Playland rates with pups as well as people.
A page from “Dippy’s Great Adventure”
Melanie Cane and the late, great Baby Bop
Every Dog Deserves a Life, and an Adventure
By Robin Jovanovich
Melanie Cane has had and worked with rescue dogs her whole life. She’s trained a number and helped find forever homes for many abandoned pups in animal shelters.
Before applying to veterinary school, Cane started volunteering at local shelters seven days a week. One day, “an amazing year-old dog was brought in, a pit bull, and it was affection at first sight.” She added that when friends and family learned she had brought home a pit bull, they were wary. But everyone soon grew to love Baby Bop.
When she met Scutch, another pit bull, one that was found tied to a fence at a junkyard and rescued, Cane was soon the proud owner of two pit bulls, plus Jake, a Shepherd/Retriever mix.
After Jake and Scutch died, she fell hard for a pit bull puppy born at the Humane Society of Westchester in New Rochelle. “I wasn’t planning on getting a puppy, but Scoop was irresistible, and Baby Bop raised her as if she was one of her own.” She added, “When Baby Bop died, Scoop was so depressed that I knew I would have to find her a new companion, even if I wasn’t ready.”
While taking training classes at the Humane Society, an emaciated pit bull who was found near death with a pile of dogs who were dead, was hard for Cane to walk away from. “Dippy has been a challenge these last nine years, but she and Scoop, now 12, are close.”
It was while working at a shelter that Cane was asked why she didn’t start a pet-care business; everyone who met her was struck by her passion for animals.
And so, she did and before long she was not only taking her brood to the beach and boardwalk at Playland, but dozens of other lucky Rye dogs.
Watching Cane handle a bunch of energetic pups on the beach during the off-season months, in which they are allowed to run free, is a remarkable sight. She’s totally in control, the dogs come immediately when she calls.
Living right next door to Rye’s historic amusement park for close to 20 years has brought nothing but joy to Cane. “I can see the big sign from my window. I’ve long fantasized about the idea of dogs going on the rides!”
Cane took that fantasy and ran with it. The result is a magical children’s book, “Dippy’s Great Adventure”, which was published last month and is available at Arcade Books in downtown Rye and on Amazon.
“Rather than romanticize Dippy, who has been a ‘problem child’, I decided to show her journey to becoming a purposeful adult,” said Cane. “While in real life Dippy’s energy can be overwhelming, in the book, she puts it to good use when she makes it her mission to save other rescue dogs.”
Melanie Cane has not only written a rewarding tale but one with an important message: Please Adopt a Dog. In the dedication, Cane thanks her late father for instilling in her a love of dogs and storytelling. She writes: “First and foremost, this book is dedicated to my five rescue dogs, past and present, who through no fault of their own were abandoned and/or abused by their previous owners. They have always given me unconditional love, trust, and loyalty. They enriched and continue to enrich my life beyond my wildest dreams and have taught me about love and acceptance.”
All ages are invited to hear Cane read “Dippy’s Great Adventure” on the Rye Free Reading Room patio September 23 at noon. Plan on not only meeting the author, a longtime Rye Record contributor and photographer, but several shelter pups that are in need of loving homes. A portion of sales from the book will be donated to animal shelters and rescue groups.