From Stray to Fashionista: Rescue Dog Inspires Austin Designer

Arrow was rescued with a disfigured face and is now the official spokesdog for a line of handmade pet accessories.
By: Teresa Traverse
Boots and Arrow

When Austin, Texas-based graphic designer Kristin Moses first saw pictures of her future dog, Arrow, on a Adore Houston’s Facebook page, she knew she wanted to bring her home.

“I saw this dog who’d just been through this very traumatic experience and [was] so happy and loving and still so excited about life,” she says.

Arrow was found by the rescue with a crushed jaw and disfigured face. Doctors suspect she was hit with a blunt object while wandering the streets of Houston and couldn’t eat, drink or open her mouth. The team at Adore Houston weren’t even sure how the approximately 3-year-old dog survived.

Fortunately, Arrow had reconstructive surgery to fix her jaw and soon after, Moses adopted her. The pair bonded immediately, and nearly everyone who meets Arrow falls in love with her.

“She actually gives hugs. It’s kind of her trick. Anybody who walks up to her, she will walk up and put her paws around their waist. And she always puts her head on whoever’s stomach,” Moses says. “She’s so engaged. I always feel like there’s a person in there.”

After seeing what Arrow went through, Moses had a newfound understanding of how difficult and expensive rescue work can be.

“[Rescue groups] want to help all these dogs, but they have these insane medical bills. Arrow’s jaw surgery was $5,000,” she says.

Moses asked herself what she could do to help rescue groups care for the animals they take in. The answer? Boots & Arrow. Founded in September 2015, Moses’ company creates handmade collars, pet accessories and keychains from recycled leather cowboy boots and donates ten percent of her sales to help other dogs like Arrow.

Boots and arrow

Arrow is somewhat of a celebrity around town because of the company. When Moses brings her to Austin’s dog-friendly bars and restaurants, people often ask her if Arrow is the Boots & Arrow dog.

“She’s with me all the time,” she says. “She’s changed my life and a lot of other people’s lives. She has a tooth that hangs out. One of [her] eye sockets is lower than the other. Her little face is a mess [but] she has the biggest, sweetest heart.”

In her free time, Arrow loves to spend time with her fur siblings, a 6-year-old Mastiff and 15-year-old Rottweiler mix, and go paddle boarding on Austin’s Lady Bird Lake (Moses says Arrow thinks she’s the captain). Arrow also goes hiking with Moses.

“It’s so cool that she’s with me,” Moses says. “She has a line of designer dog collars [and because of it] she’s able to help other dogs like her.”