Giving Back to the Dogs That Give So Much. Check out Pam at Small Dog Realty of Bozeman, Montana

Lucas Foust:                  All right. Hey, good morning, Pam. Everybody, this is Lucas Foust here with Pam McCutcheon of Small Dog Realty, our Business of the Month for Foust Law Office. Pam, how are you today?

Pam McCutcheon:         I am great. Every day is a great day.

Lucas Foust:                  Well, good, good. Through the miracles of technology, we're able to visit with each other, and you're in Arizona, is that right?

Pam McCutcheon:         California.

Lucas Foust:                  California.

Pam McCutcheon:         Right now. Yeah.

Lucas Foust:                  Well, good, good. Escaping for a little warm weather. That's great. Pam, I have the same question that I ask all of my Business of the Month folks and even jurors during trial. It's the same question I always ask. And here's the parameters, setting your faith and your family aside, those are two important things, setting those aside, what's the passion in your life, Pam? What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Pam McCutcheon:         Oh gosh. So much, but it's animals. It's helping dogs, cats, shelters, people. And when the market died in '08, '09 and '10, I had to come up with something. I make my living through real estate, which I love, but I wanted to do more. I wanted to give back and, and I was a Rotarian and involved in a lot of different things, but my passion are dogs, dogs and cats. So with every sale, then I donate to a shelter in need. I promote pet of the week, spaying and neutering, adopt don't shop. That's what really gets me up, knowing that I can make a difference is so great.

Lucas Foust:                  So Pam, how did this start? When you were a kid? Did you bring home strays? What happened? How'd you get going on this?

Pam McCutcheon:         Well, I always had cats. We had cats like crazy, and I wanted a dog one day. I saw one across the street as a little girl. And I said to my dad, "I want this dog." And he's like, "No." And about a minute later, the dog ran across the street and got killed. It was devastating to me. Well, anyway, let's go a little further in my adult life. We had a dog, but we shared it with our best friends, long story.

                                    And then we moved to California from Chicago. Well, I was pregnant and had a miscarriage, and I was devastated. So I got a dog and those dogs became my life. And then we got another one two weeks later and we had labs for years. And the dogs really came before my kids. When my daughter was five hours old, she was in my front pack. My son was in my backpack. He was 15 months, 14 a half months. And we went for a dog walk. One in each hand. So they were my saving grace and they give so much. They come to the office. They help people be at ease. [inaudible] Piper. She's such a good little dog. People love it. They're calm. So that's what drives me.

Lucas Foust:                  Well great. Well, Pam, you mentioned before you went from Chicago to California. Where'd you grow up?

Pam McCutcheon:         Cincinnati. Cincinnati-

Lucas Foust:                  Cincinnati.

Pam McCutcheon:         ... then Chicago was all work-related. San Francisco, LA, and then Livingston, Montana; Paradise Valley, Montana; Bozeman.

Lucas Foust:                  Okay. Well, great. Did you end up in Bozeman through real estate work or your work with real estate companies?

Pam McCutcheon:         So, no. I ended up because back then Livingston didn't have a soccer program and that's what my son played. And the activities director said, "He can play football for a year." I said, "He doesn't want to play football. Sorry." And so, he tried out in Bozeman and he was kicking and screaming, but of course I said, "Give it a try." And it was the best thing I could have done. Now let's fast forward. His business that he owns now is in Livingston. So he's done full circle and he still stays in touch with those Livingston people and his Bozeman friends. And so that's what brought us, and we spend a lot of time in Livingston as well because it's a small town and sometimes that's good.

Lucas Foust:                  So, how did you decide to start your business? How'd you get into real estate, Pam?

Pam McCutcheon:         Well, it's funny. We had a fly shop and people would come fishing and they'd say, "Oh my God, I love it here. You know anybody that sells real estate?" Well I'd give them to a realtor friend of mine. Well, the last one I gave him was a $5 million ranch. And I got a plant as a thank you. And so my late husband said, "One of us needs to sell our real estate license, which means you need to get your real estate license." And I thought, "Oh, that's nothing I want to do." Well, I realized that something that was perfect for me, I loved it. It fit me. I loved people. I knew the area. I liked connecting things and I stay in touch with some of those people that bought from me 21 years ago. So it's been great, but that's how I got started. By accident.

