The ASPCA provides support for and is part of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, a coalition of animal welfare groups working together to make our hometown safer for animals. This Happy Tail, from Kate Naito, is a great example of how the Mayor’s Alliance is making a difference for animals throughout our city.
Despite the rough shape Owen was in when I met him, I'm starting to think
he's the only dog with nine lives. He was well into his teens when he was found wandering around Chinatown on a frigid Christmas Eve and taken to Animal Care & Control.
A kindhearted employee took pity on him and asked a Brooklyn limited-intake shelter to accept this "two-year-old Chihuahua."
Luckily for Owen, the shelter, Sean Casey Animal Rescue, took him in, even though it was obvious he was not two (even 12 would be generous!) and not exactly a Chihuahua.
One day I went to the shelter to walk dogs, and I spotted a teetering old terrier mix. He was looking blankly into space and just trying to keep his balance while standing.
Honestly, I can't say it was love at first sight. It was more like sympathy at first sight. He looked as if he wouldn't make it another week in the shelter.
So despite having no attachment to this sick old man, I convinced my husband to bring Owen home and give him a nice place to spend his dwindling days. We decided not to bother changing his name, since he wouldn't have time to learn a new one.
That was April 2010. Owen is still with us, and I could never have imagined how much joy he would have brought to my life, albeit not right away. When I brought him home, he just wanted to be left alone.
But as Owen got chubbier and stronger, he decided that I wasn't so bad, after all. Now he is my happy little shadow. When I get out of bed in the morning, he spins like a top with excitement. If I dare try to sleep in, he wakes me up with his hoarse howl (or his "moo," as we call it). He's the cutest alarm clock ever.
I always knew our time with Owen would be limited, so I never miss a chance to give him a kiss or sneak him a treat; each day with him really is precious. He's shown me that any dog is capable of becoming your best friend, no matter how old he is.