Companion Animal Placement

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CAP - HILLSBOROUGH

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FOXY WE WILL NEVER FORGET YOU




"FOXY DRESSED FOR THE WINTER" THIS IS FOXY'S FIRST ANNIVERSARY AT THE RAINBOW BRIDGE

March 28, 2007

Our Towns

A Pit Bull Who Provided Lessons in Loyalty and Unfailing Love

By PETER APPLEBOME

HOBOKEN, N.J.

In the pecking order of man and beast, there was no lower rung than the one shared by Randy Vargas and Foxy on the streets of Hoboken.

He was 46 and homeless, regular work like that fondly remembered machine-shop job long in the past. She was a member of dogdom’s least-fashionable demographic, a 10-year-old brindled pit bull, compact as a pickup truck, ears askew, two-tone face, white neck, the rest an arbitrary mix of light and dark.

And yet in this city increasingly defined by creatures who drew the long straw — winners in real estate and on Wall Street, sleek goldens, pampered Yorkies, fashionable puggles and doodles — there was something transcendent in their bond.

Maybe in a world of opaque relationships, theirs was a lesson in clarity like a parable from the Bible. He had rescued her back when she was homeless and abused, a scared runty thing living with homeless men who had no use for her. She in turn gave him purpose and companionship and love.

Maybe it was how the relationship brought out the best in both. It brought him to life and into the world, as much a part of Hoboken street life as any young comer with his black Lab. And it made her a creature of eternal sweetness, unfailingly friendly to people and animals, tail wagging at the merest glance, a pit bull in name but not metaphor.

So if you spent any time in Hoboken the odds are pretty good you would have seen the two of them, sleeping in front of SS. Peter and Paul Parish Center, visiting the Hoboken Animal Hospital, walking down the street — the dog keeping perfect pace with him, dressed in winter in raffish layers of sweatshirts and T-shirts plucked from the St. Mary’s Hospital Thrift Store, she keeping perfect pace with him.

Cheryl Lamoreaux remembered seeing Mr. Vargas resting on a condo’s shaded concrete steps on a sweltering August weekend day, flat on his back with Foxy in the same position one step below. It was the perfect image of man and dog, she said, and added, “This really was a dog with a deep soul.”

Everyone who knew them said the same thing: Mr. Vargas cared for the dog better than for himself.

“If it was the dead of winter, the dog would get all the blankets, he’d get the sidewalk with nothing on it,” said Robin Murphy, a groomer at the Hoboken Animal Hospital. “If it was raining, he’d put the umbrella up for the dog before he’d put it up for himself.”

But there’s not much margin for error at the bottom rung. Once this winter, he was arrested, accused of making threatening remarks to women. The case was dismissed, and friends say it should never have gone that far. But Ms. Murphy had to rescue Foxy from the pound in Newark, where she could have been euthanized.

It all ended so fast, people still can’t explain it. Aside from a dog run, she had seldom been seen off the leash, but on the morning of March 19 in the park, she was. She saw a dog she knew across Hudson Street, dashed across to say hello and was hit by a white pickup that stopped briefly and then sped off.

He held the dog, blood spurting from her mouth, and waved at passing cars, but none stopped. So he carried her 60 pounds, feeling the broken bones in his hand, as far as he could, then put her down and ran to the animal hospital for help. But it was too late.

People come by every day, some fighting back tears, to leave donations, more than $900 so far. Some come from people who knew them, most from people who felt like they did. Alone they might have been invisible. Together, they were impossible to miss.

In different ways, they’re still around. Her picture is in some store windows, wearing a gray sweatshirt with a red T-shirt under it, gazing to the right like a sentry, a wondrous study in essence of dog with a touch of human thrown in. Since the accident Mr. Vargas has had good days and bad ones, sometimes being up and around, sometimes, like the other day, looking groggy and defeated under his red comforter on the street. “I feel,” he told a friend, “like I have a hole in my soul.”

At the animal hospital they’re buying a pendant to hold some of her ashes that he can wear around his neck. Friends check on him regularly, bring him food, talk of finally getting him a place to live. There’s talk of getting him a new dog when he’s ready, which surely isn’t now.

“It’s like most relationships,” he said from under the red blanket. “You have to wait for the right time.”


COMPANION ANIMAL PLACEMENT HAS ALWAYS BEEN A CHAMPION FOR THE BULLY BREEDS AND WAS HONORED TO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HELP FOXY AND OWNER WHEN THEY NEEDED IT. WE ONLY WISH THERE WAS SOMETHING WE COULD HAVE DONE THIS LAST TIME.

CAP - HILLSBOROUGH

NEWS

Companion Animal Placement has a large number of wonderful pit bull terriers for adoption. Each of them has been spayed/neutered and brought up-to-date with shots. Additionally, they have all been temperament tested and are ready for homes. Our volunteers will be able to help you find the right dog to fit into your family. Please don't discount these wonderful animals! Click on Pinky's picture below and read how one family feels about their new addition.


IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

MANY WONDERFUL CATS AND KITTENS ARE LOOKING FOR A FOREVER HOME.

Companion Animal Placement is honored to be able to help a number of displaced Katrina pets. We have volunteers who have driven and flown into the area and who have spent countless hours trapping and feeding homeless dogs and cats. Please don't forget about these pets. If you don't remember them no one will,.

