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2008-11-26 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

by Joanne Anderson

For Thanksgiving, first here's a glimpse at animal shelters from a different point of view. The following piece, author unknown, was circulated by a Yahoo rescue group:


I saved a human today. Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her. I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn't be afraid.

As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn't want her to know that I hadn't been walked today. Sometimes the shelter keepers get too busy and I didn't want her to think poorly of them.

As she read my kennel card I hoped she wouldn't feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone's life. She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship.

A tear fell down her cheek so I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well. Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms. I would promise to keep her safe. I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes. I was fortunate that she came down my corridor.

So many more are out there who haven't walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could help one. I saved a human today.

• During this season of thankful reflection, I'd like to express my deep gratitude for several new pet blessings, especially the teamwork between Babylon Town Shelter and Aldrich Animal Hospital. Babylon Shelter's terrific mandatory prior to adoption spay/ neuter program implemented with compassion and vision by shelter director, Chris Elton, is running smoothly because of the cooperation of the kind folks at Aldrich. In addition the Nov. 15 "free adoption" day at both the hospital and shelter resulted in 7 shelter cats and 5 dogs, including several seniors with special needs, finding homes.

Also I'd like to thank Pet Peeves, "the voice of LI pets", for the generous grant the volunteer philanthropic group recently gave to Last Hope Animal Rescue & Rehabilitation, Inc. to install new cages in the Jericho Tpke. Huntington Cat Center and to provide feline veterinary services. Last year 413 cats were adopted via Last Hope and many more are still in the group's care. Pet Peeves based in Woodbury ( donates funds to aid needy animals, humane education and pet therapy programs of various LI rescue organizations.

•Finally remember to watch "The National Dog Show presented by Purina" TV broadcast on NBC at noon, immediately following the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. It's time again to remind dog lovers of a relatively new holiday tradition. As a turkey feast prelude, "The National Dog Show" attracts an audience of about 20 million "hungry" viewers each year.

Debuting in this time slot in 2002, this year the 2 hour

program will highlight some of the over 160 AKC recognized breeds, including the most recent- the Dogue de Bordeaux (think "Turner and Hooch")- and the 1500 dogs entered last weekend in the Kennel Club of Philadelphia series of shows. John O'Hurley (think Mr. Peterman from "Seinfeld" and "Dancing With the Stars") hosts while David Frei, also the voice of Westminster Kennel Club (WKC) Dog Show and the Nov.

22 Philly judge of Afghan Hounds, will provide expert canine commentary.

With an interesting segue into "The National Dog Show", David Frei and Uno, the WKC Best In Show champion last year, first Beagle ever to take top honors at the Garden, will ride in the Peanuts float right under the Snoopy balloon during the Macy's parade. Tune in for both broadcasts- that is, if you can tear yourself from the toil and/or turkey in the kitchen.

** For Adoption: The two poster dogs at Babylon Town Shelter (643-9270) Lamar St. W. Babylon would love to share the holidays, actually everyday, with a loving family. They resemble mixes of 2 of the featured AKC breeds. "Prudence" in Cage 44 is a super loving Black & Tan Coonhound mix pup, under a year old, and "Charity" in Cage 36 looks like a young, leggy version of the 2003 recognized breeds- a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Come take meet them and judge for yourself. Male: "Busta"-2 yr. handsome purebred Pekingese; "Ace"- friendly Min Pin. Female: "Sasha"-petite Rottie mix with blue eyes Cage 28; "Dorita"-Shepherd mix found at Oak Beach Cage 40; "Lily"- declawed young tabby & white, friendly.

•Islip Residents can call (631) 224-5660 or email to reserve a spot (and learn the location) for the next free "Responsible Dog Ownership" class Dec. 3 from 6 to 8 pm. Local trainers and vet will be on hand. Get a doggy bag loaded with treats and training literature. Session is for people ONLY, and parents are encouraged to bring kids 10 or older.

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