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How Love is Blind Saved My Life

OK, this is about to get really personal. And it does have to do with Love is Blind, I promise, but first I want to share my story and why I wanted to put together an event (Love is Blind Battle of the Seasons) with the cast to raise funds for pet rescues. And I know we have a podcast, but I don't want to cry and I know I will sharing this, so instead of a podcast episode, you get an open letter from me. I'm Dina, and I've hosted this podcast with Jordan on and off the past several years. She has been a lifesaver and a huge support helping me get my s@#^ together.

In 2016, I was hit in the head with a golf club by a drunk coworker. I went from having a successful career and social life to putting in overtime at various doctors, every specialist you could think of, and all kinds of therapy. When I say my s@#^ was not together, I truly mean it. Let's be honest, it probably isn't now either, but relatively speaking.

During that time, I was volunteering at a pet rescue and working on my Master's, hoping to change from tech marketing to non-profit management. I made some truly wonderful friends at the shelter who helped rescue, train and vet my service dog, Jake Peralta. If you want to hear Jake's story, don't worry that's coming. He's a really unique dog and I would not have gotten through the 8 years without him.

When I say Jake saved my life, I mean truly. The amount of medical alerts he has done in critical situations alone is pretty astonishing during his five year career. Having pets also gave me purpose, which I desperately needed.

Rescue service dog Jake Peralta, a dogo argentino/American Bulldog mix is seen here in a pink and blue tie die dog hoodie.
He puts up with a lot

In true good decision making fashion post-head trauma, I got into an abusive relationship and lived in a domestic violence shelter until I could leave my room without fearing for my life. Laying in bed all day sounds like a dream, but trust me, it's not all it's cracked up to be. You get bored. Fast.

As promised, the Love is Blind connection. Sorry, it takes me awhile to cut to the chase. Squirrel brain. So it's 2020 now and the world shuts down. I get even more bored and restless, along with the rest of the world. I can't get to my therapy appointments, and I don't want to decline, but I am stuck. And stuck in bed, because of course, I got COVID. Pretty bad. Now, I'm no Debbie Downer, but it was getting a little ridiculous by this point. And I had to do something.

When the press came out for the first season of Love is Blind, it was something new and fun and light to distract me from well, life. There's a reason Tiger King was so popular. For a few years my goal was simply to use my new hobby as its own form of therapy. While I couldn't go to speech therapy, I could definitely record conversations with friends and work on improving there. I also found a community of crazy, passionate reality tv fans and friends who helped distract from some of the darker times.

The podcast has been growing (check out our very first episode, where Jordan, Nikki Foxx and I learn all about bad audio). I am so insanely proud of what we have accomplished so far. We've had the chance to interview amazing people from the cast and crew of your favorite shows, and even been interviewed ourselves a few times. But I missed helping animals. I still volunteer from home here and there, but I would be crazy not to try to take advantage of the opportunity I've been given. And I finally saw in some silly, crazy universe reversing way, I could combine my love of reality tv with giving back to the animals that have saved my life.

And that gave me a goal - I don't know if I can put together so many cast members, let alone at once, but that could be life changing for so many shelter pets. If you haven't volunteered in person yet, I can't recommend it enough. Especially when you feel burnt out by the world. There is an insanely overwhelming amount of shelter dogs in danger lately. As someone who has been around them for years and studied them, when I say a lot, I mean a s@#^ ton. I don't just see it locally, I see it worldwide.

Jake Peralta, a dogo argentino/american bulldog mix and rescue service dog, is pictured here in his service dog gear. A red vest, red booties to combat the heat and a red hat for sun protection.
Jake Peralta, reporting for duty

So on Saturday, July 27th at 8:30am PT, as of now 16 cast members from Love is Blind have agreed to join us for a trivia competition. Tickets to watch the battle are free, but a donation to the winning team's pet charity of choice could change a shelter dog or cat's life. If people hadn't come together to help rescue Jake, he would not have been there to rescue me.

While the reality tv world may be filled with a LOT of drama and gossip, to be able to take some of that and promote great causes in the cities where Love is Blind filmed would be incredible. Even if we don't raise much, the awareness getting this many people together we all know and love, or sometimes hate to love, or love to hate, will be lifechanging for pets in need.

We'd love to see you at the battle of the seasons! Whether you're a cast member participating or donating a Cameo, a fan tuning in to watch or buy a VIP ticket for an online meet and greet, or simply sharing the post for rescues, thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart. I cannot wait for July 27th!

Find out more about our trivia fundraiser and get your tickets now! Who do you want to see battle it out for a good cause?

This is a flyer for the Love is Blind cast/LovePod Podcast trivia, a cause for paws. 16 cast members from all seasons of Love is Blind are participating.
Cast lineup for Love is Blind Trivia


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