family dogs

Charlie, the rescue doodle from Hong Kong (part 4)

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” I wasn’t a natural dog person.

I was a bit nervous about the lifestyle change and I was slow to get on board with having a dog.

The first week he was home, it felt like I was back to having a baby again.

I was exhausted and overwhelmed.

He had diarrhea, while running throughout the apartment.

The whole family was on edge.

Relievedly, Charlie was a quick learner.

I’ve come to understand how important he is to the girls and to the family.

Without him in New York, our family didn’t feel complete.

He just arrived, and we couldn’t be more happy.

I like that the girls have someone to cuddle, teaches them responsibility and he keeps them from growing up too quickly.”

Jean Luc, the companion French Bulldog (part 1)

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“Someone I worked with had a French Bulldog that came to the office every day.

That dog and I were good friends, and I realized when I was ready to get a dog, I was going to get a French Bulldog.

My mother got diagnosed with lung cancer and she loved dogs.

Very soon after the diagnosis I was coming back to the city via the Long Island Railroad and there was a guy on the platform with a 14 month old Frenchie.

On the train ride back to NYC I talked to this guy and his dog sat with me.  I asked him where he got his dog and  decided I should call his breeder to see if there were any puppies.

When I found out that there were puppies available I decided it would make my mother really happy, if, when I came to visit I had a puppy or a dog.

I said, ok, I want a dog.”

Seymour, the well behaved Miniature Schnauzer (part 2)

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“We put a lot of time into training him and we can bring him anywhere.  We take him  shopping at Bloomingdales and we take him on the train to Long Island, and no-one  ever complains.

He’s a most friendly and affectionate dog and he is playful with other dogs when he comes to the dog run.

I think he really behaves appropriately.  He adjusts his behavior around children.  We have two nephews, with the eight year old, he plays more rambunctiously; but with the two year old, it’s almost like he monitors him.  He watches him toddle along and makes sure he doesn’t fall–it’s almost like he babysits him.

He’s done wonders for our lives.

We have learned more about ourselves by putting Seymour first.

It’s opened up a whole conversation about having kids.  Having Seymour has taught us to explore another, more nurturing side our personalities.”

Ajax, the tripod

“My husband and I worked long hours. We didn’t think we had the time for a dog until we saw all the people coming and going in our apartment building with dogs.  We learned about dog walkers, doggie day care and the NYC dog world.

We knew we wanted a labrador retriever. We didn’t know about lab rescue, but we knew we didn’t want to go to a breeder.

My husband had been going to a restaurant on the upper west side, called Fred’s.  It was named after a lab that was released from the Guiding Eyes of Yorktown Heights.

We began asking people whose labs we liked where they got their dogs.  Several of them mentioned that they had adopted from Guiding Eyes– including our favorite pair from the neighborhood, Hoop and Hula.  Their names were cheerful and the dogs were smart and had big personalities.

We investigated and put our names on a waiting list for a released puppy.

When we were called after six months we had to say no to their first offer. We were both out of town on business and only had four days to accept.

About four months later, they emailed a photo of a brindle lab in a basket with a sunflower and his little paws hanging over the side.  I had a brindle mutt growing up, so as soon as I saw his coloring I knew he was mine.

The first moment that was other than pure joy was when we found out he had cancer.

My mother and my husband’s father both died from cancer, so fear was our immediate emotion.

The cancer was localized in his right hind leg near his knee. It was a tumor in the carriage. we had many choices, including radiation, but a specialist told us that amputation was the gold standard and would be curative.

After surgery he walked out of the animal hospital and hopped himself into a yellow cab.

They took his stitches out after two weeks. We went to a friends house   thinking he could relax in their years and recover.  The moment we turned our heads, he ran through a sprinkler and jumped in the swimming pool.

That was five and a half years ago.  He’s now on wheels, but still getting around.”