Workshops held in Prospect Park to teach pet owners CPR, other life-saving skills
Workshops held to teach pet owners CPR

Organizations Brooklyn Bark and Fido hold a monthly workshop in Prospect Park. (September 13, 2013 7:15 PM)

Organizations Brooklyn Bark and Fido hold a monthly workshop in Prospect Park to equip pet owners with the skills to face emergencies.

Lessons include pet CPR and other emergency treatments that owners can use to save their pet's life.

Instructors say 25 percent of the pets that don't make it when they come to the ER could have been saved by just one of the techniques taught in the workshops.

To watch the video, click the image below:

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Handsome Needs a New Home

Pit Bull Abandoned in Fort Greene Park Needs New Home - Fort Greene - New York


FORT GREENE — Handsome needs a home.

Fort Greene residents are seeking a family to adopt a young pit bull found abandoned and tied toHandsome the Pitti Pup a fence in Fort Greene Park across from Brooklyn Hospital Center earlier this month.

The emaciated pooch was found on Feb. 7, said Rachel Bowers, the owner of a local dog-walking company. The black-and-white puppy had scars on his front and back legs but it was unclear what had caused them.

"It was terrible to see him like that — tied up and standing on ice on one of the coldest days of winter," said Bowers, owner of Brooklyn Bark.

A group of Fort Greene neighbors spotted the dog tied so tightly to a fence with a TV cable that his front paws did not reach the ground. The cable was icy in the freezing temperatures.

Cathy Fendelman — a Brooklyn Bark client — called Bowers for help. The pet CPR instructor quickly headed to the park and used her training to safely untie the pit bull and carry him to her van, where she turned up the heat.

"He was so cold he could barely shiver," said Bowers, who named the shivering pup "Handsome."

"The best thing to do was get him warmed up and get his body temperature up."

She then called Veterinary Emergency Referral Group, where the staff were happy to accommodate the young pup. They cleaned his open wounds, clipped his ingrown nails, neutered him and nursed back to health during a two-week shelter stay.

Anthony Newman of Calm Energy Dog Training assessed Handsome's personality and found him to be "super-sweet, social, friendly, loving, sensitive dog who has never known a comfortable, stable home and who will thrive and relax with lots of daily exercise, socialization and obedience work."

Handsome is currently being fostered by a Brooklyn Bark dog walker.

Staff at Brooklyn Bark are looking for a permanent family for him and plan to keep locals updated about his progress on their blog.

The approximately year-old dog is affectionate, Bowers said.

"Handsome is just very loving and eager to please. He would make a great pet." New York

DNA infoBrooklyn Dogs Can Now Go Sailing

FORT GREENE — Anchors aweigh, North Brooklyn pooches!

A locally based dog walking company, Brooklyn Bark, goes beyond a stroll in the park bySailing doggie offering sailing trips for Brooklyn's four-legged friends.

"Dogs adore the motion of the boat and the wind," said Helen Bowers, a dog walker. "They come home happy, sandy and exhausted."

Brooklyn Bark will pick up hounds in the North Brooklyn area with a van and transport them out to Bower's Putnam County home where they can take hikes, go to the beach, dig in the sand, and test their sea legs on Bowers' boat in a trip down the Hudson.

On the boat, a First Aid/CPR certified dog walker straps a life jacket on adventurous dogs and takes them on a ride that Bowers calls "heaven-on-earth for most city dogs."

"The owners actually get jealous of the adventures their dogs have while they are behind a desk at work," Bowers said.

But Bowers is sure to send frequent pictures and videos of the river adventures, so that dog owners get to experience a piece of the fun.

Brooklyn Bark was founded three years ago by Helen Bowers' daughter, Rachel Bowers, 28. The Pratt Computer Animation graduate said she loves dogs as much as art, and wanted to give urban canines the fresh rural air that they crave. She now has over 500 furry clients and employs nine dog walkers.

Dog walkers always send owners notes after each adventure.

