Felicia, the dog lover (Part 1)


“I love dogs and wanted to make some extra cash.

It’s more love than cash.

I was a graphic designer and was taking a seminar to find out how I could make extra money.

I said, I love dogs and that was the beginning.

I started by dog sitting.

My first sitting job came through a super and it was for a month.  The dog owner offered me $6.00 per day.  I said, how about $10.00 but she said, no.

It was a Doberman named Precious. She had floppy ears and a long tail.  She wore a prong collar and I put it on backwards.

My second job was the neighbors in Prescious’s building.

I got involved with the dog world and my next dog sit was $20.00 per day.

From there, the dog world opened up to me.

The dogs took me to Central Park, and I met a woman who helped to rescue and foster dogs.

I was fostering dogs and decided to help with 2 dogs that were abandoned. They were a brother and sister. They were being boarded at the vet  because they didn’t have a place to go.

I went to look at them and it was love at first sight, but I couldn’t see being tied down.

The woman that rescued them found out that Sandy, the sister was unhappy in her foster home, so I took both Charlie and Sandy out of care and concern.  I wasn’t working at the time so my schedule was more flexible.

They were only 11 months old. Sandy was in heat and Charlie wasn’t neutered.

I looked for a home for them everywhere, even Westchester.

I finally found a home for them but when I thought they were going to leave I started to cry.

The rest was history.

That was in 1990.

Sandy died in 2004 and Charlie died in 2005.”



Bella, the mellow dog


“My last dog passed away when my kids were just babies and I couldn’t take on another shred of responsibility.

My youngest child started lobbying for a dog at the age of seven but I knew I had to wait until she was ten, when they were set sufficient enough.

I was all set to go to a yellow lab breeder but my daughters said that was irresponsible and we should get a rescue.

That began our search on Petfinder.

It took about six months to find the right dog.

It was as simple as the description that she was mellow, liked children and got along with cats.

We got a cat as a stopgap along the way.

The cat still rules, but he lets Bella sleep on the couch with him.

Bella had a terrible trip up from the Ozark Mountains. She was in a tiny little crate.

When she arrived, she curled up and went right to sleep for days.

She had a tumultuous beginning.

She was originally a Christmas present from a boyfriend to his girlfriend in a trailer park. She was tethered to a tree outside the trailer and neglected until a rescue group saved her.

She wasn’t afraid of people, but was and is still afraid of loud noises.

She’s a city dog, now. and is slowly coming around.

She would rather be sleeping on a bed or curled up on somebody’s feet.

She likes to accompany me to pick up the kids and have people pet and play with her.

When we take her to the country she is in her element. She loves to go swimming and boating.

We started by having strict rules–no jumping on the beds. That only lasted for a few days.

One day I dropped the kids at school without her and when I got back twenty minutes later, she chewed up ballet pointe shoes, took apart a sewing kit–needles were strewn everywhere, jumped up on to the kitchen table and got into the cereal bowls.

She has separation anxiety, so now we keep her in a crate when we’re gone.

She likes the crate. It’s her safe house.”


Rooney, the best mistake my husband ever made


“I’ve always wanted a dog but my husband said it was a lot of responsibility.

One night he came home a little tipsy and he had been talking to a friend who had just gotten a dog.

He suggested we get one, too.

I said, “I know you had a few drinks but I am going to hold you to this in the morning.”  He said, “fine.”

I reminded him in the morning, and he shook it off.

I held him to his word, and he said, it was the best mistake he ever made.”