Tag Archives: Pets

Dogs on the Wonder Wheel? Coney Island- June 16th!

Dogs on the Wonder Wheel- what?

This Saturday June 16th is Pet Day at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park!

The World Famous *BOB* will host the 2nd Annual Pet Day and Pet Costume Contest at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, on the Boardway in Coney Island, from Noon to 7 PM on Saturday June 16 (Rain Date June 17.)

Give your pet (accompanied by you, of course) a free ride on the landmark Wonder Wheel.

The Pet Costume Contest begins at 2 PM. The judges are proud pet owners Bambi, the Coney Island Mermaid, and Angie Pontani, Miss Cyclone. Entries are limited to 25 and registration is first come first-serve. Pre-register at the Wonder Wheel website by downloading an application or register in person from 12:30-1:30 PM on June 16 across from Wonder Wheel Park. The registration fee is two cans of cat or dog food — a donation to Sean Casey Animal Rescue, which will have its mobile adoption van parked on 12th Street during the event.

1st prize: Deno’s Wonder Wheel season pass and a $150 PETCO gift certificate

2nd prize: Deno’s Wonder Wheel day passes and a $75 PETCO gift certificate

3rd prize: Deno’s Wonder Wheel day passes and a $25 PETCO gift certificate

The Contest will be followed by a pet procession through Wonder Wheel Park.

I might have to break out Phoebe’s Mailman Costume!

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Filed under Brooklyn, Dogs

Love and Loss of Two Great Friends

Yesterday, April 17 2012, we finally had to let go of our 17 year old cat Itty Pity. She took care of me for 13 years–practically my whole adult life. She moved up to NYC from Florida with me back in 2000 and has been the one consistent thing through years of trying to “figure it out” in Brooklyn. I will greatly miss being poked in the face in the middle of the night, meowed at from the top of the refrigerator in the morning, and having to share my popsicle’s with her (she had odd tastes). Though she’s mentioned a lot in Dogs of Brooklyn her poem was edited out. Sometimes its hardest to write well about those closest to us.


The Ballad of Itty Pity

You found me splayed out on top of the garage waiting

for Debbie-gut punched by first love’s fist. My scorecard

read “World-1, Susie-0.” You sniffed then paw poked me,

claws scraping my sweaty Florida arm waking.

You’d had enough of your 5 cats, 3 dogs, and 2 lovebirds

predicament at the old Tallahassee house on the hill—Precious,

who they thought was a she soon they discovered a he under

all that white fluff fur, now he’s going by Mr. P.

Harley’s biker cat matted mange, Merlin’s 17-year-old

tongue hanging out, Phoebe’s cantankerous mews

of the news of the day. Enough of dodging the dogs

out back’s barks and bounds—Busho, Kota Bear,

and Honey the red (not hot) dog. Your green eyes plead

as you nuzzled my shoulder rattling my sobs with your purr.

The 2 lovebirds, Debbie and Dan, walked up laughing,

told me to take you. Itty Pity goes to the City

in my final escape from the liquid air of Southern states.

You howled the whole way up in the U-Haul as I changed

radio stations every few minutes much to my Dad’s dismay.

We moved into our first apartment alone, an illegal

underground bunker in the middle of Park Slope. We prayed

there’d be no fires, and you didn’t see the sun for two years

like some prisoner. At 22 it was the best I could do, you forgave

me for your own bowl of kibble and a warm bed.

Then we moved on up into that sunshine St. Marks apartment

above the dogs across from the lumberyard sawing drunks.

You stared out the window at the trees and birds for hours

while I broke my heart over and over. Debbie called,

said the 2 lovebirds broke up and started drinking again.

You just sat by me cajoling cuddles, snuggling sickness out—

it took years. Finally after ten years you molded me into less

of a mess, though the latest apartment has sporadic heat

and I come home smelling of other animals. This city—a bunch

of boxes and bodies stacked up on top of each other all waiting

for their turn in the spotlight, at love, at peace in all the noise

and distraction. You just want me to come home.


Yesterday also marked the loss of one of my oldest clients. Ginger who I took care of for about 12 years. She taught me it was ok to not want to be lonely, with her sad pleading eyes every time I had to leave her. She was one of the fastest dogs at Prospect Park in her day and would run circles around everyone. Here’s her poem from Dogs of Brooklyn.

