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The Bravest Dog

From Staten Island Live

Boxer refuses to leave the side of female that was struck and killed

They didn't have names, they no longer had a home, and yesterday afternoon they no longer had each other.

Two brown-coated boxer dogs, alone on an isolated stretch of Richmond Terrace in Mariners Harbor, likely strayed into traffic. One animal was struck and killed; the other, loyal to his companion, defied vehicles to protect the body.

"They were definitely connected," speculated an onlooker. The dead dog was female and its protector male.

A subsequent examination of the dead dog revealed that she was about a year old and had borne puppies.

The sad spectacle struck a chord with people who happened on the scene, in front of the Mariners Marsh Park Preserve. Some provided food and water, others imparted gentle touches and kind words to the sentinel dog, and still others sought to divert traffic.

"I was playing cop," said Michael Olivo, 50, of West Brighton.

He and his wife, Jeannie, 44, and their daughter Angela were returning from a shopping expedition to New Jersey about 2:45 p.m. when they spied the dogs. Cars already were starting to back up in both directions as they negotiated the site.

Angela, 16, noted that the male was extremely protective of the body. "He wasn't aggressive, but he let out a low growl if you got too close," she said.

Mrs. Olivo said that while her husband directed traffic, she used her cell phone to call city agencies, including Animal Care and Control. She complained that the workers to whom she spoke were rude and unresponsive to the boxers' plight.

Finally, Fire Department personnel arrived and moved the dog's body to the side of the road.

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