This morning’s pre-Thanksgiving blog comes from a tribemember that has not missed a beat since her arrival to Baltimore. She is one of the finest, fittest weekly members, trotting along in her #grassrootsgear and challenging herself regularly. How her mom, Kelly, managed to teach her to not only yell “Fuck Yeah” in the bounce, but also type is something the tribe marvels at and whispers about in corners. Yardley is one special three-legged friend. This is her story.
It’s 6:05 AM on Wednesday morning. I hear an alarm going off upstairs, but I’m already awake because it’s my favorite day of the week! On Wednesday mornings, I get to go to November Project at Rash Field with 100 of my favorite humans (and 2-3 other dogs who I roll around with the moment I see their tails wagging– yeah Scout, I’m looking at you!). Wednesday mornings are all about jumping, sweaty hugs, cursing, and running with Baltimore’s bests, my tribe: November Project.
I didn’t always live in Baltimore and I didn’t always go to November Project. I’d tell you about the start of my life, but everyone always asks me and my lips are sealed. I will start with August 29, 2014. That’s the day that I showed up to the Animal Shelter in Greenville, South Carolina with a mangled leg. The vets there did me a solid and took that leg off and I was able to get around just fine on three legs. I was really lucky that they used donations to pay for the surgery, or else I would’ve been a goner.
I lived in the Animal Shelter for almost 6 months and everyone called me Elsa there. They were all nice, but I knew they weren’t my furever family. In January, the volunteers at Operation Paws for Homes picked me up and brought me to Maryland. I was a little nervous to move in with my foster family until I met my foster-siblings, Walter and Dreifus. They were both just like me (three-legged dogs) and we became the Tri-pawds! They called me Trifecta and we were the three best friends that anyone could have. But, I knew that something even better was out there and I couldn’t wait to find it.
On April 1, 2015, I moved into my furever home in Federal Hill and my name became Yardley because there are three feet in a yard! Soon enough, I started coming to November Project. I’d been searching for my furever family all over, and I’ve found them: they’re my tribe. I love my fellow tribe members. They make me feel so special everytime I hop on over to Rash Field. Emily loves running stairs with me. Shaun makes his hands into a human bowl so I can drink water when I get tired. Kayode instagrams photos of me which is great because I love attention. Colin walks me when I am in need of attention– did I mention I love attention? Sam gives me open-mouth kisses. LA teaches me how to practice yoga moves like down dog, which I can do better than everyone. I love our co-leaders Sydney, Pat and Nick because they welcome everyone with open arms– even three-legged dogs! This Thanksgiving I want my tribe to know how grateful I am for taking me in, giving me attention, petting me and loving me. What we have is rare, and I’m the luckiest dog in the world to spend my Wednesday mornings with you.
My favorite memory this year is when I cheered on my fellow tribe members during the Baltimore marathon in my grassroots gear. I walked whole 5 miles up to Waverly to watch Bryson, Jana, Colin, Nick and many more tribe members run so fast. On the long walk home, I was so proud of everyone for running 26.2 miles… that I couldn’t just watch from the sidelines. I ended up running the last mile– full-speed. It was amazing to feel the wind in my ears and to hear Baltimoreans cheering for ME! One of the runners yelled, “if that three-legged dog can do it, I can do this!” And it’s true– if I can do November Project, anyone can! #JustShowUp
*This blog post is by Yardley in honor of Thanksgiving. This Giving Tuesday (December 1st) we invite anyone who is interested, willing or able to donate to Operation Paws for Homes, the non-profit organization that brought us our Yardley.
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