Our Heart-Warming Rescue Stories


3/10/2013: ZINGO was a stray picked up by ACC. The poor guy is sweet as can be, a 10-year-old intact male, with a growth the size of a softball on his butt. He is being treated for conjunctivitis, kennel cough, and worms. He will need 2 surgeries for the mass, which is too large to remove at one time.

Zingo’s first surgery for neutering and the mass is scheduled for Thursday 3/14/2013.

UPDATE – 3/30/13: Zingo has made it through his surgery. He was neutered and had a portion of the mass on his butt removed. Great news for Zingo, the mass was benign. He is a real love and gets along with other dogs. He is an easy going senior, and he deserves a home to call his own. HIS FOSTER MOM HAS DECIDED TO KEEP HIM, knowing he will always need her special care.

Zingo, before Zingo, after Zingo, after


This should bring a smile and a tear. This is the hardest part of rescue: no, not the neglected/abused, wanders out of the woods, or has a clueless owner; it’s the owner/family that has done everything right by their Springer, and life circumstances forces them into a choice for their Springer – namely the decision of surrender. I always hope life circumstances change for them, and they can get another fur companion!

The bright part, obviously Augie had another role to fill in destiny. (We’ll call it a second act, and one for which she was well prepared.)

Augie had some health issues, and we wanted to make sure we had her well on her way, to continue her journey. Augie is a great dog, a testament to the family who raised her.

A couple from the Southern Tier applied to adopt a dog, Augie sounded like a fit. The day they drove the 3 hours to meet Augie, we found out she had a UTI. Oops, she is not going anywhere until that is cleared up. It was obvious Augie loved them, but I made them come back 2 weeks later to scoop her up…

(Grizzly Bear & Moose are both Springers!) Here is Augie’s new journey.

Dear Susan and Barbara,

I want to believe in reincarnation. I loved my Grizzly Bear with a passionate commitment to everything about him. And it was returned by him. I never believed I could love a dog as much as he and Moose. Then there was Augie.

On the way home, she was quiet and well-behaved. She explored about an hour out from you, and found she could stand on the center console. We watched her as she contemplated her moves. Then she found my lap. She was too big to hold after awhile. We had to stop to get her in the back seat again. The move was made again. She loved my lap. We stopped in Sydney for a walk and water and such and it was decided I should sit in back with her. She wanted my lap. Upon our return to our yard, Moose was let out of the house and they sniffed and began immediately to play; tails wagging, sniffing, actually romping. We stayed outside and enabled them to address each other; but it was as if they had grown up together. Nothing harsh or threatening or jealous. It took her one day to decide she could sit on the furniture. Now she and Moose share ends.

This has been an unbelievable adaptation to a new climate, environment and family. We walked her by leash for 2-3 days and then let her off while we stayed in the yard. She has never ventured away from us. She has all the Springer characteristics of staying close and guiding and guarding. She immediately nudged and “talked” for petting and attention. She found the back door once and continues to know its exit and entry. She sits and looks out the window with such sweetness. We have no carpet in the living room, as we are in the process of renovating. I put carpet samples down on the floor in front of the window and she sits her big butt on that little sample. I have the 2 new “Frontgate” beds I bought for Grizzly but never used and she has totally nested in both. They are big and soft and cushy and supposedly good for older, arthritic dogs but she seems to say they are hers. One is in the bedroom, so she sleeps next to me. The other is in the living room and when she is not gazing out the big window or on the couch or in the chair with me, she is in that bed. Oh Yes, she manages to get her big self in the chair with me. It is a hoot.

And outside… She is not graceful. But, oh my, she loves to run. She runs full out. She and Moose chase each other. She plays keep away with his ball. She goes after sticks and does not know what to do with them but she postures to play. She is awkward and ridiculously funny. And yes, she swims! I went in the pond and she swims to me and John. She swims and swims. She loves the pond. It is a playground. She discovered that when she goes there and tours the bank, frogs make noises and jump. Her favorite outdoor play is chasing frogs into the pond. She has found the cattail environment and LOVES it for all its noises and critters. She has found the chipmunks in the railroad ties and the snakes in the stone well. She doesn’t know what to do with them but she is really funny to watch. She and Moose have gone out together and she has never left the yard. She goes to the line we first walked her on and since day two, she remains on the property. She always comes when she is called and she seems to understand what our commands are. I think she pays attention to Moose to know what to do because I cannot believe she can learn so much within less than a week to now. She is phenomenal.

