If she had to choose only one word to describe Bailey the Cocker Spaniel, Sandra Page Mitchell tells me without a moment’s hesitation, it would have to be “angel.” And certainly, as she spoke to me recently about her art, how she came to adopt Bailey, and why she choses to feed her only Lucky Dog Cuisine, I could think of no better word to describe this beautiful little girl.
Speaking to me over the phone from her home in downtown Los Angeles, Sandra described two of the deepest passions in her life. The first – her passion for art – has been the determining factor motivating her choice of career. In addition to being the President and Co-Founder of M+M Creative Studio, an award winning interior design firm, she also is an accomplished modern abstract impressionist artist. Among her many achievements, she holds a graduate professional degree in architecture and undergraduate fine arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, she teaches Interior Design at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles. Her work as an artist is exhibited internationally in galleries and corporate collection, and is largely inspired by solar landscapes. The latest series of her work will centre on the magnificent Los Angeles sunsets of summer. It was her other deep passion though – for animal welfare – that would lead her to the Lange Foundation and Bailey.
Founded by Gillian Lange, the Lange Foundation is dedicated to assisting in the very worst cases of companion animal neglect. Gillian and her team scour the public shelters around California looking specifically for animals in the most need of help – often the severity of their health issues has left them days, or even hours away, from being euthanized. Sandra was particularly drawn to the Foundation by their priority to save animals in the most need.
In 2007, Gillian spotted Bailey at a public shelter in South LA. Bailey was in dire need of the kind of serious medical and emotional attention that the shelter was not able to provide. But because of the Lange Foundation’s allocated surgery budget, they were able to take in Bailey and give her the time and attention she needed to make a full recovery. Gillian was confident that when Bailey was fully rehabilitated, she knew just the person who would give her the forever home that she deserved. That was how, on her 40th birthday, Sandra received a call from Gillian suggesting that she come in to meet the “angel” Bailey. Though she wasn’t considering adopting another dog at the time, from the second that Bailey curled up on Sandra’s lap and cuddled, it was obvious to Sandra that Bailey was meant to be her girl and come home with her.
At the time, it was thought that Bailey was approximately three years old. However, after she was further examined by a vetrinarian dentist, it was found that she was likely less than a year old. It was simply that the hardship of her early life had made her appear much, much older. Looking at this beautiful girl today though, it is clear that she has flourished under Sandra’s care. After ten years together, the scared, sick, malnourished dog is completely gone. She still cherishes her first toy from Sandra – a pink bunny) In fact, this little girl loves all things pink so much that she will often collect together all her pink toys specifically and put them in her bed with her!
From the day she came to her forever home, it was of upmost importance to Sandra that she did everything possible to ensure Bailey would be healthy, and be able to live a long and happy life. Sandra wanted Bailey’s food to be not only of top quality ingredients and chemical free, but also that it would also appeal to this typically picky breed. In her words, Lucky Dog Cuisine “saved her world” by being the only company she found where she could have absolute certainty as to the quality of ingredients that were being used. After originally coming across the brand through a recommendation from the oncologist that was treating her first Cocker Spaniel’s cancer, Sandra switched to Lucky Dog, and when it came to Bailey, she never considered feeding her anything else.
Today, Bailey is a happy, healthy city dog – preferring hanging out with her mom or walking around the fifth floor deck of their LA condo building, greeting people along the way – to the usual “dog activities.” You will often find her sleeping contently by the desk while her mom works, cuddling, or going to Santa Barbara for a day at the beach. Sandra currently sits on the Board of the Lange Foundation as an honorary member, and continues to assist the organization however she can – often finding donors for much needed paint, small construction projects and furniture at the various facilities.
We here at Lucky Dog Cuisine are so happy to have you and Bailey as part of our Lucky Dog family! Thank you for all that you do to help our most vulnerable animals.
To find out more about the Lange Foundation:
For more information about Sandra’s original paintings and prints: