My dog, Star, was introduced to you, but I didn’t tell you how she came to live with me. The beginning really started with another dog named Teddy – which happens to be my eldest son’s name. Although the owner told me about Teddy’s aggressiveness I chose to not hear her. One look and I was in love with that gorgeous animal. Needless to say, the nine months I had him was hair-raising.

He got into fights with other dogs in the community and hurt two of them. I also got hurt (never told my children) by just trying to stop the fights. Neighbors came running. The police were called. The police person was a woman and you could see the fear on her face when she came to the door. Teddy laid down while we were talking and she was surprised. I invited her in while we finished our talk and she remarked about how good he was. What she didn’t know was that he was an angel… but only in the house.

We went away for the summer that year. I convinced myself it would be different. It wasn’t. He got into three fights. This time no one was hurt. But I had had it. When we got home I called and told the former owner that I had to bring him back. She understood and came to get him herself.

It took most of the year to rid myself of feelings, both good and bad. I did the best I could and loved him madly. I also knew I was foolish for thinking I could handle him or change him. Who did I think I was?

It took almost the whole next year for me to realize I wanted another dog. I looked in a few places but those dogs were not the right ones. I went to the Broward Humane Society online. One dog interested me because of her description, but there was no picture of her. This time I wanted a gentle female. I was told that Star was being hosted at someone’s house and the lady would bring her the next morning.

I had mixed feelings as I drove there. Was she the right one? Or was I going to have trouble again? Star didn’t make the decision easy. The hostess told me she gets overexcited but quickly settles down. And she did get excited. She was all over me and my son, and jumped all over the small room we were in. I must admit that what sold me was the fact that she was brought into the Humane Society on my birthday! For me, that was a sign that is was meant to be.

It was one of the best things I ever did.

I Can’t Believe It!

I can’t believe what just happened. I am on 23&me and the following is a copy of the messaging I shared with a man who figured out that we are Second Cousins! The gentleman who made this happen is Rick Leavitt of Southern California and we share  3.49% of our DNA.

Rick: Hello, I noticed that we are potentially 2nd cousins. Would you like to share information?

Me: Yes. According to the chart we may be connected on my mother’s side. Her mother was born in Belarus and married first husband Alexander Yoslowitz who died of a crane falling and hitting his head. Does any of this sound familiar?

Rick: My grandfather was Wolf (William) Yoslowitz from Grodno area. I don’t know of his brothers except I just connected with Jessie Yoslowitz to find out that Harry was a brother. Wolf lived in NY City and immigrated in (circa)1908. He married three times, two of which was because he became widowed. Was Alexander your father? Does Irving Yoslowitz sound familiar? He was Wolf’s son from his third marriage.

Me: I would have been his granddaughter so what does that make us. Who is Wolf? I’m in Florida where are you?

Rick: If Alex was your grandfather and Wolf was my grandfather then you and I are second cousins. My mother, Nancy (Joselowitz) Leavitt would be your mother’s first cousin. I live in Southern California.

Rick: Hi Irene, I just found out that Wolf had many siblings of which one was your Alexander. If you are his daughter then you and my grandfather are 1st cousins and we share the same ancestors Isaac and Gussie (Nadelstein) Yoslowitz. That makes you and me 2nd cousins once removed. Is your mother’s maiden name Yoslowitz?

Me: Not daughter, granddaughter. Yes, but I did not know that until I was in my 50’s.

Rick: Furthermore, that makes Marc Alexander your first cousin once removed. I have Alexander born in 1891

Me: I just found his Death certificate and YES 1891. I knew none of his relatives. After he was hit in the head from the crane he spent the rest of his life in an insane asylum from water on the brain. He died on Apr. 25, 1962 and was the family’s BIG SECRET. Sad life. Are you near LA.? I will be there in Oct. for a wedding. Who is Mark Alexander?

Rick: Did you know of any of your grandfather’s siblings?

Me: No. Don’t know if my mother did.  All I ever had was his death certificate found after my mother died.

Rick: Wolf Joselowitz(yoselovitz) my grandfather, Alex’s brother. Do you see any family resemblance. I know it is a long shot.

Rick: Well at least we figured it out. Nice to know you my second cousin, Irene: Me: Same here.

Rick: Very cool indeed. It’s unfortunate that my mother never knew of her biological parents until I found them about 10-12 years ago through research. She would have enjoyed talking to your mother. My mom died 2 years ago at 98. I live in Rancho Mirage, Ca about 2 1/2 hours east of LA, but raised in Seattle all my life. Do you have any photos of Alex? I can send you a photo of Wolf if you’d like to see it to see if there is any family resemblance. Also I can send a photo of my mom who is your mom’s first cousin. I will need to send it to an email address.
Me: Please send it. and stay in touch.

Rick: did they come through?

Me: I do not see any resemblance with either.

Me: Yes. Who is the man again?

Rick: Wolf Joselowitz(Yoselovitz) my grandfather, is Alex’s brother. Do you see any family resemblance. I know it is a long shot.

Me. I would not know. I never saw him and there were no pictures. As I said – only the death certificate.

Lost Family Contact Birth Grandfather Found History


As you can see the picture is of New York City, my home town. I was born in the Bronx in 1934 – therefore the almost a century subtitle – and lived there for most of my life. Florida is now my home, I have been here many years, and I love it.

Perhaps I should have started with my family, but my kids are not kids anymore and have their own families. My grandchildren are not kids and I have a brand new two month old great-grandchild named Noah.

I started this blog because I learned a lot by living so many years. In first grade the principal asked me why I talked so much in class. I told him “I have a lot to say.” I’m a newbie at blogging and I guess we will have to see if that is still true.