by Jane Komarov
I was lucky enough to have a Beardie named Scruffy while growing up. He was a serious dog, and extremely protective, especially of my mom. When he died at age 9, I never thought I would meet another dog with so much character and soul.
I had been thinking about getting a dog for a long while. I kept coming up with excuses as to why I couldn’t have a dog: my apartment is too small, the constant care, the expense, etc. But last December after my mother became seriously ill and was hospitalized, I did a lot of soul-searching and decided that life is too short to wait for the “perfect time” to do anything. Mom thankfully recovered and I went back to work, at which point I began my research on finding a dog. Should I consider a Beardie? Of course – it is the only dog to get. After tooling around the Internet for a few weeks inquiring about how and where to get a rescue Beardie, making some wonderful new BDL friends along the way, I finally called Paul Glatzer on Long Island.
I spoke with Paul on Monday, January 20, 1997 and told him of my desire to adopt a rescue. He questioned me about my living situation (Greenwich Village), my previous Beardie experience (beloved Scruffy), and told me about the responsibility in owning a Bearded Collie. Paul said he could not guarantee when a Beardie would become available that would be suitable for city-living, but I said I didn’t care – I would wait for however long it took. We then discussed my profession, and everything changed! Paul is an ardent music-lover, and I am a composer-pianist. I told him of how Scruffy used to sit under my piano while I practiced and that he put his paw on my pedal foot. We also share a mutual love of opera and know a lot of the same singers. I do think that the possibility of a Beardie ending up in a musical home made Paul feel a little more comfortable in trying to place a dog in NYC. Our conversation ended with the same statement from Paul about not knowing when a Beardie would be available, but it was OK.
Two days later, there was a message on my machine from Paul; a large, young stay-black male was found wandering in North Carolina – would I please call the rescuers Bob and Barbara Lavietes in Greensboro? I was so excited I could barely think straight, but I called North Carolina and spoke with two of the nicest people in the world, whom I now consider dear friends. Bailey, originally thought to be about two, but was really just out of puppyhood , had been placed in a shelter. No one claimed him, so BCCA Rescue was notified and Bob and Barbara took him to their vet for a complete “clean-up” (ear infection, kennel cough, worms, neutering), where he stayed for ten days. Other than these minor medical concerns, Bailey was in great health and happy as a lark.
Bob and Barbara could not get over his incredibly friendly disposition despite what he had obviously been through, and he charmed the pants off of everyone at the animal hospital. It then came time for Bailey’s passage to New York via US Airways. He was loaded into cargo on a rainy Tuesday morning and arrived at La Guardia Airport an hour and a half later, tail wagging. It was the day after my 34th birthday and a week after first speaking with Paul.
It has been an absolute joy to have Bailey in my life. It has been a stressful, huge responsibility, and I have had to change my lifestyle to accommodate him. But with all that I have had to change, it has more than been returned in the love that we have shared and all the goodness that he has brought. A quick “pee-pee” walk turns into thirty minutes because of all of the people on the street who stop to talk and give Bailey a hug. New York is a friendlier place because of Bailey, whom Karen Norteman refers to as the “Mayor of Greenwich Village.” He is a big, beautiful fluff ball, who thrives on affection and human contact, devilish to no end, trusting, and a brat. All in all, a Beardie. I’m lucky and grateful to have him.