2013-02-06 / Columnists
Pets pets pets
Change of life. Not menopause. No hot flashes. More a casual meeting or fluke encounter that dramatically alters the fate of a homeless animal. Everything that happens to each one of us, pets too, is part of an ongoing cause and effect chain. Some dogs and cats in distress are fortunate enough to have a 14-karat gold link or two in this chain of events.
For instance, you may wonder what an overlooked, little black dog from West Virginia is doing living the good life in Queens. His causative link is in proximity to a pet cemetery. Last Hope leases the former Bideawee Home which sits next to their 18-acre pet cemetery.
“Korey,” a Southern “regional” breed known as a Patterdale or Fell Terrier, came to Last Hope in Wantagh as part of a transport just before Christmas. He is from a rescue in a rural WV county that has no shelter- only an animal control officer that must put strays to sleep right away unless the local rescue called Summers County Humane Society can find them foster placement.
Soon after Korey’s transport, a lovely Maspeth couple and their 90-year-old mom came to Wantagh because they had a burial plot. Their dog had recently died. Often, griefstricken owners stop into our Adoption Center “just to look” because this comforts them. The visitors fell in love with Korey, now “Spanky.” Each morning he races downstairs to be with Grandma. He runs over and kisses her, and she hugs him. Then he barks at her cuckoo clock.
“Bryce,” a well-mannered young Border Collie mix, came to Last Hope from the same WV rescue before the New Year. His “perfect” placement was all a matter of timing. A family visited six weeks in a row, and kept missing out on dogs that might be an appropriate companion for their son, an Iraq veteran who suffered severe brain injuries in a car accident after returning home. He is learning to walk again.
Since Bryce got glowing reports from WV, we reserved him for this family. Bryce, now “Kaiser,” spends his day with the young man who is cared for by his grandmother while his parents are working. The precocious pup is becoming fluent in a second language, Malayalam, a dialect of southern India.
“Trooper” is a lucky little guy. The fact that he has white fur may have saved his life. On Jan. 2, Babylon Shelter got a call about two Poodles running loose in Wyandanch. Often strays move on by the time the shelter is dispatched. ACO Kristin went out to search but the dogs had vanished. On her way back to the shelter, she spied a small, white heap curled up between two fences. On closer inspection, she realized the heap was one of the Poodles, apparently hit by a car. His eye was severely injured, so she rushed him to the emergency hospital where the eye had to be surgically removed (enucleated) and sewn shut. The shelter staff described Trooper as the “friendliest dog ever.” Several days later the other stray Poodle surfaced at the shelter. No owner came to reclaim them, and Trooper’s pal was adopted soon after.
Ten days after his operation, Trooper went to Last Hope so he would have 200 volunteers to dote on him. In the meantime, a wonderful Copiague family inquired about his shelter photo because he resembled their late dog, and was told of his move. They rushed to Last Hope to meet Trooper. On the day his adoption was finalized, Trooper’s new family showed up with a coat and a collar with his name tag. They are keeping his new name. From the get-go, Trooper fit right in with everyone, including their two Bichons, as if he had always been part of the family.
“Little Rockaway” couldn’t have picked a better time to cry out for help. During that frigid spell three weeks ago, Gary Rogers, of Nassau SPCA, and I went to meet a Far Rockaway woman displaced by the storm who claimed to be squatting in a foreclosed house with her three dogs. We hoped to verify that there was help available for her and her pets.
As soon as we got out of the car, we heard a cat screaming so loudly it sounded as if he had a megaphone. I glanced across the street to see an orange cat meowing against a foundation. When he started to come closer, we realized he was only a tiny kitten, a rarity in winter. In a typical approach/avoidance scenario, the kitten kept moving towards us under a car; yet, when Gary grabbed him, the cat scratched him out of fear. Second time he got him with a towel which became his blanket inside a cardboard box. Rockaway didn’t make a peep, and accompanied us to the NYC Restoration Center while we spoke to the Red Cross rep about housing for the woman. He remained quiet on the way to Last Hope where, coincidentally, he arrived just as the vet and medical team were finishing an intake clinic. Everyone made a fuss over the frozen cutie that began purring during his exam.
His teeth told the doctor that Rockaway was about five months old even though he is the size of a 12-week-old kitten. He is undernourished. Rockaway wasted no time. He wolfed down a meal as soon as he was tucked into a cage. Neutered last Monday, Little Rockaway had an adoption application by Saturday. Life will be good, all because he knew enough to scream, “Help me!” when he did.
The Babylon Town Shelter Adoptables (631-643- 9270) Lamar St. W. Babylon are double duos that can be adopted separately. “Lucy” & “Ricky” #13-51/52 are another set of Poodles. These apricot seniors are extremely loving even though they come from a bad situation. “Red” & “Buff” are five-month-old kitty brothers in the shelter lobby. Their gray siblings are in the adjacent cage.
Dogs: “Mae”- brindle sweetie; “Duke” –black Poodle from the same bad situation; “Stella”- emaciated Pit who put on seven pounds her first week at the shelter.
Cats: “Fiona” #3-30- pretty longhaired tortie kitten; “Jack” #3-26-her tabby brother.