Oh right, she found the cat on the second day, growled at it and chased it and it has fled. Wander, the cat has returned to the garage, though, after a couple of days. We moved her food and bed there. Augie has sniffed everything and now she is not at all threatened by the smells and the cat seems to be adapting. Moose always chased the cat. It was their game. So Moose seemed a little annoyed when Augie chased the cat. I am pretty certain that this will work itself out. Wander seems to be grasping that Augie is not a threat and they can be friends like she and Moose are.

Moose and Augie now engage in daily, several times a day, chasing each other back and forth and wrestling. It is hilarious and it is loud because of no carpet. Augie ends up covered in drool but she LOVES the play. They have become best friends and keep each other very occupied. She has become extremely active and is developing muscle tone, you can actually see. We feed her twice a day with occasional midday small lunches and she gets treats for “business” and “potty”. She does everything according to command. Her coat has become rather full and curly and soft. She looks wonderful and she seems to feel great. We have water everywhere for them to drink and she partakes of that a lot.

A really precious moment was the other day. John was sitting on the couch. Augie nudged her way up. John fell asleep and so did Augie. But John had half his body dangling off the couch and Augie had her face planted between the back and into his side and her paws over his legs. I did not have a camera. Speaking of which we have tried to chronicle the first 2 weeks for you; because this was such an unbelievable sequence of like, love and care. Augie has hit the dogie heaven and we have hit the Augie’s heaven. It feels as if she has always been here. I have a friend who is a “Native American Seer.” He has not visited here in over 8 years. He came on Monday. He believes dogs, horses and bear, reincarnate. He believes Grizzly found the host dog in Augie.

He believes that while Grizzly was aging and becoming disabled, he would not give up his family and home until he found the right dog. And all things took place from there. Augie needed a home. Grizzly needed to stay. And we needed our Augie. There is more to it but it sure is special thinking about it.

Anyway, I have gone on and on. I will tell you we fared just fine on the hill we live on but our little village of Wellsburg, my mailing address, was wiped out. I have agonized over all the villages and towns down route 20 that have become mud pits. I am endeavoring to contribute to these villages. I can drive truck or tow trailers. I have a great deal to give in terms of household items and clothes, tools, kitchen everything etc. I contacted my senator and assemblymen and asked where I can leave things because the road and bridges west of us are collapsed. The bridges we came over to get Augie are gone or severely damaged. People have been wiped out. We have been extremely luck. If you know of centers where I can drive to contribute items, etc. please let me know. Between where you are and where I am, people have lost everything. We gained Augie just before it all happened. We are even more blessed.

WE think of you all the time. Stay in touch. You have our complete regard and respect for all you do. And now our friendship…………. Lynn and John…………

(Click on image for larger version and to view slideshow)


The usual ‘heart-warming rescue story’ is about a dog that has faced incredible hardship, and someone steps forward. Yes, Spencer was no longer wanted and so needed a new home. He was not that “abused, neglected, or lost dog”, just not wanted. You could say he had a higher calling in life, and it was time for him to fulfill that role.

Spencer (almost 8 years old at adoption) is such a wonderful dog for our family! It is so funny to see him “spring” through the snow in our backyard. He’s a very laid back dog who loves to just sleep on his bed in the kitchen, but he never fails to jump up and joyfully greet any member of the family who’s been out of the house for any length of time.

The epitome of the “therapeutic pet,” Spencer has been a great comfort to Zach (age 8) as he recovers from chemotherapy treatments for his leukemia. Spencer likes nothing more than to lie next to Zach on the couch and watch over him. At the same time, Zach’s brother Mesafint (age 7) has a lot of energy, and so he is the one who takes Spencer outside before and after school. It is now impossible to imagine our home without Spencer’s calming domestic presence, positive energy, and unconditional love.

As first time dog-owners, we can’t say enough positive things about the help and advice we received from ESSCLI volunteer Patty Penree who prepared Spencer for a family as his foster-trainer and who probably spent just as much time preparing us to be good owners. The people of ESSCLI gave us the information and confidence to bring Spencer into our home, the support to help us adjust in the first weeks, and most importantly, provided for all of Spencer’s needs from the time of his surrender/rescue to the time he came into our home.

After seeing Zach interact with Spencer for only a couple of months, we wish that every child battling cancer had the chance to have a close friendship with a loyal companion like Spencer.

