My 5 Favorite New Yorkers: February


It’s that time again! Today, I present my 5 Favorite New Yorkers of February. The fact that this month is shorter than the others doesn’t mean it is any less of an honor to be chosen.

These choices are based on this dog’s opinion of each candidate’s dog friendliness, animal advocacy, good-eggishness, and general New Yorkitude. Honorees may be humans, animals, or institutions.

In no particular order and without further ado…

Albert the Dog’s 5 Favorite New Yorkers for February 2015

1. FDNY Lieutenant David Kelly: Burt the whippet had been missing from his Harlem home for five months after slipping out of his collar. In late January, firefighter human Mr. David Kelly noticed what looked like a small greyhound hanging around the FDNY (Fire Department of New York) training academy on Randall’s Island, but the dog always ran away when approached. Undaunted, the firefighter researched missing dogs in the area, leading him to Burt’s human. He left food out at night for the wily whippet. After a few nights, and on the eve of Snowmageddon 2015 (which, in NY, turned out to be not much of anything), Mr. Lieutenant David devised a trap and safely caught Burt. What was Burt doing for those five months? How did he get to Randall’s Island? Only Burt can tell us. But kudos to Mr. Lieutenant David Kelly for going the extra distance to reunite Burt with his human. The full story is here in the New York Times.

2. Animal Care & Control and the Department of Health: The non-profit AC&C, a/k/a “the city shelter,” and the Department of Health announced a plan to build a new animal adoption center in Manhattan, to upgrade the Brooklyn Animal Shelter, and to double the number of mobile adoption vans in Queens and the Bronx. The AC&C is required to take in any animal brought to them, and sadly, some of these animals are euthanized. Here is hoping this major new effort will help more of these surrendered or lost dogs, cats, and bunnies find homes.

3. Riva the Coyote: Riva, a female coyote spotted last month in the Upper West Side, just wanted shoot some hoops in Riverside Park, but the NYPD “nabbed” her on the basketball court—after having some initial trouble with their tranquilizer darts because it was so cold that the tranquilizer kept freezing. So ended her sojourn in Manhattan. After being checked out by a veterinarian, she was released in the Bronx to feast on Italian sausages and cheese on Arthur Avenue explore a coyote-appopriate wilderness. I suppose I should not be nominating a coyote, because perhaps a coyote and I can never be friends. But I cannot help but admire Riva’s moxie. You can read more about Riva, and about other New York coyotes, on the urban wildlife blog Out Walking the Dog.

4. Geoff Schwartz: My humans and I do not really follow the National Football League. We prefer tennis and international football (soccer). The Guy used to watch basketball, but I fear the Knicks have ruined that for the time being. My ignorance of the NFL aside, I shall now consider myself a fan of the New York Giants—specifically, of Mr. Geoff Schwartz, a male human offensive lineman for that team. Last weekend, Mr. Geoff, an animal lover himself, sponsored the adoption fees of several dogs at the aforementioned AC&C of New York. Now, this is an example of an excellent play call.

5. Patricia Clarkson:



There you have it! If you have nominations for March, please let me know in the comments or by e-mail.



Photo credit: D. Shankbone, Wikipedia Commons


4 thoughts on “My 5 Favorite New Yorkers: February

  1. We particularly love Burt the Whippet When The Bean first came to stay we had several other dogs including the most gentle Whippet who we had named Achilles to fulfill a lifetime ambition to shout ‘Achilles – Heel’ often and loud. Achilles had been found wandering in our local town we presume dumped by the same people who string up moles and hunt hares illegally – as a sight hound he would have been a pikey dog but his sight was attrocious and we think this is why they dumped him. Like Burt only he ever knew the truth but he was The Bean’s good friend for several years and taught her much about raiding bins for scraps. We also love Riva though we have neither of us ever encountered a Coyote. Great list, Albert 🙂

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    • That is a lovely story, Ms. Osyth. I sometimes meet a couple of whippets on my walks, and they are very sweet and gentle dogs. I am glad The Bean and Achilles got to be friends.

      “Achilles – Heel!” must have been pretty funny. I once went on a hike with a dog named “Stella” whose human delighted in yelling her name at the top of her lungs, in her best Marlon Brando impression.

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