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Dog Treats - The New Way To Meet Women in Queens?

by Deanna Bartsch Norris and "Abby"

SUNNYSIDE, QUEENS - I found Abby on as I was looking through the German Shepherd mixes a couple of years ago. The poor baby had been very badly abused, beaten and starved, her puppies sold for money to buy drugs. A rescue group had been called in and saved her but couldn't find her a home: she wasn't a puppy, she wasn't a pure breed, and she wasn't a small dog. She stayed in boarding for several years, waiting for a home. Sometimes I think she was waiting just for me, because immediately after I closed and moved into my co-op in Sunnyside, Queens, I adopted her.

As the two of us walked around and explored what was now our new neighborhood, Abby began to stop at a house down the street, where a very nice young Southern gentleman happened to live. Soon he and I were speaking daily, then several times a day. Every time I walked Abby, in fact.


I later learned that my nice young southern gentleman, whose name was Brian Norris, had been secretly bribing Abby with dog treats hidden in his pocket.

Abby, shall we say, played hard to get.

First, he tried luring her with Beggin' Strips. She'd eat those sometimes, Brian later told me, but not all the time. He decided a more dependable treat was needed. So he tried Snausages, but Abby didn't bite. Finally, he tried Pup Peroni, which Abby loved, and still loves. The smell of them made her--and therefore me--stop in front of his house every time.

This went on for about a year. Eventually, Brian asked me out, and several months later, we were engaged. We were married this September in Atlanta, where my mother and grandmother live, and near Brian's relatives in North Carolina and Florida. But we'll be making our lives in the Sunnyside, Queens neighborhood where we first met.

Unfortunately, Abby couldn't come to our wedding. She had a grade 3 mast cell tumor removed from her neck in early 2007 and we take her in for chemotherapy to the Animal Medical Center every couple of weeks. (One of the oncology interns from the AMC kindly watched her while we were away, which was a great relief to us.)

In a city that is so large and moves so quickly, finding that right person can seem an impossible task. On top of that, Brian and I are very different people; I am an actress/singer and Brian is the more technical one with his computer skills.

Without Abby (and Brian's clever lure) we may never have found each other. Abby brought us together in a manner that I never would have dreamed.

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Most recent update: 10/14/07
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