Month: February 2016

Penny & Parker, the Pomeranians (she said)

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“We were asked to babysit a friend’s Pomeranian and my husband I fell madly in love with him.

His name was Prince and he was a very intelligent and personable dog.  He would look you in the eye and you really felt like he was trying to connect with you.

After that experience we decided we wanted a Pomeranian.

We didn’t know how to go about finding a dog.

We didn’t know about puppy mills and pets stores, and their connection.

We had no idea.

We got Penny from a pet store and she ended up costing us thousands of dollars in veterinary fees because she was so sick.  She had bad knees and all sorts of medical issues. Her knees cost $5,000.00.

I am grateful we had pet insurance, Petplan, they paid for everything.

Eventually, we decided Penny would be happier with another dog to play with.  We felt it would take some of the pressure off of us to constantly entertain her.

And it did.

She was happy then, but she’s happier now.

One year later, we learned the ropes and found a reputable breeder, registered with the AKC (American Kennel Club), and we got Parker, who cost us just about nothing in vet bills.

We tried to go through rescue first, but we came up against roadblocks. No one could tell us what size the dog would be an we needed a small dog for the safety of Penny.

We ended up with a breeder and we chose Parker from his photo.  He had a great face.

The first time Parker saw the beach, he lost his mind.  He buried his head in the sand.  He loved every moment on the beach.

It’s hard to say a worst moment because they have been a joy.

They make you get out of your house, out of yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Laura, the dog lover without a dog (part 2)

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“I had friends that I met at the dog run.  their dog and I were in love with each other.  They had a wonderful dog, tchotchke.  If she liked you it was a love fest every time you saw her.

Then when she got old and sick it was very sad.

A couple of days before she died she was in the dog run and you could watch her go up to each of her people friends, as if to say goodbye.

She was an articulate dog.  She didn’t like puppies and small dogs bothering her.  She had a very polite but firm way of letting them know to leave her alone. She would lie on the ground, turn her head toward them and let out a low growl of warning.

The best was meeting, getting to know and spending time with such loving people and their dog.

The worst was when their dog died, followed by their leaving New York.

We still keep in touch.

I still come to the dog run in good weather a few times a week.

I have some physical disability with my arms and the dog run is a good place for me to come for some gentle exercise and amusement.

One of the great things about the dog run is that you see people you meet in the dog run on the street, and develop a relationship outside the dog run.

There is a real community at the dog run that overflows in the neighborhood.

Laura, the dog lover without a dog (part 1)

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“The very first time I came to the dog run was after my neighbors moved.  I got curious to see this place called the dog run where they used to take their dog.

The dogs and the people were wonderful.  I’ve made a lot of very good friends here.

I’ve watched the Dog Whisperer on television and I like to try out his techniques.                   I’ll give you an example: When I see children trying to get their dog to chase the ball and they don’t get the dog’s full attention first (they just throw the ball), I tell them, first make sure the dog is paying to them and and if they show the dog the ball and the dog sees them throw it, this is the best way to start the game.

I wouldn’t say that to just anybody.  It’s to the children who seem open to my advice.  They really want to play with the dogs but they don’t know how.  I try to show them how to get on the same wavelength as the dog.

Another thing that is so gratifying is to keep up with friends from the dog run while they are away.  I like to keep them updated on their dogs play and experiences at the run and put their minds at ease.

Once I was trying to pass by a small dog and it jumped up at me, lunging towards my face, and I fell and broke my arm.

This is one of the reasons I urge people to dissuade their dogs from jumping on people.”

Buddy & Ozzie (part 2)

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“I spoke to the woman from the same rescue group, and they had a 7 year old pocket Beagle that was listed under the Urgent category. He was at a kill shelter and looked like he just needed somebody.  He was skinny, really scared and had fleas.  The rescue group said that he looked like he had been on his own for a while.

They drove him up to NYC from Bowling Green, Kentucky.  The I saw him, he was not what I expected.  He was full of energy and squirming around.

