When people ask me why I started The Woof Warehouse with a mission to help shelter dogs find forever homes I always respond with a quick answer about my love of animals, especially my rescue dogs Watson and Sherlock. Between the two of them they are 12 lbs of pure joy and love and I couldn’t imagine my life before or without them, but that is not the whole story.
Ever since I was a little girl I have loved all animals (aside from most reptiles, insects, and arachnids). Our local shelter, the Marin Humane Society, was located in town and always seemed like a magical and wonderful place where animals wait to find their forever homes. I would visit every now and again as a child to pick out the next perfect pet when another would pass away. I remember walking by the dogs and wishing that our family had time for one, but my parents always knew that we wouldn’t be able to give a dog the attention it deserved. And so I waited…
Well, fast forward 20 or so years and I am in the midst of preparing for my thesis defense. I had spent 10 grueling months researching, interviewing, and writing and felt that I finally had time to finally adopt a dog of my own. I had a job lined up already after graduation and my boyfriend, Andy, worked mostly from home. It was perfect timing! So, the week before my presentation in front of industry titans I excitedly walked into the Marin Humane Society and asked to look at a dog, Clint, whose profile I reviewed online. I wanted a medium sized adult dog that I could take on walks, to the dog park, and the beach. Unfortunately, after spending a few minutes with Clint it was apparent we weren’t a perfect fit. So I left without a furry friend in tow.
I went back home and decided to look at a few more profiles. That was when I saw Onyx. He was an all black fella and although a little smaller than I had wanted seemed to be the perfect dog! I went back to the shelter the next day and visited with the little guy, but also determined that we wasn’t the right fit either. The shelter volunteers suggested another few dogs, but I just didn’t feel that connection I was looking for with any of them.
Then I remembered a scruffy little dog named Teddy (now Watson) that greeted me at the adoptions desk. I asked to see him and when I sat down he immediately came to sit in my lap. He looked up at me with his big brown eyes that said “Please take me home.” And in that instant I knew he was the one. Now all that was left to do was to make sure that I was absolutely ready to take on the care and responsibility of such a tiny pup. I decided to put a hold on him for 24 hours while I talked it over with Andy and my family. I really wanted to make sure I was ready.
The shelter called the next day and asked if I wanted to continue to hold him and I decided it would be a good idea to until Andy had a chance to meet him. And so I put another 24 hour hold on him while I worked out with Andy when he could make it to the shelter which would unfortunately not be until the weekend. So I continued to put holds on Teddy (Watson) for a couple days until one afternoon the shelter called and said that another couple was interested in him. That was when I knew I was ready. I had already been imagining our lives with Teddy (Watson) in it from little adventures to cuddling on the couch. I just knew in that moment that I was ready to take the plunge. I jumped in my car and went straight down to the shelter to officially adopt him. I was the last adoption of the day and when I walked in Teddy (Watson) was there waiting for me as if he had been waiting his whole life to come home with me and Andy. In that instant I knew Teddy (Watson) and Andy would get along just fine.
I filled out the adoption papers, bought a few essentials from the shelter’s Animal Outfitters store, took Teddy (Watson) home, and the rest is history.
Through my search for the perfect dog I found that it can be quite a long process and that for every dog that gets adopted there are dozens and even hundreds more that are left behind and still waiting. When I came to this realization it nearly broke my heart and I knew I had to do something about it. So when I began thinking about my business and what it would be I initially decided first and foremost there must be some element to help shelter animals and secondly it must have all handmade quality items that you can’t find in the pet stores. And thus, The Woof Warehouse was born.
Now, we have welcomed a second furball into our lives and we wouldn't have it any other way. With two rescue dogs in our household it more deeply confirmed our conviction to do what we can to make sure all shelter dogs have a chance at wonderful lives with amazing families. And so that is why I donate 5% of my profits to The Marin Humane Society as a way to help make a difference in the lives of shelter dogs.
I hope you enjoy taking a look around my store and decide to support our mission of a home for every dog!
~~Michelle, Andy, Watson, and Sherlock