At the end of my second Broadway contract, with my first attempt at a long term relationship waiting to meet me at a bar, I decided to walk to the bar after the show. I loved the walk and it was a beautiful night. I was happy and excited about the future. I had two job offers, both would take me away from my beloved NYC but, after all, that was what actors had to do sometimes.
As I crossed over from Broadway to Columbus Ave. at 76th Street it was trash night so I was keeping my eye out for some unwanted treasure, when I saw movement in a trash bin. Assuming it was a rat, I approached with caution. I will never forget that moment. It wasn't a rat. It was a newborn puppy. She was wiggling around amid nine other pups, all dead. She was fighting for her life, hanging on for me to find her. I gently lifted her out of her tomb and pressed her against my chest, carefully covering her with my jacket. We went to the bar, met up with my new partner, and hustled up to 86th St. where we lived. We barely said hello to the doorman because my goal was to get to my friend, Denise who worked for the ASPCA. She had 3 rescue dogs and would know what to do. After waking Denise up, she made a few phone calls, got dressed, and we hailed a cab to take us across town to the ASPCA headquarters. A Vet was on standby and he checked our newborn out. He wasn't exactly optimistic but he supplied us with formula, baby bottles, and some meds. Back home we went with my trash can treasure. She looked like a tiny bear cub, so I named her Cubby. That night was the beginning of the most pivotal 12 years of my life.
Cubby thrived and grew into a healthy, happy puppy with constant care and bottle feedings every two hours. Denise, Bill, and I took shifts. When she was 8 weeks old I was ready to make a huge decision. We were going to California and I was going to take a role on my first and only sitcom. The sitcom lasted all of six weeks but Cubby was there for me. After just 4 years my relationship with Bill ended, but Cubby remained. I kept right on working as an actor. Jobs came and went, a new partner came and went, but Cubby remained. I raised Australian Shepherds as show dogs. They came and went, but Cubby remained. My brother passed away and Cubby saw me through the worst year of my life. She was my rock, the one constant in a world full of change.
Cubby was my girl for 12 tumultuous years. On October 11, 1992 she ran away from me on a walk in West Hollywood. My other dog, Briar and I searched for her for hours. We finally found her lying beneath a bush. Cubby had crossed over that Rainbow Bridge. I was beyond sad. I was bereft. I carried her home that night just as I had carried her home the first night we met.
The next day I had her cremated. A friend asked me to meet him for a drink and I went. I NEEDED that drink. That was the night I met Jon, my partner of 19+ years. You see, Cubby knew her work was done on earth so she became my angel, arranging a life for me that has been utterly incredible. To this day I feel Cubby's presence. Her shadow walks with me, Roxy, and Charlie on every walk.
Love never dies!
Peace and Love,