Stacey Hsu was struck by inspiration after a trip to Taiwan in 2004. A dog lover at heart, she was saddened by all the stray dogs on the city streets. One particular dog stole her heart, and Hsu still thinks about that sweet homeless dog to this day. That’s why she launched her Sock Dogs business in honor of the stray.
Hsu and her husband took the train to Hualien, a seaside town in Taiwan, while they were there on vacation. On the sidewalk they noticed a pack of stray dogs fighting over scraps of food. One stray with a limp was being chased away from the food by the others. She hopped over to Hsu and wouldn’t leave her side for the hour that the couple spent there.
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They bought her a warm meal from a local food vendor and fended off the other strays as she ate. Hsu’s heart was breaking for the poor dog. She desperately wanted to take her back to the U.S., but unfortunately that wasn’t possible at the time. Hsu was in tears for days after the encounter with the dog.
When the couple got back to the United States Hsu decided to do something to honor the canine. She became a volunteer at the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City. The no-kill shelter was fantastic and Hsu thoroughly enjoyed her work there. Every year the shelter held an art auction as a fundraiser. Hsu decided to make and donate two sock dogs for the occasion.
It was her first try at making the stuffed critters, and they were certainly not the best looking sock dogs. However, they sold for over $100 each, baffling Hsu and inspiring her even more.
The Sock Dogs have evolved quite a bit over the years, but Hsu still makes every single one herself and $10 from the sale of each sock dog goes directly to Unleashed Pet Rescue to help homeless pets in Kansas City. She also donates sock dogs for fundraisers benefitting shelters and rescue organizations.
Interested customers can place their order through the company’s website. They can upload a picture of their dog and have a sock dog custom made to look like their Fido, or they can purchase a generic sock dog. Hsu finds that most of her sock dogs are made for pet owners that want a lasting tribute to their pet and also as gifts for dog owners and dog lovers alike.