Michelle Micalizzi, Artist
(All Rights Reserved)
10% of the proceeds from the sale of this work benefits: Desert Labrador Retriever Rescue
Desert Labrador Retriever Rescue of Phoenix (DLRR) is a non-profit, all volunteer organization dedicated to finding loving, life-long homes for displaced Labrador Retrievers.DLRR was started in 1999 by a few volunteers who saw a need to protect displaced Labradors and they remain a 100% volunteer organization. There is something super special about organizations that are lovingly run exclusively by volunteers. They have offices in Phoenix and Tucson, and serve the entire state of Arizona as well as the Mexican border. Robin is a Fur Momma herself and as such, it is obvious that her heart is all in.
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM ROBIN ABOUT BEING FEARLESS?
1. Watch the Ripple Effect
I was not aware that Arizona had a higher over population of displaced pets than other states. It makes sense when one considers how stressed the local economy has been especially since the financial housing crisis. When people lose their homes so do their pets. I recall hearing many stories of how a home was abandoned while a pet was still running around the yard. Many of these pets were not spayed or neutered and this caused an even higher level of need in Arizona than in other states. The economy, divorce rates, housing shortages, health issues, and aging all effect our pets. I took a look at several pet adoption websites to see where their dogs came from. Many animals end up in transition due to an owner passing away. As baby boomers age; there will be an even greater need for the work that DLRR and other animal rescues perform.
2. Fur-Ever Homes are Possible
DLRR is on a mission to rescue, rehabilitate, provide excellent medical care, train when appropriate, and re-home as many Labradors as they possibly can. They are very forward thinking and know that a pup has the greatest chance at staying in a home if he/she is healthy and happy. They go above and beyond to provide pups with all they need so that when they do get placed; they are able to stay in a fur-ever home.
3. Work Smart
DLRR definitely resonates as a purely volunteer organization by working hard and smart. Over the past few years they have grown immensely. Recently they realized they needed to improve processes to decrease volunteer fatigue. Together they have restructured how they support their volunteers by creating teams to streamline foster care, intake, home visits, social media, and membership activities. They listen to the great ideas of their volunteers and implement suggestions such as the idea of creating an adoption support team. For new fur parents, support can help make the adjustment to the changes that a pup can bring to a home much more easier and also help new owners to be the best fur parent they can be.
4. Practice Generosity
Robin recognizes the mutual benefit of partnering with a socially responsible company like WebPT. Having their support for their biggest fundraiser, Corks and Collars, is essential to their success. Being invited to WebPT Block parties makes DLRR feel like part of the WebPT family and also creates awareness of DLRR’s mission which increases the number of adoptive fur parents, volunteers; and ultimately, dog’s lives are saved. Conversely, DLRR spreads the word about what an exceptional software solutions the WebPT provides and that in turn generates new customers and goodwill in the community for WebPT. One hand certainly washes the other!
5. Be the Only Voice
Robin points out that Labradors do not have a voice. We humans must be their champions. She feels that we must embrace our fear of growth and all the things that come with growth in order to be able to help as many dogs as possible and save their lives. There is no room for allowing fear to take over when your mission is to save the lives of the voiceless.
Thank you so much Robin for being the voice for Labradors in Arizona and for taking time out for this interview!
Initially I thought of a yellow, chocolate and black Labradors somehow humorously playing off of the Charlies Angel theme. In the process of thinking that idea through, I decided that I did not want to focus on the idea of the dog himself. I wanted to focus on the idea of preparing to give a dog a furever home which, is what DLRR does so well. They lay the ground work for a successful experience for pup and furparents as well as the volunteers who donate their time to make the whole experience possible. When we prepare to bring a pup home we purchase a bed, bones/toys and a food and water dish. It is like preparing a nursery for the baby for me every time I adopt a new family member. I also wanted to focus this piece on the hands of the of the volunteers as well their fists symbolizing having true grit. The paw prints are the natural pair to the hand prints. Just like the foot prints of babies on birth certificates.
Entrepreneurs and inspiring stories of all kinds are Fearlessly Deliver’s muse and focus. As an artist, a business woman and a visual journalist Michelle Micalizzi paints with a purpose. The Fearless Art Projects are collaborative social practice art engagements that connect art + business + community.
The ART OF FEARLESSLY GIVING BACK (AoFGB) is a community awareness series that focuses on the mission of select charitable organizations and the social responsible companies and philanthropic individuals that support them.