Over the years our ESSCLI-Rescue family has endured the tears while our beloved Springers crossed over the Rainbow Bridge to join Bob, Emily, and the rest of the Springer family. Here on this page, we celebrate the lives of those who have left this planet and now run and play pain-free in God’s Garden.
Have you adopted your Springer through us? If so, and they’ve crossed the Rainbow Bridge and you’d like to memorialize him or her here, you can send photos and story to us at email@example.com – make sure to mention that it’s for “In Memory (Dogs)”.
Adopted 1999 – July 21, 2011
I’ve passed from this life to my next, not knowing what I will be in my new world, but having been a dog and with a Master like the one I’ve had, I couldn’t ask for more. I provided many trials and tribulations for him, but he was always there by my side as I was by his. And when I was free of his commands, how I loved to run and glide over objects as if on a current of air. All that came harder and harder with time, but he was still there by my side, even to the last when we parted ways, a decision always hard to make but ever so understandable.
Whoppa Gillespie of Bordeaux, CGC
Can Ch.Collerie Homeport Tobias x Lady Rackatash
August 24, 1994 – November 28, 2008
Today I said goodbye to my heart dog. No dog has ever touched me like my Whoppa Man. Some dogs teach you about training, some teach you about handling, but Whoppa taught me the meaning of unconditional love.
From the moment I met that ragamuffin in the shelter in Rockland, Maine he stole my heart. He was just supposed to be a foster dog, but I could never have let him go.
Born in Maine and raised on a lobster boat until he was two, Whoppa was a perfect match in our household. He loved the boat. Having been shuffled around for the next 7 years of his life, he wasn’t as perfect in our house initially because he was terrified that someone would abandon him again. (He ripped down the kitchen door frame three times!) When I decided that I had better take him to work with me everyday in order to save my house and my marriage, I solved the majority of his separation anxiety. Of course, those of you who have seen him at shows know that he NEVER got used to a crate or being away from his mother!
His name became my persona on the weblists and many an introduction was created when his name was spoken. I remember meeting the owner of his sire at a show one day when I called Whoppa’s name. She knew that there was only ONE Whoppa! And he went over to her at 9 years old and put his head in her lap as if to say, “I know you”. And yet again this spring, they met and he was stuck to her like glue.
As much as it hurt me to let him go, I knew that he would have done the same for me. So I let my Whoppa go. I know that Daisey, King, Allie, Bucky the foster dog, Hogan the boarder, Emily’s Daisy and Barney and most importantly his brother, Baxter, father, Toby and mother, Lady are all there with him now and he is renewed to the boy that I met all those many years ago (but with a little more knowledge and inner peace).
Throughout his almost 5 years with me, he has traveled all over this country as a representative for English Springer Spaniel Club of Long Island – Rescue, he has made many friends. Without Whoppa, little Kate would never have fallen in love with Springers and rescued DW, without Whoppa’s letters for the Eastern raffle I doubt it would have been such a success. Today I officially retired his purple tuxedo emblazoned with ESSCLI-Rescue. It will never be worn again, because no one could ever pull it off quite like he did!
My only regret is that he left us before I was able to complete the long-awaited registration process. After much hard work, I was able to get 5 five dogs from assorted situations renewed to their AKC status and Whoppa was to be one of them. Maybe they will give him his AKC number posthumously. But no matter what, he was a dog among dogs, he was the best and he represented our beloved breed with a zest for life and people that doesn’t come along everyday.
Goodnight my beloved Whoppa, I will always love you ~ my endless love.
In Memory of Allie
“Whitney’s Brookside Allison”
(Ch. McDerry’s Illustration x Lady Ann’s Little Meg)
January 1993 – September 2005
In February of 2004, I received a call from a woman in western Maine who needed to surrender an older female springer and she didn’t want to keep her until we could find a home. Allie was jealous of the new toddler in the home. She told me that Allie was 11 years old and that she had been deaf for about a year. Well, King had just passed away and the only dog left in my house was Daisey Mae (I think), so I drove up and retrieved Allie to take her into foster care.
