Uptown Dog

Adventures of a not-so-average mutt making new friends in New York City

Archive for the month “January, 2012”

Down by the River

When we moved to New York in November, the pedestrian bridge down the street was under construction. We passed it every day on the way to the park, and I couldn’t wait to see where the bridge would lead. Last week, finally, the bridge opened! I practically dragged Mom down the block to check it out.

The bridge takes us over FDR Drive, a very busy highway where cars can travel north and south along the East River. It’s a strange feeling to feel and hear the cars moving beneath my paws at 40 miles per hour. At first it scared me a little, but now I think it’s exciting.

On the other side, there’s a lookout where you can get a bird’s eye view of the river before descending to street level again. It’s a great spot to watch boats going by.

Walking along the river, we can see Roosevelt Island to the east and the Queensboro bridge to the south. So far we’ve walked about 10 blocks south before turning around and heading home. Mom says that when it’s warmer outside, one day we can see how far the path goes!

Christmas Trees, Again

We went for a walk in the park, and you will not believe what I found there: All of the Christmas trees from our neighborhood! I missed seeing the trees decorating the street, and I certainly never expected to see them again. This was a very welcome surprise.

I didn’t recognize the trees at first because they look a little different. I was sniffing the ground like crazy, trying to figure out where this familiar smell came from. Mom explained that Santa must have picked up the trees from the street and turned them into “potpourri” to make the park smell good. It’s true – the park smells like one giant Christmas tree. Mom and I both loved it!

After spending some quality time reveling in the scent of my beloved Christmas trees, we went for a romp in the dog park.

I also got to say hello to some seagulls. Even though we aren’t near the beach, we have seagulls near our apartment because the East River has salt water from the Atlantic Ocean. I never expected to find wildlife in New York!

As you can see, the snow we got last weekend is long gone. On this particular day, it was 45 degrees, and it almost felt like spring. Even though I love the snow, I am excited to see what the park looks like in full bloom.

Snow!

On Saturday, I finally saw some snow for the first time this winter! We only got about three inches, and it’s already melted by now, but it made for a couple of great visits to the park.

I love barreling through the snow so it sprays out everywhere. I feel like a jet flying through the clouds.

We met a lab named Paprika who let me play fetch with her. (My parents forgot the tennis ball – way to go guys!)

The soft snow felt so good under my paws instead of concrete. And the city looks so much prettier with a dusting of powder, don’t you think?

I hope it snows one more time before spring arrives. Today it’s sunny and temps are in the 50s – it barely feels like winter anymore!

Paws to the Pavement Goes to Japan

Our second installment of Paws to the Pavement takes us all the way to Japan to visit with a spirited Welsh Corgi who seems to love workin’ it for the camera. Make sure to visit the photographer’s Flickr photostream for even more pictures!

(Source – Moaan on Flickr)

Who’s Walking Who?

In New York, it seems like people are always in a hurry. Everyone walks at a brisk pace and cars are constantly honking at each other. New Yorkers especially hate waiting to cross the street. They’ll take a few steps into the street while they wait for the traffic signal to change, so that as soon as it turns green, they can rush across and make up for lost time.

Even though I’m just a little guy, I have no trouble keeping up with these crazy New Yorkers. In fact, I kind of enjoy this fast-paced lifestyle. I’ve always been the type of dog who can’t wait to see what’s around the corner. There are so many interesting smells out there in the world, and not nearly enough time to take them all in!

Mom and Dad, on the other hand, have always been slowpokes. That’s why I have taken it upon myself to hold onto the leash when we’re out for a walk to make sure they are still back there. When they need to speed up, I let them know by giving the leash a little tug, or waving the leash with my snout.

This is me waiting patiently for our walk to commence:

This is me after waiting for Mom to put on her hat….gloves….scarf….wait, you’re asking me where your cell phone is? Like I have a clue? Let’s get going already!

People on the street seem to think this is pretty funny. It’s not unusual to hear someone shout, “Who’s walking who?!” when we are out and about. They are just trying to humor my Mom – at this point, it’s obvious that I’m the one in charge of these walks.

An Oscar for Uggie?

If you paid attention to any of the Golden Globes chatter last night, you probably already know that a wiry-haired Jack Russell terrier stole the show! Uggie is one of the stars of “The Artist,” a black-and-white silent film that took home the Golden Globe for best picture, comedy or musical.