Jen DeWeerth


Only “May” knows the start of her adventure. She has made sure to touch a number of hearts and take us all on quite the journey. Our part of her journey starts with an e-mail:

Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 10:47 AM
To: rescue@springerspaniel.org;
Subject: Lost Spaniel Showed up on our Doorstep

Good morning!
My name is Claire and about two weeks ago we had a dog show up on our front lawn. We live in the country and it looked like the dog had been on quite a journey. We’re not sure about the exact breed, but are confident it’s a spaniel (either Springer spaniel or Brittany spaniel).
The dog obviously comes for a nice home, seems to be house broken and is very friendly (even knows several commands). We prefer not to send it to the local pound if possible and were wondering if you are accepting rescues? Tonight we are going to see if it has a chip implanted, because as of now our newspaper postings and radio announcements haven’t brought forth an owner. If she doesn’t have a chip, would we be able to connect her with a local rescue rep?
Thanks in advance

Gini, a long time volunteer, saw the e-mail maybe all of 10 minutes after it came through and wrote back asking if they could send a picture. If this little female appeared to be a Brittany, we would find Brittany people as a resource for the little one. The follow up is proof that there are wonderful people that take in our strangers. (Somehow the dogs always know which lawn or porch or deck will be refuge)

Subject: RE: Lost Spaniel Showed up on our Doorstep

I’m Claire’s Mom and I’m sending you a picture. Before you open the photo please understand that we thought the dog was dead on the front lawn before we approached it. She could hardly move from exhaustion. Her hair was almost all gone from scratching the fleas. We took her to a doggy bath place and cleaned her up, checked her out. Her teeth look healthy and her gums are a good pink. For the past 1 1/2 weeks we have had her we have given her meds to help her stop itching and fish oil and grease to help the skin and hair do better. There has been great improvement in her personality and the hair is starting to grow back in. I don’t think she was abused, I think she just traveled a great distance (we are REALLY in the country). Our local SPCA has a chip reader and we are going tonight to see if the dog has one.

Thank you for any help.


The little one obviously needed a name, as we figured out the logistics of getting her from western New York to foster in the Capital District of NY. So we came up with “May” – it seemed fitting, new beginnings, spring, and a Springer! Her journey was about finding that special someone. . .

Well they found each other! And her new Name!

From Diana Nathanielsz 11/15/10

Little Lily May has quite a rescue story as she was found in May 2010 in Allegany (near Buffalo, NY) collapsed on someone’s lawn. Happily, the homeowners took time to find a place for this little English Springer Spaniel, who, no doubt, looked pretty strange as she didn’t have much hair and she had mange. She had been living in the wild for who knows how long. Attempts to find her owner failed.

The Long Island English Springer Spaniel Rescue organization was able to take her in, so she traveled to Hudson, NY, where she was wonderfully cared for by ladies with a kennel (they volunteer for LIESS Rescue and keep several places in the kennel especially for rescue Springers). She was named “May” for the month in which she was found, and visited the vet to treat her mange, get vaccinations, and to discover any other problems she might have. She was diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease, so that needed to be stabilized.

After registering my wish to have another English Springer, and being interviewed by phone, I was happy to meet this little 35 lb girl. She and I seemed to do very well on that first meeting. In advance, I was prepared for the fact that she would need to have daily medication for the Cushing’s and to have plenty of visits to the vet for check-ups. It’s thought she is about 8-10 years old.

I brought Lily May home on October 2, 2010, slightly nervous as to what I was letting myself in for. However, I needn’t have worried as the ladies at the kennel are well practiced in matching their Springer rescue dogs to a new family. Within a couple of weeks, she had settled down really well. Some of her behavior is probably the result of living in the wild – she can pee, poop and eat on the run, and when thirsty will check flower pots in case there is rain-water to found! She often needs to snuggle up close, and also to know that you’ll be back. I’m relieved that the wooden fence around the garden has chicken wire that goes below ground level – otherwise she would be out in the wild again. She loves running, as fast as possible, around the garden — in and out of the trees and shrubs, and around and through the flower beds. Not surprisingly, she has a yen to catch every squirrel she sees! Cushing’s and her age seem to not slow her down.

Lily May responds very well to her most recent name and is quickly getting the hang of several other doggie things that humans appreciate, like not peeing in the house, not jumping on visitors, and not chewing on shoes or other human belongings. I know she would eat off the table or leap up on my chair if given the OK, but she understands that that is not acceptable behavior. She’d even send an email if she could just get her paws around that keyboard! We’ve been through the drive-through at the bank where she’s really happy to get a treat; she’s slept through an hour’s wait in the car while I shop; and, best of all, my “kennel guy” adores her friendly behavior with all his other guests – allowing them all equal time at his side! She is proving to be a wonderful companion, is easy-going, and is very friendly with humans and other dogs.

