Uptown Dog

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

Archive for the category “Playtime”

Twilight Yappy Hour

Now that it’s getting warmer outside, I’ve had more opportunities to venture out and explore the neighborhood. Recently I stumbled upon one of my favorite new spots, and it happened entirely by accident.

Remember the pedestrian bridge and the East River walk I told you about? One warm weekend afternoon, Mom decided we should walk along the river as far as we could, and just see where it takes us. We walked almost twenty blocks and we were about to turn around and head for home. Thank goodness we decided to walk just a bit farther, and that’s when we found it.

A dog park! And it’s much bigger and flatter than the one at Carl Schurz Park, so there’s even more room for high-speed chases, or just running in circles by yourself because you are so excited you don’t know what else to do.

It’s practically nestled under the Queensboro Bridge, and you can watch the red tram carry people over the East River to and from Roosevelt Island.

The best time to hit this dog park is Yappy Hour, which is in the early evening when our people get home from work. After being cooped up all day, sometimes things get a little weird, so you have to keep your wits about you.

In addition to lots of friendly outgoing dogs and a lovely view of the river, there’s also some original urban artwork to enjoy. Mom says it’s called “graffiti” and she doesn’t seem very impressed with it. I hope that city life isn’t making her too jaded! There are new surprises around every corner here in New York, and I never want to stop exploring.

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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!

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)

Uptown Dog’s Favorite Band

After writing my New Year’s blog post mentioning some of our favorite songs, I decided that I wanted to write more about music. There aren’t many songs out there about dogs – I think we are all tired of “Who Let The Dogs Out.” (No offense, Baha Men.) But there is a great music video featuring dogs that really gets my tail wagging.

OK Go made a video for their song “White Knuckles” where the four band members perform tricks with 12 different dogs, several of whom are rescues. And get this – the video is all one take! It took 124 takes and three days to get it just right. They must have gone through a LOT of dog treats.

I think it’s fantastic that the band featured rescued dogs in their video. What a great way to show the world what shelter pets can do! They are also using the video to raise money for homeless pets. If you download “White Knuckles” from the OK Go website, net proceeds from the download price will be donated to the ASPCA. The band requested that the donations be allocated to rural animal shelters.

If you are curious to see how OK Go pulled this off, check out this behind the scenes video. It looks like everyone involved had a lot of fun!

Tidings of Good Cheer

Christmas has come and gone, but the charm of playing with my new toys hasn’t warn off yet!

The three of us spent Christmas in our apartment in Manhattan: just me, Mom and Dad. Mom made baked mostaccioli for Christmas Eve dinner, and I got to taste some of the meaty pasta sauce. I wish I could have eaten a whole bowl of it!

While Mom and Dad drank wine and watched Love Actually, I fought to keep my eyes open so I could catch a glimpse of Santa this year. But that pasta sauce made my eyelids heavy….

Maybe I’ll finally meet him next year. Santa, for such a big guy, you really are sneaky!

Wordless Wednesday

Preparing to rob the hot dog stand.

Traveling in Packs

We were out for a walk this afternoon, and I spotted something unusual: a pack of dogs!

I was perplexed. I’ve heard of wolves traveling in packs in the wild. But never domesticated dogs living in the city. They had leashes and collars, so I knew they had owners. Maybe all these dogs have one owner, I thought, and they all live together in one massive penthouse apartment! I ascertained that they were a friendly pack, so I decided to introduce myself and figure out what they were up to.

Turns out they were with dog walkers who take them on adventures while their humans are at work. A lovely lady named Stephanie used to take me on walks every day when we lived in D.C., but we never went out in big groups like this. It looks like fun!

Mom promised me that after she takes the New York bar exam and starts going to work again, she will find me a pack to hang out with during the day. I can’t wait! But until then, I’m flying solo.

Wordless Wednesday

 

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