2012-07-03 / Columnists
Pets Pets Pets
Summer is road trip time so this week’s “Pets” will suggest some U. S. sight-seeing destinations destined to delight dog lovers. First, a word of advice from my teacher days. Our faculty was always aware that once Fourth of July arrived, the summer would fly by, so start planning your itinerary now. Dog Destinations:
•For Collie and Lad fans: The famous homestead is gone but author Albert Payson Terhune’s (Lad’s owner) property is maintained as a memorial park by Wayne Township in New Jersey. Tour the gardens and the Van Riper-Hopper Historic House Museum which has collection of Terhune books (famous works include: Lad: A Dog and Bruce) and awards. The park has the graves of many Terhune Collies. Listed on the national literary landmark registry; the Sunnybank site is located between Pompton Lake and U.S. Route 202 in northern Jersey.
•For Beagle maniacs - Dog Bark Park Inn, Boise, Idaho: At 12-feet high, Toby and his pal Sweet Willy are the world’s tallest Beagles. These wooden wonders are actually a bed and breakfast. Sweet Willy is a hotel room equipped with a deck. The owners of this quirky roadside attraction also carve and sell other breed statues on a much smaller scale. They got their big break when their artwork was sold on QVC in 1995. See dogbarkparkinn.com.
•For all things Snoopy: The Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, CA is dedicated to the work of the creator of the Peanuts comic strip. There is even a life-size fabric-wrapped Snoopy doghouse created by the artist Christo because his Running Fence art display over Sonoma Valley received praise from Snoopy in Peanuts. (Remember the Gates in Central Park by artists Christo and Jeanne Claude?) See schulzmuseum.org.
•For the artsy set: The AKC Museum of the Dog, located in an 1853 Greek Revival mansion at 1721 S. Mason Road in St. Louis (museumofthedog.org) is considered the world’s largest collection of art devoted to dogs, but much closer to home is the elegant William Secord Gallery on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The Secord Gallery specializes in fine 19th century dog and animal paintings and is the only gallery of its kind in North America. Secord, a prolific author, is considered the world’s foremost authority on dog art and has collected more than 2,500 works dating to 1805. See dogpainting.com.
•For those who never lose hope: Go see the Bobbie the Wonder Dog Mural in Silverton, Oregon. In 1923, Bobbie was separated from his family on a road trip in Indiana and got lost. Six months later he returned to his fami ly home in Silverton Oregon, showing signs that he walked all the way back alone. A mural on Water Street is dedicated to B obbie, the Wonder Dog. The town has an annual Pet Parade in May honoring children and their pets and in me mor y of B obbi e. There is also an annual Bobbie Day, Feb. 15, which commemorates the day Bobbie returned home. See silvertonian.com.
•For the Cairn crowd: The Wizard of Oz Museum (ozmuseum.com) in Wamego, Kansas houses more than 2,000 artifacts from the L. Frank Baum book and Judy Garland movie plus plenty of Toto memorabilia, but Toto isn’t buried there. When she (yes, Toto was really Terry a female) died in 1944, the terrific Terrier was buried on her trainer Carl Spitz’s ranch in Studio City, California, but these grounds became part of the expansion of the Ventura Highway in 1958.
•For LI homebuddies: Take the historic dog final resting place tour. Start at the Bideawee pet cemetery in Wantagh and visit Checkers’ grave. The Cocker Spaniel was the impetus for Nixon's famous speach. Speaking of possible improper gifts from political supporters, Nixon mentioned the puppy. “ The kids love that dog and regardless of what they say about it, we’re going to keep it.” Then go to state park headquarters at Belmont Lake to see the “My Faithful Dog Robin” tombstone near the cannons which I maintain belongs to August Belmont Jr.’s dog who was entered in the first Westminster Kennel Club show in 1877 as both a Gordon and an English Setter. (See “Pets” 2/4/10.) Finally, walk two miles south on the horse trail until you get to Southards Pond. You will need to use your imagination because the Westminster buildings burned down in 1918. Back track north about 350 feet on the horse or walking trail and you will be at clearing in the woods which I firmly believe was the Westminster Kennel Club clubhouse complex from 1880-1904. In the middle of that clearing was the flagpole that marked the 1887 grave of Sensation, the majestic Pointer that still symbolizes Westminster Kennel Club. Stand there, close your eyes, take a deep breath and you should be able to picture Sensation pointing at a bird in OUR Babylon woods.
For Adoption at Babylon Shelter (631-643- 9270) Lamar St.in W. Babylon: “Tango” #2-101 an adorable longhaired kitten is dressed up as Uncle Sam to mark the Fourth but also to let everyone know that black cats and kittens at the shelter are extraspecial and can be adopted (spayed/ neutered, vaccinated) at NO CHARGE, and this promotion includes black & white kitties like Tango too. Meanwhile “Schulzie” #12-386 is a sweet Spaniel mix found in Deer Park.
Cats: “Midnight” #2-108- semilonghaired black; “Mr. Man” #2-101- black & white.
Dogs: “Sam” Beagle found at Tanner Park; “Blondie” effervescent Pit/Lab; “Shorty” Pit/Shepherd who has grown up at the shelter; “Merry” and “Pinky” Shih tzus.