Professor is a happy-go-lucky, 7-year old lab mix who loves to be outdoors. There's nothing that makes him happier than to explore our neighborhood or, chase balls and sticks in the park. Before he got hurt, Professor would join me as I walked other people's dogs - rain or shine, he was my partner in crime. Sadly, 18 months ago Professor injured both knees of his back legs. Both cruciate ligaments were severely damaged, but I couldn't afford to repair both at the same time. So, nine months ago, he had surgery to fix the left leg. Now that that leg is fully recovered, it's time to repair his right knee.
Professor and I need your support. Using my savings and working side jobs in addition to my full time job, I was able to pay for the first surgery completely on my own. I knew the second surgery needed to happen, so I continued saving. I was right on track until last month, when I endured several setbacks unrelated to Professor and now I'm back to zero. Rather than asking for money, I decided to create this fundraiser in his name. All proceeds from this fundraising page, as well as any other products you find on my website, will go towards his surgery. The surgery will be performed in early January by Dr. Bentley at the Cornell U. Veterinary Specialist clinic.
Professor is one of the happiest and friendliest dogs you'll ever meet. Everybody in my neighborhood knows him by name, whereas I am often "the guy with Professor". In fact, if you live in the Brooklyn area, I'd love for you to meet him too.
I want to enable Professor to return to a life of curious exploration of the world around us - meeting new dogs and people, as well as discovering unknown neighborhoods and parks. I want this, because that's what he's done for me. During my lowest of lows, he's the one who made me smile. Every morning he would wake me up with a gentle nudge to my feet or hand. As I opened my eyes, the wag in his tail grows faster. As if luring me to see something he's discovered, he moves backwards like a show horse, swaying his body left to right and left again, never breaking eye contact. He doesn't bark, but his eyes speak loudly. In my head he's saying: "It's a new day! It's a new day! Let's go see what's out there!"
Mark & the Professor
The "Professor in Color" Project
This project came about in 2016/17 when Professor and I would walk other people’s dogs. Our territory covered parts of Bed-Stuy, Stuyvesant Heights and Crown Heights. On these “commutes” between the homes of our clients, we encountered a wide variety of painted walls, murals, and graffiti. The very first photo I snapped was of Professor with a radiant blue wall of an auto repair shop on the corner of Atlantic Ave and Brooklyn Ave. Professor didn’t mind “posing” for the camera. Soon there was another wall and then another and the project was born. Like so many of the snapshots we all take, these images stayed untouched and unviewed on a memory card, even though I always had a clear vision of the collage I was going to create.
A few weeks ago, as the dust of my turmoil settled, I had to face two realities: One, that Professor really needed to have his second surgery. Because of his condition, he had to sit out an entire summer without going to the dog park a single time. No long walks. No play time with other dogs. That’s just not fair to him. And two, that I cannot afford the surgery without outside help. So here we are.