4/8/22 – Debbie Redman’s “Maia”
March 24, 2022 – Deanna Damen’s “Bentley”
March 14, 2022 – Amy Gagnon’s “Apple”
On March 14th 2022 Apple peacefully left this earth to start her next journey. She is loved and missed by her mom, her cats, her pal George, and so many friends.
January 14, 2022 ~ Indiana Jones Urban, beloved dog of Diana Urban, Board Advisor to Desmond’s Army
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Indiana Jones Urban age 20 on January 14. The cause of death was a ridiculously long, joyous, productive adventure- and love-filled life. He was predeceased by the love of his life, Raquel.
“Indy” spent the first two years of his life in Waterbury, crated for 23 hours a day, during which time he developed a reputation as a bit of an anti-social nipper. At adoption events he tended to work against the proposition by trying to bite anyone who got close.
His life changed dramatically in 2004 when Diana contacted Our Companion Dog Rescue about finding a smaller pup to fill out her four-dog lineup, having lost a wonderful, and slightly temperamental, little Jack Russell named Paddie. Contrary to today’s carefully choreographed introductions, Our Companion’s Marie Joyner—their behavioral expert—and Diana decided to deep-end it, and Indy was simply and precipitously introduced to the North Stonington crew cold turkey. With Marie imploring Indy not to revert to form, the pack and the new arrival came to a miraculous conclusion: this might work.
As Diana’s political career began to build, it became clear that animal issues would be at the center of her activism in Hartford, and what better partner to push the cause than a smart, energetic little chihuahua, corgi, beagle mix (his bark was ear-piercing) from Waterbury.
One could argue the wisdom of launching Indy’s lobbying career by summarily packing him up and bringing him to the capitol one day, but that’s what Diana did. The place went gaga, with members of the press on hands and knees filming this new activist as he pranced around the building evincing not a whit of reluctance, hostility or confusion. Rather, his cool composure and clear interest in scene-stealing (he would come to enjoy in particular upstaging Governor Dannel P. Malloy at bill signings) blew the place away. It was the launch of a 16-year career in animal advocacy during which Indy was instrumental in helping pass legislation on everything from breed discrimination, to cross-reporting of animal and child abuse, to his crowning achievement, Desmond’s Law, which allows for a court-appointed animal advocate in cases of egregious animal abuse or neglect.
Indy’s life took a second happy turn in 2013 with the arrival of (future) dad, although among the first tentative interactions between the two was making absolutely certain that during sleepovers he was planted squarely between mom and dad-to-be such that nothing of which he did not approve could transpire.
His attitude rather rapidly softened when he realized that dad had a significantly more laissez-faire attitude about things like leashes and free-range wide open spaces than mom, which quickly led to one of his favorite outside hobbies: chasing squirrels. He did this without much success but with a great deal of enthusiasm. At the bottom of any given escape tree, he’d complete the exercise by marking the site of another routed rodent.
Gradually mom warmed to the idea of an off-leash Indy, which led to many adventures, including chasing seagulls on the beach in Connecticut and Rhode Island, sprinting after deer on Barn Island and once schussing down an angled, snow covered, rock ledge and then nailing the landing as he catapulted off the two foot drop at the end (fortunately, dad was able to draw mom’s attention away from this antic by pointing out interesting geological features of this particular state park somewhere in the opposite direction).
When he wasn’t out and about on the trail or chasing barn cats, he was tending to his love Raquel. His approach to displaying affection wasn’t subtle, usually involving a full speed broadside in order to bring Raquel—three times his size—to a position where they might better connect.
Political fundraisers in North Stonington seemed to give especial rise to his amorous tendencies. Events involving Congressman Joe Courtney seemed particularly stimulating. When reprimanded after such very public displays of affection, his response was always the same: a sideways look that seemed to say: “Hey, just back off mom, you keep doing what you’re doing while I tend to business!”
Among other activities he enjoyed were trips to the cabin in Vermont, where he would interact with one of his BFFs, Del, with whom he spent hours and hours knocking around the woods learning all about trees, erosion, trout pools, beaver ponds, great blue heron rookeries and the wonders of ski poles as an aid to staying upright on tough terrain. After an afternoon in the woods, he would curl up with mom and dad in front of a small bonfire by the cabin where he’d drape himself over someone’s lap and nod off after dinner.
Indy never met a veterinarian that he didn’t want to bite. Not even his beloved and long-suffering vet, Lee—whose patient ministrations undoubtedly contributed to his longevity—was immune to this if the procedure in question involved anything more invasive than talk therapy. His three-legged caper through the back rooms of Ocean States Veterinary Clinic while being assessed for surgery is legendary. His capture, fortunately, resulted in an amazingly effective titanium implant that made possible another eight years of cruising the countryside.
Indy spent the last years of his life creek-side in Chatham, New York, where he would dictate the direction of morning walks—driveway or path along the creek—alternating unpredictably for reasons that we assume were clear to him. Mom was especially patient with him in later years as he circled tree trunks and grass clumps trying to figure out just how to deliver the clearest message.
Indy is survived by Rocky, Ernie, Kobe, Wes, Leroy, Cady, Donk, Delilah, Elle Belle, Billie, Tiger, Twink, Gracy, Lex, KJ and Jaden.
In memory please donate to your favorite animal welfare/rescue group and drink a toast to an amazing pup.