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Just doggin’ it: UPAWS benefit event sounds like great fun

Ssshhhh! Don’t ever tell my cat trio, but there are days when I long for a dog to be part of our household.

My cats are sweet, loving, funny and a joy to be around. They are family to me and I would be lost without them.

That being said, dogs are pretty darn wonderful, too. In fact, dogs were part of my family for many many years while I?was growing up. We did not have cats as my dad wasn’t a feline fan. So, of course, that meant I longed to have a cat.

But we had some great dogs through the years: Thunder, Flash, Lightning, Lucky, Lady, Tramp, Mork and Lady Bug were some of the names. The first two were beagles my dad acquired as “hunting” dogs. The hunting is in quotes because they never did hunt with him and became best friends with us kids.

In fact, the only thing Flash ever hunted was scraps on the floor. He ended up being ironically named as he was the slowest dog to ever waddle up a sidewalk. But he was a loving old beast who brought a lot of smiles through the years.

It has been at least 20 years since a dog has been part of my household which I am fine with most of the time. My cats are awesome and a feline’s lifestyle fits well with my crazy schedule. Cats are generally more self sufficient and a bit less neurotic about being left on their own. They are much more low maintenance than pooches.

Then a Facebook post comes up from the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter and a pang of longing hits me when I gaze upon the countenance of one of the dogs looking for a forever home. Or I head out to UPAWS for a story assignment and again, the longing grows strong when I pat the noggin of some beautiful canine.

However, common sense brings me back to reality. Every dog deserves a home in which he or she has humans who have enough time for them. And right now, that’s not me.

But in speaking with Ann Brownell from UPAWS, I know there’s a way for me to help those doggies – and all the cats at the shelter, too – and that’s by becoming part of the upcoming Strut Your Mutt benefit for that wonderful organization.

Ann had been in touch hoping The Mining Journal would share info about SYM since the date is different weekend than in the past.

For those who haven’t heard, Strut Your Mutt is set for 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 19 at Mattson Lower Harbor Park in Marquette. The fabulous Vicky Crystal from WLUC-TV6 will be the mistress of ceremonies and there are a plethora of activities, vendors and even a fun run this year as part of the day.

There are prizes for the top fund raisers, both adult and youth, and premiums like T-shirts, dog leashes and other awards for pledge totals at certain levels.

While I haven’t been a Strut Your Mutt participant in the past, I am putting this request out there: If anyone has a “spare” dog they would loan me for the day, I’d love to become a surrogate mutt mom for the day. While I realize you don’t have to have a dog with you to take part it would be a blast to be a dog “owner” for the day.

If this can be arranged, my friends, be forewarned I will be seeking donations as will the rest of the Strut Your Mutt folks. Even better, I am hoping all of you reading this will decide to get involved as well, if not as a strutter than as a pledger.

The money goes toward a cause which I believe in strongly: UPAWS and its efforts to help every animal find a loving furever home.

My cat trio – Simon, Garfunkel and Johnny Cash – will understand, I hope, when their “mom” comes home that day reeking of dog. After all, they were rescues themselves and would never begrudge other animals the chance for a better life.

For more information about Strut Your Mutt, call 475-6661 or visit upaws.org. Hope to see you there!

Editor’s note: Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 240.

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