We have a very special Let Sleeping Dogs Lie & Napping Cats Nap this weekend. It is a piece that was originally prepared for Urban Animal Magazine and would have been used as the “Part of Our Family” feature.
After 10 years in print, Urban Animal has gone away. But in that decade editor/publisher Bob Walton managed to raise the level of animal rescue and discussion in North Texas. And, in honor of Bob’s work, and with his permission, we’re declaring this an Urban Animal combination of Let Sleeping Dogs Lie & Napping Cats Nap While Being Part of Our Family. We were tipped to this great story of a dogs and the legacy of dogs by Gabrielle Wallace of Forté Group Inc., a marketing person with a love of pups.
And it’s a story that ought to be told -- a story of the value of a dog to a man who loves the rascal. This dog is following a legacy and enhancing a Legacy!
As you can see from that opening photograph, Oreo the Dog absolutely qualifies for “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie & Napping Cats Nap.” Oreo is one good snoozer!
But Oreo has a lot of other positives, too, as we discovered in an interview with Michael Ellentuck who, if it were not for Oreo holding the title, would be the “Top Dog” at The Legacy Senior Communities. As it is, Mr. Ellentuck settles for being the company President. (Read about Legacy and its dog-friendly philosophy.) Here’s our report with thanks to Gabrielle, Bob Walton, Mr. Ellentuck and the great Oreo.
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Gatsby the Dog had passed away and Michael Ellentuck was not quite ready to adopt again, not quite ready to have a dog that would be compared to the great Gatsby.
Around three years ago, Michael says, “My wife Linda had been asking ‘When are we going to get another dog?’”
Without telling Linda, he went to Operation Kindness, the no-kill shelter in Carrollton. But this particular day, he was just not finding the right dog -- after all, Gatsby, who’d died at the age of 18, left quite a legacy on the family heart.
“I was about to leave when there was my dog -- reincarnated! -- laying there in the corner. It was frightening how closely they resembled each other! He came over, got in my lap and looked in my eyes.”
That sealed the deal. Since that moment, Oreo has been part of the Ellentuck family and other families, too.
Some dogs have one home. Oreo has two. He lives with Michael and Linda but in the daytime when Michael, President/CEO of the Legacy Senior Communities, is at his office, Oreo is at home there, too! He is the walking (sometimes slumbering!) symbol of The Legacy animal-friendly senior communities Ellentuck leads, particularly The Legacy at Willow Bend in Plano.
“Our community is dog friendly. We built Legacy to be dog friendly-- several hundred people live here and about 20 people have dogs -- and part of what we did was to build a doggie park. This is about the dog’s quality of life, too. I wanted to make sure the dogs have a quality of life ”as did the people who are considering moving here with their “best friend.”
Oreo, an 8-year-old terrier mix, follows in Gatsby’s paw steps from home to the office. They are significant paw steps – the cocktail lounge at the Legacy Willow Bend is named Gatsby’s. It’s an indication that Michael’s dogs are both part of the family and part of the office. “Fortunately I’ve always been able to do that -- always had dogs I could take to work with me.”
Taking Oreo home to Linda produced a bit of a surprise. “When I walked in the house with him, she was just shocked and thrilled, almost crying. It was a shock; here was Gatsby reincarnated.”
Other people who’d known Gatsby were also shocked. “The first time I took him to work, our main receptionist, Julie, literally gasped and said, ‘I thought Gatsby was dead.’ ... They do have very different personalities. But this was just an omen. It was meant to be.” Oreo weighs in at 28 pounds, just like Gatsby. Both were rescued, as was Michael’s dog before Gatsby, Monty, who lived to be 14. Michael praises Oreo as “the sweetest most mellow, laid-back dog you’ll ever meet in your life.”
Oreo had a history. “The guy who originally owned him had Oreo and a couple of German Shepherds,” says Michael. “He had to give up all his dogs. Oreo was at Operation Kindness for a number of months and another family adopted him. But he was a ‘marker‘ and they brought him back.”
When Michael started the adoption process, the OK people warned him about the marking. Not to call Michael “The Marker Whisperer,” but he has a way of communicating with Oreo. “We came home. He peed, marked a spot. We had a conversation and he never did it again.”
PICK YOUR PET OR YOUR PET PICK YOU? He definitely picked me.
HOW ABOUT THAT NAME? He was already named Oreo.
ANY MARKETABLE SKILLS, SPECIAL TRICKS? “He doesn’t have a job. He doesn’t have an income, which would be a nice skill. If I said, ‘Lay down,’ he lays down, rolls over. “
CELEBRITY LOOK-ALIKE? He looks most like Gatsby, his predecessor.
ON A POLITICAL PARTY MAILING LIST? He’s independent.
WHOSE HAIRSTYLE COSTS MORE? “His is the most expensive!”
TAKE YOUR PET CAR SHOPPING? “Yes. In fact, I was buying a little Mini Cooper. I went back a half dozen times and took Oreo. I said the last part of this deal is I want at Mini Cooper dog collar for Oreo. He [the salesman] gave me one, so Oreo wears a Mini Cooper Dog Collar. He sits in the front seat like an adult. He has to have the window open. He has learned in each car we have to push the button to open the window. I put it up, he puts it down!”
ALL PETS ARE PERFECT, BUT... “He doesn’t destroy anything. He’s never destroyed anything. Gatsby would take my socks and hide them.”
MOST ADORABLE THING? “When we’re watching TV on the couch, he sits up like a raccoon on his little fat butt like a person sitting in a chair ... When I come home he runs to the couch and sits up like that.” Then, first thing, Oreo gets his treat. “He’s definitely modified my behavior.”
