New Yorkers love their pets—-so much they take them everywhere. There was the cat in the pizzeria, the dalmatian in the liquor store, and most recently a very tiny breed dog in the shopping cart at the Duane Reade. New York has become one of the dog-friendliest cities in the country. For all you dog-lovers out there who once feared a pet in Manhattan, fear no longer. Animals live longer here than anywhere else in the country. It is a fact. Labs that are 16? I have read about a 30-year old cat–that story came from its vet.
Mimi-Kitty waiting to open her gifts at Christmas.
I’ve been told that very few street cats exist in Manhattan unless they are store cats. The first time I saw a one, I thought it was just another stray. There it was— sitting on the sidewalk of a busy street downtown, just watching people and traffic. I later discovered this cat belonged to the shop owner. These kitties may just stroll up and down the sidewalk or sit in the door of the shop welcoming potential customers. They’re mousers, but also well- fed, cared for and loved by their owners.
Animals in Manhattan are indoor, which of course in doggie and kitty years can equal 100 or more.They are given lots of attention and walks, have some of the best veterinary care in the country, and I guess otherwise just love the excitement and energy of being in Manhattan.
Dogs are everywhere. I have never seen so many…all breeds, sizes, shapes, colors and creeds if there is such a thing in dogs. And dog-walkers are a dime a dozen. If you can’t find a dog-walker in New York City, you must live at the Statue of Liberty, because they are as plentiful as the dogs.Central Park is off-leash every day before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m. and Prospect Park in Brooklyn has a dog beach. This means more fun for our four-legged family members.
There are some obvious challenges that go along with owning a pet in the Big Apple. Living spaces are small enough. Adding a furry friend (or two) can create tighter quarters and more mess, among other things, especially when owning an 80-pound Chocolate Labrador Retriever. Larger dogs also require more exercise, particularly Bogey, who thinks that he is a marathon swimmer!
You may ask the question, “Why such a big shedding creature?” Well honestly, when we rescued Bogey, he was much smaller. Lucky Lab (the rescue group), said that Bogey would not get too much bigger, but would fill out. They estimated him to be between a year, and a year and a half old.
The vet estimated 11-14 months old. Mike and I have drawn our own conclusion. We think that B was 6 months old when we got him, and is still growing. Bogey is the largest Chocolate Lab that I have ever seen! I keep telling him “Please don’t grow any more!”
Of course, the larger the animal, the more hair to clean also, and labs are known to shed. I have enough hair in my apartment at the end of each day to create a toy version of Bogey.
Lucky for us, Mr. B figured out the potty situation quickly. Some dogs need grass to do their biz. Not Bogey. He will empty his bowels and bladder anywhere as needed. This can also be a problem when visiting friends, and your loving sweet dog lifts his leg on their bed. Or, when Bogster has an upset tummy which many Labs often do, and he cannot make it to the elevator, down eight floors and outside to the street in time. Use your imagination….yuck and double yuck. This makes excellent use of the sports section of the NY Times, since I care nothing about sports.
Dogs aren’t permitted on subways of buses, unless they fit in a carrier. Transportation can be tricky for larger pets. There’s no law that a taxi must pick up a dog. There are companies that specialize in pet transportation–kind of like a pet chauffeur. How nice! And believe it or not, there is an actual company called “Pet Chauffeur.”
Seriously now, being a dog-owner in New York City is rewarding. Watching my dog trot down the street when he is all smiles, and then watching everyone smile back at him–well that makes it all worthwhile. I mean really–wouldn’t you smile at this guy?
|Bogey and me –ready for a night out on the town|
And if you cannot handle the responsibility of a canine, well there is always the forever-difficult feline. Aside from the litter box and a little shedding here and there, kitties are much easier in small square footage. And most cats do not require walking–well there are a few… like this one.
But most are content to sleep the day away.
One furry friend is sweet, but two can be even sweeter. Lucky for us, Bogey and Mimi are the best of friends.
This post is dedicated to two special friends. We lost them since we moved to New York in 2007.
Jake Kaler, 1996-2008
Best friend and loyal companion.
Rudy/Boo-Kitty Kaler, 1999-2010
Annoying, relentless, yet loving entertainer.
May they rest in peace and be in our hearts forever.