She was pretty terrified when she arrived and because she had been completely shaved, she was freezing. We always keep our home cool in the winter and this poor little thing was shivering! Luckily for me I was working at LLBean at the time and I found one of those gorgeous plaid wool coats in the employee store for a pittance and it was even her size.
As the months progressed she grew some fur. She learned to relax but we found that she was in renal failure. She was on special food and no one knew how long she might last. Summer came and she found herself experiencing the ocean with the rest of the dogs. Whoppa had arrived by then and he wasn’t about to let her sit on the shore… she had to join him. Yes, Allie was still around and no one had expressed an interest in her.
September came and suddenly there was someone who wanted her. They had adopted from us in the past even though they lived in Ontario, CAN. So plans were made. The night before she was set to leave for Vermont on the first leg of her journey to a new land, my husband failed… Fostering 101… He cried himself to sleep. He couldn’t let her go. She had become his soul mate. What could I do. She loved him, too! So I called the family and thankfully they understood. In October, I registered her with the AKC for the first time as a birthday present for my husband. That was when she officially became Whitney’s Brookside Allison.
The next April Allie competed in her first match show in Long Island as a veteran and won her class (she was the only one!), then in June of 2005 she competed in a REAL show at the Eastern ESSC Specialty as a veteran again. Again, she won. Again, she was the only one in her class. But the eleven-year-old who had been shaved down and looked like a puppy had become a beautiful old lady! In September of 2005, Allie crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. Her time with us was short, but it was OH so sweet.
In June of 2006, this ad appeared in the catalog of the show where she had competed the year before. Allie was the first dog I took into the show ring and as most of you know, she wasn’t my last, she was just the beginning. In November of 2006, I ran into the judge from the Eastern show and he said, “I remember you, you had that pretty little Veteran that was a rescue!”
Charles, My Hero. Circa 1995 – May 22, 2007
CD OA AXP OAJ AJP RN EAC-V EJC-V EGC-V TN-O AD PDII CL3-R,F,S CGC (Rescue ESS)
Charles was surrendered to the Rescue Program of the ESS Club of Long Island in poor shape. The bits of details make for a long story, but the jist is that he was a 3-4 year old dog that had been physically and socially isolated. He was in two foster homes and a kennel before landing with me. He had a flat affect and was hard to know at that time. Over the next several months, as he learned to value me and our home, his personality came out and there were many fears to overcome. I share this to give you an idea of just how far we came.
Charles was the most affectionate and loving dog I have ever known. He watched me all the time with those expressive spaniel eyes, and enjoyed always being in the same room with me. He never learned to enjoy playing with toys, but loved to work for me and earn his treats.
We started obedience training early on and soon tried agility to build his confidence. Agility was the perfect activity for us. I believe that the pace of agility allowed him to let go of the worry and stress he felt so much of the time. On course, he felt that the world made sense, he knew what to do- and running and jumping felt good! And I had the opportunity to see his success and be proud of him. Agility changed his life and mine for the better.
Charles was a perfect first agility partner. He did not mind repetition and was willing to keep trying until I got the handling figured out. Charles always gave me all he had. We were not always successful, but he always did his best for me.
Each dog has something only he or she can teach us, but Charles taught me volumes. He taught me so much about dogs, and also about courage and love. Charles had the biggest heart and while I miss his physical presence, I know his spirit will be with me for the rest of my days.
My best bud Zack was adopted in June 1995. He was born in July, 1993. In those days Marge Silverthorn handled all calls. I remember her telling me that she was rarely wrong when she placed a dog. I want her to know she was not wrong with us.
Zack was two when we went to Gini’s house in Garden City, NY. I remember her sons were very sad to say goodbye to Zack. My sons were 1 and 3 then. We took him home and have had a wonderful life. He truly has been a distinct family member and we can’t imagine life without him.
My sons are 14 and 12 now and are the size of grown men. He is a great example of how much a family can be changed by a dog needing a home. Zack is a great family dog. In the early years, he spent a lot of time running free with the neighborhood kids. (We have no leash law and in our old neighborhood we were surrounded by woods and trails).
