The pandemic has changed us all in profound ways. Miso was no exception. A creative director and stylist, Miso’s life consisted of flying back and forth constantly between shoots in New York and LA. When the pandemic hit, it changed her entire world—but it also led her to Phoebe, a 110lb Great Dane. At Heed Foods, we believe that dogs enter our life for a reason. We sat down with Phoebe and Miso to learn how they found one another, and how it’s changed them both for the better.
Heed Foods: Tell us about how you got Phoebe.
Miso: It was during the pandemic. My boyfriend had always wanted a big dog. It was between a Great Dane or a Doberman.
He was looking at adoption and rescues at first, but a woman reached out to him on Facebook from Riverside. She had a dog that was supposed to be a show dog and who was going to be flown to Alaska for a show, but then the pandemic happened and she grew too big to be flown. That was Phoebe.
When we first went, AJ said, “We’re just gonna go and look. We’re not getting her.” But when we got to the house, she literally jumped on my boyfriend. We looked at each other and went, “That's a sign. Dogs choose their owners.” So we rescued her from being a show dog!
Heed Foods: So she was destined for a very different life.
M: Oh yeah, she was supposed to live in Alaska, be a show dog, but instead she became a real pet (laughs).
Heed Foods: Did you grow up with pets?
M: I did. My boyfriend always says I'm super emotional with dogs because I literally treat them like humans. But my family is the same way - we had a little chihuahua growing up, my mom loves dogs, and my brother has a dog. We’re a very big dog family.
Heed Foods: What’s it been like to move to LA?
M: I’m a Taurus, so I'm such a homebody. I love stability, but nothing has really been stable for my life. I don't think anyone has really been stable in 2020. But, in the long run, I think it'll be good. Change happens and you’re either negative about it or you're positive about it. Learning to take life and enjoy it, enjoying the dog and the house and this new life and career - I think down the road it’ll be good for me.
“Phoebe’s taught me to enjoy life. I was so career-driven and I’ve kind of stepped away to enjoy more important things, like my health, my happiness, my family.”
Heed Foods: Are you a planner?
M: I'm a HUGE planner. When I was working corporate, I literally had my days planned by the hour. My friends would have to send me calendar invites to have dinner with me because I was such a planner. Now, everything is so open and up in the air. It's such a big shift but I think it's ultimately what I needed and what I actually wanted when moving to LA.
I didn’t expect to live with a boy, move to LA, have a dog, have a house, but here we are!
Heed Foods: Do you think that having Phoebe has helped you root into the present more?
M: I think that now that everyone's working from home, it just allows us to enjoy life a little bit more. We wake up and we're so happy to see Phoebe rather than just being grumpy in the morning.
She’s like our kid. We’ve seen her grow up, and have given her a good life. Especially since I’m such a dog person and I’m so emotional with dogs, I’m so glad we’re both at home and we’re able to take care of her rather than working all the time.She’s needs a lot of attention.
Heed Foods: Being a creative director and a stylist, in “normal life” you would be traveling a lot. So in a way, this pandemic has helped you root into your life in this neighborhood.
M: When AJ and I first moved in together, we thought traveling a lot would be good because we were living together as a couple for the first time and we didn’t want to get sick of each other. So he was traveling once a month, and I was traveling back and forth from LA and NY. I can’t even imagine doing that with Phoebe.
Eventually, life will go back to the usual pace, and we’ll figure out what to do with her then. But luckily I have my family here and they love her. So she will always have someone to take care of her.
Heed Foods: What are some of the benefits you’ve had from just having Phoebe around?
M: It honestly has just boosted my energy. I’m not a very athletic person so it’s given me a lot of chances to exercise. We go hiking, we go to the beach, we run around with her.
It’s also taught me a lot about responsibility. Asian culture focuses a lot on home and family, so it’s taught me a lot about taking care of someone.
The best thing about Phoebe is that she’s taught me to enjoy life. That there are more important things than your career. I was so career-focused and career-driven, and I’ve kind of stepped away to enjoy more important things, like my health, my happiness, my family.
Heed Foods: That’s amazing that you figured that out in your early twenties.
M: I've always told my boyfriend - this is the time for us to be selfish. It sounds bad but honestly this is the time for you to see what you want in your life. And you don't really have obligations in your twenties so it’s a great time to do whatever, travel around, experience life.
Personally, I’ve always been such a homebody. So I like the peacefulness of having a home and taking a break from traveling. I hate going on planes. I hate traveling. Everytime we go on vacation, the maximum time that I can be away from home is two weeks.
For the last 10 years of my life, I’ve just been back and forth so much. Even when I was in college, I was traveling back to LA to visit family every one and a half months, so it was just a lot of not having a home-base.
I love having a home-base to come back to, and Phoebe has really given me that home base I’ve been craving.
Heed Foods: If you had 30 seconds to tell Phoebe something in English, or Vietnamese if you think she’d understand, but then after 30 seconds, that window closes - what would you say to her?
M: Oh my god...that we love her, that we’re going to give her the best life, that she needs to stop being so mischievous (laughs).
I always say that I wish she could speak because I want to know what she’s saying. She has so much personality. Initially, the decision was between getting her or her sister. The breeder had said, “You can either get a super diva dog who will be the head of the household or you can get a very, very quiet one.” And we chose the diva dog! (laughs)