Notes on the side

Jennifer McCammon with Broadway

So often things transpire as an issue comes together. I’ve begun to share some of the really special tales in my blog “Behind the Scenes with Us” at (check it out!).

Here I want to share a few details that came in around the “Lost Dogs” story, after the story had already been finalized.

First, about the pup on the cover this month. Talking with Reese Mercer, right-hand to filmmaker Vanessa Schulz, I learned that while they were filming this scene, 10 whole minutes elapsed before a single passerby reached out to touch that dog.


At the same time harsh realities like this must be tempered with the realization that different cultures are . . . well, different. Thankfully we can’t imagine tens of thousands of homeless dogs living in our streets. In other locales it’s simply part of the landscape.

As to the pup Vanessa is holding, that’s Bob. You may have noticed the fur is gone from his ear. He’s a Cocker Spaniel that really touched her heart (the missing fur was the very LEAST of his problems, says Reese). Bob will definitely be in the final film cut, says Reese, along with the fabulous rescuer Gabriela, who gave his owners grief about not caring for him properly. Reese says, “Bob’s OK now, but still in Chile.”

I hope you feel as I do that sharing these stories opens windows into realities that should open our eyes, expand our perspectives and, hopefully, stir our compassion. I also hope you share the sense of honor and appreciation in having the opportunity to meet and support those who work in the trenches. Not only is the labor of it demanding and often thankless, but having to withstand the pure heartbreak (you might be able to bring four or five home, but you’re painfully aware of the thousands who remain behind). These guys are monsters in the very best sense of the word, and I hope if you feel led, you’ll reach out and give a hand. I promise they’ll take it and put it to very good use . . .touching lives.

Yours in everything pet,