Chicago Love Stories: One Tail at a Time


To celebrate love, happiness, and flowers here in Chicago, we at Flowers for Dreams are bringing you another year of Chicago Love Stories. In the past, we have looked at couples with small businesses and even your favorite Instagram pairs, but this Valentine’s Day, we’re featuring those involved in non-profits.

One Tail at a Time, founded by Heather Owen in 2012, is an all-breed dog rescue committed to lowering euthanasia rates through the rescue and adoption of dogs in need. “I was looking for a way to give back and fill some time while in law school. I had been volunteering with some rescue groups and had so many ideas to do more and make a bigger difference,” said Heather. The non-profit also focuses on comprehensive support of adopters, community outreach through humane education programs, and assistance for disadvantaged and low-income families. “There’s this huge need out there to make a change with how we treat companion animals, and once I realized that, it was pretty impossible to sit there and do nothing.”

Heather and her boyfriend, Luke, had plenty of mutual friends, but it wasn’t until she went on Tinder when they connected. If the two are not tending to dogs, they can be found at Irazu, Montrose Beach, Logan Theatre, or anywhere with a shuffleboard table, snacks, and dogs. While their winter has been very Netflix and GrubHub centered, their relationship has also brought them across the country to places like Salt Lake City and Las Vegas where they explored the beauty of the National Parks and even walked dogs for another animal rescue. For Valentine’s Day, Heather, Luke, and her dog, Rudy, will be sharing a heart-shaped pizza — sounds like an ideal way to spend the holiday!

“Luke helps me whenever I need it. If I need a hand rescuing a dog from the shelter, lugging supplies around, driving a dog somewhere or really anything else, he’ll come with. We recently went on Christmas Eve to the shelter to save a dog together. It was his first time there so I told him to name the dog. He named her ‘Cheesestick.’ He’s definitely a natural.”

“I’m a firm believer in doing things for the greater good and supporting your community. I love that Flowers for Dreams not only donates to different organizations but talks about their work, and brings them a new audience. That kind of local connection is so important, and brings an added level of feel-good to buying someone flowers.”