Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Doggie Do's - and Don'ts - When It's Time for a New Pet

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Doggie Do's - and Don'ts - When It's Time for a New Pet

Article excerpt

When Jasper passed away, in 2013, friends told me to get another dog, ASAP.

A few readers did likewise.

"Get another dog," one wrote. "Your column stinks since your dog died."


I got the message. But I still didn't think I was ready. I'd had Jasper for 17 years and watched her advance from puppyhood to old age.

As a friend noted, "She was 1 when you got her. That's 7 in dog years. Now she's 126."

"Yeah, I know," I said. "She's starting to look like that old lady in 'Titanic.' "

Jasper's death was difficult for me -- something I really didn't want to go through again.

Plus, I was afraid that I'd get a new dog and want her to be exactly like the last one.

I confided these fears one day to my friend Chicklet.

"Sure, I'd love to have another dog," I said, "especially a rescue dog. They're always special. I'm just afraid that I'm going to want the new dog to be just like Jasper."

"Ooh," Chicklet said, "that sounds like 'Vertigo.' "

"The inner ear disease?"

"No," she continued, "the Alfred Hitchcock movie. Remember? Jimmy Stewart meets Kim Novak and falls in love with her, but she kills herself so he gets all depressed and has to go to a sanitarium and blah-blah-blah. And then he meets this other girl who kind of looks like Kim Novak -- because she is Kim Novak, who is playing someone else, or so we think -- so he tries to make her dress and get her hair done like the first girl, because he still loves the first girl, but he doesn't realize that she really is the first girl. And then something happens and they go to this big tower and she gets killed. Remember?"

I shook my head. "Maybe I should get a cat."

Chicklet has one. My friend Donna has a cat, too. My friend Danny has a cat. Sometimes I think everyone has a cat.

I saw "Cats" on Broadway and bought the original cast album, but I'm allergic to non-singing cats. So even though felines are lower- maintenance pets than canines, I still wanted a dog -- which proved to be complicated, because getting a dog isn't as easy as it used to be.

When I got Jasper in 1997, I went to an animal shelter in Passaic, took her for a walk, signed some papers and took her home.

Voila! …

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