TALES OF A DOG OWNER IN NYC
New Yorkers do not tend to make eye contact. But once you own a dog, there is a shift and suddenly all eyes are on your dog. And you are no longer invisible. (I am not ageist but many old ladies are referenced because they dominate the demographics on my block. I am a minority).
- •Getting yelled at by an old lady, "His pee got on the trash bag! Curb your dog!" Because a mountain of trash never occupies the whole curb and NYC trash is known for being piss-free and clean.
- •When training your dog to not leap into the path of a speedy cab while fearfully avoiding sidewalk grates, you receive a 10-minute lecture from a crazy about how dogs should be scared of grates because her sister fell through one in the 70's. To ensure the sense of danger, she barks and growls to terrify your poor dog back into oncoming traffic.
- •When walking a puppy, there is a high likelihood your pooch will encounter a rat that is larger and more viscous than your playful pup can comprehend and you find yourself being chased down the block by the squealing vermin.
- •And when your pup gets older and you walk in the park at dusk-- it could be a squirrel or it could be a rat but chances are neither will be fazed.
- •Pigeon lady, known for inadvertently feeding crumbs to more rats than birds will see you coming with your dog and scream that you mind her birds. You will try but your dog will make them scatter anyway as she threatens your life.
- •Ten toddlers decide they would rather latch onto your dog's tail than the rope of rings they normally hold onto when taken on field trips from pre-school while their caregivers react in horror.
- •Running as fast as you can in the dog park to save your dog from biting a five-year-old that came running into the run waving a giant stick at your dog's head because it's easier for his parents to let him run loose the same time the family dog is free rather than go to the kid's playground.
- •Doing your best to prevent your dog from feasting on the mysterious liquid sludge and rotting food that may be found every ten paces on a city street.
- •Solo picnicking in Central Park with your pooch when a half-baked meth head decides to sit on your blanket and befriend your pup until your pup is alarmed to security mode and chases the unbalanced and flailing nut job off your territory.
- •Getting intentionally smacked by the cane of an old lady for setting your dog on the sidewalk after carrying him across smoldering black top in the dead of July because you are in her way. And she hates dogs.
- •Industrialized, Porta Potty blue salt on the sidewalks in winter is so vile that your dog will roll over like a dead cockroach to avoid the paw pain.
- •A passerby will see your dog in dead cockroach mode and reprimand you. "That dog should have boots!"
- •Next time you spend ten minutes putting boots on your dog, dragging him down four flights of stairs into a blizzard where he becomes a statue and a handful of people mutter, "I just don't understand why people force their dogs to wear boots. That dog looks miserable."