Three-legged dog named Dorey inspires 5K
The female pit bull mix with three legs needed another chance.
Lauryn Haynie provided it, and now she’s hoping others will follow.
The dog, named Jill St. John by the staff at Richmond Animal Care and Control, sat at the agency’s shelter for more than four months with no takers.
Then one morning, Haynie looked on her Facebook news feed and saw that the caramel-colored pooch was scheduled to be euthanized.
“I left work completely on a whim to go pick up this dog,” said Haynie, a property manager for Eck Enterprises in Richmond’s Fan District.
That was in June. Flash-forward to the closing days of summer, and you’ll find Haynie busily arranging a benefit for Richmond Animal Care and Control in honor of her new dog, whom she has renamed Dorey.
The type of benefit, however, may surprise you, as might its inspiration.
The Dorey & Her Story 5k is set for 8 a.m. Oct. 26 in Bryan Park, with all proceeds going to Richmond Animal Care and Control.
A running race named after a three-legged dog? You bet.
Dorey, it seems, is quite the runner — a discovery Haynie made by accident.
Haynie said Dorey proved to be “incredibly adorable” and a good fit with her other two dogs, a boxer named Diesel and Darla the Great Dane.
“She is a fantastic dog, but she’s a little destructive,” Haynie said. “She chews up beds; she chews up clothes — anything that’s left out.”
Dorey, in the only way she could, was trying to tell her human that she was bored. So Haynie decided to take her out for a little exercise to see if she could wear out the dog.
But Dorey had no interest in walking. Picking up the pace to an easy jogging tempo didn’t get it done, either.
She wanted to run.
Make that sprint, actually.
For an extended period.
Haynie is training for the Richmond Marathon and, as such, many of her runs are longer distances at relatively slower speeds.
Now, however, she looked down at her three-legged companion and saw a dog who clearly wanted to go much faster than Haynie. So Haynie picked up the pace.
Much to her surprise, the faster she ran, the more Dorey pulled.
“Next thing I knew, I looked at my watch and we had run an 8-minute mile, which is way, way, way faster than I typically run,” Haynie said. “I almost puked.”
Dorey was nonplussed.
“She wanted more,” Haynie said. “Lots more.”
Haynie wasn’t sure what to make of this discovery, especially considering that the shelter employees had told her that when Dorey was picked up as a stray in the Gilpin Court public housing complex, her right rear paw was badly mangled — as if it had been run over by a car — and that despite several attempts to treat the injuries, they ended up amputating the entire leg.
Based on that information, Haynie figured she was adopting a relatively low-key dog who would aspire to a life of low-key relaxation.
Instead, Haynie gradually increased the length of their runs. These days, Haynie and her running buddy log 3 to 4 miles per run, three or four days a week.
“And we come back to the house and she’s still ready to go,” Haynie said. “She just absolutely loves it. I’m the one holding her back. She’s unstoppable.”
After one of those runs, it occurred to Haynie that she and Dorey get a great deal out of their sessions and that if Richmond Animal Care and Control had more funds, more dogs could get similar chances. Haynie began brainstorming to come up with fun ways to raise money.
Just like that, the Dorey & Her Story 5k was born.
“She’s just a little waddling piece of inspiration for me,” Haynie said. “She’s pretty incredible.”
Three waves are planned along the rolling hills of Bryan Park: The first will be for runners competing without dogs, the second for runners with leashed pooches, and the third will be a 1-mile walking event for people with or without dogs.
Haynie has been raising funds to help cover the costs — Henrico County is charging her $890 for a special use permit for the park, and insurance is an additional $300 — and is enlisting the aid of sponsors.
Anyone interested in participating — as a sponsor, runner or walker — can visit one of three websites for more information.
Arranging a benefit and taking care of all the details that go with it can be a time-consuming task, but Haynie has no complaints.
“Capturing the act of kindness — I just feel like there’s not enough of that,” she said. “Besides, I have the perfect dog. She’s a great story, and she has a great personality. I just kind of looked down at Dorey and my two other dogs and decided, ‘Why not?’ ”
~ Via Richmond Times Dispatch