Uggie worked the red carpet like a true professional. But Uggie’s star power comes from the fact that he is relatively untrained compared to other movie dogs. While most movie dogs have 100 tricks in their repertoire, Uggie only has 20. Apparently one of them is playing dead, a trick Uggie busted out on the Golden Globes stage while the cast of “The Artist” was accepting their award.

It’s no wonder that Uggie is generating a lot of Oscar buzz, despite the Academy’s rule that limits the awards to humans. Uptown Dog is throwing his weight (all 22 lbs!) behind the campaign to “Consider Uggie” for an Oscar. I can relate to him because he loves hot dogs, just like me! The human star of “The Artist,” Jean Dujardin, carried them around during filming to maintain Uggie’s affections.

Uggie became a star somewhat by accident. His original owners almost sent him to the pound after he bit their goat. That’s when his current owner and trainer, Omar von Muller, swooped in and adopted Uggie. Biting that goat was the best decision he ever made. Uggie, maybe you should send that goat a gift basket!

(Photos via Huffington Post and Washington Post)

Paws to the Pavement: A Run in Central Park

Welcome to Uptown Dog’s latest project – the “Paws to the Pavement” photography feature! I love browsing Flickr and Instagram to see how other city dogs are making the most of life in an urban environment. So I decided, why not share these great pictures on my blog? 

I want to start out “Paws to the Pavement” with a dog who lives right here in New York City. Check out these shots of Maverick, a pit bull, exploring Central Park. Maybe I’ll see you there sometime, Maverick…if I can catch up with you!

(Source – Shahab Ghalambor on Flickr)

Wordless Wednesday

Trying my hardest to look bored while Mom is studying. Maybe she’ll feel guilty and take me for another walk!

Franky Sniffs His Way to the Supreme Court

I am always sniffing things that get me into trouble, but luckily for me, no one has made a federal case out of it! Meet Franky, a handsome chocolate lab who is sniffing out the boundaries of the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement.

Image via Dog Files

Franky is a retired drug dog who served with the Miami-Dade Police Department for seven years. His journey to the High Court began in 2006, when officers brought Franky to investigate an anonymous tip about a marijuana grow house. Franky detected the odor of marijuana outside the front door, which provided officers with probable cause to obtain a search warrant. Franky’s nose was right on the money: Police found 179 marijuana plants inside. In case you’re not sure how much weed that is, it’s worth more than $700,000. Good boy, Franky!

When the occupant of the home was hauled into court, his attorney argued that Franky’s dog sniff violated the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Drug-sniffing dogs are not uncommon – you’ve probably seen them in action at the airport or the train station. The Supreme Court has approved dog sniffs in public areas such as these, where there is a low expectation of privacy. Police dogs can sniff suitcases, packages, and cars to their heart’s content without offending the Constitution.

The problem with Franky’s case is that it involves the sanctity of the home, which receives the utmost protection under the Fourth Amendment. A dog’s nose can give officers a glimpse of what’s going on inside the home, which could be considered a search that requires a warrant. But Florida prosecutors argue that a dog sniff is never a search, because drug dogs are only trained to detect illegal substances, and there is no expectation of privacy with regard to illegal activity.

On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case and resolve the constitutional issue of Franky’s sniff. It’s hard to predict which way the Court will come down in this case. But one thing’s for certain: Franky was a great police dog! Dog Files has all the details on his career. He worked for seven years, and assisted with the seizure of 2.5 tons of marijuana and $4.9 million in drug money. Franky retired in June 2011 and lives with his former handler. His happy, friendly disposition was his best asset as a police dog. He could work in the most crowded, hectic places without raising any suspicion.

After all that hard work, I sure hope Franky is enjoying retirement.

Image via Wired News

(Sources: WSJ Law Blog and Dog Files.)

The “Forest” of the Epiphany

Today is the Feast of the Epiphany, when the Three Wise Men visited the Baby Jesus. January 6th is also significant because it’s the day that New York’s barren city sidewalks are transformed into a lush, green forest!

Everyone’s taking down their Christmas decorations, and since there are no alleys in New York where you can hide things, their refuse is out on the street for the world to see. This means I get to enjoy all of my neighbors’ Christmas trees! Since you know how much I miss sniffing trees, you can probably how imagine how excited I am.

Now if we could just get a dusting of snow on these lovely pines, this would be the perfect winter day.

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