In October 1995, a disheveled, scrawny and obviously abused dog was seen by Erika, an employee of WinnipegREALTORS®, outside the association’s Portage Avenue office building. He would only have been about five months old at the time, Horrifically, there was a large exposed nail sticking out of his tagless shoddy collar. It was apparent he had been loose for a while. Erika brought him back to the office and let Wayne, the WREN general manager at the time, know the dog needed attention. Notices were posted in the area but to no avail.
Wayne actually brought the dog through the main level of the office building and happened to visit Peter’s office. As Peter got up from his desk to acquaint himself with this awkward and rough-looking dog, it decided to mark its territory right there and then in his office. Wayne's quick quip was, “I guess he likes you.”
With some strong encouragement and great support from a dog-loving staff, Peter ended up taking this dog home — Rascal has grown up to be a very large, handsome and extremely loyal family pet, a familiar face on our promotional materials and a welcome visitor around the office.
Rascal has become a “model” for WinnipegREALTORS®. The jet black large Belgian/German shepherd (as best as could be determined), with distinguished Batman-like ears, was on a large corporate display photomural used extensively by the association for many years.
Looking at the handsome, almost regal dog, you would never guess what a rough start he had before he became a part of our “family.”
It’s no surprise Wayne got the ball rolling with the WREN's direct involvement in supporting the Winnipeg Humane Society in 1998 and that involvement continues under current WREN general manager Jo-Anne (Wayne retired a few years ago).
The WinnipegREALTORS® Association has spent 105 years finding homes for people and the last 10 years finding homes for pets. We have been featuring weekly ads with cats, dogs and other animals needing homes in the association's Winnipeg Real Estate News since 1998. That year, the WREN also committed to purchasing an emergency van for the Winnipeg Humane Society.
“Our drivers are on the street every single day helping animals in distress,” said Humane Society executive-director Bill McDonald. “That van helps us save a lot of lives.”
Far from just being a “pet project” of the WinnipegREALTORS®, helping animals in need is an undertaking carried out with enthusiasm and genuine care.
WinnipegREALTORS® was thrilled when the Winnipeg Humane Society opened the doors to their new home at 45 Hurst Way. WinnipegREALTORS® likes to think that our office on Portage Avenue is also a welcoming place when it comes to stray dogs or anyone’s pet. It is no surprise to us how much pets mean to their owners. More often than not, a member coming to the office will have their pets in tow, even if they are just coming in to pick up some listing forms or deal with other real estate matters. One REALTOR® even had his bichon with him at an education session. In compiling material for this column, it was quite an eye-opener to discover how willing staff were to talk about their little — in some cases large — pride and joy.
So many of our staff members consider their animals to be a part of the family. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that dogs in particular have been a fixture as part of WinnipegREALTORS® promotional efforts.
Here are just a few examples of staff e-mail received:
• “My two dogs, Nakita, 7, and Tova, 9, are both Siberians. Tova is short for Tovarish. Nakita is named after the star of La Femme Nakita due to her beautiful blue eyes.” — Diane
• “Our dog was adopted at the WHS just over a year ago. His name is now Busker, but staff at the WHS would remember him as Flash, the border collie puppy with one blind eye. And our newest cat, almost a year old, is Izzy, named by my daughter before we even got her (thank goodness the name was Unisex). We got her this past March from the WHS also.” — Sherri
• “Our dog Chyna was a surrender from a previous owner who was no longer able to care for her. She is a seven-year-old purebred golden retriever and was quite overweight when we got her. She came to us weighing 93 pounds and is now down to 69 pounds, and full of life and energy!” — Jill
We have greatly enjoyed our association with the WHS over the years and look forward to continuing our support in the future.
Postscript: If you are wondering how the CEO of WinnipegREALTORS® feels about this association office’s dedication to pets, you need look no further than his office. Above his desk is a calendar featuring monthly pictures of his wife’s pride and joy, Kira, the Yorkshire terrier.