Pets and the city
Read this, and if a tear doesn’t come to your eye, you are a cruel soul:
Used for breeding at a young age, Angelique was left to die in a Philadelphia street six years ago after being hit in the head with a nail-ridden two-by-four. The Pit Bull pup suffered a lifetime of abuse at an early age according to her adoptive mother, Mighty Mutt’s Executive Director Michelle Marlowe, who added that Angelique was discarded after she was apparently no longer able to breed.
Ironically, it was this final act of cruelty that would give Angelique a chance to live like few dogs from the street ever are. After being saved from the gutter by a veteran Philadelphia animal rescuer, Angelique found her way to New York City and into the arms of Marlowe.
Over the next six years, Angelique would enjoy the dog-friendly streets of Tribeca and in the process gain a best friend.
“She was the love of my life, she was truly my angel,” said Marlowe, who would refer to her scar as a ‘Beauty mark.’ “Angelique became an ambassador for the Pit Bull breed. She often converted people with children, the elderly or those who had been bitten by dogs into understanding the true loving nature of Pit Bulls.”
On Oct. 6, 2010, Angelique passed away from a severe brain tumour.”
This is from the obituary section in a paper called The Companion, a new, free quarterly that I picked up at my local pet shop. The majority of the articles are written by the publisher Michael D. Mullins, and it’s full of headings such as “Woman jumps in Front of Car to Save Dog” (a true story), “Dog Cloning … An emerging industry?” and the more academic “Redefining the term ‘Rescue Dog’.” They’re so wonderful I can’t resist adding just one more: “Neglected pup gets second chance.”
New Yorkers love their pets. You get chihuahuas here that are treated with more deference and affection than most parents show their kids. But there is abuse, and the city’s animal shelters are known to be filthy and underfunded.
I’m all in favour of animal rights — the little faces that stare from The Companion‘s pages would truly break your heart — and I look forward to keeping an eye on this idiosyncratic source of news (“NYC Doggie Moms star in Upcoming Reality Series.” Really?); but I also find the paper’s anthropomorphic style to be droll, quirky, and very “New York.” Where else would someone dedicate an entire publication to their pooch (see below)?
What do you think? Have a read of these — Heaven Sent: A story of a Cat named after an Angel; Local Priest: A Savior for City’s Strays. Last, and most important, there is this: The Inspiration: Susie’s Story. Mullins writes: “Suzie’s passing left a void in my heart that can never be filled. It is in her honor that I launch The New York Companion Newspaper. My hope is that by helping abused and abandoned animals in Suzie’s memory, I will be keeping her a part of my life forever.”