In this mini-series, members of the Uptown family share how their furry families came to be.
Dr. Sullivan and Bonnie
I had just moved to New York and started my first position as an associate veterinarian. I knew a few people, but was lonely after leaving most of my friends behind in a transatlantic move.
I found Bonnie at a rescue group in Manhattan that works with ACC (Animal Care and Control) to help adopt as many of their animals as possible. She was a mess, with a mange infection leaving her substantial ears balding and scabbed, severely underweight, and of unknown breed. I told the rescue staff I didn’t want a white dog, I didn’t want a pit mix, and I didn’t want a pet with health issues (I knew I’d be adopting plenty of those down the line!). Boy oh boy was I wrong about what I wanted. They brought Bonnie out and I melted. She was all about meeting people, and remarkably calm for a puppy. She wanted nothing more than to curl up in a willing lap.
I met a half dozen dogs that day, but she stole the show. After a quick test confirmed she was friendly with cats, I adopted her. I was so new to NYC that I was still learning how to get around the city, and carried her, along with her crate, through Chinatown, onto the subway, and a mile across Brooklyn to my apartment.
Over the next three years, she saw me through a whole lot. A few job searches, dating in NYC (wow! someone should have warned me about this one before I moved here!), making new friends, and exploring the city. We ended up lost more than a few times together, and she always stuck with the adventure until we were home. She gave me an excuse to go to the park every morning, and a reason to talk to new people over coffee and fetch.
She has always been an incredibly trusting and loving dog. One night, playing in fresh snow, she sliced open her foot. There was blood everywhere, and it must have hurt. Because of the blizzard, I couldn’t get her to a hospital, and had to fix her up at home, without sedation or proper pain medication. She let me clean her foot and wrap it all by myself, with no one to even hold her. She just kept looking at me with her big eyes, seeming to say, “If you say I need to do this, I’ll do it.” I think she feels that way a lot, and tolerates all sorts of ridiculous things (we tried to see if she would fit in an IKEA bag so we could take her on the subway. While she does fit, to make a long story short–I would not advise traveling with your 50 lbs pit bull in an IKEA bag). In return, she asks very little: fetch every morning in the park, snuggles on the couch if it’s cold out, and a new toy to destroy once in a while.
I think all pets are special, but some even more so than others. We each have a few “pet soul mates” over the course of our lives, and Bonnie is certainly one of mine. Our furry family has now expanded to include a cat, another dog (Bonnie’s best friend!), and a less furry man (my best friend). Our menagerie has made NYC feel like home for this transplant, and I wouldn’t be here without all the hours Bonnie and I spent together those first few months in the city.
Uptown Vets – 295 West 112th St, New York, NY
(212) 222-1221 – firstname.lastname@example.org