Friday, July 26, 2013


Photo from John & Schoep's Facebook page.

Back in November of last year I posted about the bond between a dog owner, John Unger and his arthritic canine, Schoep. A photo of John cradling his 19 year old dog in Laake Superior went viral on the internet. Because of this picture, donations poured in and John was able to afford additional medical treatment to manage Schoep's condition.

The result: improved quality of life for Schoep during his last year. Sadly, Schoep died recently. My condolences go out to John Unger who was a wonderful caretaker and friend to his canine companion. Schoep was lucky to have John in his life.

Are there life lessons to be learned from this? Most definitely there are.

  • We should go to any lengths to help a friend, human or otherwise.
  • The human animal bond can be strong and beautiful.
  • Retelling Schoep's story is a wonderful way to teach children compassion and how to treat others.
  • Pet parents should never be afraid to explore alternative therapies for their furry family members.
  • All life is precious.

For the picture that spoke a thousand words heard 'round the world and Schoep's story go to Facebook:

Read my original post:

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Buddy was a wonderful little personality. My little man was the perfect cat for two first-time feline parents. While Artie and I will never forget him, I need to acknowledge the fact that he's no longer with us by updating this site. Orphee is with us now and needs to take his rightful place on the 8 Paws and 2 Tails homepage.

With a heavy heart I've exchanged Buddy's picture for Orphée's but I have honored Buddy with his own memorial page. I loved that little guy and I will always miss him.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


As you all know, this year I was extremely disappointed by my inability to stake out a good spot from which to take pictures during the auction and showing of adoptable pets.

My closest friend, Fran, receives regular updates from Theatremania. She passed along their article on 2013 Broadway Barks and guess what?! It had pictures of all the celebrity attendees. Thanks Fran, for getting me what I couldn't get - pictures where you can actually see who's in the photo!

Friday, July 19, 2013


Recently someone asked me if I would declaw Orphée because of his aggressiveness towards Annie. Orphée's attitude towards Annie has improved considerably since we took him in last December. Although he does occasionally chase, hiss or swipe at her, he barely does it at all now.  Sad to say, he did it enough that Annie is still very wary of him and I do make it a point to keep a watchful eye on his body language and facial expressions.

I would never declaw him. Most people do not realize that declawing involves removing not just the nail but part of the toe.  It's akin to removing the top of our fingers from the tip to the first joint. My choice is to work on behavior modification. That can be accomplished by a sharp "no!" a good aim and a stream of water from a squirt bottle. Orphée is getting the idea with just the verbal reprimand. I'll resort to the spray bottle if need be to finish the training.

In Orphée's case I've noticed his aggression towards Annie stems from two things - food protection and Artie ownership. Whenever Orphée thinks Annie is going to take his food he becomes aggressive. This is upsetting because Annie has always been exceptionally well behaved where food is concerned - she never takes anything she hasn't been given. The other evening Artie left a plate of ice cream unattended on the side table by my recliner where Annie routinely hangs out. She looked at the plate but didn't go near it. When Artie returned she sat silently by until he put a bit of it in her bowl. So this is all perception on Orphée's part.

The second reason - Artie ownership - is definitely territorial. Orphée bonded with Artie long before Artie picked him up, tossed him in the front hall and locked him in. It's part separation anxiety as well. Orphée sits at the door waiting for Artie when Artie leaves for any reason. If Artie goes out unexpectedly, Orphée seems to blame Annie and takes it out on her by hissing, chasing and swiping. I believe knowing the reasons is half the battle in solving the problem.

I never want to see Annie get hurt but I can't declaw Orphée since I consider it so inhumane. If you have a cat and are considering declawing, I urge you to read up on both sides of this issue and rethink your decision. The following links are good places to start:

Look at that face! I could never bring myself to declaw him.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Broadway Barks 2013 was a bit of a bust for me this year but more than likely a great success for the rescue animals.

There were throngs of people; a virtual sea of humanity crowing into tiny Schubert Alley. Combined with the hot, humid weather it was a bit more than I could tolerate. However, I did make the rounds - twice. The roster of rescue groups was as follows: 

Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue
Adopt a Boxer Rescue
Animal Haven
Anjellicle Cats Rescue
Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons
Bobbi &the Strays
City Critters
Humane Society of NY
Husky House
Loving Touch Animal Center
Manhattan Valley Cat Rescue
Metropolitan Maltese Rescue
Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League
NY Pet-I-Care
Pet ResQ
Russell Refuge
SaveKitty Foundation
Sean Casey Animal Rescue 
Stray from the Heart
Tigger Foundation
Urban Cat League

In addition, Broadway Barks, SPCA International and Stella & Chewy's had tables. It wouldn't be Broadway Barks without stopping to visit my friends at City Critters who do a terrific job of helping Manhattan cats find permanent homes. A quick stop at the Stella & Chewy's table to talk with a representative about their product and pick up some free samples and a final stop at SPCA International to speak with the ladies about their organization's mission.