And Lily May has that Springer smile!


Diana doesn’t know one part of the story; May met a number of people who thought she was sweet. May was polite with them all, but it was obvious she was thinking: “you’re not the one for me!” When May met Diana, May rolled on to her back, testing to see if the belly rubs were going to be the great. I guess May found them perfect: “you are the one for me!”


“2 Athens men accused of cutting, leaving dog”

First published: Wednesday, May 3, 2006 in Times Union (timesunion.com)

By BOB GARDINIER, Staff writer

ATHENS — Two Greene County men who allegedly cut a dog’s throat and dumped him on a country road were charged with felony animal cruelty Tuesday.

Michael Scheir, 32, and Joseph Wheeler, 24, both of Athens, told police Frankie, an English springer spaniel, had nipped the face of a child, so they decided to kill it, authorities said.

They took a kitchen knife and drove to the roadside to allegedly dispose of the dog, they told police. According to their statements, Scheir tried to cut one side of the dog’s throat but experienced some difficulty, so Wheeler took the knife and slashed the other side of the dog’s neck, troopers said. They then allegedly tossed the pet out the car window.

Authorities say the investigation began on April 18, when a resident saw a car pull away from the roadside and saw the occupants of the car dump an English springer spaniel on the ground.

State Police Sgt. Lisa Barkman said the animal was rushed to a veterinarian with cuts from a knife on both sides of its throat. The vets saved the dog.

“He’s doing physically much better now, but emotionally he’s damaged,” said Ron Perez, president of the Columbia-Greene Humane Society, which took the dog in. “This was a very gregarious dog before this, according to a former owner, but now if a man tries to get close to him he gets antsy. We have women tending to him.”

Perez said a group that specializes in caring for English springer spaniels is interested in adopting Frankie.

After the dog was brought to the hospital, it was noted he had a location chip inserted under his skin as a puppy, and his original owner was tracked down. That man told authorities that he gave the dog to Scheir because he could not care for him any longer.

State Police in Catskill charged both Scheir and Wheeler with aggravated animal cruelty, a felony under the state’s 1999 Buster’s Law, named for a Schenectady cat that was set on fire. They also are charged with animal abandonment, a misdemeanor.

The pair were arraigned and released on their own recognizance pending further court action. They face up to two years in jail and a $5,000 fine if convicted on the Buster’s Law violation and up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine on the misdemeanor, police said.

All Times Union materials copyright 1996-2006, Capital Newspapers Division of The Hearst Corporation, Albany, N.Y.
Article reprinted with permission

The article you just read was the beginning of Frankie/Toby’s new life. He was adopted on Memorial Day of 2006. Below is a letter that he wrote to rescue about his first year in his new forever home.

Hi Nanci,
I want to thank you for all you did to find me a home. I am the happiest dog alive. Everyday is a happy adventure. I live with 2 other dogs and 3 cats and they all love me, and I love them. I have a fenced in yard and every day we play fetch early in the morning and again at night. I love to run along the fence and chase cars as they go by. I LOVE romping thru my mom’s garden, and –even though she thinks it’s filled with flowers and plants, I know better–they are actually little pillows for my head. I go for walks lots and I went to puppy training class, where I learned a few things that I sometimes forget. I have a special chair near a window where I like to look out and watch the chipmunks play. But I am really allowed on any chair I want. I get really good food–sometimes roast chicken, my favorite. I feel very safe now so when people come to the house I let them pet me and I don’t think they will hurt me–even the men are nice when they come over. At night, I am so tired from being happy, I sometimes fall asleep in my mom’s arms while she watches TV. Then we go upstairs. I sleep in the middle of the bed, at the top, on the double pillow top. My mom doesn’t need an alarm clock, because she says my breath on her neck in the morning wakes her up….and then we start our day all over again!

I turned 3 in April and we had an ice cream cake and everyone sang. On Memorial Day, we celebrated 1 year in my forever home.

I am the happiest dog alive, and my moms say I am the sweetest. Thank you from the bottom of my paws for helping me find my way



Senior dogs are my passion. They need us so desperately. They LOVE us so much for giving them a place where THEY are loved.

Seniors have taught me that there is no limit on love. You can love a puppy for exuberance; you can love an oldster for quiet reserve. No matter what, you get that love back threefold.

