Growing up, I spent most of my time volunteering at the local shelter. While the class kids played dolly, I played dog daycare at any shelter that would have me. I lived for it. Loved it – even sold my school shoes for the cause (Yes that’s me in the photo). Only problem? Every weekend I’d bring a dog back home, ‘Hey Ma, look – ain’t she cute!’ Believe me when I say that everyone – even the postman – had a dog from the Philippi AWS! Needless to say, my parents eventually banned me from going to any shelter within a million-mile radius!
As a kid, I remember so vividly on so many occasions walking down that shelter isles at AWS Philippi and wishing with every single part of my being that I could take them all. I cried. I wished, I prayed. ‘One day’ I thought, ‘One day…’
Thirty years later, I still walk down that same Phillipi isles almost every week. While it is still difficult to absorb the ongoing masses that never seem to end behind those cages of uncertainty, I am always moved with a deep sense of gratitude. I’m living the dream that I always wished I could have.
‘Yes, that one – and that one. OK, that one too’
Oscars Arc take, on average 5 dogs from AWS Philippi each week. Since WOOF Project kicked off 60 weeks ago, we’ve pulled almost 200 dogs from this particular shelter alone. It’s a dream come true for this girl who spent her teens wishing, crying and praying she could take more. While I still get emotional every time I drive through that Philippi gate, there’s a sense of purpose and therein lies a sense of peace. The power of being able to actively do something about something you care so deeply about is – quite simply – the greatest, most profound high on Earth. Certainly, it is the most satisfying feeling I have ever known in my life and the ‘addicted’ energizer that makes me feel like could fly to the moon.
At Oscars Arc, my team and I live for saving dogs lives and we couldn’t do it without each one of you. It’s the reason why we thank every adopter with heartfelt gratitude. That one adoption made means another, ‘Yes, we can take that one too!’. It’s what makes our world tick and what enables the WOOF Project team to wake up with a sense of excitement and purpose every single day of our lives.