Sure, the Paul Simon song “Mother and Child Reunion” was written about humans, but it could just as well have been meant for Emma and Slick.
According to Best Friends Animal Society in New York, the mother and son pair were surrendered to the city shelter together almost two years ago. Not long after, both dogs were separately taken home by different families.
Mama Emma, a 65-lb. pit bull basset hound mix with a sweet and fun-loving personality, was adopted by Don Lavenhall and his husband Jeffrey Lewis. Meanwhile, Slick was taken home by foster parents Evan and Kristina Jensen, who were soon smitten and decided to adopt the young pup.
Not too long thereafter, Kristina began to wonder about the fate of Slick’s canine mama. Through the Best Friends volunteer foster network, Slick’s human mom learned that Emma had been adopted out, too. She decided to reach out to Emma’s dads and find out if they’d be interested in setting up a doggie date. Don and Jeffrey loved the idea, and suggested the dogs rendezvous at Riverside Park in upper Manhattan.
As Kristina and Evan walked Slick to the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Monument, his tail began to wag joyously. He’d suddenly caught sight — and scent — of Emma standing across the plaza. Mom!
The reunion was as exciting as everyone hoped it’d be. Adorably, the dogs recognized each other in an instant.
“They started literally jumping for joy. It was so heartwarming to see Emma lower her guard with another dog and watch her play with such total ecstatic joy,” Don said. Typically Emma is a bit more tentative when meeting other dogs for the first time, but as soon as she saw (and sniffed) Slick, her tail went wild wagging.
“Reunions like this don’t happen every day,” says Shannon Kirkman, foster and adoptions coordinator for Best Friends in New York City. “When we heard this was going to happen, we were so excited for Slick and Emma, and it showed us how engaged and connected our volunteer network has become.”
Best Friends reports that both dogs continue to do great in their new homes. Kristina says Slick is “sort of a ham,” and has adjusted to an on-the-go lifestyle which includes subway rides, trips to Montauk, New York, and even Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Emma has adapted well to life with her dads and a senior cat brother named Tim; their building staff has affectionately nicknamed her “The Houndessa.”
Emma and Slick have had another doggie play date since their day in the park, and hopefully will get many more bonding moments together in the future.
For more information about dog fostering and adoption through Best Friends, click here.