photojournalism

Vivi, the terrier, chow, greyhound, chihuahua, sharpei, mix from Puerto Rico (part 2)

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“We didn’t find what we were looking for in a New York shelter, so we went to Pet Finder to expand our search.

We found a five month old Labrador mix at Stray From the Heart, a New York City rescue group.

I filled out the paper work, organized a home ivies and it turned out that Vivi was still in Puerto Rico.

She hadn’t been transported to New York, yet.

I picked up Vivi from JFK airport three weeks later.

She was so scared that she didn’t pee for the first fifteen hours that we had her.”

Olive, the Bassett Hound, Staffordshire Terrier mix (part 2)

“Before the dogs were transported up to New York the rescue group posted a video of Olive and her sister Katy.

When they got here, my son said, we should visit Olive first.

He had a gut feeling.

We visited her and her foster family in Brooklyn and that was it.

She was three or four months old and was so friendly that we said, we’ve got to get this dog.

She is a year now.

The hardest thing for me was house training her.

It takes patience.

I thought it would take a couple of weeks, but it took a few months.

She pee’d on the rug for a few months.

We had to learn her body rhythms.

It finally paid off.”

Olive, the Bassett Hound, Staffordshire Terrier mix (part 1)

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“Everybody in my family likes dogs and we didn’t have one.

My seven year old really wanted a dog, so we started looking online for rescues.

We looked on Petfinder, but a friend who got her dogs through Unleashed, NY, recommended them.

We saw a puppy called Hugo, who the family liked.

He  was going to be brought up north from Virginia in the fall, when we wanted our dog.

We expressed interest in Hugo, but he died from Parvo.

He had two sisters in his litter and Olive was one of them.”

 

Otis, the comical Pug (part 2)

“Pugs shed, whine, drool and are chewers.

I wasn’t prepared for all of that, but I decided that he’s my puppy child, and it is what it is.

If people don’t like it, they don’t have to come over.

It’s Otis’s house.

The worst think about having him is how needy he is.

This breed is a needy one.

Otis is always under foot.  I can’t even go to the bathroom without him being by my side.

If I shut the bathroom door, or any door, he cries and bangs on the door.

I’ve gotten used to  him watching me on the toilet.

It’s the easiest option and he doesn’t judge me.”

Otis, the comical Pug (part 1)

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“I sold my big house in New Jersey where I raised my children and I had lost my pets about a year before that.

I moved to New York City with my husband after he retired, leaving my friends and family and needed a new wingman (so to speak).

I wanted a dog that was still dog-sized, but easy enough to travel with.

After I moved,  and began to walk around the neighborhood, I  was drawn to the Pug breed.

Their faces were comical and made me giggle.

They seemed low maintenance.

All lies.

You can never do your homework enough.

You can never do your homework enough.”

Kasidy, the contemplative dog walker (part 3)

fullsizerender-11“The only limitation of this job is that it is very physically demanding.

I try shoe inserts, take ibuprofen as needed, and am aware of my posture and try to walk as efficiently as possible.

The concrete is hard on the body.  I walk between 7-9 hours a day.

Another downside of the job is the weather– extreme heat, rain and cold can be difficult.

Whenever I am coming to work, riding on the train, I take the first 15 minutes to meditate.

I meditate on the word emptiness.  I try to mimic their openness.

I try to just enjoy where we are in that moment.”

Kasidy, the contemplative dog walker (part 2)

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“It’s also easier to start the day with a lot of excitement.

The dogs are always eager to see me.

I am really emotionally bonded with Earl because it took so long to earn his trust.

At first he was very skittish and then apathetic, but there came a time, a few months in, that I noticed his tail would wag and he would start this happy howl when I came.

That’s a great feeling.”

Lola, the proud and independent Irish Setter (the spouse, part 4)

“That moment was about terror and relief.

We were so relieved to have her back after thinking the worst happened to her.

I have never had a relationship with a dog like I have with Lola.

I think that’s due to age and my time in life.

When I had Shannon I was young, building a career and starting and raising a family.

I am retired now and I spend every day with Lola and my partner.

She reads us, and we her.

We have an emotional understanding and I think it’s from proximity and time.

Your kids grow up and they have their own lives, but with a beloved dog, your time is always in the present.”

Lola, the proud and independent Irish Setter (the spouse said, part 3)

“I was looking for a dog like Shannon.

I found a kennel about 100 miles away from our house in Pennsylvania that had Irish Setters.

We walked into the fenced in puppy area and Lola jumped onto my partner and it was love at first sight.

The worst moment with Lola was during one of my partner’s college reunions at our farm in Pennsylvania.

We let Lola out in the front yard.

As the wine flowed, we forgot that she was out in the yard.

About 2 hours later we looked for her but she was nowhere to be found.

We spent hours searching the land, until we gave up after 4 hours, convinced she was dead.

Around 3 A.M., she just trotted out of the woods, looked at us as if to say, what’s wrong with you, I’m tired and going to bed.”

Lola, the proud and independent Irish Setter, (the spouse, part 2)

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“When we ran out of all the breeds he was interested in, I went online to look for Irish Setters, because my most magnificent dog of my entire life was an Irish Setter.

I got him when I went to college in the 1970’s and he went to class with me.

He was my constant companion.

When I was married and my kids came along he would stroll through the park with us and much to my ex-wife’s horror and pride, people would comment on how beautiful my dog was (as opposed to noticing my kids).

That was Shannon, named after Shannon Run Road in Lexington Kentucky.”