Letter to the Editor: “Ghost” dog identified

To the Editor:

I read the story about the Meet and Greet with Toto event held last weekend on the Paresky lawn (“Winter Carnival hosts Meet and Greet with Toto,” Feb. 25, 2015). The story referenced a “ghost” chocolate lab spotted at the event. I am happy to share the identity of said “ghost” lab. She is Hannah, also known as Haney, the dog I rescued from Tennessee nearly four years ago.

Haney and I enjoy daily walks on campus and while strolling by Paresky, we apparently crashed the Meet and Greet event. Haney had fun playing with the other dogs as I enjoyed watching their antics. I hope this will become an annual Winter Carnival occurrence. I love that the College campus is so pet friendly. Haney and I often have students stop and ask if they can pet her. She is happy to oblige. The students get their “puppy fix,” and Haney gets plenty of body rubs: a win-win situation for all!

I laughed when I read that Haney had been given the Most Changed Since Freshman Year Award. While unsure of its meaning, she proudly accepts … I think!

Another reason I am writing this letter is to promote the adoption of shelter animals. For those who don’t already know, rescue pets are the best! They ask for little but give so much. Please keep this in mind if you are looking for a pet. In this country alone, hundreds of thousands of animals find themselves in shelters every year due to abandonment, neglect, owners who are no longer able to physically or financially care for their pets, etc.

How can we help? The most obvious way would be to adopt from a shelter when you are looking for a pet. There are a few shelters in our area (check the yellow pages under Animal Shelters) as well as shelters in virtually every state.  Some are no-kill shelters; sadly, some are not. These shelters exist mainly by donations and fundraising events. They have websites where you can find out what they need from their “wish lists.” Monetary donations, of course, are most welcome. Please help if you can. I’ve had people tell me they are apprehensive about adopting a shelter animal, especially an adult one. They worry they may be adopting someone else’s problem animal. Haney is my fifth rescue dog, so I speak from experience when I say that there is nothing to fear. Haney was skittish around men when she first came to me (due to abuse by her original owner), but after a little patience and a lot of love, she is the perfect pet.

I’d like to mention also that the contact person who helped me bring Haney home to Massachusetts is a College graduate from the class of ’91. She fondly remembered the monkey carrels on the lower level in the old Sawyer Library. It is a small world.

Judy J. Jones

Williamstown