dog owners

Ike, the rescue Boxer, Chow, Collie, Labrador, Hound mix (part 3, she said)


“Caring for Ike gets me out of the house and meeting new people.

I can be a bit of an introvert, and Ike has gotten me out of my shell, so to speak.

He’s also a great companion.

We go on hikes in Montauk on a weekly basis.

We both get a little depressed on Monday, when it’s time to come back to the city.”

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.”


Rick, the rescuer and his dog Carlo


“I had a shepherd mix named Obie (from the photo album). I adopted him in 1997 when he was about ten and a half months old.

He was the love of my life.

He was diagnosed with lymphoma in March of 2012. I tried to extend his life with chemotherapy but it didn’t work and he died in May.

I was pretty down, but I decided to get into rescue and save dogs that would be otherwise killed.

I started saving dogs in July of 2012 and have saved 400 dogs to date.

I rescue dogs that are in San Bernardino, California.  I will see the dogs on the euthanasia list and there is a team out there that does all the rest.  I pay all the bills.

I went out there to see the dogs that I had rescued.

While I was out there visiting, I met Carlo, a seven and a half month old puppy on the euthanasia list, who looked just like Obie.  I also met and fell in love with a nine year old dog, Rusty.

I saw Carlo’s photo on the urgent kill shelter list. He was supposed to be destroyed in 24 hours. I was struck by how much he looked like Obie.  His tail was the only thing that was burry in the photo. I like to think it’s because he was wagging it.

Rusty was nine and no-one wanted him.  He was a senior, sick and a fear nipper.  I knew that he would require love and patience.

I adopted them both and we all flew back to NYC together.

Carlo trusted me right away but Rusty took a while longer.  One day after a year and a half he just walked over to me, jumped on the sofa, put his head on my lap and went to sleep.  From then on he never tried to nip me again. He followed me from room to room.  It was all about the love.

These are dogs that would almost certainly be killed because of the overpopulation of dogs. There are many purebreds, as well as mixes that have so little chance. The shelters are underfunded and overcrowded.

The kill shelters have an extremely high kill rate.  There is a tremendous spay and neuter problem in California, and San Bernardino, in particular.”

My motivation to save all these dogs was because of trying to save Obie, but not being able to.”


Mary and Lulu


From the time she was a puppy, she was a Lulu.

She started by jumping on the dining table and peeing on it. I couldn’t figure out how she even got up there, but she did.

She has no shame, whatsoever. She looked me right in the eyes, proudly, as though she were saying, “yes, that was me. Isn’t it great, I just left you a gift!”

I was too stunned to even correct her.

It’s always something.

Last night when I went to sleep, she was in her bed, next to mine. She knows she’s not allowed on my bed.

I woke up in the middle of the night and she was curled up on the corner of my bed. I pretended not to notice and let her stay.

In the morning, just before sunrise, she heard me shifting around, thinking I might be waking up, so she quietly scurried off my bed and curled up in her own, thinking I was none the wiser.

That’s my Lulu.