I started Terrible Toby's Dog Supply Depot with one thing in mind... Change.
Obviously change is all around us right now... But what I had in mind was change for dogs. Change for dogs that don't have a voice, don't have food in their bowls or toys to chase. Dogs that don't feel the same kind of love as Toby or your pup at home feel everyday. But I can't do it alone, which is where my idea for Terrible Toby's came....
How can I make it as easy as possible for ordinary puppies to make extraordinary change for other dogs? I wanted to create the easiest way for someone to support a cause that no dog owner can say no to. That's when I came up with the idea to start a dog store that's sole mission is to end dog abuse & cruelty around the world.
I got Toby as a puppy from a breeder at the beginning of March. At that time, I was not heavily informed or involved with any rescue organizations or the intense need for adoption. Looking back, I absolutely do not regret getting Toby though. He's perfect for me and teaches me so much that I obviously couldn't think of a life without him at this point. My next dog will definitely be a rescue though!
Toby came into my life a week before Ontario went into lockdown in March of 2020. At the time, I was working as an event coordinator and wedding DJ while going through my last year of College. Obviously being at home all the time gave me tons of opportunity to train Toby, but I also spent some time getting myself involved in the dog community (you guys are PAWSOME by the way). That's when I started to realize how much cruelty some dogs go through in their lives though...
What to do...
I remember exactly what information really pushed me over the edge (to keep this child friendly I am refraining from adding the details in) and made me say enough is enough. So, I decided to do some research...
I knew there was something I could do to help, but I wasn't sure what. I don't have the room to foster and Toby is still a ways from being fully trained so I can't add more animals to my house. But, rescues do need tons of support so I decided to start raising funds.
Toby & I sat on the couch for a while pondering this. With events shut down (my go to for fundraisers) & no way to get in front of people to raise money there had to be some way for us to do something. Then Toby asked for a treat as he usually does around 8pm. I grabbed his favourite snacks and that's when it hit me! To Toby's amazement I dropped the entire bag of treats and dashed for my computer to get to work...
Time for Toby to get to work!
I guess I should say time for me to get to work. Toby more or less just ate the treats I forgot about on the floor as I started buzzing through websites and blog posts figuring out how to setup an online store. Tons of late nights and gallons of coffee later, Terrible Toby's Dog Supply Depot was ready to go!
Toby was so proud of what he'd accomplished! But, how exactly was he going to raise money off of it? Toby did some bookkeeping and got back to me saying "Dad, we're going to donate 50% of our profit from each sale because I know you'll be able to put food in my bowl. But, I'm not sure if other dogs will get food in their bowl". At first I thought he was joking, "how do we pay for the business then Toby" I asked? But... It seems to be working out for him (as usual for Toby)
How it works...
With every single product that Toby approves for his shelves, he makes me figure out a few things.
1. How much it costs us
2. How much it costs at the store
Once we know these two things the math is simple! We figure out how much we make and we donate half of that, rounding up to make the math easy (Toby hasn't figured out a calculator yet). We then list EXACTLY how much is donated from each item on our website to ensure everyone knows what they're raising.
We get asked a lot... what does the other half goes to? Well that's a two part answer...
First we have to cover our costs of advertising and running the store online. We also used some to open our first ever retail location at the St. Jacobs Farmers Market!
and what about the rest?
The rest of our funds help fuel Toby's dream of opening his own rescue organization. Toby & I want to be able to get into the field around the globe helping rescue, transport and promote the adoption of dogs. In order to do that we have a lot of work ahead of us & we couldn't do it without your support.
Change takes a lot of effort from many people all over the world! I wanted to give the opportunity for everyone to get involved in making a change and it starts with Terrible Toby's. By purchasing your everyday dog supplies from Terrible Toby's you automatically support the wellbeing and safety of dogs everywhere. I'm so excited to be able to give myself, Toby and the rest of the world an opportunity to make change and can't wait to see what the rest of this journey holds.
If you ever want to support our cause, feel free to head to our shop and pick out some cool stuff for the dog's in your life. Or, to learn more about what we do head to our fundraiser page for all the details. You can also follow us on Instagram & Facebook and reach out at any time to suggest new items, give us feedback or just talk about dogs. Toby & I are always ready to chat.