By Maggie Mae…with Ronni Diamondstein
When my editor and publisher Grace Bennett was off on her adventure in Africa with Secretary of State Clinton, I started to think that most of the dogs I meet on the streets of Chappaqua are not native American breeds. I, for one, am a Poodle. Most people think poodles are French, but we really came from Germany. Secretary of State Clinton has a Toy Parti Poodle, Tally, just like me. She and President Clinton also have a Labrador Retriever named Seamus. Labs are the most popular dogs in America, and their ancestors came from Canada. On my daily walks, I meet lots of them; some are chocolate, others are black or yellow.
Walking around Chappaqua, I have met dogs from all around the world. One of the first dogs I met when I was a puppy was Gizmo, a Tri-Color Australian Shepherd. Though he was about ten times my size, Gizmo seemed shy at first. When I got to know him, he was gentle and friendly. He was like the mayor of Greeley Avenue and made me feel right at home on the street.
Out of Egypt comes my friend Jester, the sleek and speedy Greyhound. “We are one of the oldest breeds known to man,” Jester, a former racing dog, told me, “ and came to America in the 1500’s with the Spanish explorers.”
I’ve met lots of dogs from Europe: the very friendly and low-key Puffy, a Black and Gold English Spaniel and Oliver, the exuberant Yorkshire Terrier, and Milo, the very affectionate cream-colored French Bulldog. Another handsome dog is Finnegan Patrick O’Keefe, the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier whose name lives up to his breed’s Irish roots. Don’t be surprised when Finnegan gives you his Wheaten greeting, playfully prancing on his hind legs and showing off. Wheatens are very outgoing and self-confident that way.
Maybe you’ve seen “Q,” the Golden Retriever, romping in Gedney Park. He collects tennis balls, which are about the only thing this Scottish lad retrieves. Or Harry Houdini, the Wire Hair Terrier who also hails from the British Isles, springing into action at Gedney and around town.
And there are all the “Doodles” and “Poos”. Goldendoodles and Labradoodles were first bred in Australia. Although he is not a service dog, my friend Blue, a Goldendoodle told me that his ancestors were Golden Retrievers bred with Poodles to create hypoallergenic dogs for visually impaired people with allergies. Taz, a Labradoodle, actually flew over from Victoria, Australia via pet jet 11 years ago, when he was only 4 months old. He was picked up at JFK cargo by his owners. And I mustn’t forget Cody the Malti-Poo, who is a mix of the aristocratic Maltese with the intelligent Poodle.
My neighborhood is like the United Nations. We have French Papillons with butterfly-shaped ears, Chinese Shih Tzus and a Hungarian Vizsla, to name a few. There are two All American dogs on our block, MJ and Lucky, who are Boston Terriers. I did some research and found out that their breed began when Bostonians combined two British breeds: English Terriers and English Bulldogs.
And so as I stroll around town greeting dogs from all over the world, I realized we have some things in common. No matter what our size, color or country of origin, we are and always will be man’s best friend and feel right at home in Chappaqua.
My owner says there are lots of other breeds from abroad in Chappaqua so you can let me know who you are. Contact Maggie Mae Pup Reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maggie Mae lives in Chappaqua with her adoring owner Ronni Diamondstein, who, when she isn’t walking Maggie is a freelance writer, PR consultant, award-winning photographer and a School Library Media Specialist and teacher who has worked in the US and abroad.