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New York man adopts Perkins County shelter dog PDF Print E-mail
By Shari Friedel
Tribune Staff
    “That’s the one!” said New Yorker Olivier Cassegrain when he spotted “Drake,” a German wirehaired pointer on Petfinder.com, and set into motion another success story for the Perkins County Animal Shelter in Grant.
    Four-year-old Drake, recently brought to the shelter as a stray, is likely taking strolls in New York City’s Central Park, as well as enjoying a country home near the Catskills with his new best friend, Paris-born and raised Cassegrain. Cassegrain adopted Drake last week from the Perkins County Animal Shelter, personally making the trip to Grant  from New York City, where he has lived the past ten years, employed as managing director of Longchamp, a company that manufactures leather bags and luggage.
    Drake was found running loose in the northwest corner of Perkins County and rescued Dec. 1. From his condition—low body weight and worn off foot pads, it was obvious to Perkins County Veterinary Hospital’s Dr. Shannon Jensen and the shelter staff that he had been on his own for awhile and traveling quite a distance.
    Several weeks later, in improved health, Drake was featured online at Petfinder.com where he was discovered by Cassegrain.
    Cassegrain had formerly owned another German wirehaired pointer, a breed he refers to as drahthaar. “Droopy” died of cancer at the age of 13, several years ago. Cassegrain is fond of the companionable breed, and said it’s hard to find any negative qualities about them.
    Though German wirehaired pointers are considered hunters, Drake happens to be gun-shy. Recently adopted by another party who wanted to use him as a hunting dog, he was promptly returned to the shelter when at the sight of a gun, he hid under the pickup.
    Last fall, Cassegrain began a search for another dog of the same breed as Droopy, happened onto Drake, and knew immediately it was meant to be. A true animal lover, Cassegrain once rescued a cat, and although very allergic to them, endured four days with the feline in his home until he was able to find a new owner.
    Jensen and the staff at the shelter offered to arrange for Drake to be delivered to New York, but Cassegrain, thinking of the dog’s welfare, insisted on picking him up in person to ease the transition to a new owner, and the stress of a flight. “He’s not a UPS package,” he said of his new pet, with whom he began bonding immediately.
    Cassegrain said he called the shelter about three times a day the week before the adoption, working out every detail of the transaction. He hired a driver at the airport in Denver who took him to Grant and back the next day for the return flight with Drake.
    For Cassegrain and his new companion, the effort will more than pay off in a long and mutually rewarding friendship.