This letter came from Debby Campbell after she and her husband adopted Max at 13.

I think it says it all!

Dear Nanci,

. . . Am enclosing some photos – not terribly good, but I love the one of the 2 sleeping in the back of the car. It says everything!! (Max is a great car traveler by the way)

We are very happy with our guy. And he seems happy with us. I can’t believe how lively he is and how he has gotten our 9-year-old-Lab to play with him. I realize that she has probably been a bit depressed for years now. Maggie, our old springer, was out of it the last little while.

Max is definitely a counter cruiser! – and the two of them tag-team to see just what they can get into (like two pounds of brown sugar !).

. . . Many thanks for your understanding and help in getting us together with Max. Hopefully he will continue to wag his tail for many years to come.

We took him to the vet and his thyroid was low normal (1.5) – so he’s on a month’s worth trial of thyroid meds. Hopefully his fur will fill in a bit – otherwise, he’s perfect.

Again – thanks. Fondly
Debby Campbell

We now call him MAX -A – MILLION – that’s what he means to us!

Our two beloved volunteers, Maryellen and Fred Pheiffer, probably understand the love of Seniors more than anyone in this organization. They take ONLY Seniors, giving them a place to complete their days because no one else can take them. You can read about their love and devotion to ESS rescue elsewhere on the website. (Use the search box on top-right.)


A Story of Survival

Why do we do what we do?

Dylan’s story can remind us.

He had kept his mistress company and comforted her during her long illness. But now that she had died, Dylan himself had gotten sick from stress and was in the emergency vet’s in Brewer, Maine. His mistress’s friend Roberta was worried. Although he seemed to be rallying, it had been discovered that he had Addison’s disease: stress could rapidly lead to severe shock and death. The death and his confinement at the vet’s were, of course, stressful; and more stress lay ahead.

The first was another move. A longtime volunteer, whom he of course didn’t know, picked him up and brought him to me on the Maine coast. Another new person and another new place – with four new dogs to meet. Then came a visit to yet another vet where he spent a week under close monitoring. Dylan toughed it all out: he was recovering. But what would come next? Addison’s is a lifelong condition: Dylan would never be well – and his medication would cost $50 a month in Maine and who knows what elsewhere?

What did come next was a phone call. Cheryl Manning wanted to adopt a Springer. She is an RMT; his condition did not scare her off. Quite the contrary. She hopped in her car, drove from Vermont to the coast in a snowstorm, and took Dylan back with her to his new home.

Now Dylan is spending much of his time in a hospital – but not as a patient. Now he’s a caregiver. He’s a certified therapy dog bringing his happy-go-lucky spirit to cheer up hospital patients.

Here are a photo of Dylan and an ode Cheryl wrote in his honor.


You can’t buy loyalty, they say
I adopted it though, one winter day;
You can’t buy friendship, tried and true,
Well just the same, I adopted that too.
I adopted that, and on the spot
Received love and faith and a whole job lot
Of happiness, so all in all
The purchase price was pretty small.
I adopted a single trusting heart,
That gave devotion from the start.
If you think these things are not
for sale, adopt a brown-eyed springer with
a stump for a tail.



Hi! My name is Timoteo. That’s Spanish for “Timothy”. You can call me Timo. Unlike many of the stories you’ll read here, I’m a twice-lucky dog.

My first family was a Puerto Rican couple, Jorge and Cristina, who were studying medicine in Mexico, where I was born. They raised me from a puppy and taught me excellent manners. In Mexico, I was trained for the show ring and was actually shown when I was much younger. I stayed with them for nearly five years. They were really nice to me, and I was very happy and loved them very much.

After they graduated from medical school, Jorge and Cristina got jobs in New Jersey. They had a baby girl who had medical problems, and I saw them less and less, as they spent time at the hospital with Isabel. They loved me so much that they decided to contact ESSCLI-Rescue to find me a new family that would give me the attention I deserve.

I first met Dave and Marji in my old home. They seemed nice. They got down on the floor and played with me and petted me, and I was happy to curl up next to them. (Of course, I’m that kind of dog; I’ll curl up with just about anyone.) A month later, Jorge drove me out to their house, said goodbye, and left. I was very confused and scared. I had lived my whole life with Jorge and Cristina, and I didn’t understand what was happening.

It took me a while to realize this was going to be my new home, and that I would have to train Dave and Marji how to take care of me. They treated me well, but I still missed Jorge and Cristina and Isabel. Gradually though, I became comfortable with my new family. They took me on nice walks to parks and ran around with me. They bought me fun toys. All the kids on their block like to come over and pet me.

