VILLAGE PET PAGES
Goodbye & Hello Sunny and Spanky
BY JOY AND BRIAN PAPE
SUNNY – Goodbye Sunny…But Not Forgotten
My first dog was Sunny who was found at a bus stop at the Malibu Country Mart in California—handed over from a woman to a man I’ll call Mike, who was courting me at the time. He asked the woman, “Do you even want her?” She answered no and gave away an eight-week-old, three-pound chihuahua mutt. Mike came over and presented her to me and I named her Sunny.
His pursuit of me worked and suddenly I had a dog and a boyfriend. Mike and I began playing house in Malibu where we nursed Sunny back to health. I tried that life on and it didn’t fit, but Sunny did. I drove down the Pacific Coast Highway, emotionally down and out, where Sunny and I spent our days in Venice, California, living in a back house under a canopy of wisteria.
When Sunny turned one, she had a grand mal seizure. She was put on anti-seizure medication and life resumed as normal. Sunny grew up and so did I. I returned east, back to Manhattan, trading the beach for Central Park. Those mornings off-leash in the park are some of my favorite memories.
Sunny’s seizures began to increase in frequency and severity. We started seeing Dr. Tracy Sane at Greenwich Village Animal Hospital and together we monitored Sunny’s health. I realized she would eventually succumb to a seizure. I committed to giving her the best life I could until that happened—and I did for the next seven years.
By caring for Sunny, somewhere along the way, I learned how to care for myself. I said, “I love you, let go,” over and over, until she did. I used to call her an angel whenever I described her, and if angels do exist, Sunny is certainly one them.
Dee Dee Goes to the Country
After Sunny, I adopted Dee Dee. She came from the ASPCA, rescued from a traumatic situation. I tried to give her a good home, but she was deeply unhappy in the City. She had been abused and neglected, having never been outside or taken for a walk in her four years. She was afraid of everything—her collar, her leash, the elevator—that was all before she got outside on the street. I never thought I’d be one to rehome a dog, but never say never. She now lives in Connecticut with a dog trainer on multiple acres and was very happy the last I heard. They changed her name to “Chica” because her new owner’s wife’s name happened to be Dee Dee!
I was walking over to visit Dr. Cerniello at Greenwich Village Animal Hospital when I received this text from her:“I have a new pup in the neighborhood! His name is Spanky and he is a tripod.” That’s when Brian and I met Spanky, a three-legged sweetie, and his new owner, Patrick, at Washington Square Park. Read Patrick’s own words about the pups in his life. —Joy Pape
Spanky is a two-year-old male chihuahua mix that I found at a Waggytail Rescue adoption event. He is the same exact size as Sunny. That’s what first caught my eye. And, I really like his disposition. His vet, Dr. Cerniello, believes Spanky was born with three legs.
I named him Spanky because it’s classic, quirky, and a little flirty. Also, he reminds me of Spanky in “Little Rascals.” Spanky loves to walk in the Village, especially at St. Luke’s Garden. He also likes the outdoor seating at Oscar’s where I go for great fish and chips. What do I love most about Spanky? He is beyond affectionate and confident—and he doesn’t let his bad breath hold him back.
By J. Patrick McElroy