2011-08-31 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

“Should I stay or should I go?” The lyrics of this song by The Clash haunt many as Hurricane Irene barrels down upon us. When you live in that “mandatory” evacuation zone south of Montauk Highway, and you are faced with this order, complying becomes tricky if you have pets. Honestly, who wants a waif with two soggy Afghan Hounds, a Cavalier mix and an extremely ornery three-legged cat showing up on their doorstep just before the storm?

By the time this column is published, Irene will be a memory; her ravishes may still be a reality. Actually, I am typing this lickety split to beat our expected power failure. Since it’s a bit too late to outline hurricane preparedness tips, instead I will dip into the “Pets” vault to reprint my Hurricane Gloria saga.

We faced a mandatory evacuation order in 1985 too. Back then I had two blonde Afghans, one that I described below as “emotionally disturbed.” Fast forward 26 years and my canine cast (plus one) is déjà vu. One current Afghan lets things roll off her back while her brother Edgar Afghan Poe has a neurotic side, courtesy of his nightmarish New Mexico hoarder background. Here is my blast from the past 10/3/85 Beacon “Pets”, recounting a similar dilemma preceding Hurricane Gloria:

“Last Friday, when the fire sirens were sounding their evacuation wail, was definitely not the time to be thinking about this column, but strange ideas kept popping into my head anyway. Let me start my making a major confession: this “Pets” author does not own model dogs. So where could I go where I knew I would be welcome with two unruly Afghans, including one that is somewhat emotionally disturbed?

Certainly not to a public shelter or to the home of an unsuspecting friend. I could go to Mom’s; and course, and when I got there, I could let Mom worry about how to keep my dogs separate from hers.

She will take charge and everything will be fine.

Once the destination was decided, my departure became reminiscent of a scene from Gone with the Wind. I’m not claiming that I am a Scarlett O’Hara – far from it; but as firemen urged us to exit, all I could picture was Babylon as the burning of Atlanta. As I threw the essentials - dogs, insurance policies, and heartworm pills - into the car, I thought of Scarlett throwing Melanie, the baby and their belongings into that broken down buggy.

Where were they to go? To Tara and Scarlett’s Mom, of course. Her Mom would know what to do. Then I recalled Scarlett beating the old nag. Where was the ASPCA when they filmed that scene? Then I remembered Scarlett beating poor Rhett Butler. Where was the ASPCA when they filmed that scene?

The Yankees were coming, so I guess it was permissible to pummel that horse and Clark Gable. And last Friday, Gloria was coming, so I guess it was permissible to subject Mom to my bratty beasts. Sorry, Mom.”

This time I am sparing my 90-year-old Dad an Afghan invasion even though we were invited. However, this flashback column is bittersweet. A lot has changed in a quarter century. To put it mildly, I am no longer a youngster, and this story is dedicated to my Mom, gone four years this summer. I miss her so. She would have put all this hurricane hoopla and impending danger into practical perspective.

For Adoption at Babylon Town Shelter (631- 643-9270) Lamar St. W. Babylon: Adoptions have been quite slow this summer and a threatening storm makes matters worse. If nothing else, we wish the winds would “blow” a few more adopters into the shelter. “Creamy” #94344 a young Mastiff/Sharpei was lucky enough to be adopted. His new owner was so enamored by his good behavior but family circumstances didn’t allow her to keep him. Now Creamy needs to get lucky again. “The Twins” in C-6 are adorable brother/sister solid white kittens with light green eyes. They need not be placed together. There are other pure white cats at the shelter including “Dusty” in C-7, featured here wearing a sun dress a few weeks ago.

Female Dogs: “Sheba”- Husky mix; “Mona Lisa” #93957 with her half smile; “Foxy” and her Pit playmate “May”.

Male Dogs: Sunny senior citizens- “Roscoe” #94307- Dachshund; “LeRoy Chestnut” #94237- Shepherd mix.

More Cats: “Fifa” in C-8…she is the black cat trapped in a backpack on a 90 degree day; “Topaz”- golden gal in the cat colony.

** Last Hope ZUMBATHON- Sat. Sept. 17 from 1 to 3 pm at Last Hope Adoption Center, 3300 Beltagh Ave. Wantagh. Tickets to the exercise extravaganza are $10 each. Hair extensions for people and pups too. Call 631-946-9528.

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