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Dogs of The Zero
Honey & Pokey

Honey Pit Bull's dog tag

People always ask what that is I'm wearing around my neck.
It's Honey's therapy-dog tag. —
Andrew Vachss

Excerpted from the 70th Anniversary Celebrations of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine:

Beginning in 1986, EQMM hired its own photographers and studios to shoot well-known mystery writers, and sometimes actors, in scenarios devised by the art director and editor. ... Perhaps most memorable was the photo shoot of Andrew Vachss, who agreed to appear only if his pit pull, Honey, could share the frame. Since Honey had to be transported from the Vachss home in Queens, EQMM hired a car service to pick up what had been described to the driver only as "a dog." A brief moment of conflict ensued when the terrified driver spotted Honey, but she was finally allowed to get in the car—and she proved, throughout the long ride and shoot, to be as sweet as her name.

Honey's Heart of Stone

Shed no tears for Honey; she went out the way we would all want to: no fear, no pain, and surrounded by love. Even though she was willing to tolerate what the vet accurately termed "intractable" pain caused by gross deterioration of the spine and hips with severe nerve impingement, she could not tolerate the loss of dignity that came with her inability to protect her loved ones as she always had. On her final day, I "obtained" a monster sedative from the vet, then we took Honey out for ice cream (a forbidden treat that she only gets on her birthday ... see False Allegations, pp. 75-76), then for a ride to her favorite part of the coast, where her multiple collars were removed—including her "I Am a Therapy Dog" medallion we had scammed up by using Sheba's old credentials. She always wore this because we never knew when she would have to nail someone; it would buy us some time to spring her before some "shelter" tried to have put her down. I now wear it on a chain around my neck. She was told she was free to jump any dog that dared invade her space. As if the word had already spread, that area, which is typically clogged with off-leash animals, was empty that morning. We sat and watched the ocean together. It had been hailing and raining for days. Suddenly, the sun came out ... Honey always loved to sleep in the sun. By the time we brought her to the vet, she had nodded out completely. As I carried her inside, she felt like a 70-pound noodle in my arms. We laid her down on a soft blanket. She never felt the needle. We told her what a wonderful dog she was, and I promised her I would be with her soon enough. I gave her one last kiss and she was gone. I miss her terribly, but we did right by her (as she had always done by us) right to the end. And now we honor her memory. I wish everyone I loved could cross over as she did. I said all I had to say in her epitaph, and every word is true.

Honey Pit Bull, 2005

Honey Pit Bull, sweet dreams ...

The myth is that pit bulls are inherently dangerous to children.
The truth is, just like with people, you get what you raise.

Chew Toy

Pit bull. Unstoppable, in both love and protectiveness.

A poem by Honey Pit Bull ...

Creature under the shed
Creature under the shed
Creature under the shed
Creature under the shed
Come out
Come Out
Come Out!
and/or you're dead

Honey, at 10 weeks, playing with her "chew toy"
(a real sledgehammer).

Honey Pit Bull, on the job

Honey Pit Bull, on the job!

Pit bull. Honey's partner-for-life. A mean old boy who counts Honey as the one exception to his "I can beat any dog in the house" credo.


Valentine's Day Greetings from Honey & Pokey

Honey Pit Bull and Aggresso the Hummingbird

Obama administration comes out against breed-specific legislation



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