The Sweet Reason Why This Woman Got A Tattoo To Match Her Rescue Dog

Photographed by Alice Gao.
The next time you find yourself speaking to a rescue dog owner, pay attention. In between talk of shedding, rising pet sitter rates, and the pros and cons of vegetarian dry food, listen for this phrase: “I didn’t just rescue him/her. We rescued each other.” Wait for it. It will happen. That’s exactly how Vanessa Marie Rose, who spoke to BuzzFeed Canada, feels about her Maltese, Toby. Toby's (awful) previous owner had kept him in a cage for six years, which left him riddled with health problems and suffering from anxiety. He landed at a high-kill shelter in Ohio, but eventually made his way to rescue group Snookie’s Society, where he was scooped up by his new mom. Rose was dealing with mental health issues of her own at the time, and needed Toby nearly as much as he needed her.
So, they decided to do something that lots of people do to commemorate friendships: They got matching tattoos. Technically, Toby already had his. Inked on the inside of his ear was "05," a branding left over from a former owner. Rose chose the spot behind her ear for hers. “I felt like it was something I wanted to do in solidarity. He’s going to be my little buddy forever no matter what happens," she explained. “He kind of rescued me more than I rescued him,” Rose added. “Honestly, I don’t know what I would have done without him.” And now here we are, 12 pages deep into Petfinder.