                                    And it was a great fit. And then I was with big box store. Well actually a smaller one that got eaten up by a big box company. And I wanted to have my own thing. So I bought a franchise and then the real estate market, a couple years later, tanked. The problem is I felt like all my money was going out of state. You had to pay fees, this and that. I wanted to do something local. Well, it was tough. I went on job interviews thinking, "How am I going to earn a living?" I had two kids in college, and so I went on interviews, was very devastated by they're offering me $10 an hour for a sales job. I've been selling since I was born. You know? So, the phone kept ringing. Every time I thought I could get out of real estate, something would happen and it would keep me in.

                                    And then I adopted Piper from my stepdaughter. I never wanted a small dog. Get a cat. That's what I would think. And I realized this small dog could do everything that a big could do but walk in deep snow. So that's one of the reasons why we're here because there's no snow and they love it. And I thought, "That's what I can do. I can help animals. I can spread the word and make a living." And I now have 28 or 29 agents and two offices.

                                    And we are a hundred percent local. All the money stays in Bozeman, Livingston, Montana. I just adopted Lucy. She's a handful, but she's adorable and Pintler Pets in Anaconda adopted her a year and a half ago. And she was my first actual rescue. And so that really helped me to help people because a lot of times they get a dog and a week later they're like, "This isn't what I wanted." And they bring him back. It takes months for this dog to gain trust. And so it was a good thing, and I thought, "I have to walk the walk."

Lucas Foust:                  What do you like most Pam about the real estate business? What keeps you in it, keeps you going every day, and expanding that business? What do you like most about it?

Pam McCutcheon:         Oh God. There are so many things I like about it. One, I like managing my people, teaching them, helping them get the knowledge that no one gave me. Okay. I had to find all this out. They're like, "Here's your computer." And you're like, "Okay, what?" So I wanted to do better and train them and give them the basic fundamentals to help them be successful. I really like helping first-time home buyers, which is really interesting. Instead of these multimillion-dollar ones, I do that too. But the first time home buyers, I'm helping them achieve something really important and they trust me. So I have to make sure I am explaining everything to them, going through it, and taking care of them like I would my own children.

Lucas Foust:                  Pam, you talked about your passion for animals. What, in your involvement with some organizations, are you involved with? We talked previously about Run Dog Run. What other charitable organizations are you involved with regarding animals?

Pam McCutcheon:         Yes. So Run Dog Run is such a great organization. I was invited, I don't know, five years ago, by Terry Cunningham, he's one of our city commissioners. And he's amazing. And I remember saying to him, because he said, "Every cent we make goes right to these dog parks." And I said, "Well then, who paid you?" And he goes, "This isn't my real job." I was like, "What?"

                                    He spent so much time... The Anderson Dog Park, which is at 100 Acre Park, named after Marsha Anderson, who gives so much to our community, did everything. So she was a foundation. Small Dog Realty put up a shade pavilion along with West Paw [inaudible]. We each put $19,500. Marcia Anderson matched the difference. The dock diving deal, somebody else donated that in memory, I think, of his wife. So when I see people walking around and not cleaning things up, it's like, "Hey, you know what, everything here is donated." The poop bags are donated, and it's amazing. Terry probably still does, but I know he, for sure, used to empty out the poop bins. It's like, "Woe, I think he has super [inaudible]. It's a great organization. They also did Lewis and Bark Park. They helped out with all it. So I'm hoping we can get one on the south side of town as well.

Lucas Foust:                  Great Pam. Well, Pam, thank you so much for being this month's Business of the Month. We really appreciate it. You killed two birds with one stone. I think we're probably going to be seeing Run Dog Run and other dog organizations as a Charity of the Month for our office pretty soon, too.

Pam McCutcheon:         That's great.

Lucas Foust:                  So thank you so much, Pam. We really appreciate it. And again, Small Dog Realty, our Business of the Month. Congratulations.

Pam McCutcheon:         Thank you so much, Luke. See you soon.