ODDEST THING YOUR DOG DOES? “He talks. I will get him talking. It’s not barking. It’s like talking. People watch it and they’re just freaked out by it. He doesn’t bark -- it’s a whole different sound. He’s a very smart dog.”
FRIENDS AND RELATIVES WANT TO TAKE YOUR DOG HOME? “Yes, nobody wants to take me home but everybody wants my dog.”
DOG HAVE A JOB? “When he comes to works with me, his job is to go and visit the residents. I have him in meetings in my conference room; he gets up in the chair. People come back and want to see him.”
IN A PREVIOUS LIFE? “He was a person.”
TREAT WE SHARE? TRAIT WE SHARE? “I don’t eat his dog treats -- he likes apples and carrots. ... We both like to go for walks.”
AT BEDTIME? “He sleeps on my head. I have to make his pallet behind my pillow every night. He’ll sit there while I make his pallet just right. ... He licks my head in the middle of the night.”
I’VE SNUCK MY DOG INTO...? “Where ever they’ll let me take him, he goes.”
MY DOG WAS IN MY WEDDING? “He would have been.”
DOG HAVE POWERS OF PERSUASION? “At 2 p.m. when he’s at work, he goes and just lays down in the hallway. That’s my first signal he wants to go home. At 4 p.m., he finds me and sits right in front of me and just stares at me. You won’t see him all day, then it’s 4 o’clock and he sits right in front of me and says it’s time to go home. It’s a stare like no other.”
When it's smoochy time, I kiss my pet on the lips, top of the head, nose or we do a Hollywood air kiss-kiss? “I kiss him anywhere. My other dog and I used to eat Popsicles together!”
[TO NOMINATE your slumbering critter or office mate for our weekly spotlight in Let Sleeping Dogs Lie & Napping Cats Nap, send photos and info to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to feature your critter in a “Part of Our Family” column, we’ll happily help you do that, too! Send a request and we’ll send you the questions. Giving people an opportunity to see the joy of critter companionship is a great mission and we’re proud to be part of it. The fact that animals have happy lives helps my fellow insomniacs get some sleep! That’s our theory. Now, keep reading because we’ve got opportunities for the weekend.]
TANK’S FACE -- IT’S MAGIC!
Oh, goodness, have you ever seen such a handsome face? Sydney Busch of the great Friends of the Animals at Cedar Creek Lake sent us these photos and this note:
“This handsome, incredibly sweet boy can't help it that I'm a terrible photographer! He looks much better than my photo is making him to be!
“He is now neutered, vaccinated, recovering and is available for adoption at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake (shelter in Tool)...Their phone number is 903-432-3422...Go check him out! (Hint: he loves peanut
butter!)” [LARRY ASIDE: That may explain the "larrupin' " pose in the photo on the right!]
Yes, this guy is one of the happy customers at the Friends of the Animals Spay/Neuter Clinic, the world’s most successful spay/neuter clinic in Gun Barrel City, Texas.
Ask anyone who has a Pit pup laying around the house, they’re great companions and keep Peter Pan Peanut Butter, Skippy, Jiff and other brands in business. And they’re huggable -- add some grape jelly to the sandwich and their doggie breath smells like childhood.
Tank is being restrained because he has a tendency to greet the camera with affection! He’s the photographer’s friend. And anybody else’s friend if they have a jar of peanut butter!
FOR YOUR WEEKEND PURSUITS:
We’ll try to keep these short. If you’re out near Jacksboro, northwest of Fort Worth, or feel like a nice drive, the Jacksboro Animal Shelter has a male and female Chihuahua pair -- 9 years old, fixed, mannerly, good with all sorts of critters and people. “No one adopts in Jacksboro and these guys are in a small pen and need out.” To ask email email@example.com or call Star Kinder at 940-507-2165. ...
From the other side of the metrosprawl, Yantis, southeast of Greenville, an appeal is issued on behalf of this dog. (Contact is firstname.lastname@example.org.) Terrell Animal Alliance’s note says, “We were contacted by a lady who came across a sweet girl who is chained in a field with no shelter whatsoever from the elements. She is in Yantis, Texas, which is Southeast of Greenville. And chained ACROSS the street from where her 'wonderful examples of humanity' owners live. Just heartbreaking. Picture attached and looks like she's still holding out some hope with maybe a little blur of a tail wag? She [a rescuer] has talked to them and they don't want her (obviously) and are willing to give her up. This GS [Good Samaritan] is looking for a place that has room to take this girl in. Border collie mix maybe? I have no information about vetting - but whadda ya bet no vetting??”
And there’s a little kitten note, too. It was forwarded to us by Karen Lee, the animal advocate. The note from Christina Bartha reads, Our pet sitter rescued this adorable kitten (maybe 3-4 weeks old?), and we’re looking for a home for it.” To ask about giving this kitten a home, call 817-939-6928 or email email@example.com.
These two Cattle Dogs are sisters and they’re currently on the west side of DFW. Heather Harrison, the noted rescuer/tipster, reports, “These girls were picked up alongside the highway a few months ago. They were very thin, covered in trash, and terrified! The owner (who adopted them from DAS [Dallas Animal Services] only a few months prior) decided she didn’t want them back! Without any other options available, they have been in boarding for months now! Both are quite timid, really need some one on one human time! Once given some reassurance they will likely be fine. They are bonded but would likely benefit from being separated. Fully vetted. Well mannered.” Get in touch with Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org. ...
Wherever you go this weekend, remember that there are animals in need. Help one of them and you’ll have a weekend to remember.
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