We had the good fortune of connecting with Linzi Glass and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Linzi, if you are a parent, what do you think is the most important thing you’ve done as a parent in terms of the impact on your children?
My daughter, Jordan, who is now thirty-two, and runs her own non- profit, learned from me at a young age, that the single most important thing in life is to not only be caught up in your own wants and needs, but to find a passion, to give back and to make a difference in the world. Transformation, and improving the lives of others, or another – be it a two-legged, or four-legged being, is our greatest gift. My passion was to help animals, and to share with young people what it was like to grow up in Apartheid South Africa, to educate in two novels what was so terribly wrong in that society, and how hate and racism are so wrong. My daughter learned by watching me write those two novels, and immerse myself into a cause, and make a difference by saving hundreds, then thousands, of neglected animals and transforming them and giving them wonderful forever lives, that she, too could, “be the change that you wish to see in the world” as Ghandi said so eloquently. I am very proud of my daughter’s accomplishments with her non-profit, Souljournyoga,(www.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Having a passion, or passions, is what has driven and guided me my whole life. Since I was a little girl, growing up in Johannesburg, South Africa, I have always loved animals, and was fortunate that we lived on a big property, and had many dogs and cats, as well as chickens, a donkey and ducks. As I got older, I also felt a deep urge to write poetry and short stories, mostly about the injustices of what I saw around me in the awful era of Apartheid in South Africa. When I came to America, as an adult, I felt the pull of putting my experiences into fiction, and wrote two Young Adult novels about what I saw and experienced. “The Year the Gypsies Came”, that is told through the eyes of an eleven-year-old girl, and “Ruby Red” that deals with the underground black art world in Johannesburg, were both published by major publishers and received critical acclaim. When my daughter was fourteen, she begged me to adopt a little chihuahua puppy that she had heard about. I barely knew what a “rescue dog” was, but that little boy chihuahua, named Preston, opened my eyes to the plight of dogs in need, and sent me in a direction I never dreamed I would go in… I became a dog rescuer. I am pleased to say that Preston, now 18 years old, is still with me. He is a spry, five pound old man, and seems to have many more years to go! In 2010 I started my own non- profit, The Forgotten Dog Foundation, and I am most proud of the fact that we have remained as committed and dedicated as we were at the beginning. We do not have a facility, rather, every dog we save gets excellent medical care, and then goes into a loving foster home. I do believe that these neglected, sometimes sick and abused dogs, recover so much quicker with lots of love and and care in a home environment. With every dog we save, I make the same promise- that we will not just find them a mediocre home and give them a mediocre life, but rather, we will wait for the right home, that’s the perfect match for them, to come along, so that we can give them a GREAT life and home. Some of our dogs can be with us for a very long time, but that’s okay. It has to be right. Of course rescue is not easy, and I have made many personal sacrifices, but it has all been worth it for the over 4,000 dogs we have saved and the many more that we have networked and helped get to other rescues. We have, of course, helped some cats along the way, too. My motto is NO PEOPLE DRAMA. The only drama I will deal with is dog drama, so with difficult and draining situations with people, I will simply walk away. My focus has to be on the dogs and their well-being. I wrote a third novel, “Finding Danny”, that is a middle grade book. It is about dog rescue, and teaches that kids CAN make a difference in the world. “Finding Danny”, too was published by a major publisher and then went into schools through Scholastic Books. My belief is that we cannot remain caught up in our own existences, focused only on our own needs, and desires. Reaching out, helping another, making someone, be it a person, or an animal or our planet, better, in any way, is so important.. Playing a part in the process of TRANSFORMATION is what I feel is the most important part of what my story is… writing a book that makes someone think, or change their thinking, inspiring them to feel a call to action. Saving animals, and making not only their lives better, but transforming the person, or family that adopts them in a positive way, is what I am most proud of.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a Westside girl, so Santa Monica, Venice, Brentwood, Westwood, Malibu is where I would want to take them. Pre-Covid, and hopefully post-Covid, this is where I would want them to go hang out and see. Main Street in Santa Monica has a ton of great restuarants and stores. So does Abbot Kinney in Venice. A day browsing both those streets would be fun. The Self Realization Center on Sunset Boulevard in Pacific Palisades is a wonderful experience, then a drive down the road to the bottom of Sunset for a walk on the beach, followed by dinner at Giorgio Baldi, for fabulous Italian food on West Channel Road.. The Getty Center is an absolute must for a day of art and culture. The Bel Air Hotel is my most favorite hotel in Los Angeles, so dinner after the Getty would be ideal. Sushi at Nobu in Malibu and a drive along Pacific Coast Highway ending in Paradise Cove to watch the sunset over the ocean would be memorable.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My daughter, Jordan Ashley. She is only 32 and runs her own non-profit and has been written up in Forbes and many other publications. My late father, Harold Glass, who edited everything I ever wrote and encouraged me to be a novelist. My rescue director, Gina Castillo, who runs The Forgotten Dog Foundation with me. We have saved well over 5,000 dogs since our inception in 2010.
Facebook: @TheForgottenDogLosAngeles The Forgotten Dog Foundation