Siblings

Diego, as in Diego Rivera (he said, part 4)

FullSizeRender-22

“My wife and I board dogs sometimes and Diego is the best concierge.  He is happy to see other dogs, shares his food and his dog bed, too.

He likes the company.

Diego had a pinched nerve in his back and I took him to the animal hospital on the east side.  They thought it was no big deal but he was still screaming in pain.  We took him to our regular veterinarian and he needed to be crated for 3 months and we gave him different meds around the clock.  That was a difficult time.

When Diego comes back from his walks he runs in and tears around the apartment, really happy to be home–here.”

Diego, as in Don Diego de la Vega, aka Zorro (he said part 3)

FullSizeRender-9

“It was my wife’s idea to get Diego.

My sister was very ill and before she went into hospice care, she asked us to adopt him.

My wife had fallen in love with him when we visited previously, so she wanted to adopt him when my sister asked.

At first I told my sister, no.

It was an expense we couldn’t afford and we had just lost our last dog, Winnie.

As the end was getting closer, I gave in and agreed to pick up Diego.

I changed my mind because my sister found a home for her other 2 dogs, pugs.  My wife really wanted Diego, so I agreed to it.

I went up to Rochester before she went into hospice to say goodbye and I rented a car, got a crate and wanted to get out of there so quickly, that I got a speeding ticket.

Meanwhile, Diego didn’t know what was going on and started hyperventilating in the back.  I would stop along the way to walk him, but nothing helped.

When we got to our apartment, his new home, the first thing he did was pee in the bedroom.

He was never trained to walk on a leash and he was just let out in the backyard to do his business.

He still has irrational fear sometimes on our walks, but he is the least aggressive dog you will meet.”

Penny & Parker, the Pomeranians (he said)

FullSizeRender

“We got my dogs for my wife.  That’s my first answer.  Second answer is, my wife has been partially disabled from Lyme’s Disease, so we got the dogs to keep her company because she’s home alone a lot.

The best moments with the dogs have been getting the regular exercise from walking them.

Now that they are a little bit older they can be walked off leash.  It’s the freedom to walk them without managing them so tightly.

The worst moment was when Penny broke her leg when she was 1 year old.  It was on my birthday, I might add.  She jumped off my brother’s couch and screamed bloody murder, so we knew it was more than just a sprain.  We rushed her to the vet immediately.  That took 6 weeks to heal.  We didn’t have Parker yet, and keeping her calm was a real challenge because she was still a puppy.

Parker calms Penny down.  He plays with her regularly so she gets her energy out of her system.    They engage each other in wresting and play and she has a constant companion on walks.

Penny was a sad puppy before Parker came along.  She would hide under the couch and cry a lot.

As soon as Parker came along her mood changed immediately, she was much happier. She still hides under the couch on occasion, but there’s very little crying.

They have brought a playfulness and a sense of innocence to our lives.”

Penny & Parker, the Pomeranians (she said)

FullSizeRender

“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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

t

Tucker, the Maltese Terrier rescue

FullSizeRender-26

“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.

 

Isabelle and her sister, the surprise (part 2)

FullSizeRender-9

“The worst moment was when we got her, she had fleas.  She got tapeworms from biting and swallowing the fleas.  She almost died from the tapeworms.  She was dehydrated, she couldn’t keep food down and the anti-nausea meds weren’t working.

She lost consciousness in my arms and I thought she was going to die.

They injected her with fluids twice and re-injected her with anti-nausea meds and slowly she began to respond to the drugs and recover.

I always have a good time with her.

Once in late October, I took her on a hiking trip with me and she had the time of her life.  She was fetching sticks down the trail, digging in the dirt and running until she was exhausted.  My boyfriend and I love to hike, so she is a great match.

She’s been a bonding experience; she’s our fur baby.  She makes us feel like are a family, not just a couple.”

 

 

Isabelle and her sister, the surprise (part 1)

FullSizeRender-8

“My boyfriend and I were looking for a puppy for my best friend for her birthday.   She has a boxer that’s 8 and wanted a companion for her dog as well as herself (for when her dog passes).

She is a maternal person and enjoys caring for others.

She left it up to me to pick out her dog.  She wanted it to be a surprise.

We definitely wanted to get her a rescue.

We found a boxer lab mix and filled out the forms.

A few days before the puppy was supposed to be shipped from Tennessee, the man from the rescue group told me, the puppy had parvo, (a deadly virus) and didn’t survive.

He had a few puppies that weren’t right for her lifestyle, so we told him to hold on to our deposit and we would check back with him.

About a month and a half later he called and said he just got a litter of lab mix puppies.     We saw the photos and decided it was a perfect time to get one for ourselves, too.           We got two sisters.  They get to play together often, living in the same city.

I told her my boyfriend and I were coming to her neighborhood for Bloody Mary’s.   When I got there I asked her to come downstairs and let us in.  She saw her puppy wrapped in a bow and kissed it.  She was overwhelmed with joy and began to cry.  I let her have her moment and then I showed her Isabelle, her puppy’s sister.