Then we took this really long car ride. I got really scared. I was just getting used to these people, and I was afraid I was being taken to someone new. But it turned out okay. We went to a nice cottage in Maine, and for three weeks I got to romp in the woods, and wade in the lake and go swimming, and ride in a canoe and rowboat. It was fun!

I like my new family now, and I think I’ve just about gotten them trained how to take care of me. (Well, okay, I wouldn’t mind a little more food! I like to eat!) We go for nice walks and rough-house before they go to work and when they come home. (I wish they could be home more!) And we went to Maine again, this time for a week.

So, as I said, I’ve been lucky to have good homes — twice.


On June 27, 2003, Zachary was bailed out of the Animal Refuge League in Westbrook, Maine by Nanci LaMarque and Emily Shepard. Nanci took him home to meet Daisey, King and foster dog Bucky, hoping that he would soon be adopted because her house was getting smaller by the minute. When Nanci picked him up she was horrified by the “hot” spot that was 8″x10″ on his neck… red and covered in pus. She took him to Dr. Tom and he prescribed the appropriate medication. His bio said that he could be a little traumatic in the car… (didn’t appear that way), might fight over food (didn’t), and other assorted problems. He was actually a “dream dog”. And Jim fell in love with him. But so did Emily. Emily, Nanci and the guys all went out on the ocean in the boat a couple of days later and Zach joined them. He spent the day in Emily’s lap, kissing and hugging. Now Emily has three Springer Spaniels too, so she really couldn’t take him, but she told her mother how sweet he was. Suddenly, Emily’s mother, Jean Williams and her stepfather, Frank Moreau said, “We think maybe we would like him”.

So on July 5th, Nanci and Jim took Daisey and Zachary up to the lake to meet Daisy, Barney, Oliver, Jean, and Frank. Oh, and Arrow Cohen from New Jersey was there too!

It was love at first sight. Frank basically adopted him on the spot. Zach played ball with the other dogs and got along famously. He spent a couple more days with Nanci and Jim until Jean and Frank could buy him all the right collars, food, and toys, but on July 12 he went home to Buxton, Maine. A new dog has been added to the collection of “Maine-iacs” and we have no doubt that he is enjoying every minute of his spoiled existence even as we speak!



Marjorie Silver of New York City contacted ESSCLI Rescue’s Emily Shepard to see about adopting one of our available dogs. She had spoken with both Emily and Marge Silverthorn, and kept looking over the list of dogs. At the same time there was an owner surrender named Duke was being fostered at Bob and Betsy January in Westchester County, NY. Marjorie knew that to see any dog it would be tough to get there as she would have to rely on someone else to get her there to meet and greet any dog that she liked. Marjorie would have to be at the will of others in finding a ride since she does not own a car; most people in the city do not. After some more calls to volunteers she finally spoke with George Billeci. George suggested that she look at Duke, now known as Oliver. Never meeting each other, but knowing that she really wanted to see Oliver, George was more than willing to pick up Marjorie and take her to the January’s home on his way to his place in upstate New York.

George and Marjorie met for the first time at 1am at the doorstep of her apartment building, up until that point they had only spoke on the phone. She asked him how she would know that it was him at her doorstep, he said he would be the man with his two Springers and a cat. Hard to miss that in NYC at 1am! But then again, it is the city that never sleeps?! Thus began the adventure began to unite Marjorie with Oliver. When they arrived at the January’s, it was love at first sight for Marjorie, though Oliver was not trained at all. He did not know how to walk on a leash, would be skittish with any loud noises or people coming at him from any direction, but it seemed like he was willing to learn. Marjorie decided to take him, so Oliver’s first night was spent at George’s home in the country.

Upon their return to the big, bad city, it was obvious to Marjorie that Oliver had no manners, no training, and was going to be a handful. So she began working with him tirelessly to handle the ins and outs of Manhattan, the apartment building, etc. He constantly would turn his attention from sound to sound and it was particularly difficult to walk past a bar on the block. Since then Oliver has become very good friends with the bouncer at that bar, he always gives him pats and treats which is the key to any Springer’s heart! After some patient training from Marjorie, he is able to walk on the leash and waits for commands from her before going anywhere, very eager to please. Oliver had to learn quickly what “drop” meant one day when he caught a pigeon from the street in back of the movie house, he had never picked up food from the street before so this was a new one to him! I guess you can take the dog out of the country, but not the country out of the dog!

