2006-05-25 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets...

Historical note: The VFW poppy is symbolic of World War I, but actually Memorial Day dates back to the Civil War. National ceremonies began on May 30, 1868, when General Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic proclaimed the day as Decoration Day to commemorate the sacrifices of all fallen soldiers in the War Between the States. On that first Memorial Day 5,000 participants put flowers on the graves of 2 0 , 0 0 0 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in Arlington Cemetery.

Even though he didn't die on the battlefield, Abraham Lincoln was also a casualty of the Civil War. His assassination was less than a week after Lee's surrender. So much has been written about the virtues of our 16th Presidenthis integrity, work ethic, humor and honesty. One animal anecdote is an excellent example of President Lincoln's tenderness. The following, an excerpt from the famous Carl Sandburg biography, comes from the Abraham Lincoln Research Site:

"....near the end of the Civil War, Abraham and his family had been invited to visit General Ulysses S. Grant's headquarters in City Point, Virginia. The trip took place in late March 1865 about three weeks before the assassination. During his visit to City Point, the President happened to be in the telegraph hut on the day that Grant's army began the final advance of the Civil War. nation's history, to see the hand which had affixed the signature to the Emancipation Proclamation and had signed the commissions...from the general-in-chief to the lowest lieutenant, tenderly caressing three stray kittens." This adorable trio of gray tabby kittens at Oyster Bay Animal Shelter (677-5784) M i l l e r P l a c e , Syosset reminds us of L i n c o l n 's compassion. The 2 males and a female are about 6

weeks old.

T h e shelter's $59 fee, paid upon adoption, is all inclusive. Kittens receive a "4 in 1" feline inoculation before leaving, plus spay/neuter surgery and a rabies shot when brought back at the proper age. "Bruno" #060254 is an obedient black Lab mix. He sits and gives his paw. The $65 dog adoption fee includes a NYS license, spay/neuter, a rabies shot, and a "6 in 1" shot. See more pet photos on the Oyster Bay Petfinder website.

Dogs: "Dakota"a blonde Border collie/ shepherd mix and "Casey"a brindle and white Retriever mix. "Casey" was last week's poster dog.

Cats: "Bucky" a pure white domestic shorthair and "Paws"a sweet gray tabbyboth in cages in the lobby.

Low Cost Spay/Neuter for your pet: Island RescueBay Shore631968-8700.

Last Hope's Annual Dog Walk & Fun Night, Wantagh ParkSat. June

In the hut Lincoln came upon three kittens. They appeared to be lost and were wandering around and meowing. Abraham picked up one of the kittens and asked, "Where is your mother?" A person standing nearby said, "The mother is dead." The President continued to pet the little kitten and said, "Then she can't grieve as many a poor mother is grieving for a son lost in battle."

Abraham picked up the other two kittens and now had all three in his lap. He stroked their fur and quietly told them, "Kitties, thank God you are cats, and can't understand this terrible strife that is going on." The Chief Executive continued, "Poor little creatures, don't cry; you'll be taken good care of."

He looked toward Colonel Bowers of Grant's staff and said, "Colonel, I hope you will see that these poor little motherless waifs are given plenty of milk and treated kindly." Bowers promised that he would tell the cook to take good care of them. Colonel Horace Porter watched the President and recalled, "He would wipe their eyes tenderly with his handkerchief, stroke their smooth coats, and listen to them purring their gratitude to him."

"Quite a sight it was", thought Porter, "at an army headquarters, on the eve of a great military crisis in the 3, at 4 PM. $20 registration for 1 dog and handler, $5 additional per dog. Pet care booths and BBQ. Call 516486-3158 or 631-205-5069 for pledge sheets or more info.

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