Pets, Pets, Pets | Amityville Record
Although most of the pools are closed and the boats are coming out of the water, it’s time to “dive in and donate” to Last Hope Animal Rescue in honor of Tom’s “K-9 MILE SWIM”. Wow, this swim is a boon for homeless animals like no other.
During the pandemic, when most fundraisers for public events were canceled or postponed, creative and kind people found new ways to support nonprofits. For example, the students at Wantagh High School created a family cookbook with the proceeds divided between Island Harvest and Last Hope. The Massapequa High School Dog Rescue Club hosted a virtual dog walk and designed t-shirts to sell and then share the money between PAWS of War and Last Hope. A gifted student donated all of the money she earned from giving online private lessons to advanced placement students to Last Hope. A mother and her children donated homemade rainbow cookies to helpers in the rescue of shelters.
Tom’s “K-9 MILE SWIM” is unique. It is a combination of endurance, birthday, advocacy for the physical and mental well-being of mature people and pets, as well as fundraising for animals in need. Here is more:
What happens during Tom’s “K-9 MILE SWIM”: Tom Collings of Bellmore swims nine miles along the north coast of Long Island to mark his 70th birthday.
When: Monday October 11 (Columbus Day) from 7 a.m., if tides and weather permitting. If not, Tom will reprogram his birthday swim. Tom said: “My return time can be anywhere from 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., depending on the water, tide and weather conditions.” It would be great to have Last Hope dogs as cheerleaders when Tom starts swimming, but that depends on whether their adopters are early risers.
Where: Cold Spring Harbor to Lloyd Harbor and back, from the Boat Basin by Billy Joel Town of Huntington Park. Tom will be joined by two friends paddling kayaks, Andrew Pannullo, Tom’s massage therapist and Dr. David Komatsu, professor of medicine and professor of martial arts at Stony Brook University.
The kayak escort makes Tom, who will be wearing a DayGlo suit, more visible as only his head will come out of the water. They will also paddle behind him for his safety. Passing jet skis are more dangerous than boats because Tom swims close to shore. After a recent swim practice, Tom remarked, “It was good that I had a knife with me because my leg got tangled in the weeds and debris, and I was able to free myself.
Why: Tom is a wellness advocate and dog lover. He hopes his milestone birthday swim will demonstrate the importance of a healthy lifestyle and well-being for everyone, including his many martial arts, tai chi and zen students. He also wants his swimming to promote pet adoption and animal welfare. He recently lost his beloved Rosy Lab Mix at an old age. Throughout his life dogs in need of rescue have “found” Tom, and he kissed them.
Therefore, he urges people to sponsor his SWIM with a monetary commitment to Last Hope Animal Rescue in Wantagh to support Last Hope’s veterinary care and adoptions. Tom has spent his life helping people improve their health and mental outlook. Many of the dogs and cats in Last Hope aren’t saved from tough times until they’re older, or even older. Their well-being is a concern. By providing comprehensive veterinary care to our mature pets, including dental care, lab work, x-rays and other procedures as needed, Last Hope strives to place them in loving homes where they will thrive for coming years.
Last weekend, Last Hope welcomed two neglected elderly Dachshunds found wandering around different parts of rural Georgia. Both will need veterinary care and special diets to prepare them for adoption. Afterward, the two Doxies will seek homes with people who cherish mature dogs.
Cepheus, a skinny, senior, black and tan dachshund was found wandering a busy highway late at night, all alone. Fortunately, a kind person saw him walk to the yellow line and stopped to pick him up.
His skin was teeming with fleas, orange mud was spreading all over him, and his fingernails were painfully sunk into his feet. It hosted a pedicure, a medicated bath and lots of kisses. Her fingernails had to be cut a little at a time. This avoids cutting the quick (vein) and causing it to bleed.
The Georgia shelter explained how it received Cuddles, an older female Red Doxie: “We got a call from a family in a neighboring county with no homelessness, no human society or no animal control. They were frantically seeking help for a “pregnant dog” they had found wandering alone on a rural dirt road a few weeks before. Even though they were out of our service area, we knew we could find help, so we asked them to bring it to us.
Well, Cuddles turned out to be fat, not pregnant. Because she was in such bad condition when she was found, the good family thought she was pregnant when she started to gain weight. We must have laughed.
Cuddles has done wonders with his finders, including their little one. What a beautiful dog who deserves so much more than being thrown down a dark country road as she gets older.
How to Donate: Pledges of any size to support Tom’s Swim are appreciated. Suggested donations: $ 70 for Tom’s 70th birthday, $ 40 for Last Hope’s 40th birthday, dollar amount per mile for each of the nine miles such as $ 9, $ 18, $ 27. Donations can be sent to Last Hope, PO Box 7025, Wantagh, NY 11793, or made through the PayPal “K-9 Mile Swim” link: www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=WTUALB9JMZ5WS
A brief biography: Tom Collings ([email protected]) is an author, retired police officer and former Zen monk in Japan. He is currently involved in school safety and is also a meditation and martial arts instructor at the Long Island Asian Studies Center, Bellmore, NY.
Tom Collings’ books include “In Search of O’Sensei – Learning and Living the Legends of the Warrior” and “Aikido: Demise and Rebirth”. Tom’s K-9 MILE SWIM, which will help the animals of Last Hope, combines creativity, compassion and concern for the welfare of all people and homeless animals. Dive in and donate, if you can. Oh, Tom thinks the “dog’s paddle” is the least tiring stroke for distance swims.
To meet Cepheus or Cuddles, the special senior dachshunds of Last Hope in Wantagh, call 631-946-9528.