By Sarah Derman
Our family always knew that a dog was in our future. Pig Pig, the family guinea pig, was in clear and imminent danger of being cuddled to death, so we felt it was time to step up to the big league. In October 2016, I started lurking with serious intent on the Pet Rescue website in search of a Labrador or Lab mix to join our family.
We filled out an application, warned our references that calls to check on our dog suitability might be in the offing, and put in a request to meet Tillie who looked a likely sort. Alas, Tillie was undergoing heartworm treatment and wouldn’t be available for adoption for several weeks. I knew I had to move fast lest my husband Dan change his mind. The entire family duly went the next Saturday morning to a “Meet and Greet” in Harrison to meet two possible pooches. Lacie was sweet and docile and Larz was more the leaping and frothing type. Half of the family liked each dog, and none were willing to switch sides. We determined this meant we should keep looking.
That week, a photo of a delightful looking fellow appeared on the Pet Rescue website. He had large, soulful brown eyes and a decidedly doleful look. Heartstrings were tugged, and we applied to meet him. His name was Larry.
On the appointed day, my younger daughter Margaret, 8, and I bombed down to Harrison to be there when the gates opened. We wanted to make sure we had first option on this Larry character. When the Pet Rescue volunteers brought him out, they told us several other families were interested in him, too. Larry zoomed right towards us, goofy and friendly and far skinnier and taller than his picture might have indicated. His ribs were showing and he was all legs. The volunteers thought he was about 3, part Lab, and part indeterminate variety hound. Dan and our daughter Charlotte, 11, showed up post-soccer practice and knew immediately that we had found our man by the possessive stance and tight leash gripping of both Mother and Margaret.
We renamed him James Bond due to his tuxedo-like appearance and the fact that the moniker Larry produced no results, and settled down to the business of getting acquainted. What we have learned: his papers say he came from near Opelousas, Louisiana, a small city northwest of New Orleans. He probably lived outside as he was initially timid of coming into the house and still hasn’t mastered interior stairs. He has a penchant for pickup trucks and had no idea what a ball, chew toy, or Frisbee was. We didn’t hear him bark for a month.
Now, five months later, he acts like a “real” dog. He knows all about balls, can catch a Frisbee out of the air, and particularly relishes gutting stuffed dog toys. He has found a sofa he likes very much. And he barks — the deep, chesty woof of a true hound — but still not often. He is most un-Bondlike in that he is a total love, a big cuddler, and deeply enjoys belly rubs. He looks even more dapper in his tuxedo after gaining about 10 pounds.
Dan and the girls recently took 007 to the beach in Rye where he caught the eye of Caroline Walker who is involved in Rye Rescues. She thought she had seen him before, and she had. She knew the woman who runs the shelter in Louisiana, and Jason, the pilot who flew him up to New York on a private plane. She related that the shelter owner had begged pilot Jason to jam then-Larry onto the already dog-packed plane. Jason relented and fell in love with him on the flight.
We are so grateful to Pet Rescue, to Caroline Walker for sharing James Bond’s story, to Jason for flying him north to his new home in Rye, and to the owner of the shelter for saving his life and the lives of so many wonderful, loving dogs like James Bond. And Pig Pig, the guinea pig, is grateful for the relative peace and quiet.
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Caption: Dan, Margaret, James Bond, Charlotte, and Sarah Derman
Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Tischman