The event started at 3 PM; my arrival was closer to 4 and a solid crowd was already firmly entrenched at the stage awaiting the arrival of Bernadette Peters, Mary Tyler Moore and the start of the auction. As hard as I tried I just could not get close enough to the stage to get any decent photos. With and without the zoom my photos are either a sea of bodies or all heads.

Bernadette Peters & Harvey Fierstein start the auction. (Trust me, it's them.)

Bernadette Peters and Harvey Fierstein started the auction and by the time Artie arrived we decided since we just could not see what was going on it was better to leave. I made my second round of the tables with Artie, stopped one more time at City Critters and departed.

Broadway Barks did very well I'm sure in terms of raising money and finding homes. That's great but I'm hoping for better weather for Broadway Barks 2014.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Annie and Orphée have had their breakfast, water, hugs and kisses and I'm getting ready to head out to Manhattan and the Theatre District for Broadway Barks 2013.

I attend Broadway Barks every year.  It's a great feeling to visit the various rescue groups, make donations and talk with people passionate about pet rescue. My brother will meet me there to make his donations then the two of us will watch the auction and parade of adoptable pets.  When the event is over, we will treat ourselves to dinner out before heading home to Brooklyn and our two rescues.

Of course, I will take plenty of pictures and report on the proceedings in future posts.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


It's hard to believe but another year has gone by and Broadway Barks 2013 is just around the corner. Again, Mary Tyler Moore and Bernadette Peters will be hosting and the event will be held in and around Schubert Alley in the Theatre District near Times Square.

I'm looking forward to it as I do every year. Drop by if you can. It's for a good cause. You will see adorable dogs and cats in need of good homes. Celebrities mingle with New Yorkers and tourists. Its crowded; its fun. Bring your singles and loose change and donate, donate, donate!!!!

The 2013 edition of Broadway Barks is this Saturday July 13th from 3:30 until whenever.  See you there!

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Buddy's possessions are still squirreled away in various spots about my apartment. After all this time it is very hard to let go although I have to admit I've made some progress by passing along to Orphée the items Buddy never used. I can only guess that cats are a bit more discerning where proffered gifts are concerned unlike dogs who are thrilled with just about anything presented to them.

Orphée's taste is totally different than his predecessor's - Orphée has wholeheartedly embraced Buddy's rejects. I started with a few toys Buddy really had little interest in. Orphée delights in batting them about the house, pouncing on them, kicking them with his back feet and biting them. He definitely enjoys them.

The big breakthrough came when I passed along a cat igloo Buddy never even acknowledged as existing let alone belonging to him. Orphée was thoroughly intrigued by it.  His love of close quarters immediately enticed him into the cramped interior of the igloo. He sniffed the base, licking and biting the fabric as he familiarized himself with his new possession no doubt intrigued by Buddy's lingering smell remaining from the first and only time Buddy was placed inside.

A plump mouse hanging from the roof was pulled from his cord faster than you can read this sentence. With the mouse tucked under his chest, Orphée settled in and made the igloo his own. It now occupies an out-of-the-way spot under my vanity. Orphée has taken to dive-bombing from my bed into the igloo and reversing the process back to the bed as if he'd been shot from a canon. In short, he's gotten more use out of the igloo in 10 days than Buddy did in 10 years.

In turn, Orphée is more relaxed and fast becoming an integrated member of the family. We are definitely seeing a whole new Orphée.

After the initial inspection. Note the mouse behind the front paw.

Hey, this ain't half bad!

See the string where the mouse hung?

He likes it! Now to get him out so i can move it to its permanent location.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


Will we celebrate Independence Day today? You bet! And in more than one way.

All of a sudden everything fell into place - by everything I mean we are now functioning as a family. Orphée is almost 100% comfortable with all of us.  He is only slightly hesitant around Annie.  He no longer takes swipes or hisses at her. He now talks to us a little which is nice considering Buddy talked incessantly and I really miss that interaction. Orphée follows me around sometimes, runs away from me less than before and actually plays with me.

There were two major breakthroughs - now he licks Artie after a grooming session and he is spending part of the night sleeping on my bed with me and Annie.

From time to time Orphée will stop and smell Annie's face as he passes by her. For the most part, Annie is calmer around Orphée.  She no longer detours if he is in her path of travel and she simply turns her face if he walks past her instead of jumping up or running away.

All these changes have made for pure bliss.  It's so peaceful I can't believe I'm living in the same house. I feel positively liberated. So does Artie and I bet Annie and Orphée do too.

So today we celebrate - our nation's independence and our coming together as a family. Enjoy the holiday! We're going to enjoy ours.

Happy 4th of July!