His later years have been spent in our new house which is close to the bay which he likes very much as well. Zack stays on a leash 98% of the time now since his judgment isn’t quite what it once was. Most people who see him can’t believe he is as old as he is. I would say he looks nine.
He is a good sport and year after year has posed in Santa outfits, Halloween costumes, hats and sunglasses etc. He has put up with a lot of indignity living with 2 boys. We never got another dog but 2 years ago we got a cat. We thought it would be WWIII but Zack turned out to be a great Grandpa to the kitten. They go on walks together now.
The summer Zack turned 11, we purchased a motor home. Like any good retiree, Zack took to the open road. He adapted well to the experience. Campgrounds are a place with a concentration of dogs and kids. Just what he is used to. We visited 7 states on the trip we took to Branson MO, Summer-05. This past summer, Zack visited Canada, Mass. and Maine. (He had to show “his papers” to the Canadian Border Patrol to leave the good old USA). Unfortunately, he didn’t get to actually see Niagara Falls but I showed him a postcard… no dogs allowed on the Maid of the Mist.
I don’t know what else to tell you except he is family. We have witnessed his transformation from teenager to grandpa. He is slower now but still can run fast when he feels like it. His hearing is about gone but thank goodness he still has great eye sight. Now that he is older, that springer “difficultness” is all gone. He is completely cooperative at all times and really seems happy in spite of his various lumps, bumps, aches, and pains. We love him very much.
Thank you again for the willingness to profile my good dog and taking notice of this senior dog and tell Marge she made the right choice.
–Meg, Tracy James, Drew, Zack, & Kitty Griffiths
Zack was 13 1/2 when he went to the Rainbow Bridge.
This story appeared on one of our newsletters a few years ago. This past March, Lucky Buck crossed over the Rainbow Bridge to join his pals on the other side. He is sorely missed by not only Jim and I (his foster family) but most by his new family, Bonnie and Al.
My friends ask me how I can do it. And before March 2003, I could tell them without hesitation that it was gratifying and easy. Which it can be. Up to that point, I’d had Rosie O’Grady, aka Eeyore, here for 3 days. Then I had Charm for about two months. An 11-year-old female who lavished all of her love on me, but was jealous of my own spaniels. When she went to her new owner’s home where she was the only dog, I couldn’t have been happier. Then there was Zachary… He was stunning, easy to get along with and loved everyone. He was only with me for two weeks. Peanut and Minnie stayed for a few days before they were transported to their new home.
But then along came Lucky Buck… the tough guy… the stray… the boy no one wanted. He had been shaved down, didn’t like to have his head or face touched, didn’t want to have a leash put on, got mad when people tried to make of him and wasn’t really house trained. Bucky had been in at least two foster homes before me and was getting nowhere fast. When I first picked him up, I thought, what have I done. How in the world can I handle this temperamental dog and all of my others? And who in the world will ever want him.
Well, as time went on, he spent time with our family and our dogs and relaxed a little. He still had his days though. People called about him, but when they heard about his problems, they didn’t want him. Someone actually came to visit him and he growled at him. We began to think that he was never going to get a home.
Then one day almost a year later, a wonderful woman called me. She listened to the story of Bucky and all the things that had happened in his life and she said she still wanted to see his picture. A picture of a 79 pound brute who had just been diagnosed with a thyroid problem. But then she said she wanted to meet him!
I figured I was wasting my time taking him to meet them almost 300 miles away, but I had to try. I just knew that if he stayed with me, I could never open my house to any other foster dogs… I was running out of room. Well, surprise of surprises, he was a good boy, he met his new Mom and Dad and he actually liked them and they liked him. They didn’t call him Lucky for nothing!
Today, Bucky’s new parents email me routinely with updates on his progress and life and every time I shed tears of joy! I still miss him, but I know that he is out there loving someone the way he should be. My house is now occupied by a senior in need of a home named Allie… my husband worships the ground she walks on and she can’t get enough of him. And when I read him this story, the big guy shed a tear!
