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2010-12-29 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

Editor’s Note: We are pleased to learn that the “Pets, Pets, Pets” column has received three nominations in this year’s Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) Writing Competition including the weekly “Pets” column nominated in the Newspaper Column category; the August 19 story “Nannie Millie” in the Newspaper Features category and the September 17 op-ed piece “The AKC Library is Put to Sleep” in the Editorial, Opinion, Essay category in any written medium. Winners will be announced in NYC at the annual DWAA Banquet on February 13, 2011 (the eve of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show). For a full list of contest nominees, see www.dwaa.org. Past “Pets” columns are available at www.babylonbeacon.com, by clicking “Archive”, the date, and then “Columnists.”


Decorated tree in The Westminster woods by Southards Pond. Decorated tree in The Westminster woods by Southards Pond. Now back to our regularly scheduled pet column. As 2010 comes to a close, it is time to mention a few “Pets” odds and ends. First some holiday magic:

Never underestimate the power of a Christmas dress—Last week’s “Pets” featured a collage of Babylon Shelter dogs and cats seeking a “Home for the Holidays.” In the middle was a picture of “Charlotte” the cat posing in a velvet and satin green plaid dress, which happens to belong to my “Charlotte,” the dog. This sweet cat had missed her calling as a supermodel.

We also put her feline glamour shots on the shelter’s Petfinder and Facebook pages where she just happened to be noticed by Lucy Effman one of the Last Hope Cat Center coordinators. Lucy was quite taken by Charlotte’s modeling portfolio and became her unofficial agent. Just like the scene in Miracle on 34th Street where Santa sends the Macys’ shopper to Gimbels, Lucy sent a Last Hope cat customer to Babylon Shelter. This lady fell in love with Charlotte “in purrson” and the dear calico was adopted before Christmas. Thank you, Lucy.


Demi, female Shepherd, now at Last Hope Dog Center. Demi, female Shepherd, now at Last Hope Dog Center. The Enchanted Westminster Woods in Babylon—There is an adorable discovery by Southards Pond. Someone (not me, I swear) decorated a small pine tree with ornaments. The tree is on the foot path just north of the pond. Chances are the tree-trimming elf did not know that this tree stands on land that was once Westminster Kennel Club property and only a stone’s throw from where I believe Sensation, the Pointer that symbols the famous dog show, was buried in 1887. If I am correct about the Westminster clubhouse site, then the Christmas tree is located across from where the shooting house once stood. On the south side of the pond, but more hidden, is a second enchanted tree, a smaller pine with tiny glass balls. It’s on the new path that connects the horse trail and the foot path. Just over a century ago, the Westminster Kennel Club hosted huge celebrations at Christmas and New Year’s in these woods. The dining room in the clubhouse could seat 50 people and a 19th century sportsman journal says: “The wine cellar was well stocked, and the food, very satisfactory.”


Ashton, male Shepherd, still at Babylon Shelter. Ashton, male Shepherd, still at Babylon Shelter. •Speaking of Facebook—I neglected to mention that there has been a “Friends of Babylon Animal Shelter” Facebook page for several months now. Please become our FB friend and spread the word to all your Facebook friends. Social networking is the key to finding great adoptive homes.

•Change in NYS Dog Licensing—As one of many Albany cost cutting measures, starting January 1, the State is turning dog licensing over to municipalities. The Towns are still figuring out new procedures, but this paperwork fiasco could turn into a “blessing in disguise” if the Towns aggressively pursue licensing of all owned dogs, not just the those adopted from their shelters; and if the Towns apply any local fees to a special spay/neuter fund- not the General Fund. This fund can help economically strapped residents spay/neuter their pets. These licensing monies can support low cost veterinary programs that curtail the sorrows of the Pit Bull overpopulation. Ultimately the shelters will benefit financially and ethically. More about this idea soon.

•South Shore Tropicals is Moving— In January, the gang at South Shore Tropicals (631-225-6794) will be moving their pet supply and aquarium store from the closed King Kullen shopping center to 127 W. Hoffman at the corner of S. 5th, next to Exotic Warehouse Wine and Liquor. The store carries specialty pet foods like Canidae, Merrick, Wellness; and owners John and James are always willing to advertise Babylon Shelter and Last Hope pets and events.

•For Adoption: The canine celebrity couple- “Demi” and “Ashton”- has separated. In November, “Demi” a small mature Shepherd was picked up in Deer Park as a stray along with “Ashton” a younger Shepherd man. No one claimed the duo. Kenneled together at Babylon Shelter they were so vocally protective of each other that they didn’t show well. The Shepherds are more relaxed outdoors. “Demi” was wearing an untraceable rescue tag while “Ashton” had no ID. “Demi” is now at the Last Hope Dog Center in Lindenhurst www.lasthopeanimalrescue.org while “Ashton” # 93692 is still waiting to be noticed at Babylon Shelter (631-643-9270).

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