Sunday, March 20, 2022

Therapy dog Aladdin was a real life superhero - and beloved Wildwood celebrity!

By Joe Mason
Special to Wildwood 365

It's known as Moore's Beach, but it might be known as Aladdin's Beach.

That's because when he was there, Aladdin was the star of the show.

Aladdin was a real life superhero. A pitbull therapy dog who loved nothing more than to swim in the Atlantic Ocean in Anglesea. That was his relaxing time. But Aladdin was far more than a beach bum. 

He loved spending time in North Wildwood with his mom Michele Schaffer, dad Nicky, human brothers Cody, Ty and Conner, and dog siblings Bully, Maui, Stella and Stitch. But he was a working dog and he truly was a miracle worker.

The therapy dog would go wherever he was needed to cheer people up. He loved going to hospitals in South Jersey to cheer up sick children. He also enjoyed going to schools, where mom would read to the children he would show them what a good dog he was. He taught people to love. He taught people not to bully. And wherever he would be of assistance, Aladdin and Schaffer were there.

"He didn't know why he was there, other than he knew people needed him," Schaffer said. "He would go up to people and make them happy. He just had this way about him. It was tough to be sad when he was around."

Now, everyone is sad because of him. Aladdin, the real life superhero and beautiful pit bull, died earlier this month after spending nine years with his family.

Prior to joining his family, he didn't have a great life. When Schaffer got him from the Camden County shelter through Lilo's Promise rescure, he was in terrible shape. Missing teeth, open sores, busted legs and extremely skinny. Schaffer was great at dealing with emaciated dogs, but even she was fearful he wouldn't make it.

But thanks his family, great medical care and a huge heart, Aladdin pulled through and became the superstar we all knew him to be.

"He had so many fans, everyone loved him," Schaffer said. "He never knew he was special. He loved to eat and he loved attention. Wherever he went, he knew he was going to be fed, he ate better than anyone!"

Courtesy of

In 2021, he became the star of his own children's book, "Aladdin the Super Hero" by Arin Greenwood, which told his inspiring true story. He also received numerous recognitions and awards for his good deeds, including 2017 American Humane Hero Dog and State Farm Ambassador of Kindness.

Aladdin was a star everywhere he went. He often visited Camden, he was a mainstay in Philadelphia, he would frequent Maryland thanks to his connection with Show Your Soft Side, a group that speaks out against animal abuse, and he would even take longer trips when there was an event where people needed love. 

But Wildwood was his home and his favorite spot.

In fact the only time "Laddy Boy" would ever show some unhappiness would be when he was told it was time to come in from swimming. Often decked out in his shark swimming suit, Aladdin didn't know when it was time to come in, and sometimes he disagreed with Schaffer about when he had enough.

"I would have to bring him in because he would get cramps from swimming, but he loved it," Schaffer said. "That was his beach. He would whimper a little when I told him it was time to come in. He loved swimming so much."

Aladdin was a star everywhere he went. When he would go to the Boardwalk, people would line up to take pictures with him. He also attended the opening of Morey's Piers' pet-friendly mini-golf, and did a meet-and-greet at the grand opening of Joe's Seafood.

He became such good friends with the pier that Jack Morey donated money to send Aladdin and his mom to Orlando, Florida after the Pulse Nightclub shooting.

Every year, Laddy Claus would attend the Christmas party at Anglesea Pub.

Far all he did in his town, he was given a special proclamation for his work by the City of North Wildwood.

Aladdin wasn't just a celebrity, though, he was a family member and a friend to all who met him.

"He just loved people," Schaffer said. "He would go National Night Out every year in North Wildwood. Everyone knew him and he loved the attention.

"He was just so accepting of love and care, and I don't think it was one instance, he was consistently just so even keeled. He had a magical gift of making everyone in the room happy."

Aladdin's memory lives on through his legacy of kindness and compassion. To learn more and to buy his book, visit

To make a donation in Aladdin's honor, visit

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