Recently, I saw a comment on my Facebook page from R-U-My Litter. I had never heard of R-U-My Litter before and instantly became curious. I decided to check them out and get more details. I found their website and realized that R-U-My Litter was located in my home town of Toronto. It is a networking service that offers dog owners the opportunity to match their dogs with their litter; it’s cofounded by Wendy Margolis and Maria Ongaro. I contacted them to see if I could interview them about their interesting concept. Below are their answers to my questions.
Q: Do you own dogs yourselves?
Maria: I currently own three dogs – Diamond, Snowflake, and Charlie.
Wendy: I am the proud owner of my very first dog, Bentley. He is a three-year-old Shorkie and has become an important member of our family. He is also my seventeen-year-old daughter’s therapy dog.
Q: Please tell me a bit about yourself.
Maria: I love animals! I have three dogs, three cats and a few reptiles. I have two great kids, eight and ten, and enjoy spending time with them. I work as a realtor in York region and enjoy having been invited to take part in R-U-My Litter as my first entrepreneurial project. It has taught me and continues to teach me many aspects of running a small business and it’s fun if you don’t take yourself too seriously.
Wendy: I am the proud Mother of three daughters – Kylee, Jennifer and Stephanie. I graduated from the SEB program from Seneca College last year. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to learn all about becoming an entrepreneur which led to the creation of R-U-My Litter.
A: Tell us about how the concept of R-U-My Litter was created.
Wendy: After years of my daughters begging me for a dog they finally convinced me to join them to see a litter of Shorkie puppies. Before I knew it we were making the difficult decision of choosing one puppy from a litter of four. As we were leaving we noticed his identical twin brother standing up in his cage crying because he knew that they were being separated forever. Months later we still couldn’t get the image out of our head and started to wonder what ever happened to his litter. We had no success finding out through the breeder so we turned to the internet to see if there was a website that offered the connection. After researching I realized that there was nothing yet created so I approached my good friend and fellow dog lover Maria and together we created R-U-My Litter.
Q: What are the advantages of knowing your dog’s litter mates?
There are several amazing advantages such as medical necessity, genetic predisposition, dog sitting exchanges, play dates, curiosity and sheer pleasure when socializing with the siblings.
Q: What have you learned with this unique idea?
We are the very first litter connector in the world and we are delighted to learn that many people welcome the opportunity and are eager to make connections. Sometimes you stumble upon a problem that turns out that you literally have the solution for. Through our personal research we connected to one of the leading veterinarians – Dr. Steven Suter from the University of North Carolina – who specializes in performing dog marrow transplants. The greatest opportunity that any dog with cancer in need of a BMT is being connected to their own genetic match. Dr. Suter was looking for a method to create a data base and R-U-My Litter was exactly what he was seeking. It is thrilling to know that you can actually become a part of helping a dog survive a life threatening illness. We have also learned that being unique offers the opportunity to educate people on what we are doing and knowing that we are a part of heartwarming reunions makes all the hard work worth it.
Q: What is involved when a person registers their dog with you?
It’s simple, free and takes less than a minute to complete. All you need is your dog breed, date of birth, breeder location, and your email. Then – bingo – it goes straight into our database. Once a match and in many cases matches is found you will be contacted. We pride ourselves on keeping contact information confidential and we do not share personal information other than the email address that a dog owner gives us in order to make the connection with their dog’s sibling(s).
Q: Please share some of your success stories.
We do not have an exact number as we are getting new submissions and connections each day. We encourage people to share their heartwarming stories and we anticipate we will be getting many pictures and videos in the near future. We look forward to posting pictures/videos on our website as well as our Facebook page and YouTube Channel.
Q: Where are the majority of dogs registered from geographically?
We have a strong data base from the United States and we are seeing a strong increase from Canada, Brazil and France.
Q: What else does R-U-My Litter offer?
We write blogs posts and are in the midst of creating a weekly newsletter. We also offer pet owners an opportunity to share their memories of their beloved pets, or to share a picture and information about a lost dog. We also work with rescue organizations and share pictures of dogs available for adoption. We also have a Twitter Account, Facebook Page and YouTube Channel.
Q: Do you have any goals in the future for your website?
In the very near future we will be launching our Marketplace where we will feature unique dog items that are handcrafted by local artisans. We will continue to strengthen our ties with dog rescue organizations in Canada and worldwide in the hope that we can help to make a difference; we believe that all dogs deserve to have a loving family.
Q: Do you have any advice for dog owners?
Register on R-U-My Litter and join our fans worldwide who strongly believe that making a connection to their beloved family dog’s litter mate(s) is an extraordinary opportunity for both yourself and your dog. Register “Fur Fun, Fur Love, Fur Health Reasons.” We encourage all dog owners to share our website with their friends and family and fellow dog enthusiasts. If dogs could talk we guarantee you that they would be begging you to register them and be a part of their favourite new website!
Q: How can someone contact R-U-My Litter?
We can be contacted through our website, Facebook page and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two weeks after adopting our Labrador Ember – at eight years of age – last year she recognized her sister at an off-leash park. I wrote about this magical event here. Her reaction is something that I will never forget.
Other dog owners have told me stories of their pooch “bumping into” a litter mate while out on a walk. For example, a few years ago I walked a fun-loving dog named Sunny on a regular basis. He had a distinctive look as he was a mix of three different breeds. A dog walker friend of mine mentioned to me one day that Sunny looked like a dog she cared for occasionally named Valentine. I told her to ask the owner where Valentine came from. I asked Sunny’s owners too. Both were litter mates and were bought at a pet store years ago before restrictions forbidding the sale of dogs in pet stores came into law here in Toronto. Sunny and Valentine were born around Valentine’s Day and they were happily reunited for a play date. I believe that their temperaments were similar and certainly their look.
All of this has me thinking. Has your dog met any of its litter? Will you be checking out R-U-My Litter?
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