Knowing that there are so many dogs out there in need of foster care, I would tell anyone who has a little extra room and a little extra love to give it a try. I believe that in the last two years, I have gotten much more than I have given and will never forget any of my special foster dogs (or their parents). And I give all of our foster families my heartfelt thanks because I know what it is like!
My name is Russell. My soon to be new Mom picked me up at Dr. Milne’s vet clinic in August of 2002. Mom was working with ESSCLI Rescue and was supposed to take me to her house to stay until I could be sent to a new home.
The minute I met mom, Joy Sarnelli, I knew that I had to stay with her. I started right off, showing her how much I liked her. I jumped up and licked her face. Not like those people I didn’t like (I bit those guys). I saw Dr. Milne out of the corner of my eye and knew that she was jealous ’cause I was kissing my soon to be new Mom.’
When they put me in the crate in the car, I made sure that they thought that I really loved being in the crate. I showed them just how excited I was to be there.
Once we got to their house – WOW! I just knew that I had to stay there. They had a fenced-in yard for me to run in and I wanted to be out there all the time. Whenever they tried to stop me from going out the front door, I said “NO, don’t grab my collar to stop me, I am going!” It didn’t seem like they liked that, but I just couldn’t help myself.
And the TOYS! Oh my goodness – there were so many toys. I have never seen so many! I wanted them all and I was so afraid that Ricky or Reggie would take them away that I make it clear that I wanted to keep them. You know “that growling thing”. Still mom, Joy liked me! Even though she had two other “fur children” she had time for me. And they had time for me too. We played and played and played until we couldn’t play anymore.
I loved the place so much, that I was determined not to leave. I laid on Mom’s feet when she sat at the kitchen table; I cuddled on her lap when she was on the couch and I followed her everywhere.
Finally, about three glorious days had passed and I heard “Mom” on the phone with Aunt Emily and Aunt Marge from rescue. She told them she wanted to keep me! Yippee! Mom had failed as a foster parent! Now she was my parent!
But then things got serious… I had to be an even better dog. I had to learn not to “make water” in the house, I had to go to school (They called it the “Breakfast Club”, but I knew it was really obedience school), and I had to get my Canine Good Citizens Award. I did it all! I would have done almost anything to have the life that I have today. Mom tells me how proud she is of me, and gives me love and attention. I can’t remember anymore when life wasn’t good!
Oh and by the way, since then, many foster dogs have come and gone, but I have stayed and stayed and stayed!
Hunting for the right K-9 companion can be challenging. Do you pick a puppy, middle-aged or senior pet? Well after adopting an 8 yr. old liver and white Springer named Brandy from a rescue group and having such good luck with the adoption process the answer was clear.
We saw a black and white senior Springer in a shelter listed under English Springer Spaniel Club of Long Island Rescue. Our hearts immediately went out to this old gal. The next thing we knew we were on our way to Nanci LaMarque’s home to pick up the newest arrival to our home, the companion we now call Eeyore.
Nanci made this adoption process a wonderful experience for us. She informed us of Eeyore’s medical needs and made sure the home was a perfect match for both Eeyore and us. We tried several names for our new companion, but kept coming back to Eeyore. She’s slow paced, calm, gentle and very cute with those sad Springer eyes. Eeyore immediately fit into our household and much to our surprise we had very little trouble with sibling rivalry. She adjusted very quickly into her new home, we were amazed to see how adaptable even an older dog can be.
Eeyore was picked up as a stray apparently having roamed the streets on her own for 2 to 3 months. She had some health problems because of this, but these got cleared up and this sweet old gal is now healthy. She is deaf but does well with hand signals for sit, down, come, and stay. She wears a little bell on her collar, so we know where she is. She likes to know where we are in the house, so as we move from room to room we make sure she sees us. We often wonder how such a sweet senior ended up on the streets alone to fend for herself. We think that both of our senior gals are just glad for a second chance in a home where they get lots of love and attention. We think it’s just as easy to adopt a senior companion as a puppy, because by the time they are taken into the rescue league and living in foster homes you already know the disposition of the dog, their likes, dislikes, and basic health.
