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2009-10-28 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

by Joanne Anderson

Manley was a prelude to “Meet the Breeds”: Imagine being a little blind Boston Terrier, alone, wandering the streets on a rainy night. Imagine being scooped up by caring youths. Imagine then being delivered to the best of hands because of various breed rescues working together.

In this convoluted tale of compassion, Manley couldn’t see but luckily a series of strangers saw him. This month I took a stray Afghan Hound puppy from Hempstead Shelter. The pup stayed at a LI kennel until she went to her Connecticut foster home. Even though the kennel owners Tracey and Don of Capulet Springers specialize in (and rescue) English Springer Spaniels, they are great friends to Afghan Rescue. Last year our crew from the New Mexico hoarder’s 67 traumatized Afghans spent a week at this hospitable facility. What does this have to do with a blind Boston Terrier? Read on.

Tracey while in the midst of painting the English cottage scenery for the Springer booth at the upcoming AKC “Meet the Breeds, showed me the sightless dog that her young staff, Kalia and Alex, had just found in Wyandanch during an evening storm. Despite his horrendous, protruding eyes, this sweetie was content and loved belly rubs. His ears had that “bat” look of a French Bulldog so at first we were uncertain of his breed- Boston Terrier, more likely, yet we couldn’t rule out Frenchie.

In photo, Manley after his surgery. In photo, Manley after his surgery. Now do I practice what I preach? Yes, all found dogs belong in town shelters so their owners have the best chance of reclaiming them. I constantly bark that, but this blind Boston/ Frenchie was secure in his new environment and Babylon Shelter had a full house. Plus it was easy for me to keep tabs on whether an owner had inquired at the shelter about such a specific pooch. I borrowed Babylon’s scanner to make sure he wasn’t microchipped. In the interim someone redeemed another Boston but no one came to the shelter for this pathetic pooch.

“Fran, is this guy a Frenchie or a Boston, and does FBRN help seniors”, around midnight I sent this email and a few digital shots to my fellow Metropolitan Dog Club member Fran, quite active in the French Bulldog Rescue Network (FBRN) who in turn sent my request to her contacts for both breeds.

I didn’t expect an immediate response. Early next morning Jane in Kingston, a nurse and volunteer for the North East Boston Terrier Rescue (NEBTR), called to say that he looked like a Boston but it didn’t matter. She rarely fostered because her home is a one way door; yet his photos were so touching; she’d gladly take this guy. He had to get along with other dogs which we easily verified with one of the Springers. I offered to deliver him to “Meet the Breeds” in NYC but Jane came up with a better plan.

Although vision problems are common in all bulgy eye breeds, Manley’s plight spread through the Yahoo rescue posts. He quickly had an unofficial fan club rooting for him. Most thought he was a Boston, but some said he could be a Frenchie. I got offers of help from Tara in NJ who rescues both, and from Tina in Orange County of Boxer Angels and Pug-Peke-Tzu Rescue who already had 3 blind dogs of her own. She explained how they led each other around like an elephant parade. Actually Tina had helped to place another Babylon Shelter Boston Terrier with a quadriplegic mouth painter in NJ last year. The dog world is so interconnected.

Jane arranged for a Syosset rescuer to pick up the blind boy at the kennel. She drove him to Cheryl the NEBTR president in Manhattan who remarked that he was a wellbred Boston. Go figure. How did he become so neglected? Cheryl brought him to Jane in Kingston.

The next night, Manley went to the vet who confirmed Jane’s hunch of advanced glaucoma. The doctor determined he was between 6 to 10 years old, and that the pressure in the right eye was too painful. A week later, Manley had that eye removed and sutured shut. He was neutered while he was under. A specialist will decide if there is any vision that can be salvaged in the remaining eye. North East Boston Terrier Rescue (www. nebostonrescue.org) is providing for “the little man” just as the group does for all their needy Bostonians. Check out their site to view their “reasons for rescue”.

Despite his lack of sight, Manley fit right in at Jane’s house, settling as soon as he realized his bed was next to hers. He blends with her Bostons- Buster and Marilyn, and already knew to spin around and sit for a treat when he comes in. He’s comfy and on some level senses he will never be put in harm’s way again.

Earlier this month 36,000 pet lovers visited the 200 “Meet the Breeds” dog/cat booths in the Javits Center. Rescue stories were repeated everywhere. In a “Meet the Breeds” microcosm, Boston and Frenchie folks, as well as other breed reps there, knew all about the blind “little man”. Manley doesn’t need to know about his kind strangers or unofficial fan club. He merely needs to understand he is now loved and safe.

For Adoption at Babylon Town Shelter (643-9270) Lamar St. W. Babylon: This fellow #92858 looks like an interesting mix of Jack Russell Terrier and Italian Greyhound. “Red” #20040 is a sweet, sociable kitten in the lobby. More Cats: Siamese mix kitten; “Winston”-great black cat; “Ninja Baby”- 9 month tabby.

Female Dogs: “Roxy”- brindle Cage 25; “Hallie”- shelter’s longest resident.

Male Dogs: “Bernie”- Shep. mix Cage 8; brown Pom in the Puppy Room.

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