I didn’t know what beagles were like so I had no idea what energy they have.  I thought because he was a little bit older that he would be calm.  I tried to keep him contained in a pen and that didn’t work.

Once I put him on the patio while I was cleaning the floor and he broke through the plastic screen covering a window, so he made his own doggie door.

Buddy is more concerned with what I am doing and Ozzie is concerned with what Buddy is doing.

The only scare I had with Ozzie was when he ate chocolate pudding, but he was okay.

There was never any jealously between them.  They know their pecking order.”

Buddy & Ozzie (part 1)

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“My boyfriend was living with me and he was really against getting a dog.  He thought it was too much work.

It was something I wanted for a long time.

After he moved out, I started looking for a dog.

I got Buddy the day after my 30th birthday.  He was my birthday present to myself.

There was an event at the Petco near my apartment and Buddy was the first and only dog I met.  I felt like a could relate to him.  He seemed happy and content, like a chill little guy.  There was another woman interested but she seemed weird.  They asked me if I wanted to take him for a walk and I walked him home to my apartment.  He sniffed around, hopped on the couch and seemed at home  I went out of the room and he followed me.  He’s always by my feet.  He’s my little shadow.

Having Buddy helped me get over a bad relationship quickly.

I feel like I am pretty fortunate, and giving Buddy a good life means a lot to me.  I know that he feels safe and loved.

Once he got out of his collar, ran down the block, and headed towards the nearest avenue with a lot of traffic.  Luckily, a construction worker caught him and held onto him.

I got a camera to see what he was up to during the day because I work long hours at the office.  I watched him sitting by himself and even though it didn’t seem to bother him, I wasn’t okay with that.

I decided I would feel better if he had a companion.

Everyone tried to discourage me from getting another dog.  They said, you’re not going to be able to handle this.

All the while I looked on the Bowling Green rescue dog websites because Buddy was from Bowling Green, Kentucky.”

Wendy and her rescues (part 3)

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“Now I have Belle (an angel) and Macey (my soulmate).

After Gracie died, a vet tech asked me if I was looking for another dog.  She knew I was fond of Greyhounds, but said she had just rescued this little fox-like dog, who had been abandoned in the Bronx.

I said I would meet him.

They had shaved him, leaving a lion-like mane around his neck.  He had the most beautiful face I had ever seen.

I took him for the weekend as a trial, but didn’t even walk half a block before I knew not only would I keep him, but that he was my soulmate.

I wanted a companion for Macy and knew it was going to be a Greyhound.

They had ended the Greyhound rescue program at the AMC, so I found a rescue group in New Jersey.  I took Macy to meet his potential companion.

She was the smallest Greyhound I’d ever seen.  She weighed around 50 lbs .(the bigger Greyhounds can way up to 80).

If she were a woman, she would shop in the petite dept.

They got along from the beginning.  they don’t actively interact much, but occasionally I see Macy grooming Belle.

I feel their spirit.  Belle is not the old soul that Gracie was, but she’s sweet and without any malice.

Macy stares at me wherever I go, even if it’s just the bathroom.  He is connected to me all the time.

I don’t feel that I’ve had a human family, but my dogs are my family of choice.”

Wendy and her rescues (part 2)

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“I learned about the horrible things being done to Greyhounds after they were retired.

They were shooting them, putting them in hot trucks leaving them to die,  and abandoning them after cutting off their ears to remove their identifiable tattoos.

One day in 1993 while I was waiting to cross a street corner, a dog was leaning on me.  I asked the owner if it was a Whippet, but she answered no, it was a rescued Greyhound.   I said, I want one, I want to rescue a Greyhound.  She told me about the program at AMC (Animal Medical Center), where they used them as blood donors and then adopted them out.

2 days later I got Gracie.  She was the first of 3 Greyhounds.  I knew she was a Bodhisattva (enlightened one).  She had a gentle spirit and was an old soul–maybe it was the way she looked at me. She had a peaceful knowing way about her.  When they brought her in the adoption room she approached me, making eye contact immediately without fear.