"Reiner's afternoon walk went well. She does this funny stroll with her head up in the air and takes her time when it's warm out. When it's cold she is head-down and business. She half attempted to chase some squirrels which I think she was pretty proud of herself about :)," wrote one walker in a daily update, adding, "She peed on her walk but no poop. I gave her dinner which she scarfed down."

"We are passionate about animals and go beyond regular dog-walking services," Bowers said.

The dog walks are also GPS tracked so owners know exactly where their pets are.

Walks cost $30 for an hour, sleepovers cost $95 for the night and sailing trips depend on length of time.

Visit Brooklyn Bark for more information.

pet360 logoBecome a Professional Dog Walker

Rachel and Friend

A secret dream of every dog owner is to be a dog walker (because, honestly, who wouldn’t want to spend their days taking their pup and his doggie friends on long walks?) but what does it take to make it in the business? And how do you get started? We’ve asked a Brooklyn-based walker to give us the scoop on what the life of a dog walker is really like.

Rachel Bowers, owner of Brooklyn Bark, a dog walking and pet sitting business, graduated college in 2007 and left school hoping to teach art in New York City. Unfortunately, the market for art teachers wasn’t very robust at the time and she found that freelancing didn’t provide enough financial stability. She began walking dogs for additional revenue and her business took off from there.

Bowers began building a client list by putting posters up around her neighborhood. As interest in Brooklyn Bark grew and she increased her staff (she now employs about 10 people to help care for clients and provide business support for the company), she began using the Internet to market her services in addition to community-based outreach.

Barking Up the Right Tree

While there are no qualifications or specific licenses needed to begin walking dogs professionally, Bowers knows how much work goes into caring for animals and their owners and has made it her company’s mission to provide the best care possible. Someone looking to make a little extra money without putting in the work, she said, reflects poorly on companies that pride themselves on professionalism.

“You’re asking people to trust you with one of their most beloved possession as well as keys to their home,” she said. “Do everything you can to earn their trust and maintain that trust every single day.”

Bowers works with local veterinarians, freelancers unions and Craigslist to bring on new hires and receives over 100 queries nearly every day from people looking to become a walker. These applicants are narrowed down to a handful of finalists who are interviewed by Bowers and invited into the field to shadow her at work. Potential walkers must have a college degree and a history working with animals in addition to an enthusiasm for the job and the ability to handle a variety of different animals with different personalities.

All Brooklyn Bark walkers are bonded and insured as well as pet CPR and first aid certified within three months of starting with the company. Bowers and her associates also give CPR and first aid certification classes to the public every four to six months. She recommends all beginning walkers become insured and work with their community to help other animals in addition to their clients.

“Don’t pick up a leash without being bonded and having insurance [and] as you grow, become a force for good in the animal world,” she said. “As you’re making a living from animals, give back and help other animals and their owners succeed.”

As with all businesses, challenges exist in the world of dog walking. The biggest one Bowers faced, giving everyone what they wanted when they wanted it, was overcome with an online scheduling portal and a GPS tracking system for associates to get their walking schedules on their phone and clients to schedule walks through the website and see exactly where their dogs are walked each day. It always helps to have a wiggly pup waiting for you during a stressful day, too.

“No matter how horrible things may be going, there is nothing as wonderful as opening a door to be greeted bye a tail wagging to tell you how much you are appreciated and loved,” she said.

To learn more about Brooklyn Bark or request a free consultation locally, click here.

Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Bark New York

describe the imageDoggy Massage, Acupuncture, Reiki Provide Holistic Healing for Hounds

April 9, 2013 8:26am

By Janet Upadhye, DNAinfo Reporter/Producer



FORT GREENE — Pet owners with animals suffering from bum knees, bad hips or unbalanced chi need look no farther than local dog walking company, Brooklyn Bark, to learn about alternative methods to helping their four-legged friends heal.

