I don't know who Murphy is...or why his law is the yardstick against which all screwed-up days are measured...but I am dead sure that Murphy has had some experience with the New York Center For Animal Care and Control. Our good friends at the CACC phoned me a few months ago to alert me to a two-Eskie crisis in the shelter system...that required my immediate intervention. However, one Eskie, Ozzy, was parked in Manhattan, and the other Eskie, Beauty, was parked in Brooklyn.

As if this duo-Eskie, duo-Borough rescue would not be enough of a challenge in Saturday traffic, I added an owner surrender pickup to the mix...and met Casper's folks en route in Connecticut, where a torrential rain storm kicked in. Which was not as bad as the torrential teenage storm that occurred in the SUV as Mom turned Casper over to me. I did my best to assure the beleaguered girl that I would not kill her dog...and then with my soaking wet knickers in a knot, I hedged my way to Manhattan.

Casper enters the picture.

Clearly, it was time to rally the troops...Ann Harris for tactical support, and Diane Gonzalez for "help me sort out this mess" support...and of course, dinner. I picked up Ann in Manhattan and we snaked our way toward the CACCs, first to Harlem, and then, once again, to the dicey territory of South, South Brooklyn. One day, I am sure we will learn the difference between North and South Flatbush Avenue...but sadly, not this day.

Ozzie, a sweet little boy in desperate need of a bath.

Once we redirected ourselves to the Brooklyn CACC, with Ozzy and Casper in tow, the rain began to fizzle and we rolled in to collect our Beauty. So far, we were pleased with the love fest that was occurring between Casper and Ozzy...and we were eager to see how the addition of a cantankerous eight year old bitch would impact the dynamic.

Well...Miss Beauty was anything but cantankerous. She was glad be flying the CACC coop and was thrilled to see us. Beauty clearly had just given birth...which at about eight years old, suggested to us that she might have been the resident of a backyard breeding operation. She was skinny and gangly.... and our first thought of a name for her was Olive Oyl. Long, leggy and lean...that was our Beauty...almost "heroin chic." Beauty jumped into Ann's lap, much to Ozzy's chagrin, and rode happily back to Manhattan.

Then, it was on to Diane's house in South New Jersey where we would spend the night...and beg Diane to foster these dogs. And Diane always pulls through...She kept all three. Since Beauty would not shut her big mouth long enough for anyone to fall asleep, Diane gave permission for her to sleep with me. And, it was then...that I caught a whiff of her breath and fainted dead away. There are not words to describe the odor...except to say that it instantly relieves the burden of consciousness. This suggested to me that Beauty get to the vet pronto for a look at her choppers. As soon as our Dr. Keefe began cleaning Beauty's teeth, they crumbled and fell away. The poor girl lost fourteen teeth in that surgery, but the good news was that she probably was much younger than her projected eight years...which had been predicated on her dental health. Beauty came through the exhausting surgery beautifully, and went home to recover at Diane's.

Fugee had fun with houseguest Beauty.

A few days later, Beauty visited our new foster home in New Jersey -- with Angela Young, whose family had adopted our Fugee last year. After some initial posturing, Fugee and Beauty became friends, and she had a good time with him. After some some passed, I was contacted by Linda and John of Massachusetts, who have a ten year old Eskie named Lucy. Linda and John were looking for a second eskie, and we thought that Beauty would be a good match. And so, I brought Beauty up from New Jersey to meet Linda, John and Lucy...and it was such a great meeting. After a few minutes, Beauty warmed up and we could tell that the chemistry was going to be great. John and Linda have been in touch recently and Beauty (now named Belle) is settling in wonderfully. Lucy has been very generous in showing her the ropes! Here are John and Linda's reports!

October 21, 2003


Just a quick note to tell you that "Annabelle" or "Belle" for short (Beauty) is doing fine .... still a bit nervous .... but doing well .... As my daughter wanted .. she slept in her room on the bed Linda made for Lucy (but Lucy never touched) ... but before Catherine could fall asleep ... Belle snuck into bed with her and snuggled next to her ..... exactly what Catherine was hoping for. So, one day ... so far ... so good ...... and I think things will be fine ..... We'll keep you informed ...


Beauty meets Lucy and the Andersons.

November 7, 2003

Hi Denise,

We've been meaning to write and send pictures but we've been busy cleaning up hair from 2 beautiful eskies. Our Lucy, now age 10, has really been great with Belle. She set very clear boundaries for her and Belle has responded beautifully. Lucy has always been more cat than dog, really smart, independent and rather prissy. Belle is so different and we just love her. She is so loving, always wants to snuggle and is enthusiastic about everything from her dinner to taking a walk to rolling in any old stinky thing she can find. (She has already had 2 baths and numerous washdowns.) Her shaved hair is coming in very nicely and we're hoping her coat will be nice and cozy for her by the time the really cold weather sets in. She had a visit with our Vet and she placed her age at 4-6 years, so I guess we were all correct in thinking that she was much younger than the 8 years we were told. We have set her "birthday" as November 1st and celebrated her "5th" year this year. Belle seems to be really happy here with us and she puts smiles on all our faces everyday. It amazes us that anyone could have abandoned this dog, all she wants is love and she gives it back ten fold. Thanks for the work you do and thanks for the introduction to our Belle.


November 17, 2003

Hi Denise,

At last the picture I promised ...Belle is such a sweet, goofy girl, we are having the best time with her. She is still quite shy with strangers, especially men, but eventually warms up and enjoys all the attention we can lavish on her. The other night I unexpectedly had a small party of 12 friends come over to my house. John and I expected to have to take Belle up to our room, we never thought she could deal with all the activity but she did beautifully. Before we knew it she was letting herself be pet and fed by just about every one of our guests! She did come to us knowing a couple of commands and BEG is definitely one of them...if only she would COME. Our daughter Catherine has taken over as Belle's number 1 person. Belle sleeps, watches TV and snuggles with her. I hope you can see her coat in this picture. The shaved bits are filling in and it looks as though she'll be warm this winter, and my house will be covered this spring. I did mention that we call her our goofy girl because she enters a room the same way that Kramer, from Seinfeld, enters a room. She slides in, gets her balance and then looks around to see what's happening. The steps are another thing, poor Belle isn't sure if she should go up one at a time or three at a time, the same with making her way down. She hasn't been injured but we can always recognize the sound of her gait on the stairs. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

Linda and John

Update: August 2007

Hi Denise,

Wow I can't believe its been almost 4 years since we adopted Belle. She's been in great health and is a joy everyday. We still look at her and say 'She's such a great dog, how did anyone give her away?'. She is unfailingly sweet and loving and has adopted many of our friends and neighbors as part of her special people pack. Lucy is 14 now and still clearly in charge but actually goes up to Belle and snuggles right in for her nap. Belle respects her age and wouldn't dare move away from her.

Look for us on Quincy Shore Drive, we often walk the girls there on the beach at off hours. Take Care.