She knew we were supposed to be together.

I can’t think of any moment that stands out, but all my time with her was extraordinary.         Everyone seemed to think so too.

We had each other for 8 years.”

Wendy and her rescues (part 1)

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“When I was 12 my parents finally let me get a dog.  She was a fox terrier mix.

It was wintertime and nobody in my family helped. I was totally on my own with the dog.

My mother insisted she stay in the bathroom which was very small.  I would take her out with a little sweater, but she would still shiver.

About a month later, I came home from school and she was gone.

My mother got rid of her.  I can only hope she lived a happy life.

I was heartbroken.

2o years later, I married a man with a dog, Xanthi.  I loved her. She was a nut who barked incessantly for no  reason.  We loved her, but she wasn’t everyone’s favorite because of her barking.

One of my memories of Xanthi that is a standout, is when I used to let her in the bed when she wasn’t supposed to be. My husband would come to bed and say, is there a dog in the bed?  I would say, no, and then she would let out a bark.  She couldn’t help herself.

I am a dog in the bed kind of person and he wasn’t.

We were intellectually but not emotionally compatible.

After our marriage broke up, I found out she died through my father.  He never called to tell me.  After all, she was my dog too.

Tucker, the Maltese Terrier rescue

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“I had just moved into a new apartment and thought this would be a good time to get a dog.

My brothers have had dogs for years.  I loved most of the family dogs.

It’s nice to have a dog when you are alone.  It’s like having a friend.

I went to the ACC shelter.  I had scanned their website and saw Tucker’s picture the night before I went.

I was very unsure when I went to the shelter.  I talked to my family and they said, why now?

My apartment was still under renovation and I didn’t have extra money for dog care.  My biggest concern was the overall cost, but I just did it.

He was scheduled to be given to a rescue group, but I got him first.

I took him home within an hour of our meeting.  We walked home from East Harlem.

When my mother came to my apartment to see the renovation progress, she pretended he wasn’t there.  We were on skid row already, so getting the dog didn’t help.

She secretly bonded with the Tucker.

I left the apartment for a few hours and when I returned I found out she had walked him.

My brother, his wife, their baby, my mother me and my dog spent the Christmas holiday together.

The worst thing was his separation anxiety.  He barked nonstop when I left the apartment.  That caused tremendous stress because my neighbors complained and I was new to the building.

I solved the problem by buying him a crate and surrounding him with sofa cushions, (with plenty of room to breathe).

The best moment, was seeing him in my apartment, the day we came home together.

 

Benny, the wingman

“I got Benny for my kids and me.

They were ten and twelve at the time.

The day we brought him home he pee’d on the tile floor.  He dragged a nearby folded beach towel over to the puddle and covered it.  That was the first and only time he pee’d indoors.

I lost my condo in Boca during the mortgage crisis in 2008.  I was also in the mortgage business, causing my career to go kaput.  I worked several survival jobs to provide for Benny and me.

It took many years to get back on my feet.  There was a chance I was looking at being homeless.

Just having Benny in my life kept me sane.

Ultimately, Benny myself and our belongings were crammed into my ’99 Honda Accord (with 170,000 miles on it) and headed north to move in with my girlfriend (now wife).

When we lived in Boca he loved to sunbathe, even if it was 96 degrees. He still loves to lie in the sun, even in the cold weather.  He adjusted to the climate change immediately.  He loves the snow.  The only thing he doesn’t like is, the horses in the park.  He barks at them, announcing his presence.

I secretly purchased a heart shaped dog tag with his name and my phone number on the front, and mommy will you marry us?  Love, Benny, on the other side of the tag.   At first she only read the side with his name on it, so I had to tell her to turn it over.  She read the tag and was shocked beyond belief. It was a total surprise.  She said, Oh my God, read it aloud and burst into tears. I walked into the bedroom with her ring.

She still jokes that she used me to get to my dog.”