October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. There are millions of dogs that go through the shelter or rescue system each year, many of which never find their fur-ever home. We want to live in a world where every pup has a home!


Why do we even need a National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month? Behind each dog, there’s a story, and we believe that with these stories, more people will help adopt dogs that need a home. We spoke with Leah Gwin, a resident of Nashville, TN, and owner of Harper about why she adopted a dog, and why she believes more people should.

So, Leah, when did you adopt Harper?

I adopted Harper in July, 2017, from Freedom Farms in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. She’s about 8 months old, I believe.


What kind of dog is Harper?

I actually JUST got Harper’s DNA test back the other day. I thought she was mostly an Australian Shepherd, but it turns out she’s over 50% German Shepherd, then she’s got Boxer, Australian Shepherd, and American Staffordshire Terrier. I just call her a mutt.


Ha! Well, we love mutts!

Absolutely. So many people want a specific breed, like a golden retriever. But, a lot of people don’t know there are purebred dogs in shelters or rescues. So many dogs have been abandoned, or ran away… You can spend 5 minutes on Petfinder and find a dog immediately! I was blown away by how many purebred Aussies there were on Petfinder.


But you ended up with Harper, not a purebred Aussie?

Absolutely. As soon as I saw her picture on Petfinder, I knew she was the one. She was the perfect age, and just what I was looking for.


Do you know any of her story before her adoption?

I became friends with Harper’s foster parents after the adoption. The wife found her on the side of the road, in the rain, in north Nashville. It just turns out she was a foster mom with Freedom Farms.


Wow. Talk about a movie like setting.

You’re right!


So, she grew up around other foster dogs?

It’s so funny, she was raised with other dogs that were Husky mixes. She learned how to howl like a Husky, which just adds to her weirdness, which I love.


Weird dogs are fun. Dogs have a lot of personality, but sounds like Harper is a real character!

Harper is so much fun, and she’s so spunky. I grew up with an adopted dog. I don’t want to “shame” purebred owners, but it was always the best owning a mutt. My dad always said “mutts live longer”, which is probably not scientific in the least bit, but we loved our mutts.


What do you love most about Harper?

I love her personality, and that I can bring her everywhere. I love having my dog with me all the time, and exploring with her. It doesn’t matter if we’re hiking, or grabbing a beer at a local brewery, life is better with a dog by your side.


If someone was on the fence about adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue, what would you tell them?

Well, as much as I wanted a purebred Aussie, so many dogs need a home. I’d rather adopt one that needed a good home. Everyone who helps dogs find homes are volunteers for the most part, and they are so important. Giving money to shelters or rescues helps them stay open, and help animals find forever homes. My rescue dog is a little weird, she’s definitely a mutt, but she’s perfect.


Thanks so much for your time!


We want to recognize everyone who helps with pet adoption, the foster parents, the volunteers, the fundraisers, and those who adopt. We hope you enjoy National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, and if you do adopt a dog this month, please share your pictures and stories with us by using #evolvepets on Instagram!