It was one of the best moments ever.”

 

Kirsten, the animal lover and pet care giver (part 2)

FullSizeRender-15

“Two of the dogs that I have a deep connection with are Carter and Rocky.

I have been taking care of Carter for 3 1/2 years.  I met him when he was 6 or 7 months old.  He is a very sweet dog–  it’s the way he interacts with dogs and people.  When he meets dogs and people he puts them at ease.  Even though I can tell he’s excited, he gets low to the ground or finds a way to be non-threatening, and patiently lets the other dog sniff for as long as it takes for the other dog to be comfortable.

He seems to be able to judge if a person is interested or unsure or afraid.  He matches people’s behavior.  If someone is interested, he approaches them right away, but if someone is sure or afraid, he gives them their space and lets them be.  He’s always up for a good time.  He adapts to any situation.

I brought him home with me for Christmas, which involved a car ride with my siblings who he’d never met and then meeting my human, canine and feline family in a new place in the suburbs.  He had a blast and chimed my family completely.

The one split second where he lost his cool, and gave in to his dog instinct, he tried to play with the cat.  The cat was having none of it and fled.  Carter went back to socializing with the rest of us (humans) and new dog friend, unphased.

I started walking Rocky at the same time as Carter and we just clicked right away.  He had a lot of energy and was very outgoing.  He seemed as excited as I was to go out on the streets of NY and see the sights.  He was my co-pilot.  I took him on multiple guided walking tours of Central Park through the Conservancy.  I would keep him out for entire afternoons even if he was only scheduled for a short walk.  I even once asked his owner to bring him to a dog luau that I was bringing Carter to, so that I could hang out with my dog friends on the weekend.

Last Spring Rocky started knuckling under with his hind right paw.  That leg continued to get weaker.  Eventually, he was diagnosed with a degenerative spinal chord disease.  He got around on wheels for a few months, which meant he could still find grass to graze on and patrol for squirrels.

The disease was progressive and incurable and ultimately took his life.

It was an honor to help his family take him to the end of his journey.”

Kirsten, the animal lover and pet care giver (part 1)

FullSizeRender-9

“I started grad school and dropped out within a couple of weeks.

I needed a job.

My roommate was a dog walker for a company and got me a job as an assistant.  I worked for them for 2 years before I went out on my own.

What was funny for me, was that when I was a kid, pet care was my first job.

I grew up in the suburbs and when my peers started babysitting, I would feed my neighbors cats, take in the mail and general house sitting stuff.

As an adult, whatever jobs I had often involved pet sitting (on the side) for co-workers.

I didn’t put it all together, or see where I was headed until I started dog walking.

I think I could do this for a while, but I don’t really know.

All of the dogs that I’ve taken care of give me a way to be a better person.

Everything with a dog is immediate, so in the moment.  For example, with Gremmy, the Italian Greyhound, she’s so delicate, fragile and tiny, so when I am with her, I have to watch people and dogs in a different way.  I have to literally protect her from the cold (which for her, is September through June), feet (people stepping on her), and people trying to pick her up.  Those are the main things in protecting her.  Taking care of her reminds me to be patient and also assertive.  I have to tell people no, don’t pick her up.  I also have to be careful of her space, so I don’t accidentally step of her or make her nervous.”

Riley, the great rescue

FullSizeRender-7

“I was living by myself when I was 15 and my parents didn’t want me to be alone.

I was having trouble in the city so I moved up to the weekend house and went to school up there.

I wanted to rescue a Pit Bull from the city and bring it upstate to live with me.

Me, my mom and my dad went to the ASPCA to look for a pit.  We each picked a different dog.

My family had a Maltese named Buddy and so we had to test which of the three potential dogs got along with Buddy.

My mom’s choice was the first to go.  He was an 80 lb., deaf, white pit named Freedom.  Freedom tried to play with Buddy but Buddy growled at him.  Freedom didn’t stop trying to play  because he was deaf and didn’t hear Buddy’s warning, so the ASPCA trainers said that was a failure.

Next was my dad’s choice.  He growled at Buddy.  That was a failure, too.

Fawn, whose name I changed to Riley, was a success.  Riley was on the leash and went running up to Buddy as fast as he could to play with him.  Buddy latched onto Riley’s nose. After Buddy released Riley’s nose, Riley tried to run as far away from Buddy as possible, hiding behind one of the ASPCA trainers.  The trainers then announced that Riley was a success because he let Buddy be the alpha.

When Riley got upstate he blended in well.  He spent most of his time swimming in the pool.

I lived with him by myself for 3 or 4 years so he is my best friend.

Now that I work in the city, he stays with friends a lot and I don’t get to see him that often.

I thought about giving him up, because I only saw him 2 days a week.  I felt like I was being unfair to Riley.  A friend was taking care of him, but he wasn’t getting a lot of exercise.  He put on 20 lbs.

I called a couple of friends to see if they wanted a dog because Riley needed a home where someone would take better care of him.

I was afraid he was going to die.

My parents convinced me not to give him up.

I go upstate more often and  have someone helping me take great care of him.”