The Sunshine Brit was inspired by Clifford, founder Maria's, rescue beagle. Here is his story, in her own words:
"One of the biggest reasons that inspired me to go cruelty free and launch my eyshadow palette was our beloved Rescue Beagle Clifford, after already being Mom and Dad to our Gorgeous Bailey we were taking him for his regular bath and nail trim to Petsmart and that particular Sunday there were three Beagles that were with a team of Freedom Volunteers in a pen that were up for adoption. My Husband (Glen) and I already were big supporters of The Beagle Freedom Project so of course I wanted to chat to them and pet the dogs.
After talking to one of the volunteers I asked if I could pick one of the dogs up and she agreed, it was Clifford's face that made me melt, he looked at me with those dark eyes and I fell in love, he was shabby looking in the coat, it was wiry, he didn't smell too good, he had a hump on his back which was where he had been experimented on for a Breast implant and it had just been removed, and he was light in weight, not like our Bailey who definitely gets more than his fair share of treats!
I stood there for over 45 minutes cuddling him, he didn't want to move he snuggled in and when I put him down he sat on my feet and did not move an inc.
A massive lump had formed in the back of my throat at this time and I could feel tears stinging my eyes and Glen at this point was saying we needed to leave. We left, grabbed a coffee and we had about an hour as we had to go back to get Bailey but I kept thinking about him. I kept thinking what if he doesn't get adopted, he was at this point six years old and approaching seven so he was classed as a senior, he had been kept in a lab all his life, this little guy deserved a forever home, a home where he would be kissed every day, given treats, taken for a walk, snuggles on the sofa and above all loved!
When we went back to pick Bailey up, I went straight back to the Beagle pen and asked if I could hold him again, he came straight over and at this point I knew we had to have him. I did hand him back and took the Volunteers phone number and with tears in my eyes we left.
On the Way home I sobbed, and I mean full on crying, my heart was breaking for this poor boy and I knew he would be happy with us so discussing having him took all of 30 seconds Glen probably knew I wouldn't give up till he was in our house anyway but we both wanted him and calling the volunteer was easy. She knew we were Beagle lovers, I didn't hesitate to fill out the form, I called my friend Karen and asked her to be our reference.
We were going to Chicago to stay with our friends for Thanksgiving so we made arrangements that the Volunteer would drop Clifford off to our house the day after we got back, I remember on Thanksgiving Day receiving a text with a picture from Clifford saying "I can't wait to see you" I was elated!
We were prepared, new crate, new bowls, new blanket and toys, I will always remember the evening when he arrived, I saw the car pull up outside the house and Clifford was sat in the back, the way he looked out of that back window his dark eyes staring at our house, probably thinking where am I going now, looking scared and puzzled.
The Volunteer brought him in and immediately Bailey barked at him, this was Bailey's home and he wasn't having another dog in the house, this was HIS house so we knew it was going to be tough going. The Volunteer explained that Clifford had been in a cage, so it would take a while to train him. He also has a number tattooed in his ear, although the Laboratory did name him Clifford experiments are logged by this tattoo number, don't even get me started on that!
We actually took him to the vet the day after we got him, we noticed his back leg was weak and we wanted him checked out, the vet did an x-ray on his leg and she said he didn't have a lot of muscle and it was weak due to being crated all the time, walking would help though, his coat was wiry and matted and he had a lot of scabs probably from being tested on, the lump where the breast implant had been removed would subside and eventually he would fill out.
Once he was bathed and dried and his coat brushed he looked a lot better, after three days Bailey stopped barking at him, what we did not realize was though that he had no concept of how to get up and down stairs, he would just sit there and sit on our feet so we had to carry him, it took months to teach him, our oldest Daughter was off work for a while in the beginning she used to spend hours with him, she trained him to pee and poop outside, believe me our carpets were shampooed a lot, he just had no idea that he was supposed to go outside he would just squat and pee wherever he was stood. He had never been walked either so teaching a dog to walk that is nearly seven years old was a task too so we would walk with Bailey in front hoping he would follow, he got the hang of it after a while but often he would go round in circles.
Clifford now is the most docile, lovable dog you could ever meet, he is very greedy and will beg for food, he waits for you to sit down at night as he wants to snuggle with you, he is still very much an anxious dog, he can hear a rumble of thunder miles away and if a storm comes in the middle of the night he has to sleep with us, he plays with Bailey and during the day they cuddle up together however there are times when he just stares into space or will walk round aimlessly round our kitchen island but he has been through a lot and knowing that he can live out his golden years with us makes me happy, if we had a bigger house we would have more and do it all again!"
A $2 donation is given to the Beagle Freedom Project with every purchase of our Winter Eyeshadow Palette.