The fledgling Brooklyn-based company hopes to spread the good word on alternative veterinary medicine in a seminar covering pet acupuncture, massage, and alternative medicines for mosquito, tick and flea season, food allergies, pain management and behavior modification.

"I am particularly excited about learning more on this topic," said Brooklyn Bark employee Helen Bowers. "Humans are increasingly into eastern medicine — and if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for dogs."

Bowers became a believer after her dog, Angel, was diagnosed with bone cancer.

"Acupuncture kept her comfortable in her final weeks," she said. "It helped ease the pain at the end of her life."

Bowers is excited to talk with other pet owners who may not know that there are alternatives to over the counter prescriptions.

But to some, pet acupuncture is old news. In fact it has become a growing trend in the last several years according to certified veterinary acupuncturist, Dr. Lucy O'Byrne, who has several furry patients who come in regularly for treatments.

Pet massage and Reiki, on the other hand, is less common.

Lon Black was part of the first graduating class of animal massage at Bancroft School of Massage Therapy in 2004. Since then he has grown a small business providing massage, Reiki and acupressure to pets.

"Legitimate training for pet massage is very recent," he said. "My goal is to educate people more about it and let people know it is a viable means for healing."

The self-proclaimed kitty masseur takes pride in helping numerous patients recover from painful injuries, even helping pets to walk again. Black will be teaching seminar participants some of the pet massage techniques he uses.

Lastly, Dr. Kristine Young will cover natural, chemical-free ways to address the upcoming tick, mosquito & flea season.

The Advances in Alternate Veterinary Medicine Seminar will take place at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture in Prospect Park on April 11 at 7 p.m.

Pet Sitters International’s 2012 Platinum PAW Awards Recognize Professional Pet Sitters for Promoting Quality Pet Care

Dog owner seminars, donation drives and hand-made crate pillows comprise winners’ efforts.

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2012 Platinum PAW Winner Rachel Bowers

The monthly seminar series has been a positive experience and a great way for us to educate pet owners about their dogs

King, NC (PRWEB) April 01, 2013

Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world’s largest educational association for professional pet sitters, has awarded its 2012 Platinum PAW awards, sponsored by the makers of Comfort Zone® products. The Platinum PAW Award was created in 2009 to recognize professional pet sitters for promoting quality pet care through community events.

Rachel Bowers, owner of Brooklyn Bark in Brooklyn, N.Y., was awarded the individual Platinum PAW Award. In June of 2012 she partnered with FIDO, the largest dog owner advocacy group in New York City, to offer a monthly seminar series for dog owners. The Advanced Dog Ownership seminar series included a range of topics from health and nutrition advice from local veterinarians to tips on how to best photograph a dog, presented by a Westminster Dog Show portrait photographer.

Bowers said her goal in offering the seminars was to improve the quality of the dog-owning experience in New York City. Through the seminars, she was also able to promote her pet-sitting business and increase membership in FIDO, an organization that lobbied for off-leash hours in public parks.

“It is so nice to be acknowledged through this wonderful award,” Bowers said. “The monthly seminar series has been a positive experience and a great way for us to educate pet owners about their dogs.”

Chesapeake Pet Sitters, a dedicated group that volunteers at a variety of local pet-related events in the Baltimore and Harford County areas of Maryland, received the 2012 Platinum PAW award for pet-sitter networks. The network participated in the 2012 Maryland Pet Expo, Responsible Dog Ownership Day and BARCtoberfest. Their charitable efforts also included donating baskets of pet supplies for the Fallston Animal Rescue’s silent auction.

“We feel strongly about helping a great non-profit organization such as the Fallston Animal Rescue while promoting ourselves as true professionals who love animals and care about their well-being,” said Patty McGreevy, network leader for the Chesapeake Pet Sitters.

PSI member Holly Cook was also recognized with an honorable mention for the Platinum PAW individual award for her work in the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Cook resides in Marysville, Mich., where she operates Special Pet Care Services LLC.

