“Oh, the Times, They Are a-Grayin”

“Get over here!”

My husband and I were walking through Williamsburg (Brooklyn) today with our dog, Mary Todd. Brooklyn is noisy and people yell a lot.

“I love dogs. Get over here!”

In a sea of ironic hipster facial hair and skinny jeans, a woman with larger-than-life Dior sunglasses and a walker was calling us. She wanted to meet Mary Todd.

“I miss having dogs. Get over here, so I can kiss you.”

She kissed my dog. We got talking.

“I’ve lived here for 65 years. Same apartment. Rent controlled.”

She kissed my dog again.

“Then a new landlord came in. Doesn’t like pets. My whole life, I had pets. Now what?”

She kissed my dog again.

“But what am I gonna do? Cause a stink? I need this place. Been here 65 years.”

Mary Todd Makes Friends

* * * * *

“His name is Scruffy, but he’s not my dog.”

I met Arthur and Scruffy while walking my dog in Bushwick (Brooklyn). The pup perked up upon hearing his name.

“I’m 80 years old and I live in senior housing. They don’t let us have pets.”

We walked a few blocks together, along with the dogs.

“I walk Scruffy twice a day for an older woman I know. She doesn’t have the capacities I have.”

Arthur pointed to his legs.

“It keeps me around the animals. I love animals. I had animals my whole life, until now.”


* * * * *

“When I moved here, I had to give my cat up for adoption.”

Her photo was posted today on Humans of New York.

“There were two broken hearts. Hers and mine.”

Humans of New York

* * * * *

“Hospets® was founded in memory of Larry Stearns and his best buddy, Uppity.”

Lisa is Larry’s daughter. She founded Hospets in their honor.

“When the local hospice, homecare agency, or senior services agency have a patient who needs assistance with pets, they will refer the patient to Hospets. Hospets will meet with the patient and/or family to determine what the needs are for the pet and pet owner.”

This is Larry and Uppity.


* * * * *

Americans are living longer and in greater numbers than they have at any period in history. Our country’s needs are changing. The opportunities and resources available to us are changing.

But our love for companion animals — our symbiotic relationship with companion animals — is stronger than ever. We need each other.

The field of animal welfare has an unprecedented opportunity to support the human-canine bond.

Will we rise to meet the challenge?