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hurricane sandy

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How one little rescue dog is helping a grieving family heal

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On, October 29, 2013, Long Island was bracing itself for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. For us, it all started with excitement the night before, as my 2 boys, Liam (age 16) and Colin (age 13) were doing the “happy” dance that school would most likely be closed the next day. We all said our goodnights and went to bed awaiting Sandy’s arrival. The next morning our lives were forever changed and our hearts forever shattered, dwarfing any physical/environmental damage soon to be left behind by Hurricane Sandy. You see, that morning, my beautiful, healthy son, Liam did not wake up. Sometime, during that night he passed into the arms of GOD from an unknown heart condition. It is all still so surreal, even 14 months later as I write this. As the weather took a turn for the worst so did our lives. Hurricane Sandy left us in the dark for 5 days, and Liam’s passing will leave us in the dark for an eternity. We were so broken, especially my son Colin as he lost his best friend too as they were very close brothers.


When experiencing a traumatic event such as the loss of a child, experts say not to make any big changes. We continued to live in the home my son was born in and passed in.  Needless to say the joy and happiness no longer was present, as our home became just a house of sorrow and extreme grief. We couldn’t look at or enter Liam’s room. It also didn’t help that Liam’s room is located in the front of the house where we couldn’t even look up at upon entering and leaving the driveway. The one change we made to our lives, in the end is the one vital change that is helping to save us. We rescued Cooper from Little Shelter, 10 mths after Liam’s passing. This little pup has truly been a miracle and gift from above. It is he, who has truly rescued us with his playfulness and unconditional love. Cooper has brought smiles, laughter and positive energy back into our home at a time we couldn’t imagine it ever coming back. We all look forward to coming home again and having him greet us. His kisses and addiction to cuddling, help ease our pain every day. I am most grateful for the change Cooper has brought to my younger son.  Colin did not like being in the house alone anymore and coming home from school was the worst as my husband and I both work. Now, Colin comes running in the door with such energy and excitement to see Cooper. They keep each other company until we get home. They play, wrestle and chase each other around the house.


Believe it or not, Cooper, sits on Liam's bed looking out the window awaiting anyone of us to come home. We now look for him upon entering/exiting the driveway, smiling at his excitement in seeing us. We never thought we could look up at that window again.



We thought we were going to rescue a little dog and it turns out this little ball of love rescued us instead. Cooper is helping us through the most traumatic loss a family could go through. He truly is our Rescue Dog of a Lifetime!

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Little Shelter in big trouble following Hurricane Sandy

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"Little Shelter, Suffolk County Long Island’s first no-kill animal shelter has suffered severe damage from super storm Sandy. Little Shelter has made it through every hurricane since it's establishment in 1927 with only minor damage, Sandy's fury has all but changed that.

In the first two hours of the storm Little Shelter's second kennel building, which houses dogs, was crushed by a large nearby oak tree. Staff and volunteers immediately sprang into action to evacuate the building and ensure every animal was safely relocated. Later, as Sandy's wrath intensified, Little Shelter's cattery took the brunt of two more trees piercing through the roof.

Damage this severe will take time and money to repair - two things that Little Shelter needs desperately.

Volunteers, staff, and supporters have been working around the clock in an effort to repair the damage. "With this devastation our kennel 2 building is out of commission. We are limited in our ability to rescue more animals in danger" says Maryann Chernovsky, president of Little Shelter. "And that is what we are here for."

If you'd like to help, Little Shelter will certainly need funding for repairs and is in dire need for foster and permanent homes for the loving cats and dogs. To donate please visit, call 631-368-8770, or visit Little Shelter at 33 Warner Road, Huntington, NY 11743"