Cook organized a donation drive to aid the Humane Society of Atlantic County in Atlantic City, N.J., which sustained significant damage during Hurricane Sandy. She enlisted the help of her pet-sitting clients and several local businesses, as well as students from the local elementary and high schools. In addition to collecting monetary, food and supply donations, a group of fifth grade students made 51 crate pillows to send to the shelter for the pets.

“The pet-care industry is one of the fastest growing in the nation and it is important for pet sitters to establish a level of professionalism that will set them apart from the crowd,” said PSI President Patti Moran. “It is obvious from the submissions we received for this award that our members are working hard to establish professional pet-sitting businesses and better their pet-owning communities through outreach and education.”

The Platinum PAW winners will be honored with engraved awards and cash prizes at PSI’s annual Quest for Excellence Convention. Winners will also receive prize packs from the makers of Comfort Zone® products, the award sponsor.

To learn more about pet sitting or find a local PSI pet sitter, search the Official Pet Sitter Locator™ at

About Pet Sitters International 
Pet Sitters International (PSI), a membership organization for professional pet sitters, was founded in 1994 by Patti Moran. Her book, “Pet Sitting for Profit,” is considered the leading written authority on pet sitting. PSI is the world’s largest educational association for professional pet sitters, representing more than 7,000 independent professional in-home pet-care businesses in the United States, Canada and abroad. PSI provides members with access to affordable bonding and liability insurance as well as educational resources that include a comprehensive Certification Program, Pet Sitter’s WORLD magazine, The Scoop e-news and PSI’s annual Quest convention. For more information, visit, home of the Official Pet Sitter Locator™ or sign up to receive The Scoop on Pet Care. Visit the PSIStoreOnline, the largest specialty retailer of products for pet sitters and pet-sitting business owners.

The maker of Comfort Zone® products is the proud sponsor of PSI’s Platinum PAW Award.

Dogs and cats react differently to being away from their owner, but both may feel a certain amount of stress when left alone. Pet behavior problems, such as urine marking in cats and excessive barking or chewing in dogs, are frequently caused by fear or stress. Developed and recommended by veterinarians, Comfort Zone® products are clinically proven to help control destructive behavior in cats and dogs.

Like all animals, cats and dogs secrete pheromones. Research has shown that certain pheromones can help an animal cope with these fears or stress-related issues. Comfort Zone® products have been proven to help control stress-related behavior problems naturally by mimicking the pheromones that make him feel more secure in his environment. Find out how Comfort Zone® with D.A.P.® for dogs and Comfort Zone® with Feliway® for cats can help pet behavior problems.

Comfort Zone is a registered trademark of Farnam Companies, Inc. D.A.P. and Feliway are registered trademarks of Ceva Santé Animale.

Tags: Animal Rescue, Animal Rescue, Brooklyn Dog, Brooklyn Cats, Brooklyn dog walkers, Brooklyn dog walkers, seminars, Brooklyn Dog Walker

Please Donate to the Pet Food Pantry

Prospect Heights Patch Masthead


Pet Food Pantry Now Seeking Donations

The monthly food pantry will help pets in need, especially those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

The Child Development Support Corp. will be hosting the pantry for Brooklyn Bark on a monthly basis, distributing dog food, treats and toys as well as cat food and litter on an as-needed basis.

“Every day our clients ask for pet food. I am so happy that after all these years we can help them with the four-footed members of their family, too. Our job is to keep families intact and out of harm. These donations will go a long way,” said Mireille Massac, who has run the CSDC food pantry for the past 15 years.

Brooklyn Bark is currently seeking donations, and has bins in place at the following locations:

Park Slope: Pet Boutique & Supply, 129 6th Ave.

Park Slope: 6th Avenue Animal Clinic, 207 6th Ave.

Fort Greene: Who's Your Doggie, 197 Adelphi St.

Fort Greene:, 464 Myrtle Ave.

Windsor Terrace: Cynthia King Dance Studio, 1246 Prospect Ave.

