Puppies and Pilates: U-Haul Event Helps Animals

PHOENIX Sixteen U-Haul Team Members joined their local pet-loving neighbors in stretching their limbs while onlooking puppies wagged their tails Jan. 14 at the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Harold Price, Sr. House in Paradise Valley.

“I planned this PAW-lates event to function as a donating experience for the Arizona Animal Welfare League, an exercise class for U-Haul Team Members and a means to educate people about the options for private and public events at the Price House,” Megan Shoen said.

Megan, the wife of U-Haul Executive Vice President Stuart Shoen, put on the event with the hope of fulfilling those three goals. Her intentions were spot on.

AAWL employees and volunteers arrived with arms full of treats. Goodie bags stuffed with dog and cat food lined the tables, and there were raffles for pet toys and crates. Models Mutts Meow, a calendar featuring men and women posing with animals, was available for purchase.

Valentino, an 8 week old Australian cattle dog puppy

Two 8-week-old Australian cattle dog puppies stole the show. Romeo and Valentino, brothers from the AAWL shelter, kept the crowd entertained with their sweet licks and playful attitudes. The line to hold them was long, but U-Haul Team Members were willing to wait.

All proceeds and donations from the event went to AAWL in support of their efforts to take animals off euthanasia lists and place them in homes. AAWL rehabilitates and finds homes for 4,500 dogs and cats annually. They have quickly become the leading no-kill animal welfare organization in Arizona.

“We rely on people to help carry out our mission,” said Rhette Baughman, Director of Development for AAWL. “We couldn’t do this without volunteer help and events like this.”

Pilates Begins

U-Haul Team Members placed their mats on the Price House lawn. Pilates instructor Annie Verderame led the group, demonstrating proper form and giving encouragement.
Annie Verderame Pilates

Since the company-wide “Healthier U” initiative began in 2015, there have been many opportunities for Team Members to gather and encourage one another in healthy activities and lifestyle changes.

“Physical wellness is a core value of ours,” Stuart Shoen said. “U-Haul commits to building a work force with a strong and real sense of belonging. We’ve made a commitment to our Team Members to help them be happy and healthy. We have access to this amazing location where we can benefit the AAWL and keep our Team Members active.”

Price House History

Wright built the Price House from 1954-55. The original homeowners, Harold and MaryLou Price, were instrumental in the inclusion of many features.

The couple petitioned Wright to design a winter home that their six grandchildren could visit and enjoy. The house affectionately became known as “The Grandma House” and is one of only nine homes built by Wright in Arizona.

Happy Ending to this “Tail”

After breaking a sweat and improving flexibility, Pilates participants were treated to a brunch of juice, fruit and eggs. Some Team Members, hungry from their workout, went after the food. Others scurried back in line to get extra time with the puppies.

The best news of the day: Romeo and Valentino have new homes. No doubt their tails are still wagging.

Read about the first U-Haul Active Day for a better idea of how U-Haul is helping its Team Members get and stay healthy.

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