So while this post is about the Walk to Save Animals Event, it’s also the story of how I adopted Duffy 🙂
Growing up we always had a cat and tried once to get a dog. It didn’t turn out great as it was a biter and was not with the shits with our family for some reason lol. Fast forward a little bit and we got a black cat named Angel and then I adopted a black and white kitten I named Purvi. When I had finally moved out on my own, Purvi came with me and was the cutest. She was my little shadow during a tough transition in life. Unfortunately, she passed away super young at 6 due to health issues and to say I was devastated was an understatement. The grainy photos below are all I have left of this lil furball, but she was forever the best.
Sooo fast forward about a year and my life had slowed down a bit. I wasn’t attending as many fashion events after work or mixers. I had been contemplating getting a dog for a little while now since Purvi had died and it finally felt like the right time. Also, I was switching jobs and happened to have two weeks off which was ideal. Given this was my first time as an adult getting a dog I was a bit nervous. I wasn’t quite sure what kind I wanted, size or breed. I also worried that if it didn’t work out what would I do? I couldn’t bear the thought that if I had to take the dog back, he/she could be put down just because I couldn’t figure it out. So, I along with my moms help did some research on the different rescues in Phoenix. That is how I came across Arizona Animal Welfare League in Phoenix. Not only did they have a good mix of dogs, but also at that time you could have a sleepover with the dog you were thinking about adopting to ensure they are a good fit before you finalize the adoption. This was particularly attractive to me as well as they are the largest no-kill shelter in Arizona and all of their animals would get adopted even if it was brought back (whew).
The first time I went to AAWL I played with a few dogs, but really only felt a connection with a huge American Staffordshire terrier named Hank. My mom had pointed out a little tan and white dog but I dismissed him cuz he was too small. But Hank, he was huge but calm and showed some interest back to me. Unfortunately and fortunately, he wouldn’t be allowed at my apartments I was living in and (hindsight) he was entirely too big for just me at that time. If he had gotten sick or took off running, I would have been shit out of luck to be able to carry him anywhere or try to hold on. I left AAWL and over the next couple days visited a handful of different humane society campuses but didn’t find a connection. So, I decided to head back to AAWL and take another look. I played with a little small brown and black dog but he had entirely too much energy for me and my lifestyle. Lastly, I decided to take out the little dog my mom had pointed out to me the first time I had gone. I was able to take him out to the big play area and he was timid at first but warmed up a little as we hung out. Soooo I decided to take him home for those doggy sleepovers. My main worries was if the dog was a chewer or couldn’t be in a crate while I was at work. I would say about a day in I knew there was no way I would be able to give him back. Duffy stayed for the entire sleepover and I went back and adopted him formally (he was a steal at $25!!). The process at AAWL was super easy, the people were nice and I felt totally secure the entire time.
As we all know now, I’ve had Duffy for 5 years (he turned the big 10 this year) and I couldn’t be more in love with this little furball. And yes mom thank you for pointing him out to me lol. This also brings me to AAWL as a whole. I really loved the experience I had with them so I decided to follow them on social media. 2 years after I adopted Duffy I saw they were creating a Junior Council that was specifically looking for young professionals to get more involved with the shelter and help fundraise. While I didn’t have much experience with fundraising, I felt like it would be a great opportunity to see if I could do it and worse case a nice resume booster lol.
It turned out to be an amazing experience for me both professionally and personally. I learned skills to fundraise and put on an entire event from scratch. I’m thankful for the amazing people I got to serve with on the Council and was so happy at how much we were able to fundraise to help the shelter continue their mission of caring, rehabilitating and rehoming cats, dogs, puppies and kittens.
One of the coolest events I was introduced was an Annual Walk to Save Animals. Each year they put together a huge walk in downtown Tempe with various vendors, sponsors and fun activities for humans and their furballs. You are able to create a walk team and have your friends and family join you on your team and do the walk with you. Unfortunately, this year due to COVID the walk will be virtual BUT that won’t stop us. I am hoping you will still join me…
I’ve created a Walk to Save Animals team “Phashionizta’s Paw Pals” and will be doing my own (with Duffy and J) walk in November (more details to come and it will be a properly socially distanced and safe WALK)! And I’d love for you to join me:) You can join my team by clicking Phashionizta’s Paw Pals and save $10 if you sign up before Oct. 1. All the proceeds go directly to AAWL! If you’d like to learn more about AAWL and the different animals they have available for adoption, click here.
Let me know if you have any questions on AAWL or how to sign up:)
Sarah & Duffy 🙂