Country Dog/City Dog
This week’s Happy Tail comes from Nora Painten of Brooklyn.
I adopted Zander from the ASPCA in May 2007. He had just been returned to the shelter, and he was the first dog I saw. He looked up at me over his shoulder with his big, brown puppy eyes, and I fell in love with him immediately.
I was encouraged by ASPCA staff, and by the friend whom I had come with, to look at all the other dogs upstairs before I made my decision. But I had already decided. I met lots of other lovely dogs, but when I finally got to hang out with Zander in the ASPCA play room, I just knew he was my dog. We have been constant companions for four years now.
Zander came home with me that day to a farm in Connecticut, and we spent three good years there chasing chickens (he never killed any), scouting for foxes and playing with his best friend, a white Poodle named Sophie.
People often asked us about Zander’s mix of breeds (because he is so handsome), so we tested his DNA with a mouth swab to try to shed some light on the subject. The test showed that he was mostly Poodle.
After much confusion and hilarity, we surmised that he and his girlfriend Sophie had been swapping saliva before I administered the test—but we still display his poodle certificate with pride.
A year ago we moved back to NYC, to Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, and started a new life here. There were many things we would miss about the farm, and I felt so guilty about taking Zander away from puppy paradise, but it turns out, he is thriving on being around so many more people and dogs. In Brooklyn, smells on the street are always changing, he is constantly meeting new dogs on our walks, and Fort Greene Park is a new kind of paradise.
Yes, chasing deer in Connecticut was quite a thrill, but he has much more of a family here and has adjusted beautifully. On some level, we understand each other’s thoughts and emotions. I love him like a son and can’t even begin to imagine my life without him.