Why I Strutt

Strutting our Stuff for Wayside Waifs!

Strutting our stuff for Wayside Waifs!

I started “Strutting” and raising money for ‘Strutt With Your Mutt’ for one reason, and his name is Tobin.  Wayside Waifs and Tobin changed my life.  I saw him on Wayside Waifs’ website, and he fit the profile of the “type” of dog for which I was looking (maybe a Schnauzer/Cairn terrier-mix).  Actually, he fit the “type” of dog I thought I could tolerate.  My boyfriend was really the one chanting the “we have to have a dog” mantra.  So, we traveled to Wayside Waifs to meet him.  I didn’t instantly fall in love with Tobin.  He was a wiry little thing that seemed more interested in sniffing the perimeter of the play yard than in meeting us.  However, he did often run over to us and flop on his back to announce his desire for a belly rub (which he still does to this day).  I just wasn’t confident about having a dog.  I liked my life, my routine, not having to worry about a sock that accidentally fell on the floor; but, my boyfriend insisted that this dog had a “sweet disposition,” and we should strongly consider adopting him.    

So, we decided to adopt.  As we drove to Wayside Waifs to pick up the newest addition to our home, I was anxious.  It was the kind of anxiety that only comes around for me once every several years, and I didn’t like it.  When we left with Tobin, he proved to us that the description on the website was correct.  It said that he had “two speeds… fast and faster.”  When we walked out of Wayside, he was crazy, and I was second-guessing my already second-guessed decision to bring a dog into my life.  But, when we got in the car, my instincts kicked in.  He was ours.  My boyfriend later commented that he couldn’t believe how well I drove a heavy piece of machinery (the car) while working to calm a very confused and excited dog.  Tobin and I weren’t instant friends.  He completely changed that routine to which I was tied.  He ate slippers.  He had more energy than any dog I’d ever known.  

I don’t know exactly when I fell in love with him.  But, I do remember a time when he injured his leg.  It turned out to be a minor injury, but during the time he was recovering, I promised him I would do whatever I had to do to care for him for the rest of his life.  That was it.  He became the light of my life.  He changed my perspective on almost everything, from how I lived my daily life to what I wanted to pursue professionally.  

That’s why I ‘Strutt.’  Last year, I was the top fundraiser for ‘Strutt With Your Mutt.’  Raising over $3,000 was the least I could do to show my gratitude for the happiness Wayside Waifs and Tobin had brought me.  The support that was given to me during my fundraiser was incredible.  I printed the names of all of my supporters on the back of my shirt for the day of the ‘Strutt,’ and I was shocked at how long the list was.  Unfortunately, Tobin was not very well-behaved on his leash at this time last year, so I took my niece dog, Ellé.  She LOVES to walk, and she had a blast. 

This year, I have two reasons to raise $3,000 for Wayside Waifs again.  We adopted Lincoln, a cream colored Cairn terrier, in March 2011.  Now, I can’t imagine my life without my dogs.  I ask everyone I know to support my fundraising campaign for Wayside Waifs, and you can ask too.  Form a dog pack, sign up for the 5K race, or stroll through Brookside on the leisurely ‘Strutt’ with your dog or your niece dog.  Raise some money, win a few fun prizes, and come enjoy the day.  I can only assume that because adopting from Wayside Waifs changed my life, it may have changed yours too.   

Written by Marie T. Dispenza
Development Associate at Wayside Waifs


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