Cobble Hill: VERG North, 318 Warren St.

Flatbush South: VERG South, 2220 Flatbush Ave.

Clinton Hill: Child Development Support Corp., 352 Classon Ave.

Williamsburg: PS9Pets, 169 N 9th St.

The New York Post at the Pet Food Pantry Opening

New York Post MastheadA need for feed

A new food bank in Brooklyn is the latest resource for pet owners struggling to make ends meet

  • Last Updated: 1:54 AM, December 23, 2012
  • Posted: 9:39 PM, December 22, 2012

Cocaine is a 2½-month-old white pit bull puppy with big paws and a sweet, sad face — one that’s hard to say no to. When his proud parent, Latasha McNair, received him as a gift from her cousin, she didn’t realize what she was getting herself into.

“He eats just as much as me, it’s like taking care of a person,” says McNair, who lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant and works for UPS. The 25-year-old says she spends at least $30 each week feeding the rapidly growing puppy, and she’s having trouble making ends meet. She has to resort to cheaper brands of food since they are often all she can afford, but it pains her not to be able to feed him better. “I always wanted a dog,” she says. “I try to make the best of it.”

Zandy Mangold
Latasha McNair was able to get healthy kibble and treats for her puppy, thanks to a new pet-food pantry in Brooklyn. “It helped me out,” she says.

Last year, some 8,500 city pet owners surrendered their animals to shelters; often people have do so when they can no longer afford to feed and care for a beloved pet.

In response, city services are increasingly working to help meet the needs of lower income pet owners. The

ASPCA has long offered low-cost (and sometimes free) vet care, and more and more food pantries across the city are stocking their shelves with food for both hungry humans and pets.

Last Saturday, City Council member Letitia James cut the ribbon on a dedicated pet-centric food pantry at the Child Development Support Corporation in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a community nonprofit that already runs a food pantry for humans.

Now, any pet owner claiming to be in need will be able come in once a month and stock up on high quality, healthy food for their cats and pups, as well as treats and toys. The pet-food bank will be integrated into the human food bank, and like it, will be open every Thursday.

James says many people underestimate the need for, and power of, animal companionship, no matter how costly it may be, especially when it comes to seniors who are

often housebound and live alone. “It’s critically important that we maintain their lifestyle so they don’t have to choose between feeding themselves and their pets,” she says.

The new pet-food pantry was organized by Rachel Bowers, the founder of Brooklyn Bark, a for-profit dog walking company. Recently, Bowers, who is heavily involved in community outreach , has seen a growing number of needy pet owners.

“When Sandy hit we were getting a lot of cries for help,” she says, noting that food pantries that stock pet food usually run out quickly and that demand is incredibly high. “We wanted to do something more permanent . . . It’s not only [for] Sandy relief, but [for] people who cannot afford to feed their pets and want to feed them well.”

Donations have filtered in through multiple channels. High-end pet food companies like Zuke’s and Merrick have given food, as have Bowers’ clients. She’s also set up drop-off donation sites at various merchants around Brooklyn. Even the United States Tennis Association has helped out, donating several cases of balls.

The Animal Relief Fund, an organization that works to supply some 100 food pantries throughout New York City and Long Island with pet food, will work with Bowers to keep the shelves stocked.

The organization’s president, Susan Kaufman, says that while some people go hungry because they’re ashamed to get their own food at a pantry, they’ll come in for their animals. “People do things for their pets that they wouldn’t do for themselves.”

As she left the pantry with a huge bag of Beneful dog food and various treats and toys, McNair was happy with what she’d been able to do for her pup. “I know now I’ll be able to get him food, so I don’t have to worry,” she says.

