The Beachcomber: Dine & Unwind

Book Features LBI Business Owner on Canine Companionship

Aug 18, 2016
Courtesy of: Patti Kerr

Stop in to Acme Surf and Sport or Acme Beach and Bike on Long Beach Island and pick up a copy of Magical Dogs: Love and Lessons from our Canine Companions, featuring Krypto and Ruby, the beloved pets of owner Zach Kerzner.

“One summer, my sons and I rented bikes from Acme,” author Patti Kerr said. “I never forgot the connection I witnessed between Zach and Krypto. And almost 15 years later, when I began working on Magical Dogs, I contacted Zach to see if he would consider being a part of the book.”

The book includes 25 stories of dogs and the impact they have had on people’s lives and their environment. Kerzner’s story with his two dogs – Krypto, a yellow Lab he had 14½ years until she passed away in 2009, and Ruby, the 7-year-old red hound-Lab mix rescue that Kerzner adopted from Louisiana – includes snippets of life on LBI, including surviving and recovering from Superstorm Sandy.

“I was honored, to say the least, when Patti called me to ask if she could put me and Krypto in her new book,” Kerzner said. He was happy and relieved that she really got it, that she understood the essence of the connection. To him, dogs aren’t the best thing – they’re the only thing. Shop buddy. Roommate. Travel companion and fellow adventurer. Best friend.

“I love dogs more than I love 80 percent of all humans I meet,” Kerzner said.

Communication between man and beast is essentially about building mutual trust and acceptance, Kerzner explained. His affection with Krypto – a mountains/ beach dog he got as a puppy in Telluride, Col. – would often take the form of a shared glance, a quick wave from afar, or a friendly hand gesture as she lounged on the bed.

Though he had planned to take more time to grieve Krypto’s passing, he soon found Ruby on labs4rescue.com. She was the spitting image of Krypto in her younger days, and Ruby was even born so close to the date of Krypto’s death, Kerzner couldn’t help but believe she was the reincarnation of Krypto’s spirit.

But wait. Ruby had “issues,” he was told. She was a former street dog that had been teased and abused, she had heartworm disease, and she was depressed. Nonetheless, local Lab rescue advocate Leslie Houston was able to vouch for Kerzner and facilitate the adoption.

Quickly they forged that bond of trust and admiration he thought he would never find again.

“Once again, my dog loves the mountains, the beach, and me,” Kerzner marveled. “I never thought that I could love a dog as much as I loved Krypto. I was wrong.”

Kerr described Kerzner as “totally devoted and committed to his dogs,” adding she is “extremely honored to include them in the book – especially since LBI has been my family’s favorite vacation destination for over 30 years.”

Signed copies of Magical Dogs are available at Acme Surf and Sport, located at 8401 Long Beach Blvd. and at Acme Beach and Bike, located at 2 East 27th St., Beach Haven Gardens. A portion of the proceeds from book sales benefits animals in need.

—V.F.

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