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bella_abdog.pngBob Marino, president of NYC Dog led the successful campaign to legalize off-leash hours in New York parks so dogs can socialize and exercise together.
Today Bob lost his extraordinary Bella Abdog to cancer. I have been there, and it hurts like hell. Bella has been his constant companion for 11 years. The two of them: great huge Bella with her gentle soul, and Bob with his endless supply of treats for every dog they encountered, have been inseparable. Love to you Bob, and thank you for everything you’ve done to make New York one of the top 10 dog-friendly cities in the world.
Bob told me in email: “I would like to start a campaign to raise funds to get a tree planted in Central Park that would be a memorial tree for all dogs lost… we could hang a pic of our dog when s/he passes and at the holiday, photos of all dogs lost that year would be hung.” I love that idea. I’ll be happy to help.
I want to share with you part of Bob’s message to members of NYC Dog. It’s as lovely a Thanksgiving message as you’ll hear anywhere:

“My mourning will pass but the memories of happier days will remain.
I wish you each a wonderful Thanksgiving. With most of the world living in dire poverty, we have much to be grateful for. Many of our own neighbors live lonely lives without friends or family. And some of those receiving this note bear silent burdens that would crush weaker beings. Our problems appear miniscule when put into perspective.
Share the joy of your day with those whom you love (2 or 4 legged) but please remember to do whatever you can to help those who are not as blessed. Say hello to a homeless person and look them in the eye. Call someone who might be alone. Donate time not just on Thanksgiving but when the crowds are gone but the need remains. Volunteer at an animal shelter to walk dogs that live 24/7 in tight cages. Donate blood so others might live. Or just smile and say hello to a stranger on the street.”

In what has become a New York City tradition, when a local dog dies, owners and their friends post flyers so others will know. And so now, sadly, we’ll post flyers about Bella.