Tags: Animal Rescue, news paper, brooklyn bark news paper, Brooklyn Bark donates, Brooklyn Dog Walker

Rachel in the N.Y. Post

As one of New York's canine care experts. Rachel Bowers was interviewed for an article which appeared last week in the N.Y. Post.


nyp logo 230x32Fight for survival

It can be a dog-eat-dog world out there — so here’s how to handle a feisty pooch showdown

Last Updated: 2:52 AM, June 10, 2012

Posted: 10:17 PM, June 9, 2012

Ideally, late spring means blissful sunny mornings at the park for New York dogs and their owners, but that idyll can be instantly shattered when a dogfight erupts.

Dr. Brett Levitzke, medical director at VERG (Veterinary Emergency and Referral Group), a 24-hour emergency clinic in Cobble Hill, says there’s “absolutely” a rise in dogfights this time of year, with the nice weather bringing more people and dogs outdoors. “The city has been great about building these beautiful dog parks,” he says, but “they give more opportunity for dog interaction and therefore more dog bites and fights.”


Here, some tips from the pros on what to do if one occurs:

Stay out of it — physically

“The biggest mistake people make is they reach in and try and grab their dog,” says Levitzke, “but they can be bitten by the other dog or even their own dog — in the heat of the fight.”

Find a prop or distraction

“If there’s a hose or water nearby, sometimes that will break them up,” says Levitzke. If there’s no H2O handy, “Most dogs respond well to a good old loud, unabashed, sudden yell,” says Shannon Le Brun, founder of Waggy Walkers Pet Services in Brooklyn. “This noise from pet parents and caregivers has been proven to stop most of the fights we have observed.”

If you must step in . . .

“Grab ahold of the aggressor from behind, by the hips or back legs, and pull up so he’s on his front two paws,” says John Squires, owner of Wag Club, a doggie day-care and grooming facility in Brooklyn Heights. “It will likely put him off-balance and make him look back to find out what’s going on.” But, such tactics should be employed with great caution. “You have to remember the natural instinct of the dog attacking is to follow, so you’re just bringing them close to you,” says Levitzke, who also notes that you can cause significant damage to a dog’s hind end when pulling on them this way.

Check — and recheck — your dog for wounds

“It’s important to check your dog at least twice,” says Rachel Bowers, founder of Brooklyn Bark, a dog-walking service that offers regular pet first-aid classes. Right after a fight, adrenaline can constrict blood flow, masking injuries. A dog might experience severe bleeding only when it has relaxed sometime later. Apply pressure to any obvious bleeding wounds, and seek veterinary care even if injuries seem minor. “Even if there’s just one puncture, there can be a tremendous amount of damage to the muscle or body cavity,” says Levitzke. “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Consider liability issues

If your pooch was attacked by a notoriously violent dog that clearly does not belong in the park, you may have a negligence case and be able to recover vet bills, says Kenneth Phillips, an attorney specializing in dog-bite cases and author of the e-book “What To Do If Your Dog Is Injured Or Killed.” Get the name of witnesses, establish that your dog was injured, and have a vet examine him immediately — wait a week, and any injuries could be blamed on something else.


Read more:

Tags: brooklyn bark news paper, Brooklyn Dog Walker Tips, pet CPR

Brooklyn Bark Receives 4 Stars Talk of the Town Award

Talk of the Town

 Every year, Talk of the Town gives their Excellence in Customer Satisfaction award to companies in diverse industries. 

This year, Brooklyn Bark is proud and honored to receive four stars.

The passion that drives us: Each pet, each owner is unique and special and
deserves to be treated that way has received national recognition!  How cool is that!  

Talk of the Town ratings are based on "consumer-review, websites and blogs, social networks, business rating services and other award information to determine the top companies across the country."

In other words, not just our Barkers like us but independent review of our business infrastructure looks good, too.

We did a little search and learned there are only 5 other Brooklyn businesses in the entire PETS (which includes everything from veterinarians to groomers to pet stores) category that received the Excellence in Customer Satisfaction Award.  So not only are our Barkers special, but Brooklyn Bark is, too!

Talk of the Town set up an awards page for us.  If you would like to check it out, please do and know we are ALL special.

