Welcome to my Blog, a place for humans with a “Weekness” for dogs…To learn more about National Dog Week please refer to ABOUT. Thank you.
“Dogs are doctors and psychiatrists as well as teachers…The presence and companionship of dogs, the observation of their playful antics have helped patients on their way back to normal thinking and living.” William Lewis Judy, Founder of National Dog Week, 1949
On September 9, 2001, Rose Russo, who had worked as an NYPD police officer and detective for 13 years, celebrated her birthday on the rooftop of her Brooklyn apartment. Rose recalls taking in the amazing view of the World Trade Center, content with her life as a public servant, happy to be of help to so many. Two days later, on September 11th, her life, like those of so many others, would be shattered by the events that took place that day, and Rose’s vision of retiring as a member of the NYPD had abruptly ended.
As a result of injuries suffered as a responder to the WTC, Rose was diagnosed with a condition known as Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome(CRPS), a debilitating condition that worsens over time. Rose frustratingly recounts how, “Every doctor simply wished me luck and sent me on my way. No one could even explain the condition to me. All I knew was my nerves would continue to deteriorate. My body would continue to breakdown and I could very possibly end up in a wheelchair.”
With this prognosis, Rose fell into a deep depression; she needed to find something to bring some joy into her life. The cure, DOGS! Rose enrolled in the New York School of Dog Training and found a new purpose for living. Bonding with Anthony Jerone, owner of the facility in Queens, New York, Rose quickly became his prize student. “I directed and I followed. There was no task or stunt I would not undertake. I soon found myself teaching his German shepherd how to crawl. Training and grooming became my life.”
Then Rose met Diane Zdrodowski, a breeder of Cavalier King Charles spaniels. Rose fell in love with the breed, and soon welcomed new puppy Penny-Lane into her life. Rose says that Cavalier King Charles spaniels are highly affectionate, playful and aim to please. With their beautiful bright eyes, they can melt hearts and make excellent companions. “Penny-Lane knows when I am having good days and when I am having bad ones,” says Rose, explaining on days when her pain confined her to bed, Penny-Lane would stay by her side. So what’s better than one Cavalier King Charles spaniel, how about two? That same year, Rose welcomed Penny-Lane’s cousin Lily-Pads into the pack. Together, they give Rose a reason to get out of bed and help other dogs and families with problematic dogs.
No one needs to tell these three how important an occasion like National Dog Week is. This year, during the week of September 19th, Rose, Penny-Lane and Lily-Pads will honor its 82nd observance by heading to the Westchester SPCA and helping with the annual blanket and sheet drive. Afterward, the girls will attend a Doggie play date at RoCo Training, Boarding & Grooming where Rose will assist local dogs to increase their socializations skills.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Rose, husband Lou, Lilly Pads, Penny-Lane and also Holly, Rose’s resuced Wheaten terrier. Lilly and Penny enjoyed celebarting their birthdays in high-style, with scads of adorable friends and a doggy fashion show. Those were some hot pups, and I’m not talking about the weather! Thanks for having us.
We salute Rose and her service to man and dog! Her story truly embodies the mission of Will Judy’s National Dog Week Movement.