NYC Pet Project: One Woman, Two Loves

When you think of your pet, what words come to mind? If your pet could read, what would your letters say?

Authors Edward J. Kaczmarek III and Michael J. La Rue collected the answers to these questions in the form of hundreds of letters, which are published in the book NYC Pet Project (Good Books Publishing, Inc.). The book is a compendium of letters and portraits of New Yorkers – ordinary and famous.

Karen Bachman has a lot to write about her pets, especially Herod, a boa constrictor she's had for 20 years. But though her relationship with Herod spans a generation, she is no less in love with Beulah, her bulldog, as the excerpt from her letter shows.

Dear Beulah,

"Cause you're once, twice, three times a bulldog … and I love you …"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways … I love your under bite, your wet bulldog kisses, the short red hairs you leave all over the furniture and my clothes … the dainty way you drip water all over the floor when you drink. … Your gassiness is not so great, but hey, no one's perfect.

I'd wanted a bulldog all my life and waited a long time for you. When you finally came to me, it was after a particularly rough period. You've filled my life with joy and drool. You make me (and pretty much everyone who meets you) smile. You're such a puff! I'm proud to be your mom!

Dear Herod.

You've been with me 20 years! Since art school! When I got you, I wanted a beautiful exotic pet. You have been that and more. You were only 1 meter long when I got you and now look at you … 12 feet long and 35 pounds! You are a big snake, and a lot of people are freaked out by you. They say things like "he'd make a great pair of boots," etc. I just ignore them. Boa constrictors have feelings too. Don't listen to those people (actually you can't … you don't have ears). Herod, you can be annoying … like the time you got stuck behind the refrigerator or coiled up in the bookcase, refusing to come out. But I know that you were just looking for a tight place to feel secure.Now you are old and losing your sight, but don't worry – I will love and take care of you and Beulah always.My love to you both,


The letters appear within the NYC Pet Project book in the author's actual handwriting.

Good Books Publishing, Inc. has provided some the content from the NYC Pet Project for inclusion in this website. For additional information on Good Books Publishing, Inc. or to order the NYC Pet Project book, go to or your local bookstore.