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This month's featured animal is


Photos courtesy of
    Rags with Antler         Carter holding Rags

Rags is a laid-back Brussels Griffon dog. He is owned by Carter Heywood (Michael Boatman), a black, gay civil servant who works for the Mayors Office in New York City. Rags is aged, ailing, suicidal and just wants to "end it all." He's been seen  licking light sockets, jumping out of windows, or eating pills. Rags has medication for itching, wheezing, and diarrhea among other prescriptions. When applying anti-fungal cream to his tummy, Rags likes it rubbed in a circular motion-not up and down. I don't even want to tell you about the flatulent ointment for his rectum. 

 Rag's full name is Reginald R. Ragamuffin the Third. He is the only dog on the block who could growl his own initials "RRR." His owner, Carter likes to dress Rags in matching outfits. So, if Carter wears a pair of pajamas with tiger strips, Rags will be seen modeling his own matching set of PJs. 

Rags has had many adventures. He's pooped in Stuart Bondek's shoe, had the Mayor of New York City fall in love with him after filming an animal rights film, and swallowed Deputy Mayor Charlie Crawford's pager while under the care of Caitlin Moore. One day, after Carter brought Rags to work, he got killed by a Statue of Liberty paperweight that accidentally toppled off a shelf onto the unsuspecting canine. Much to Rags' chagrin, he was resurrected by the hand of a man named Owen Joyce (Christopher Lloyd) who claimed he was the Messiah. 

TRIVIA NOTE: Rags appears on the sitcom SPIN CITY/ABC/1996-2002. On a number of occasions, celebrities have supplied their voices to Rag's morbid musings. They included David Letterman ("Dead Dog Talking"), Tim Allen ("The Kidney's All Right") and Regis Philbin ("Back to the Future IV- Judgment Day"). The episode "Dead Dog Walking" carried the caption dedication: "To Rags, 1846 - 1998."

Rags is played by doggie star Wes, a.k.a. Uncle Wesley. Bruce Pelaccio is his trainer. The dog's agent is Cathryn Long of All Creatures Great & Small of NY. Wesley is owned by a New York City woman, Ruth Powell, who loves Rags as a friend and a pet. Wes has served as a Chair Dog for the ASPCA's 1999 Dog Walk and Woofstock in New York City.

 *The Brussels Griffon breed is believed to have been produced by crossing affenpinschers with the pug, and possibly the toy spaniels. 

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