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Written by: Pam Platt, WaterStep Communications Specialist

People call me Rusty. Given my royal-sounding breed, some might consider me more of a Chauncey, but I’m a cool dog and I’m good with Rusty.

I’m an 8-year-old Cavapoo, a hybrid of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle. Humans say my pack is affectionate, friendly, and sociable. I think my two-legged pack at WaterStep, where I hang a couple days a week, is likewise, and would second all that sweet stuff about me for the most part. Yes, sometimes I like to greet new people at the front doors and windows with a snappy ARF. Just making sure everyone’s paying attention. Don’t mean anything by it.

My Person is Sarah Yoder, director of finance for WaterStep. She deals with a lot of numbers, but as long as I’m always No. 1, that’s fine with me because she’s my best friend and trusted confidant. She was nice enough to be my “as told to” translator for this story of “Rusty, the WaterStep Office Dog: A Lifetime Movie.” Kidding about Lifetime, I’m out of their demographic.

Sarah brought me into her at-home people family five years ago, even though she is more of a cat person. I forgive her. Originally I was supposed to be a companion for Sarah’s teenage son, who had been diagnosed with cancer. He’s fine now, and I did my part of companioning, but from the start Sarah was My Person. I followed her everywhere. Including WaterStep, starting three years ago. She’s even taken me along as she picked up shoes in other states like Ohio.

I know when I’m going to WaterStep with Sarah because she says, “Let’s go to WaterStep and work!” She also makes sure I do my business before she puts me in the car with her, and she’ll talk about WaterStep on the way in. (Roll the tape!) It’s part of my people language, the way other dogs know “treat” and “ride.” I perk right up when I hear WaterStep.

And when I get there, well, let’s just say I’m one of a kind, have the run of the place (somehow I know where it’s better for me not to go, and I steer clear), but still stick close to My Person.

She makes sure I have two of my meals when I’m at WaterStep, breakfast and lunch. People goodies, as available, top my kibble and no one has better hearing than I do when a refrigerator door opens, or when a bag of something or other rustles, or if I catch the siren’s call of a cracker’s crunch. Like magic, I’m there, wagging what I have of a tail. No wonder I am a Treat Snob. No boxed “bones” for me.

Mostly, Sarah and I are grateful to spend time together, at work and at home. And when we have fresh water in the morning, she always thinks about the people who don’t have access to that the way we do, and she feels fortunate for that access … and that we get to go to work at a place that tries to bring safe water to more people around a world I will never see … but am a part of because My Person shares me with WaterStep.

It’s a big day.

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