Tags: Brooklyn Bark Customer Satisfaction Award

Mahopac grad lives in urban jungle :: Brooklyn Bark in the News

Mahopac News MastheadMahopac grad lives in urban jungle

Rachel, Radar and Winston Growing up in Mahopac, Rachel Bowers’ house was filled with animals. When Bowers graduated Mahopac High School in 2003 and headed off to New York City for college, she missed her daily interactions with animals.

“When I was in the city, it made me sad,” she said, regarding her lack of interactions with animals. “I was always playing with other people’s dogs.”

Her childhood pets ranged from the traditional to the exotic to what some might not associate with the word “pet.” There was the family dog that went to work with her mother every day and couldn’t be separated from the family. Then there was the pet rabbit, which had free range of the home and liked to curl up with Bowers for a bedtime story. There also was a pet rat, which enjoyed pushing the computer mouse around and watching the cursor move on the screen. And, of course, a favorite of young children, she had hermit crabs.

Maybe enticed to find safe harbor in such a menagerie, one day an animal not known to be native to Putnam County paid a visit.

“A parrot flew into the house,” Bowers remembered. “The parrot stayed.”

After earning an art degree at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn for computer graphics and 3-D animation, Bowers picked up some freelance design gigs and took up walking dogs – both to earn some extra cash and get some puppy-time in.

This February [Feb 2010], Bowers decided it was time to hang her own shingle and started Brooklyn Bark, a dog-walking and training service. Several clients from her former job followed, and in less than a year, her business has quadrupled.

“I’m really busy. It’s great. I love it,” she said.

Unlike the cliché image of the Manhattan dog walker wrangling 30 dogs and 30 leashes while stumbling down the sidewalk, Bowers said she prefers to work with dogs solo or in pairs. She not only walks the dogs, but works on their training and etiquette while out for a stroll.

I get to know each dog because I don’t do pack walking,” she said.

Just as when she was a young girl, Bowers’ participation with animals isn’t limited to just dogs.

More than two years ago, Bowers spotted an online plea. A construction worker had rescued a baby starling. The bird had imprinted on humans, meaning it couldn’t be rehabilitated for release back into nature and the man’s landlord wanted the bird out.

Bowers said she had some experience rescuing starling chicks and contacted the construction worker.Loafer, the Starling

Loafer, the now-adult starling (a bird that very much resembles a crow), moved in to Bowers’ Brooklyn apartment and can be found perched on the 25-year-old’s shoulder while she is at the computer.

Soon after Loafer arrived, Bowers adopted the corgi Radar from a rescue shelter, and bird and dog became fast friends.

“Radar will stretch out in a sun patch and Loafer will fly over and sit on him,” Bowers said.

Recently, Bowers took in a stray cat, but she is ardently trying to find a new home for the feline.

“Birds and cats don’t mix,” she said.

Bowers also volunteers with the Wild Bird Fund. They ask her to raise separated starling chicks, which are rescued from New York City’s sidewalks, and when they grow big enough, the birds leave Bowers and are prepared to fly back in to the real world.

“Every spring we get a shipment of baby birds coming in and out,” she said. “It’s quite a handful.”

Three Baby StarlingsWhen Bowers departs each day to walk her clients’ dogs, she brings a baby chick in a small backpack wrapped in a towel that she feeds intermittently along the way.

“This is New York, so people don’t notice too much,” she said, although she has received a few strange looks here and there.

And unlike the construction worker, Bowers is lucky to live in an animal-friendly building. She said her neighbors’ children will come over to visit with the bird and make little presents for the starling.

Bowers said she appreciates the opportunity to share what she knows about animals with the young people who live in her neighborhood and said she plans on returning to school one day to get her teaching degree, a goal that reaches back to when she participated in the WISE program at Mahopac High School and worked with an art teacher at Lakeview Elementary School, teaching a classroom full of students.

Tags: article, news paper, news, brooklyn bark news paper