Chasing Shadows: Christine, Finn, and Lulu

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Christine and her family have a long history with Mighty Mutts/Ollie’s Place. Shortly before 9/11, one of their family cats passed away. In November 2001, they were walking through Union Square and they met the Mighty Mutts crew. They followed up with John afterwards and ended up adopting a 4-year old cat that they named Sophie. She was a cream and white striped, British Short-Hair. This past fall, she became sick. Christine said that she spent many nights just sitting with her, petting and rubbing her. Christine said “one morning she ran into the bedroom and jumped into my arms. I held her as the bells of St. Brigid’s pealed and she passed away.” When they made the decision to get another cat, there was no question as to where they would go: Mighty Mutts/Ollie’s Place. She said that she has “no interest in getting a pet through a breeder or a store.”

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Christine now has two cats from Mighty Mutts: Finn (originally named Goose) and Lulu (originally named Blue Girl). Finn lived out with John at the NJ barn for many years. He is now about nine years old. Blue Girl is about two, but her backstory is unknown. Christine said that since they adopted both of these cats, they have been fortunate that neither has had any seriously bad emotional issues or physical ailments.

These two cats have changed Christine’s life. “I cannot imagine living without them – they give me great comfort and completely nonjudgmental companionship. My home seems ghostly empty without Finn and Lulu in it.” They make her and her family happy. She said they also make them laugh, sometimes falling over in stitches because of some of their antics. One of the funniest things that Lulu likes to do is jump halfway up a wall to try and catch a shadow. Christine thinks that they would love to try and catch the pigeons on the windowsill, but instead they try for shadows. I suggested to Christine to try shining a light on the wall to see if Finn and Lulu would chase it. She tried it and said that they “LOVE” it!

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To Christine and her family, rescuing again is not open for debate. She has done it several times before and she will continue to do so until she is no longer able to provide adequate care. She hopes that if and when that time comes, whoever is taking care of her takes equally good care of her cats.

Christine wishes, as so many of us do, that there was no need for any rescue organizations. However, she knows that there are literally millions of homeless dogs and cats in America and that places like Mighty Mutts/Ollie’s Place are crucial. She truly believes that John and his crew have done a great job and will definitely be returning to Ollie’s Place the next time she is ready to adopt a cat.

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Celebrate with Mighty Mutts and Ollie’s Place for their 20th Anniversary!

Welcome to Dogs of Manhattan!

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For the next twenty days, I have devoted my site to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of an incredible rescue organization operating out of New York City. This organization, over the course of the last two decades, has changed countless people’s lives and brought forever homes to so many dogs and cats – changing their lives too. Mighty Mutts & Ollie’s Place are an all-volunteer, no-kill organization dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating the strays of New York City. According to their website (www.mightymutts.org), each day, thousands of stray dogs and cats are forced to live in our city’s streets and alleyways, crawling about these desolate areas for refuge. They are alone, starving, and in desperate need of care. The vast majority of these animals are not spayed or neutered. Left on the streets, they will continue to bring more and more innocent puppies and kittens into the same, sad living conditions. Mighty Mutts & Ollie’s Place are committed to help change this.

All of the dogs and cats that the organization takes in are kept by foster families throughout the week to help prepare them for life in a “real” home. Every Saturday, Might Mutts hosts an adoption drive featuring some of their dogs that are ready to find their families. Weather permitting, they are outside on the southwest corner of Union Square and can also be found inside the Petco located on the northwest corner of Union Square.

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My affiliation with Mighty Mutts stems from my two loves – dogs and photography. When I lived in Miami, I was a professional photographer. Moving to New York last year, I had to put my passion on hold to focus on building a career. However, in my free time, I wanted to be able to use my talents as a photographer and figure out a way that I could be involved in helping dogs and cats find their forever homes. I reached out to Mighty Mutts and after some brainstorming, this anniversary project was developed.

It is my hope that this project will accomplish two primary objectives: First, I want this project to be an expression of how important it is to rescue animals as they can have a profound impact on both the lives of the owners and the lives of the animals. Just as important, I want this project to help highlight some of the incredible and selfless work that this organization has done over the past twenty years.

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Over the summer, I had the privilege of meeting the pet parents of some of the dogs and cats that were adopted from Mighty Mutts & Ollie’s Place. With each, I did a photo shoot and conducted an interview to help share their stories. Each day, over the course of the next three weeks, I will post a success story and photos from the shoot.

In addition to donating my time and my blog, I would also like to help support Mighty Mutts & Ollie’s Place. If you would like to book a photo shoot for you and your pet, please send me an e-mail.  A portion of the proceeds made from these shoots will be donated to the organization.

I hope that you enjoy reading the stories and viewing the photos. I have sincerely enjoyed meeting these families, their four legged friends, and all of the people involved with Mighty Mutts & Ollie’s Place. This experience has helped me grow as a person and a photographer. It is my hope that it will inspire you to want to get out and support your local animal shelter or rescue group.

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