Many years ago a stray orange cat would hang around the office of the Pet Memorial Park in Wantagh. The staff named the cat Red, and when distraught pet owners came to the park for the burial of their beloved animal, Red would walk with the people to the gravesite and stay with them as long as they wanted. The staff decided that Red would not be put up for adoption but instead would live in the Memorial Park office as a treasured “staff member.” When Red passed away he was buried outside the Memorial Park office that had given him both a home and a job. His gravesite is never without flowers.
Red would soon have a successor in the form of Jackie, a mostly white, medium-sized dog of mixed origin who had come from a municipal shelter. Despite her affectionate nature, Jackie had trouble finding a home because she had a chronic skin condition that required constant vet care. Feeling sorry that she spent so much time in the kennel, and missing the presence of an animal in their office, the Memorial Park staff would take Jackie during the day to spend time with them. In no time, Jackie became the official Memorial Park greeter, welcoming those who had come to make final arrangements with a wagging tail and irresistible smile.
Today if you drop into the office, you will see Jackie lying on her cushioned bed in between two desks, surrounded by her favorite toys. She will get up and come to the gate to say hello and in her doggie fashion, ask how you are feeling. Yes, Jackie has found her home and her purpose as well.