In the winter of 2000, an eight-month-old abandoned
Pit Bull puppy, born with a twisted muzzle, was picked up by AC&C
and brought to its Manhattan shelter. AC&C staff immediately
knew they had to save this amazing animal, so they put the word
out to the NYC rescue community.
When Bernadette Peters saw a photograph
of the puppy with the cubist face, she named him Picasso. BARC
shelter in Brooklyn agreed to take Picasso in and seek a loving
home for him. As luck would have it, a Brooklyn couple who volunteered
at BARC fell in love with Picasso, and welcomed him into their home.
Now Picasso had a second chance for a happy life.
But in March 2003, a few months before his fourth
birthday, Picasso was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure. Despite
his illness, his lively spirit and sense of humor endured. His guardians
gave Picasso the best possible care throughout his remaining three
months. This special dog, who brought so much joy to everyone who
met him, had beaten the odds once, but not this time.
Picasso's adoptive family describes in their own
words how Picasso came into their lives and created memories that
will last a lifetime:
Picasso entered our lives the first day we volunteered
to walk dogs at BARC. Out came Picasso, his tail wagging his body,
head bobbing back and forth in excitement. When we decided to adopt
him, the amazingly warm and committed people at BARC held Picasso
for two months while we looked for a "pets-OK" apartment.
They said they could see that we loved him, not the novelty of his
face, and so they would care for him until we could bring him home.
Picasso was a walking definition of "social
animal." He dragged us to doggie daycare, to the vet, to the
pet store, if only to say hello and get some pets. He loved to run,
sprinting like a greyhound, in dog runs and playgrounds and his
favorite place of all, the beach. In line with his St. Francis Terrier
(a.k.a. Pit Bull) heritage, he was an effervescent comedian, a tap
dancer, an amazingly quick study, a sweet and cuddly lap dog who
loved nothing more than to lay his head on your knee. We were always
amazed at what a good dog he was. He never chewed, ripped, or rummaged
through anything. He showed cats, squirrels, and birds the utmost
courtesy. He lived to be fed, brushed, walked, talked to, petted,
praised, loved. As one friend aptly put it, he lived to be good.
He melted many a heart with his warm golden eyes and snuffling,
March 2003, a few months before his fourth birthday, he was diagnosed
with chronic kidney failure (CRF), in all likelihood congenital.
The veterinarians on his case believed he had adapted to the increasing
toxins in his blood throughout his short life, which is why he was
virtually asymptomatic until his disease was terribly advanced.
But even while sick, his lively spirit and sense of humor endured.
Wanting to support him during whatever time he had
left, we educated ourselves about caring for dogs with kidney failure
and gave him the best possible care. This incredible, wonderful
boy, who was given one week to live after being diagnosed with end-stage
CRF, spent three more wonderful months with us, before his body
finally wore out.
Picasso had many friends, human and canine. He was
always lucky to survive puppyhood, to be saved by FidoNYC, to land
at BARC. He was lucky, and so were we. Hopefully, the Picasso
Veterinary Fund will give other
rescued animals the chance to find
homes and bring joy into their humans' lives, as he did.