It’s all Her Fault.

April 14, 2010

Ok. Sorry I have been MIA for the past week. Sort of an interesting story…

For years, I’ve had the urge to do some kind of animal-related volunteer work. When I lived in NYC, I did a dog-walk at BARC in Brooklyn. (A great way to spend an afternoon and help a pooch in need stretch his or her little legs).

I’ve also considered adopting a second dog in addition to my French Bulldog, Hildy. However, she’s the kind of dog who will run around a dog park from human to human, ignoring all the other dogs. I wasn’t sure if a second dog was a good idea or not.

Cut to this past Sunday. Every year, Dallas holds an event at the Cotton Bowl called the Dallas Dog Bowl. They essentially turn the field of the Cotton Bowl into a giant, off-leash dog park with lots of vendors. It’s a lot of fun. Here are a couple pictures a photog shot of Hildy running amok:

Anyway, on our way in, I noticed a few rescue organizations set up with lots of cages and tents. I wanted to stop and look, but I decided to hold off till later.

On our way out, Hildy and I perused the crates and found the SWEETEST little Basenji mix named Yoda (note the ears).  She was so scared, so sweet, and only 3 mos old. One look at her sad little eyes and I knew I couldn’t leave her there. Especially since the organization was “desperate for fosters!” Apparently, they’d pretty much run out of homes to place these dogs in.

So I filled out a two-page application, got the thumbs up on the puppy from a friend who swung by, and I carried the puppy all the way to my car. She still didn’t know how to walk on a leash. In a matter of minutes, I was a foster mom.

It’s been a hectic week, but it looks like a good friend of mine will be adopting her on Friday! Which is great — Hildy has had a lot of fun playing with the puppy, and now they can remain friends. I’ve been calling her Rhoda (a bit more feminine than Yoda) and it looks like her name will become Roxy soon).

How does this story relate to the whole “from the front lines of the advertising industry” thing? Well… I’ll tell ya. For the past few years, I have not had time to volunteer. Advertising is a very chaotic, self-absorbing business by nature. And the idea of taking time out to just donate to a cause might seem somewhat impossible. I mean, sure — I wrote a couple checks to the SPCA last year — and it helps. And working on a pro-bono PSA campaign is quite nice. However, I’ve always felt that physically volunteering is so much more rewarding.

It’s one thing to donate money for puppy food. It’s another thing to help potty-train and give some love to an abandoned puppy… so that it can become a good pet for someone’s family, and not just another statistic.

I really want to encourage all of you busy ad folks out there to volunteer. Fostering Yoda/Rhoda/Roxy was a gamble and a bit time-consuming, but I was able to integrate it into my own life. My own schedule.

And I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

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