2014-01-01 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

These 12 dogs (and cats) of Christmas wrap up the year. Their stories are just a few of the “happily ever afters” of 2013. Some have been featured in “Pets” previously; some tales are new:

#1- “Pi,” an extroverted Redtick Hound mix from West Virginia, was adopted by a high school physics teacher–so mathematically perfect, until her parents changed his name to “Jackson.”

#2- “Seymour” had all the earmarks of a tough life outdoors–cuts, fly strikes on his ears, sunburned nose– but the worst sign was testing positive for heartworm (caused by infected mosquitoes). This older Lab mix at Babylon Shelter was personality plus. He moved to Last Hope where he received his heartworm treatment and then was adopted by an incredible Smithtown couple. His pet companions include an older version of himself and a dozen cats.

#3- “Kirstie,” a gorgeous Husky at Babylon Shelter, shocked us when she also tested heartworm positive. Although a dog much younger than Seymour, she had an extremely hard time weathering her first heartworm treatment. She became anorexic and her bladder seemed to shut down. We thought we were going to lose her and borrowed her from the vet to visit a neurologist. Then she recovered beautifully in her Eaton’s Neck foster home with a lovely Last Hope volunteer family, and was later adopted by another great family.

“Slim” with his cute bent feet dressed as an elf. “Slim” with his cute bent feet dressed as an elf. #4- Was the best part of wrapping gifts at Walt Whitman Shopping Center the highly successful fundraiser or the fact that both “Susie” and “Petie”–Kentucky transport dogs–came to the mall to promote Last Hope and wound up getting adoption applications that resulted in loving homes?

#5- A Tennessee rescue contacted Linda, Last Hope prez, about a sweet Heinz 57 mix scheduled to be euthanized within the next hour. Linda committed to taking her. The rescue delivered “Daisy Mae” right to the door of our Wantagh Dog Center an evening before Christmas when there was “no room at the inn.” Linda took her home. The dog is very well behaved with her dogs and cats. “Daisy Mae” was spayed this week and is already quite attached to her foster mom. Do you blame her?

#6- “Tia” is one of a dozen gorgeous, but neglected, cats that Last Hope took from the Medford hoarder case (a veterinarian) back in April. Over 150 animals including 62 cats were rescued from deplorable conditions. The SPCA sent these seized cats to Brookhaven Town Shelter. Many of the cats were mixes of exotic breeds like American Curl, Siamese and Bengal, and most, including sweet Siamese mix “Mia,” needed prolonged hospitalization to treat upper respiratory infections. “Tia” was adopted by a Last Hope cat coordinator who raves about her.

#7- “Frankie” an orange kitten was rescued in a Baldwin yard by a Last Hope volunteer. His tearing, squinty eyes were not from a typical infection. He suffered from a congenital malformation-eyelid agenesis. The lids hadn’t formed properly. Repair would require a “special” specialist. Luckily, Frankie was evaluated and accepted into a rescue surgery program at the Animal Medical Center (AMC) in NYC and did have the complex repair surgery performed by the AMC’s expert team. And to make his happy ending even better, while Frankie was waiting to grow big enough for his operation, a lovely lady noticed him. She had had a dream about an orange kitten so she inquired about fostering him, and now her dream kitty is her adopted “Frankie.” Earlier this month, “Frankie” was invited by the AMC to participate in the NASDAQ closing bell ceremony.

#8- “Slim” walks like a duck on deformed front feet. He has adapted quite well, and even has ancillary pads to cushion his step. He does not need corrective surgery. This condition may have developed when his growth plates were maturing. He may have been a pet store puppy for a prolonged time in a cage with a wire floor. “Slim,” a 10-pound Chihuahua, came to Last Hope from Babylon Shelter, surrendered due to his owner’s illness. He was adopted by a loving family that says he is perfect. When they dressed him on Christmas, his bent feet added to his elf ensemble.

#9- “Mickey,” a young German Shepherd, was rescued from a Kentucky starvation case. The morning after he arrived on LI, a lovely Commack lady saw his Facebook video greeting small dogs, and rushed down to meet him because their Shepherd had recently died. She visited him each day. By the end of the week, he joined her family. He is best friends with their Yorkie, and the children had a pajama party in the den with “Mickey” to welcome him home.

#10- “Joy,” a pregnant Chihuahua mix from a Kentucky hoarder house, got to Last Hope one day before whelping six puppies named for singers like “Johnny Mathis and Perry Como.” The musical brood is in the loving care of Aunt Sue, a retired music teacher, who has fostered other emergency Mama dogs and their bambinos.

#11- Though her “Cat Woman” name is not firm yet, her home is. This wavy calico raised a litter of Devon Rex mix kittens at Babylon Shelter. One son was adopted by Lisa, my Afghan Hound rescue friend from Philly, several months ago. Mama lingered at the shelter until last week when we met halfway in NJ. “Cat Woman” is adjusting nicely to her PA household of Afghans, birds and cats, including her son “Flash.”

#12- Last on the list is a work in progress. “Drake,” a brindle Pit, spent over three years at Babylon Shelter. In November, the first half hour after moving to Last Hope, a young couple expressed interest in Drake but their landlord wouldn’t allow a Pit. They planned to purchase a home in January. We all agreed if this were meant to be, Drake would still be available. The couple filled out an adoption application Saturday. Will 2014 be Drake’s year? We hope so. Happy New Year!

** Two Babylon Shelter adoptables (631-643-9270) Lamar St. W. Babylon: “Titus” #13-243 with a furrowed Sharpei brow and a Lab frame has been waiting since May while “Tiger” #3-594, a handsome tabby, is a recent entrant who came in with a dislocated shoulder that put itself back into place. He is a doll.

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