Transcripts

A Moonlighting Matchmaker Juggles Multiple Roles

MS. REBECCA SHEIR

00:00:08
But the first sleep-deprived Washingtonian we'll meet works like a dog to keep her dual gigs going. And actually one of those gigs has her working with a dog, too.

MS. MIRAH HOROWITZ

00:01:12
Okay, Grody (sp?) there you go. Thank you.

SHEIR

00:01:15
Well, a whole bunch of dogs really. To date, more than 4,200. That's because Mirah Horowitz volunteers as the executive director of Lucky Dog Animal Rescue, a D.C.-based group that this particular afternoon has driven a van full of rescued canines to the National Geographic Museum in northwest D.C. Dozens of people line the driveway as Horowitz presents them with their new adoptive or faster pets.

HOROWITZ

00:01:45
All right. Oh, good boy.

SHEIR

00:01:48
Since Horowitz started Lucky Dog in May 2009, the all-volunteer non-profit has saved dogs from shelters in Virginia and the Carolinas. The two dozen or so animals they're having today come from a shelter inside South Carolina's Pickens County Prison.

HOROWITZ

00:02:04
These dogs had been in the shelter where there is a 100 percent euthanasia rate. Every single one of the dogs that came off the van today would have been killed if it wasn't for us. And some of them are a little tentative to come out of the crate, they don't really know, do I really want to come out of the crate right now? And then they do, and it's like, wow, this whole new life.

SHEIR

00:02:21
And making that whole new life possible takes a ton of energy and effort. After all, Lucky Dog isn't just constantly seeking adoptive and foster homes, it's seeking the right ones. So Mirah Horowitz's moonlighting gig involves quite a bit of matchmaking, I guess you could say, but then...

HOROWITZ

00:02:35
Can you give us a hint as to who you're looking for right now?

SHEIR

00:02:38
Her day job does, too.

HOROWITZ

00:02:40
Sure. I'm doing a couple of searches. You can see my search board over there of all the stuff I'm working on.

SHEIR

00:02:46
As an executive search consultant for Russell Reynolds Associates, Horowitz matches executive candidates with high-level positions at non-profits. So right now, she's seeking everything from...

HOROWITZ

00:02:56
A vice president of research for Michigan State University to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate President.

SHEIR

00:03:03
Speaking of Senator Kennedy, in a way, Horowitz says he greatly influenced her career path because, you see, she hasn't always done executive recruiting. After law school, she clerked for several justices, including Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, and eventually became legal counsel for Senator Robert Menendez, and Senator John Kerry. And that's where Ted Kennedy comes in. Because when Horowitz was growing up...

HOROWITZ

00:03:25
My father had worked for Senator Kennedy. He was his chief of staff.

SHEIR

00:03:29
And every time a school vacation came along...

HOROWITZ

00:03:31
I would beg my dad to please take me to work with him so I could answer the phones, and ride the subway from the Russell Building to the Capitol and eat lunch at The Monocle. And that was, like, the best day in the world for me. So I grew up always thinking one day I want to be just like my dad and work in the Senate. So a little bit of a childhood dream come true.

SHEIR

00:03:51
After achieving that dream, Horowitz worked for the Obama Administration, before joining the U.S. Department of Justice.

HOROWITZ

00:03:57
But after some time, I started thinking, you know, I've done this government thing for a while. I've actually, you know, I've been in all three branches. I've been in the executive branch, I've been in the legislative branch, I've clerked on the Court.

SHEIR

00:04:08
So when she heard about the position at Russell Reynolds, she jumped at the chance.

HOROWITZ

00:04:12
I realized that the interaction with people, and the networking and the consultant aspect of what we do; it's like a puzzle. What do they want? What do they need? And what can they get? And trying to make those three pieces fit together is fascinating to me.

SHEIR

00:04:26
And that same puzzle comes in to play at Lucky Dog Animal Rescue.

HOROWITZ

00:04:29
We have actually an official matchmaking team. So that if people say, you know, I think I'm ready for a dog, but I don't really know what dog, and I don't really want to just pick off a picture on the Internet or whatever, we'll take those applications and we'll work with them and talk to them and spend a lot of time with them and figure out what the right dog for their family is.

SHEIR

00:04:47
Then there are the logistics of foster care for dogs that aren't immediately adopted. There are the occasional medical issues and emergencies. So all in all, running Lucky Dog and working at Russell Reynolds definitely keeps Mirah Horowitz on her toes. So you've got your Russell Reynolds time, the Lucky Dog time, when is your you time?

HOROWITZ

00:05:04
Ha, I knew that question was coming. Between 1:00 am and 5:00, no. (laughs) You know, that's a little -- there isn't a whole lot of Mirah time at this point.

SHEIR

00:05:17
But that's about to change. Lucky Dog has finally raised enough money to hire its first paid employee.

HOROWITZ

00:05:23
A chief operating officer.

SHEIR

00:05:24
And that could take a lot off of Horowitz's plate as Lucky Dog's executive director.

HOROWITZ

00:05:29
I would really like to see it become an organization that's a little bit separate from me. I think anyone who founds something wants it to live beyond them, and it's frankly something that I've learned at Russell Reynolds as I've done searches for organizations that their founder is moving on. And it's a difficult thing and a challenging thing, but it's an important thing. It's important for the volunteers. It's important for the organization. It's, in this case, important for the dogs.

SHEIR

00:05:54
For now, though, Horowitz says she's happy leading her double life, whether she is matching people and institutions, or people and dogs, like she did this afternoon outside National Geographic.

SHEIR

00:06:04
So how did it go today?

HOROWITZ

00:06:05
Oh, it went really well. All the dogs came off looking very healthy and the adopters seem happy and the foster seem happy. So, it seemed to go really well.

SHEIR

00:06:14
So it's worth all the long hours.

HOROWITZ

00:06:15
It is worth the long hours. Absolutely. I wouldn't change it for the world. I really wouldn't. Even if it meant I could get, you know, a full eight hours of sleep every night, I wouldn't change it.

SHEIR

00:06:24
Because it's one thing to be dog tired, it's something else to make sure that every dog -- 4,200 and counting -- has its day.

SHEIR

00:06:36
For more on Lucky Dog Animal Rescue, visit our website, metroconnection.org.
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