Click here to download a free MP3 of the song "The Friendly Village by the Bay" by Bruce Jenney.
2012-06-13 / Columnists

Pets Pets Pets

It’s a year since Last Hope Animal Rescue opened a lovely Adoption Center in Wantagh, so it’s time to celebrate in style. This Sat., June 16 at 3 p.m., Last Hope will be holding a Swimsuit Competition. The bathing beauties are not from Sports Illustrated or Miss Universe. They will be our dogs adopted from Wantagh, coming back to visit, decked out in their best beach attire.

‘Tis safer that Last Hope alumni cats skip the fashion show and stay home. The cats need only send their “peeps” to the first anniversary festivities. The celebration will take place at the Last Hope Adoption Center, 3300 Beltagh Avenue, next door to Hempstead Town Shelter and across the street from Wantagh High School. There will also be a DJ and a clown.

I will be the “Bert Barks” of the canine swimsuit competition as I introduce the contestants. (Must be dating myself, spoofing the long-time Miss America announcer.) Our judges, Lisa and Whitney, are two young fashionista Last Hope volunteers. The winner will receive a gift card. I haven’t decided if it will be to Prada or Petco.

Don’t tell Edgar Afghan Poe he isn’t invited to the Last Hope Swimsuit Contest. Don’t tell Edgar Afghan Poe he isn’t invited to the Last Hope Swimsuit Contest. The party is for the families of the Last Hope Wantagh cat/dog adoptees plus volunteers, but everyone is welcome to watch the dog training demo at 2 p.m.; bathing suit contest at 3 p.m. and tentatively scheduled Search & Rescue dog team at 4 p.m. Pooch participation in the bathing suit contest is by invitation only. Owners of 180 Last Hope dogs adopted since the Wantagh facility opened last June received phone calls. It will be interesting to see how many attend.

Can’t say how many bikini-clad or swimming-trunk dogs will strut around the wading pool. We won’t turn away any Last Hope dogs, but other pups won’t be able to enter. Don’t be insulted, even my Halle and Edgar Afghan Poe who posed for contest promo photos aren’t invited since they are Afghan Hound Rescue rather than Last Hope alumni.

A dog bathing suit contest brings back fond memories. In 1994, I entered my two black Afghans in the “All American Dog Contest” at South Shore Mall. Alan was a hula dancer while Trevor was his Don Ho. Alan, a shelter rescue, made the cut when he stood up on his hind legs on stage to hula. His brother was eliminated. The hosts forgot to tell us that there would be a bathing suit competition too.

Trevor, who was from a top show kennel, owned a vast wardrobe; Alan wasn’t as fashion conscious. I rushed Trevor home and smuggled out his gold lamé bathing suit, thinking he’d never know that Alan borrowed it. I hadn’t figured that Trevor would see Alan wearing his “Esther Williams” ensemble on Channel 12 that evening. During the finals, Alan placed second to a Cocker Spaniel that waved to the crowd.

Update on “Pets” 5/31/12- Waiting for good news about two wonderful but discarded hunting dogs. The news about both dogs is bittersweet: * “Sweet Pea”- Last Hope and most reputable rescues do not breed dogs, and instead promote spay/neuter programs. However, Sweet Pea, a Kentucky Beagle, came to Last Hope on Mother’s Day after an urgent plea to save a pregnant dog about to drop. She and her pups stood no chance of survival at the crowded KY shelter where Beagles are a dime a dozen. Once here, she had prenatal x-rays which revealed six to eight puppies, two more weeks’ gestation and some old buckshot, suggesting she had been shot.

During the wee hours of June 3rd Sweet Pea whelped seven pups but only four lived. After struggling to deliver such big babies, she needed a C-section at an emergency clinic. It was a very long night for all, especially Sweet Pea. The firstborn puppy didn’t survive, nor did a brother and sister who died during the procedure.

Sweet Pea is a wonderful, stoic mama to her quartet of Baby Peas, all female, all resembling tri-colored Beagle pups. At her foster Mom’s home, she is so patient while three curious dogs watch at the edge of her whelping box. Meanwhile she enjoys small portions of vanilla ice cream to stimulate her milk supply. Although the frozen Friendly’s may not be as scientifically based as Tums to supplement calcium, the ice cream sure does taste better. Just ask Sweet Pea. * “Trump”- “Pets” two weeks ago ended while we were still waiting for Trump’s biopsy report which ultimately contained a mixed message. Originally from Babylon Shelter, “Trump” is a handsome German Shorthaired Pointer, about eight years old, with personality plus despite his tale of woe. Trump absolutely loves people and is in his glory when someone is either throwing him a tennis ball or treating him to a belly rub. He knows sit and shake, and of course, how to point at birds.

Picked up as a stray, Trump was immediately taken by the shelter to the hospital because of a huge, ulcerated testicular mass. He also had a lick granuloma and calloused elbows hinting at lots of time lying on concrete. The shelter had blood work, including a heartworm test done- all fine. He also had hip and knee x-rays because his hind end seemed wobblyalso fine.

Trump had a scrotal ablation to remove the mass. His biopsy came back as a squamous cell carcinoma, completely excised with clear margins and a 75% cure rate. He moved to Last Hope a week later. Presently Trump is on Rimadyl because there is some research that NSAIDS have been shown to reduce the rate of cancer cell growth. Both his calluses and lick granuloma are healing.

Tomorrow I take him for x-rays and a recheck to see if there are signs that his malignancy has spread. We worry because he had been so neglected.

Trump seeks a home with someone who loves and appreciates Pointers. He can’t promise that he is completely cured, but he can promise that he will love that person for all of his days, and that the person will be captivated by his endearing ways. For more information about “Sweet Pea” or “Trump,” please contact me via the Beacon or at

Return to top

Suffolk County Shelter Locator and Storm Surge Zone Mapping Tool
The Shelter Locator and Storm Surge Zone Mapping Tool