And, if you want to help save horses and Setters, click the orange button, and go shopping for some bling. Portion of every purchase on our website goes to the two organizations mentioned above.