He is still working on greeting other dogs, he will wag profusely with one that he likes, but will bark his head off when he sees one that he doesn’t. All in all, Oliver trained quickly and soon became so well behaved that he loves to greet any stranger that talks to him especially ones that are sitting on a bench… must be because they are “on his level”. One day his adeptness at greeting people crossed paths with a complete stranger in charge of finding models for catalogs. The man approached Marjorie to ask for her number so that he could contact her to possibly use him. Imagine that, a wayward pup to a possible pin-up model! Only in NYC! During the whole adoption process, Marjorie and Emily became very friendly chatting often with each other about Oliver’s progress. To reward Oliver, his Aunt Emily sent a care package with some rawhide munchie balls in it. Oliver was addicted, and considering he is in NYC where you are supposed to be able to find everything in, there is not one store that carries his rawhide munchie balls. Thank goodness his Aunt keeps him well supplied or he would be continuously pawing the closet door!

The country dog had officially become the infamous “Mr. O” of NYC. He is SOOO well behaved through the noise, commotion, and smells in the city. Marjorie took the leap of faith that she and Oliver would be the best of buddies, which he has proved with his kisses and snuggles. She had turned this dog in the rough to a sparkling diamond that Tiffany’s would be proud to display.


After years of missing Bowzer, Terrie Cohen’s four pawed family member of 17 years, Terrie’s husband, Lee finally was convinced that it was time for a new dog. Terrie surfed the internet and found ESSCLI–Rescue and filled out an application. She and Emily Shepard talked, discussing several dogs. Soon after that first conversation, Emily called and suggested that possibly the right dog might be available in New Jersey. The owner had made a deal with his fiancé to get rid of the dog when they got married. They were in the process of redecorating and the fiancé didn’t think that the dog went with the new décor. Although Terrie was about to go on vacation, she felt that she needed to go and meet this dog, Arrow, immediately. When the owner was contacted he said that the dog was 6 years old, hyper, stressed and black and white with freckles. He was not allowed to kiss faces, get on the bed or he was yelled at.

On July 16, 2002, Terrie and her daughter, Janice went to see Arrow and he was so dirty that it turned out he was actually liver and white. He was tied to a stake in the backyard and looked like he had been forgotten and was starved for attention. But instead of giving him attention, the owner came out and handed Janice a candy bar to give to him telling her that he had one everyday.

Terrie thought that possibly Arrow was crazy because of the chocolate. She decided that he needed her and she would take him home. The owner gave Arrow two valium because he said he was crazy in the car. Not surprisingly Terrie was beginning to wonder what she had gotten herself into.

The valium and the chocolate were immediately cut out of Arrow’s daily routine. Terrie figured she could balance him out, he probably only needed the valium because of the chocolate. After a number of calls to Emily, Terrie said that she was thrilled with Arrow and he was the perfect dog for her. Soon she offered to help with rescue and was put to work.

Today, Arrow is a well adjusted, sweet, loving dog. He moved in and knew it was to become his home. Now he has to sleep in the bed between Terrie and Lee every night. He patrols the yard and keeps his house safe. It’s his way of earning his keep. Although Lee was never a dog person, he is today. Arrow has won his heart and Lee walks him faithfully every night. Janice calls Arrow brother and plays the role of older sister. Although Arrow can never take the place of Bowzer, he now has a special place in three hearts for eternity.



Judi Rodgers and her husband Bill Green had JW, an English Springer Spaniel, for 13 years and in 2002 he crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. Although devastated by his passing they knew that soon they would need another English Springer Spaniel to fill a hole in their hearts.

Judi called ESSCLI Rescue and Emily told her of a 5-year-old male Springer, who was in a shelter in Brooklyn, NY. He had been there for about two weeks and was in desperate need of rescue. Although the shelter was not normally open the day after Thanksgiving, Emily made arrangements for Judi and Bill to visit Parkly. He came bounding out of the back and immediately licked Judi and then ran to Bill. Bill took him for a walk and noticed that he had blood in his urine. Since Judi is a nurse, she knew that she had to take him home and care for him, so home he went. After a check at the vet, it was determined that he had a urinary tract infection and impacted fecal glands.

When Parkly went shopping for a new bed and toys, he snubbed the rawhide bones that he was offered. But a few months later he became the “bone chewer” of the family. He is very protective of “his” bones and eats them twice as fast as everyone else in the fur family. Come to find out, he was once very well trained. He has wonderful manners and also has a few tricks up his sleeve.


