Tanner graciously agreed to let me take the reins (keyboard, to be exact) this week so that I might remember Harlan Cary Poe, a mentor who recently passed away. When I met him in 1984, Cary was co-director (with Sensei Andy Diaz) of the Martial Arts Conservatory, a karate dojo in New York’s Greenwich Village. I had just returned to training after nearly a 10-year hiatus, and they welcomed me into the fold, which included several working actors and at least one world-class visual artist. I was struggling with my anger issues, and their spirited, philosophical teaching helped me keep myself in check. A skilled karateka who was proficient with several weapons, Cary was also an actor who appeared in many films and TV shows, including Someone To Watch Over Me, where he played a creepy hit man that was out to silence socialite Mimi Rodgers. Standing in the way was a NYC detective, played by Tom Berenger, Cary’s close friend. I lost touch with Sensei Poe when we left New York in the early ’90s. I know he went on to become a physical therapist, and he continued to live in his WestBeth apartment, a few floors above the original dojo. That’s where his body was recently discovered by a neighbor. He was seated in lotus position. 

Cary Poe in “Someone To Watch Over Me”

Sensei Harlan Cary Poe, circa 1988

Being a dog guardian comes with plenty of responsibilities. You must provide food, water, shelter, exercise, affection, toys and treats…lots and lots of toys and treats. If you have a backyard, you also need to be alert to dangers that might harm your doggie BFF, like wild animals (coyotes, cougars, bears, venomous snakes and insects), unexpected human visitors and intruders (utility workers, meter readers, and sadly, dog nappers), exposed outlets and power lines, uncovered pools, and gaps in walls or fencing that might allow your dog to escape and become lost or injured. In this week’s edition of Cesar’s Way,  celebrity dog guru and Cesar Millan gives a rundown on these backyard perils and how you can prevent them.

with Tanner @ The Sacred Space, Summerland, CA

Adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue group can be very rewarding experience. In our case, we rescued Tanner from a life behind bars (or worse) and he returned the favor by showering us with love and helping me finally tame my ferocious temper. If you’d like to learn the details, you can read all about it in GIMME SHELTER. While rescuing a dog feels good, it can sometimes lead to ego-driven oneupmanship. Like the drunken sailors in this scene from the classic movie Jaws, played by Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfus, who get carried away comparing their scars, some doggie saviors feel the need to show just how precious they are. Leave it to Amy Schumer to skewer the do-gooders and the urban doggie daycare culture.

Amy Schumer

Robert Shaw & Richard Dreyfus, JAWS


  1. I am so sad to receive this news. Today, I was looking at piece art that Cary and his mom, Holly (she was the artist) gave me over 45 years ago and went online in an attempt to locate him. Cary, as I knew him , was one of my closest friends, during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s .

    We use to hang out frequently at the loft his uncle Paul owned on Sixth Ave., between 39th & 40th Streets.

    Frequently, we’d go out with our mutual friend, Andy Diaz to Max’s Kansas City, Thrush and many of the other “hip” places around NYC. We had wonderful experiences together and I fondly remember them as being some the best times I had during that time in my life. It was through Andy that I met Cary. I will always remember Cary as a very kind, generous and giving person.

    As our lives evolved, I lost touch with him many, many years ago. Again, I am very saddened to learn of his passing, but can clearly see that you held him in high regard, as did I.


    • Rick

      Thanks for your kind, thoughtful comments. I was in NYC a few weeks back and had lunch with Andy (still Sensei Diaz to me) and we spoke about Cary. I didn’t meet him until the early 80s but found him to be an intelligent, creative, sensitive, fun-loving man. If you don’t mind, I’ll pass along your comments to Andy who is still feeling his loss.



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