Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

At Woofstock, Every Dog Has Its Day

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

At Woofstock, Every Dog Has Its Day

Article excerpt

TENAFLY -- They came from all over to walk the path at Municipal Circle Park on Sunday: dogs on all fours, dogs with three legs and even a few dogs in wheelchairs.

Tails wagged and tongues lapped in unison. This was clearly no ordinary Sunday walk in the park. It was Woofstock, a communal gathering of the breeds and a fundraiser for the Tenafly-based animal rescue operation, PetResQ Inc.

Many of the dogs prancing Woofstock on Sunday had been rescued -- saved from almost certain death by people willing to adopt them and pay their sometimes steep veterinary bills. Now these were back to "Pay It Forward," in the words of Woofstock organizer Robyn Urman.

"The humanity is in how we pay it forward," Urman said. The vibe at Woofstock was that people can heal dogs -- and dogs can heal people.

Bette Kaplan of Tenafly arrived with Zippy, a French bulldog in a wheelchair. Four years ago, Zippy was left on the doorstep of an animal hospital in the middle of the night. One adoption, two back surgeries and one wheelchair later, Zippy rolled into Woofstock on Sunday.

Kaplan brought Zippy to Woofstock to participate in a fundraiser for CareforLifeandLimb.org, a non-profit dedicated to helping people with disabilities gain equal access to health care. Zippy was selling kisses for $1 a lick.

"He's got an amazing personality," Kaplan said of Zippy, adding that he's a trained therapy dog. "He was left on a doorstep to die, but this is what people can do if they care. I take him to hospitals to visit kids who are sick. He gives back."

Tami Luchow, the founder of Care for Life and Limb, has a prosthetic leg. She said some health insurance companies would cover only one prosthetic during a policyholders' lifetime, so she launched Care for Life and Limb to change that and other inequalities in the health care system that affect disabled people.

"People with disabilities should be able to live their lives to the fullest," Luchow said. "Access to health care should help them do so. …

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