Soon after bringing Parkly home, Judi contacted Emily again and said that she would love to help out rescue and would keep her eyes out for any English Springer Spaniels who needed help. In February, she and Bill noticed a desperate plea from the St. Francis of Assisi shelter in Jersey City, NJ. They decided to take a trip there on their way home from work. What they found was a frightened liver and white beauty. He was cage aggressive and it took some time and patience to get Joey out. Once again Bill took him for a walk. This handsome three-year-old won their hearts again. He resembled JW, but had his own distinct personality. Joey jumped right into the SUV and decided he was headed for “home” and there was no turning back.

Judi called Emily and told her about the dog and Emily asked when it would be convenient for someone to pick him up and take him into foster care. As you already know, the answer was… “NEVER, he is staying here!”

Today, Parkly and Joey are happy, in good health, and love their sister Lydia (an American Cocker). Joey is Bill’s dog, almost knocking him over when he gets home from work at night. Parkly is still the king of the bones! All three dogs love one another and it could not be any other way. They sleep next to each other every night and eat their meals together without any problems.

Although Judi and Bill failed at fostering, they won the love and gratitude of two very special dogs and ESSCLI Rescue too!

2001 – April 17, 2011

A Very Special Girl

Six years ago Emily Shepherd had placed Abbey in a home in Maine. She lived there until a month ago, when her owner got rid of her because she had no control over her urine. While that owner had failed to get medical attention for her, whatever was causing her problem had worsened and become severe.

The shelter suspected Cushing’s, and Nanci promptly contacted her own vet where Abbey could stay while tests were done to make a diagnosis. After several attempts they found out it was not Cushing’s. Regular diabetes had also been ruled out; so the only thing left was diabetes insipides or a mental issue that caused her to drink constantly. More tests indicated it was diabetes insipides, a disease that can be successfully treated with meds – but they are expensive! Nanci pursued a source for meds at discount, found them, thought she had Abbey’s cure in hand, when misfortune struck Abbey again.

Back at the vet clinic, she was going into shock. Her gums were white, she was lethargic, and she wouldn’t eat. An x-ray revealed a tumor on her spleen. Only surgery would help that condition, and she was a very sick little girl.

Nanci had to consult our founder Marge, and of course Marge held to our principle: “WE ARE NOT GIVING UP YET. . . . She is ours; we placed her. We are responsible for her for the rest of her life. . . . We will do our best. Maybe the higher power will decide we have done enough and we can’t do anything more, but we have to let that power make that decision.”

Abbey is scheduled for surgery on Monday. Meantime, like any patient, she has her good times and not so good times, but mostly she’s responding to the meds, seems better, and her spirit is amazing. Nanci visits her every day and takes her out for fresh air. She greets Nanci with bright eyes, a wagging tail and sloppy Springer kisses, and clearly says she is tired of the hotel accommodations and would like a couch!!! One day she even said that if Nanci had let her she would have chased that squirrel all the way down to the boatyard and gone for a swim! It’s still amazing how loved she is at the office. The kennel help girl is in LOVE and bathes her every day to keep her pants clean. She actually has gotten them white and they sure weren’t that before!


Abbey has finally gone to her new home! On November 7th, Nanci met Abbey’s new mom at the Yarmouth Vet Center. Although Abbey had been freed from there a few days previous, “Doc Tom” wanted to speak with her adoptive mother so that he could give her a “briefing”. Abbey had been through so much and come through all of it with her fabulous personality and attitude, he just wanted to make sure that everything kept on going in a positive direction.

You see, for two months, Abbey had been living at the vet’s office. It had taken THAT long to diagnose her problems, get her stable, and then move on to her spleen. Finally, just before Halloween, her spleen was removed and the tumor was tested. Luckily there was absolutely NO cancer. The prayers of the country were obviously heard!

On November 3rd, she was finally released for a “test run” at Nanci’s house. Even though she had difficulty with her overnight urination at the vet’s previously, with regular walks and “out time”, she spent four nights in a row at Nanci’s house with NO accidents. She was on her way to a new and exciting life.

So today, she is with her new family. We will all miss her, but that’s what rescue is all about. We take them in, we care for them and then we find them a place to spend the rest of their lives with love and care.

We know that Abbey will be happy and she has many wonderful years ahead of her.

Thank you ALL for your support. Your public and private emails have all been met with smiles. You really keep our spirits up, and most important, all those good vibes reached Abbey too!

Left: Easter 2009 / Right: Eastern Show, Rhode Island, June 2009