We could brag all day about how wonderful Eeyore and Brandy are but words can’t express how rich and joyful these two fun, faithful companions have made our lives. We can not imagine what it would be like to come home and not see their happy faces at the door.
Thanks again to the dedicated volunteers of the English Springer Spaniel Club of Long Island–Rescue.
Barney, Daisy and Oliver
It’s not always just one dog that makes a home, sometimes more than one makes it a wonderful place to be.
In 1998, Barney was surrendered to Cheryl Petras in Vermont for nipping at a child who was taunting him with food. When Emily and Adam Shepard came upon ESSCLI–Rescue, they decided to call Cheryl to talk because she was closest to them. Cheryl told Emily about Barney and was up front about the fact that he had nipped. They decided to go see him anyway. The three of them agreed to meet in Keene, NH and the Shepards fell in love immediately. Not only that, but Adam wanted to take another dog Cheryl had just taken into foster care, but she said he had to stay there for awhile! So into the car they went and headed back home to Maine. On the way, they stopped at a store. When Emily came back from making her purchases, she found Adam throwing a stick for Barney in a patch of grass between the store and a restaurant without holding onto his leash. Somehow, Adam just knew that Barney wasn’t going anywhere.
After moving to a bigger house, Emily and Adam decided to get a pal for Barney and hopefully a dog, who would hunt with Adam. Emily called and talked to Marge a couple of times; they discussed it for about 6 months. Finally a 4-year-old field type Springer was available from a foster home in New Hampshire. Lady Daisy had been surrendered to a shelter in Rockland, Maine because the woman felt the children were mean to her. Apparently the woman must not have treated Daisy very well either because she originally had trust issues with Emily. Daisy had initially been adopted by a woman who had a cat. Daisy tried to jump through a window to get to the cat, so back to the Humane Society she went again. Soon thereafter she was bailed out by ESSCLI-Rescue and placed in the foster home of Vickie Dunbar. She was in really bad shape and needed a home. Emily and Adam went to meet Daisy. It was love at first sight. She was emaciated; she had major dry skin, eye infections and ear infections. She even had a stitch in her eye and no one knows why. “We have to take her home”, said Adam. She was not all that great in the car and still isn’t… too many birds out there to see in the wild blue yonder.
Adam started bird hunting with her almost immediately and she took to it like she had been doing it for years. She needed her own time to come to Emily. When Emily used to try to get Daisy to come up and sleep on the bed, she would turn around and go downstairs and wait for Adam to come home. But today she is the first one on the bed claiming her spot! She used to sleep with “one eye open” …any little noise would awaken her. Now her comfort level allows her to sleep through anything. She trusts woman now… she can’t get enough of Aunt Nanci. In the two and a half years she has been home in Maine, Daisy has made great progress. Just like Barney, she loves the boat, loves the water and after a day of hunting with Adam, loves nothing more than to curl up in the lazy-boy with him for a nap. Today both Barney and Daisy are well-behaved, healthy and loving. When they go out with Mom and Dad, everyone stares at the beautiful English Springer Spaniels and comments on how wonderful they are. They can’t imagine a better life than Maine, the lake, the birds and the country! (And Mom and Dad too!)
In 2002, Oliver was brought to Emily and Adam by his owner who had sold her house and moved to an apartment where she couldn’t have a dog. Before coming to Maine, Oliver was standing next to the road when a kid with a truck went out of control and drove over his paw. Because of this accident he had to have major surgery. He now has only one toe on his right front paw. When he came to Emily and Adam’s house, he was in tough shape; his paw was infected and it still had a stitch that had to be removed. He had not been getting as much attention as he needed. Emily’s vet is an orthopedic specialist and worked very hard with Ollie. His paw had to be bandaged for months. They went out and bought infant socks to go over the bandage to help keep the bandage clean. Emily had to quickly learn some first aid techniques so that she could take care of him correctly.