Companion Animal Placement is always available to help owners find a new home for their pets. If you can hold onto your animal and would like us to help you find another home, please email us. We will be glad to post your pet on our website and help you screen potential adopters. We require that the pet be spayed or neutered prior to our posting him/her for adoption.



CAP IS IN NEED OF DONATIONS TO PAY VET BILLS, BOARDING AND FOSTER HOME EXPENSES. PLEASE SEND YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE ADDRESS BELOW, OR DROP THEM OFF AT HOBOKEN ANIMAL HOSPITAL.
Also for those interested, check out:
A MUST LINK FOR DOGS WITH MAJOR HEALTH PROBLEMS

WHO WE ARE

Companion Animal Placement, CAP, is a non-profit organization committed to saving the lives of animls while educating the public about the spaying and neutering of all pets. CAP is run 100% by volunteers and was founded in 1989 for the sole purpose of finding homes for all the unwanted animals. Our animals come from shelters, abusive homes, the street or once happy homes forced to abandon their helpless pet. All of our rescues are seen by a vet, vaccinated and altered if they are old enough.

VOLUNTEERS

Our volunteers are the of our organization and are dedicated to the well being of the animals. New volunteers are always welcome.

Our Featured Pet...

PIPER


Pet of the Month

ASHANTI

IT IS ILLEGAL TO LEAVE A DOG TIED OUTSIDE WITHOUT FOOD AND WATER AND SHELTER.
READ A STORY ABOUT CHARLEY!!!!!

I do rescue. This is what I tell people when they ask me what I do. That I do a myriad of other things as well is somehow irrelevant, this is the one thing that comes to mind and often leads to some interesting and substantive conversation. How people react will tell you something about them and whether they are people you want to get to know better. Often as not they aren?t.

I, unfortunately have lots of stories, usually they are sad but often with happy endings. You can decide for yourself whether this is one of the sad or happy ones.

Charley was a beautiful Golden Retriever, anywhere between the ages of 7 and 14 years. It?s hard to tell because life had not been particularly kind to Charley. His story begins on a cold wintry January evening when I received a phone call about a dog that was living in a fenced yard with little shelter and no food or water. The owners who had abandoned him had made certain he couldn?t escape his cruel fate by restraining him with a chain. We get calls like this often enough that not all of them can we help. But for some reason I couldn?t get this one out of my mind. And rather than spend a sleepless night imagining the very worst, I decided to do something.

After a few phone calls I had enough volunteers to break into Fort Knox and even the bolt cutters necessary for cutting the fence and chain. By the time the three of us reached our destination it was past midnight and was for the most part an uneventful rescue, except that Charley was in even worse shape than we had expected. Too weak to walk we bundled him up in a blanket and carried him to the car. He refused food and water and we realized then just how sick he was. His entire body was covered in tumors some of which were infected and bleeding. He was grossly underweight and severely dehydrated. We took Charley directly to the clinic and set him up for the following day, comforted by the thought that at least he was warm and dry, but very sick.

The following day we had all prepared ourselves for the possibility that Charley would have to be euthanized, not a decision we looked forward to but one we felt must be made if Charley was suffering. I don?t know exactly what happened but events took over and after several bags of fluids Charley started to respond to the treatment. In 24 hours he was up and walking and beginning to take an interest in all of us. Over the course of the next week Charley started eating and even going for short walks. It was very much like watching him come to life and he seemed to enjoy all the fuss we were making over him.. The staff at the hospital quickly became attached to him and he to them, despite his spending most of his time in a cage, Charley seemed happy.

But not all was good news, it turned out that Charley had lymphoma and although treatable if not curable by chemotherapy, Charley in his present condition was not considered a good candidate. By this time we had all come to love this dog. He had an especially gentle nature and was content to just have his head stroked and loved everyone, including other dogs. We wanted very badly to give Charley a home where he would be loved and cared for, even if only for a short time. Since I had been responsible for his rescue I would be the one to take him home to my 5 other dogs and cat and husband.

It has been over 3 months and although every other day I think this is the day, Charley makes a rebound when I least expect it. He loves to have all of us around and despite his frailty he tries to get in the center of things. My other dogs don?t quite know what to make of him, since he can?t really play but tries anyway. My husband and I get enormous satisfaction when at the end of the day and we come home Charley is laying on his bed and wagging his tail to greet us.

Needless to say he has very little interest in going outside except when nature calls and much prefers the warmth and coziness of our home. My point in writing this is not so much about Charley as it is about all the other Charleys that are out there and who need our help. Had we not intervened, Charley would have most certainly died alone and in pain.

Our hope is that the next time someone knows of a Charley that they do something to help and not just walk away thinking someone else will come along. Because they won?t. This is your chance to feel good about being human.

PS: On May 2nd Charley quietly slipped away in my arms.

CAP NEEDS CASH DONATIONS TO CONTINUE WITH OUR WORK, SO MORE DOGS LIKE CHARLEY CAN BE SAVED AND VETTED.

We can ALWAYS use Donations...

Blankets and towels Leashes and collars Canned dog and cat food Rawhide chew bones
Naturally cash contributions are extremely welcomed!
COMPANION ANIMAL PLACEMENT
PO BOX 3365
HOBOKEN, NJ 07030
Phone 212-673-7295

Email: robinl.murphy@gmail.com




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