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February 19, 2003
Please help Jacek.

Dear friends and pet lovers. We are interrupting this broadcast to ask for your help in a very important case. A friend of a friend needs a home. It is the worst time of winter and somebody was heartless enough to chose this time of year to put a young and helpless buddy out into the street. No metrocard, no money, he does not even speak the language. Well, apparently he speaks the language of puppy love.
You can read more about the incredibly sad story here. Please help to give this story a happy ending. If you would like to give this handsome young dog a home, please do so. If you are not able to take him in, please try your best to help otherwise. Post his story on your blog/site, tell your friends, do something. I have not met Jacek. I would like to meet him however. If you decide to take him in, or if you find someone to give him a nice home, I will take a formal portrait of you and Jacek. (A bit like the one I took with Stripey, but of you and Jacek, okay?)
So do something. Have a heart. All (non-kill) shelters in New York are filled. We do not want this dog to be killed.



thank a bundle witold.
(jacek loves having his picture taken.)

Posted by: em!ly on February 19, 2003 11:13 AM

I will post this to my blog later today - how incredibly sad. :( I wish I could have a dog, then I would take Jacek.

Emily, you might try hanging a flyer in the window of MonsterMutt (doggy daycare center) in Boerum Hill. It's right outside of the Bergen St. stop on the F train (go out the Warren St exit - it's on Warren between Smith and Court, closer to Smith). Obviously everyone who goes in there is a dog lover, and being an upscale area perhaps someone has room for one more...

Posted by: Anna on February 19, 2003 11:42 AM

great anna, thank you

Posted by: em!ly on February 19, 2003 12:48 PM

I sure wish I could take him in. :( He looks like just the kind of dog we'll get when we finally have a house. Hope he finds a home soon...

Posted by: Karin on February 19, 2003 01:55 PM

i have sent an e mail with a link to jacek's story to a brooklynite who frequently takes in strays of all types, including dogs. witold, what a great idea to offer the portrait as an incentive... if ever the plan anna has for the crafting/art community coming together in a project to help animals, it's clever incentives like the one you offered that will really attract attention to causes! ben and i are still VERY on board with that idea and hope it comes to fruition and that we can help in anyway possible!

Posted by: amber on February 19, 2003 02:58 PM

Amber, I'm so pleased to know that you and Ben are still interested. :) I'm currently working on getting project in motion two other webloggers (a designer and an illustrator) who have had similar ideas in mind for a long time. The scope of the site is really expanding and becoming a larger project than I had originally envisioned. Hopefully we'll be asking you for help in the next couple of months! This is *exactly* the type of situation we want to help with.

Posted by: Anna on February 19, 2003 03:15 PM

The story on that link.
That ain't no story.

The story is thus...

About a week ago I got home very late. It was super cold and super dark, and I had been working all day.
And I come home to my German Shepherd, Sasha, who I've had for 8 years. Who's followed me from West to
East Coasts, Deserts to Mountains for 8 years, she knows me in and out. She knows my schedules. She seen me
beat and she's seen me victorious.

But I come home and here she is waiting at the door looking rather gloomy.

"I have to work," I tell her, "I haven't painted all week," I tell her, "I have to get up early work again," I tell her.

She does not want to hear it. She convinces me (in under 7 watery puppy dog eyed seconds) to take her to the
dog park.

We go. McCarren Park. Greenpoint. Brooklyn.

There's the typical crowd. 25-35 people. 2 month old - 2 year old dogs. All with warm happy homes and warm happy smiles.
The only difference is the one outside of the dog park. And every one is looking directly at him.

"Who's is he?"

"How long has he been here?"

"Should we call animal control?"

I enter the gate to take Sasha into the park and the stray dog everyone is discussing almost slips in.

"OHMIGAWD," someone shouts at me, "don't let him in here!!!"

So I ignore this, and walk in trying to not let the stray slip by me. He does anyway. Some young man quickly shoves him out.

My dog and I play for an hour.
We ignore everyone. Both of us are a bit shy.
She just likes to play with me, I just like to play with her.

The park is covered in a sheet of ice and everytime the dogs chase after eachother they slide when they try to stop until they hit the fence on the opposite side of their previous position.

Its -7 degrees Fahrenheit and I can no longer feel my toes.

You know the picture of Jacek? See those pink chucks? oh yeah...canvas basketball shoes, let me tell you,
not conducive to East Coast winters.

I get ready to leave and hear this whimpering and howling.

Someone had put the stray into the separate "submissive dog" part of the park. He was stuck there. Alone.
On the streets he can find an abandoned chicken leg. On the streets some sweet Greenpoint Polish boy will feed him
from his stoop. On the streets he can find temporary shelter from rain. Locked in the "submissive dog" area at McCarren park and he's lucky if he catches a squirrel in a week's time.

Sasha and I keep walking. The stray yelps once, yelps twice...and I'm already turning back around.
I let Sasha in to play with him.
Everyone at the dog park is watching in awe.

"Be careful!"


Sasha and him get along like best buds. She never plays with any dog (unless we're talking about Ziven, her brother who lives on the West Coast)
and here she is playing like a puppy with the stray.

I let the dogs out of the run.


"I'm taking him to BARC," I say. Another woman comes over and helps me get the stray into my car.

At BARC they tell me.
"No room," they tell me. "Foster him," they tell me. "A couple days," they tell me.
"We'll give you a crate, food, anything," they tell me. "We don't have room," they tell me.
"Bring him back in a couple days," they tell me.

They never gave me a crate (I wouldn't use it anyway), I later called and requested food and the offer was retracted.
I understand. They are over worked and under staffed and there are thousands of strays on the streets.

Its been a week. I didn't eat today because my dogs had to eat today. This is a clear sign that a 2nd dog, Jacek the stray, is breaking my budget.

I called BARC two days ago, "Please can you take him. I cannot afford him. I work 7 days a week. He needs time and love and attention."

I have placed ads, I have placed flyers, I ask everyone I see if they want him. Everyone says how beautiful and sweet he is but they all say "no."

"Oh," the nice lady suggests, "Please drive him to Vermont, it is likely somewhere there the shelters will not be full. Sure it is a five hour drive but..."

She didn't hear me say "7 days a week," i guess. She didn't hear me say, "Cannot afford," I guess.

What Witold is doing means a lot.
I don't have a big heart. But its not so small I'm going to let the dog stay on the streets.
Some dogs are meant for the stress, I mean streets. Jacek is not one of them. He is sweet, so sweet that
when I asked him to sleep in the other room I woke up next to him this morning.
He was grinning and turned on his back with his belly sunny side up.
He would make an amazing family pet.
Think "Petey" from "Our Gang."
Think Saint.
Think, if Witold were once a dog in a past life.

...and thank you everyone for spreading the word.

Posted by: em!ly on February 19, 2003 10:13 PM

if all else fails, if you find a place that does not kill animals within several hours drive of the city, i'll take him there next week. maybe i can help look too, but am away until monday...

Posted by: k on February 19, 2003 10:28 PM

you have a big heart emily. what you did took a lot of courage - and a BIG heart. you became a friend to a dog that everyone else shunned. you did the responsible thing by taking him in from the cold, feeding him, and after calling a shelter, letting him stay and treating him as one of your own - despite your circumstances. if that isn't a big heart, i dunno what is.

how 'bout setting up a temporary jacek fund to help you out till he gets placed with a new family?

Posted by: - s - on February 20, 2003 03:41 AM

I would definitely contribute a little to a fund so you can keep him a bit longer... feel free to email me directly...

Posted by: susan on February 20, 2003 12:00 PM
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