It was a long hard winter in Maine and at the beginning of it; Oliver could barely climb the stairs. Today he can do it with no problem. When he first came to Emily and Adam’s house, he didn’t play with toys, but now he can’t get enough of them. His spirit is soaring! He much prefers sleeping on the bed with Barney and Daisy to his old crate. Even as you read this, he is growing fur back on his paw. He is running around in the yard, checking out the new garden. On May 10, 2003, Ollie walked almost 4 miles for charity in Portland. He is very proud of his accomplishment and the money that he raised. His summer will be full of swimming exercises with his brother and sister on their boat the “Docked Tail.”
When Jim and Nanci LaMarque adopted Daisey Mae 9 years ago from the Connecticut Humane Society, they never thought that there would be more than one Springer Spaniel in their household. This little tiny 32 pound black and white dog with so many flea bites that she bled when she was bathed had won their hearts… She was wild and crazy, fun loving and every bit a Springer. A few years later, Jim and Nanci moved to Maine and Daisey Mae was in heaven on her new 7 acre property. But as she grew up, a little arthritis set in and she calmed down and slowed down.
One day, they decided that maybe she needed a pal… Someone to play with and keep her a little more active. Nanci looked up English Springer Spaniel on the internet and ended up at ESSCLI–Rescue. After talking with Emily, it was decided that they would look for a male Springer around 5 years old. Not long after, the call came. Believe it or not there was a 5-year-old, overweight Springer Spaniel at the Animal Refuge League in Westbrook, Maine who had been found running loose in Windham with no tags. Nanci and Jim jumped in the car and ran off to see him.
When they arrived at the shelter the liver and white Spaniel was in the kennel barking continuously and because he was still in their quarantine program they couldn’t let him out into the yard to visit. It appeared that he had the potential underneath all that dirty fur and drool to be a handsome man. The shelter said that when they let him out, he didn’t bark as much and so Jim agreed he would be a fine dog. They filled out the forms and said that they would be back when the quarantine was up.
When the day came, Jim was away, so Nanci went to get him. She brought Daisey Mae with her to make sure that there wasn’t an immediate problem. It appeared that they were going to get along, so into the Explorer they went. Nanci was impressed with the new dog because he was quiet in the car, something Daisey had never mastered.
The shelter provided a free vet checkup at Nanci’s vet and so an appointment was made. When he went in for his checkup, Dr. Tom said he was a healthy dog and probably about 10 years old. Nanci’s heart sank. How could this be true? The vet at the refuge league said he was about 5. She called Emily and they arranged for him to see Emily’s vet. Dr. Porter confirmed it… great teeth, healthy, nice 10-11-year-old dog – NO CHARGE! Now what? He didn’t bark, but he was 10! The new companion was just as old as Daisey Mae. When Jim got home two days later, Nanci broke the news to him and his response was “Well, what are we going to do? We can’t take him back just because he’s too old!” And so of course, he stayed.
Up to this point the dog had only been called “Buddy”… you know, “hey, buddy”. But now he needed a real name. Nanci was in the process of reading a Stephen King novel and Jim is a pilot. She wanted to simply name him King and Jim said no… “Sky King”. Even Daisey’s ears perked up when she heard it.
Today, King and Daisey Mae are the best brother and sister going. When Daisey was hurt last fall, King wasn’t there to protect her, but every morning since he has licked her wounded eye to make sure that she is ok and knows that she is loved. They sleep together, they play together, and best of all they get to go out on the boat the “Flying Spaniel” together. Daisey is the queen of the boat but she is showing King the ropes. Jim adores his “chubby boy” and makes sure that he is always wearing an American flag bandana wherever he goes.
Although Daisey doesn’t run very well anymore, she still tries to keep up and the 10-year-old King can still run like the wind! And with all that land to play on, there is nothing he loves more, well maybe chasing frogs in his mom’s landscape pond and knocking over all the plants and pumps. In one short year, a sad and bedraggled stray has become the King of North Yarmouth and his queen, Daisey Mae waits by his side while his court, Nanci and Jim attend his to his every need.