Olive sleeps squished up in a fruit bowl on the kitchen
counter, her striped and spotted tail swishing over its
ceramic side, taunting. After hours, she wakes to case

the clank of the front fence gate. No hurry, she stretches
long and yawns, slowly making her way. Ginger’s ears
perk at the stir and thunk of kitten kitchen table pranks.

Ten years castle queen then along this coy cat came,
sauntering around like she owns the place. Ginger’s
toenails click on the wooden floor as she investigates.

From nowhere a white paw socks her muzzle gray.
She jumps back barking and looks up to find Olive’s
tiny frame towering over her dog, mocking. Quick,

to the window chase! Distracted, retaliation will have
to wait while they contemplate all of the people out on
the sidewalk marching in time trying to keep pace.


Filed under Brooklyn, Dogs, Poetry

My Life on the P List- Beaten by a 12-year-old at DWAA

I’m starting column to chronicle the d-list antics (humorous rejection) of being a poet and writer out there promoting myself. I’m calling it “My Life on the P List.” P being even further than D-list in the alphabet and miles away from the A-list. P also standing for Poetry, Promotion, Projectile Vomiting. P really can mean anything you like, but basically its my attempt to laugh at all the ridiculous rejection writers face. So read on- my failures are here for your enjoyment!

Several months ago I got a letter in the mail saying I’d been nominated for an award from the Dog Writers Association of America (really!) for my poem “St. Francis of 42nd Street” that appeared in the December 2010 of Dog Fancy Magazine.

February 12, 2012, the same night as the Grammys, I attended the DWAA Awards Banquet. So while Adele was busy getting awards left and right, I was making small talk with the real life cast of Best in Show. Appropriate considering the Westminster Dog Show is happening over the next two days. That’s right Mark Doty, Amy Hempel, John Grogan, and all you other writers who’ve had critical success writing about dogs–Eat Your Heart Out!

I have photos to prove the DWAA actually exists! When I got to the Affina Hotel, that’s right, we got swag bags! And instead of Rolex’s or whatever they give people at the Grammy’s mine was filled with dog friendly ice melt, dog chews, and other dog related products. Try to contain your jealousy!

Swag bag!!!

Wait it gets better! We checked out the writing display (my poem and Dennis’ photo was nowhere to be found)

Writing display

We find a table and wind up sitting next to some breeders. One of which had been a Westminster judge. Being that I’m a hardcore shelter/ rescue dog advocate sitting by breeders was like sleeping with the enemy! They were nice but did talk about judging “good” dogs. It got interesting when one of the older ladies started feeling sick and left to go to the bathroom with no shoes on. We checked on her to make sure she wasn’t having a stroke or something, she was ok but clearly not all there.

Dennis and I managed to eat our chicken dinners and keep our mouths shut about shelter politics.

Dennis and I playing nice

So the award ceremony starts and lots of the nominees and sponsors aren’t there which the presenter comments on saying about the sponsors “That’s okay we still have their money!” Which cracks us up. The awards are these plastic medallions and some cash awards. When they finally get to my category they announce the 4 nominees for poetry. One is at the table next to ours and she’s a fourteen year old girl that has a head band with cat ears on it. The presenter says her poem was published when she was only 12-years-old. They announce the winner and its her! She squeals and runs up to collect her plastic medallion. I stand there stunned that my 33 year old self who’s written for 20 years or more just got beaten by a 12-year-old wearing cat ears. They come over and give me my nominee certificate. I force a smile

My certificate! Almost as good as my MFA dipolma!

The highlight was I noticed Patricia McConnell who is pretty much my dog training idol sitting at the table next to us. So before we left I met her and gave her a copy of DOGS OF BROOKLYN!

Patricia McConnell is touching my book!

I grumbled my way home with Dennis who tried to cheer me up and not laugh at me too much. Its so ridiculous I actually can’t not laugh about it all.

So last week I was interviewed by Melissa Febos in the Rumpus and got mentioned by Poets and Writers,  this week beaten by a 12-year-old. Thankfully, the dogs love me no matter what–Too bad they can’t buy books!


Filed under Brooklyn, dog training, Dogs, Poetry, Self publishing, Writing