Tom Collings is planning to take a nine-mile swim later this month in honor of Rosy, his 15-year-old golden retriever combine who died three weeks in the past.
But the Bellmore man can also be doing it for others like her — rescue canines in shelters, marking time till their perpetually residence comes alongside.
“She was my buddy,” stated Collings, who turned 70 on Friday. “It simply breaks my coronary heart, , when people go to pet retailers or to breeders when there’s these hundreds of lovely canines within the shelter simply ready for houses.”
To raise consciousness and cash for a Wantagh animal rescue nonprofit, Collings stated he’ll swim from a public boat ramp at Billy Joel Park in Cold Spring Harbor to Lloyd Harbor and again. His swim is to happen Sunday, Oct. 17, relying on climate circumstances.
Collings, a retired parole officer from the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, stated he might be accompanied by two mates on kayaks so that folks on water scooters or boats can higher spot him.
Collings stated he swims three miles repeatedly however has by no means tried 9 miles.
“We [will] discover out,” he stated when requested whether or not he can deal with the gap. “I get right into a zone the place even after three miles, I’m solely going residence as a result of it is time for dinner. I do not actually really feel like I need to cease. And I additionally know the way to calm down. I simply turn out to be a chunk of seaweed infrequently and simply go into meditation and float round and regain power.”
Collings stated he doesn’t plan to get out of the water throughout what he estimated to be a seven- to nine-hour swim however would take breaks. His kayaker mates will provide him water or juice throughout these breaks, he stated.
Joanne Anderson, outreach coordinator for Last Hope Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation, stated Collings didn’t undertake from the group however heard of its work by a mutual buddy.
“This is so distinctive, so far as a fundraiser [goes],” Anderson stated. “We’re used to doing sit-down dinners, grocery store bingos and issues like that.”
The 40-year-old group usually adopts out 300 canines and 500 cats yearly, Anderson stated. The cash raised by Collings’ swim would go towards veterinarian care for older animals and people with power sicknesses, she stated.
Collings stated he has taken about two dozen canines off the road, half of whom he ended up retaining. He discovered Rosy in a yard throughout his a number of journeys to find a parolee in Roosevelt 14 years in the past.
“Like many of the road canines and stray canines, I open the door on my half. And it is up to them,” he stated. “If they get in, they go together with me. And if they do not, that was their alternative. And Rosy jumped in.”
Collings stated he hopes extra folks contemplate adopting rescue canines.
“There’s hundreds of animals within the shelters that could not get adopted,” he stated. “That’s at all times been type of a ache in my life that I could not do extra. So this can be a little factor I might do.”