Oliver and Lady
Hi, my name is Oliver Reformato! I am one of the luckiest Springers alive thanks to my mommy and daddy. It began about 8 months ago when my mommy and daddy came up to the really nice kennel that I was staying at. At my Aunt Emily’s pushing, mommy and daddy had decided that their Springer (now my sister!) named Lady could use a companion and friend. She looked a bit different than I did, she is black and white and I am liver and white. Looks didn’t matter to me though, I thought she was great and followed her around wherever she went. My mommy was the first one to give me lots of pats and hugs, which I love, I returned her affection with kisses and wags. Daddy kept saying that I was a big boy (now one of my nicknames) and how gorgeous my coat was. After about a half hour of playing with Lady and getting hugs, pats and kisses from mommy and daddy they took me home.
When we got to my new home I didn’t know where to start! I got to go in the yard and play with my new sister, Lady, then go inside and inspect the house, run upstairs, jump on the bed, and come back downstairs and play some more. I loved it!!! They had a new bed for me and a new collar and leash and MANY new toys. I couldn’t imagine a better place to be than with two parents who loved me and spoiled me, and a sister! Though Lady and I took some time to get to know each other, we get along very well now. She told me she has been with mommy and daddy for 9 years now and they rescued her like they rescued me. She definitely rules the roost though, but that is ok by me, I am happy to follow her lead!
Mommy and Daddy were so patient with me, see I am deaf and I take some special training. Not being able to hear doesn’t stop me from playing, giving kisses, and my favorite thing they call “giving the paw” for my favorite belly rubs. When I do that it assures me that I will get lots of pats and hugs. I am not really happy with being brushed, but I am getting better with it because it does feel good and it makes me look SO handsome. Every month it seems that mommy goes out and gets me a new toy… usually because I have destroyed my other ones, but that’s what I am supposed to do!!! There have been so many great times and I know that there will be so many more to come. I am just so happy that I have a home and parents that love me. In fact, it seems like I had been with my family forever. And that’s exactly what we are… A family!
I would really like to thank my Aunt Emily and Aunt Marge for all their hard work in finding me my mommy and daddy. I know that they love me and all the other Springers that my mommy tells me about that are just as fantastic as I am.
Handsome (of New York City)
Traveling incognito, he spent 8 months locked in a cage with a second dog. Sprung from this ‘no-kill’ shelter, his farewell dinner combined disastrously with the sheer joy of freedom; he never completed his ride ‘home’. He was put in rapid turnaround by the would-be owner who didn’t want a dog that ‘got car-sick’. Several months (many, many months in ‘dog months’) passed. Stiff-legged and urine-stained, he was sprung a second time. Again the farewell dinner, again, the tossing of the cookies! “He was shaking and scared”, remembers George Bellici. “He thought he would have to go back. But I told him he would never have to go back.”
George, a volunteer, had come representing the English Springer Spaniel Club of Long Island–Rescue. George was supposed to pick up the dog (they said his name was ‘Breyer’), hold him overnight, and then deliver him to a ‘foster home’. (George’s boss had given him the afternoon off to work for the “Doggie Underground Railroad”). While ‘Breyer’ lived with a foster family, the rescue club would work to find a him permanent home. That was the way it was supposed to happen.
‘Breyer’ was supposed to spend the night sleeping on the floor. That didn’t happen either. The following morning, still reeking, but now well-snuggled, ‘Breyer’ was dropped off at the groomer for a shower and a shave. Spaniel fur requires continuous attention, more attention than what was available at the shelter. “You poor, deformed dog”, George thought as he exchanged eye-contact with his departing ward.
A few hours later, George was back in the waiting room. “He’s been groomed before,” he was told. “You can tell by how well he behaved”. For many rescue dogs, the past is a mystery, a blank page. This was a clue! And then out he walked, with a blue bow attached to his shelter-issue collar. The charade was over; the mask had dropped. The ‘deformities’ were in reality thick, matted hair that had been cut away. The direct, inquisitive gaze remained the same. ‘Breyer’, indeed… George was face-to-muzzle with his new life’s companion: Handsome. Handsome of New York City.