Uptown Dog

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

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.

Wordless Wednesday

Best place to be on a freezing cold day…

Cincinnati Beagle Needs a Home

Uptown Dog readers – we need your help!

Do you live in or near Cincinnati, or know someone who does? Over the weekend, our friend found a lost beagle while hiking in an Ohio state park. After exhaustive attempts to find the owner, no one has turned up – and all of the no-kill shelters and rescues in the area are full.

The beagle has proven to be friendly and well-behaved. She gets along great with other dogs, and she barely barks! (Except at the TV, but then again, my Mom has been known do do that while watching Real Housewives of New Jersey!) She also appears to be housebroken and crate-trained, another big plus. As the pictures below will demonstrate, she’s pretty cute to boot.

Please share this blog post with anyone you know who might be interested in adopting this adorable beagle. Again, our friend is in the Cincinnati area, but she is willing to drive some distance if a responsible owner beckons. She is committed to finding this beagle a good home.

You can contact us about the beagle via e-mail, uptowndogNYC (at) gmail (dot) com.

Update: A no-kill shelter in Cincinnati agreed to take in this darling beagle, but she is still available for adoption! If you are interested, send us an e-mail and we will put you in touch with the shelter.

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!

Hello There 2012

2011 was a great year, but it ended on a soggy note…because Mom decided that I needed a bath. She always tries to convince me that it’s just like getting a belly rub, except with a little soap and water. It’s true, I love a good massage – but I also hate being wet. That cold slippery feeling is so unpleasant! Plus, I hate smelling like soap. After I get out of the bath, I have to completely re-groom myself so that I can get rid of that “clean” scent.


On the bright side, baths make my fur really soft. I feel like a puppy again! I was in a much better mood after I finished drying off, so I busted out my Dog Perignon to ring in the new year. After that, things got a little wild! I danced with Mom and Dad to “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” by Stevie Wonder and “Another Day” by Jamie Lidell.

As we counted down the final seconds of 2011, I thought about all the great things that happened to me this year. My Mom and Dad got married, we moved to New York City, I went to my first baseball game, and I overcame my fear of pumpkins. And I almost forgot…I started my own blog! I can only speculate what 2012 will bring, but just I have a feeling it’s going to be a good year for us.

Brooklyn Wolf-Dog Gets a Happy Ending for Christmas

In the days leading up to Christmas, while most of us were busy sniffing presents under the tree and stealing unattended cookies, a wolf was found wandering the streets of Brooklyn. I was a bit concerned to learn about this, since wolves are much bigger and stronger than me. What would happen if i ran into one? My cheerful disposition and adorable lopsided ears are no match for a wolf’s survival instincts.

A very brave citizen put a collar on the wolf and brought her to a local shelter. There, authorities determined that she was not actually a wolf – phew! Instead, she is a wolf-dog hybrid who was probably kept illegally as an exotic pet. I couldn’t imagine being homeless and left to fend for myself during the holidays. I went from being terrified, to relieved, to just plain sad.

I asked Mom if we could invite the wolf-dog to Christmas dinner. Even though she agreed that the wolf-dog is a beautiful creature, it probably wasn’t a good idea, she said. After all, they are illegal to keep in New York, so we might only complicate matters. Mom assured me that the people at the animal shelter would make sure she was taken care of. But I was still worried – what if they determined it wasn’t safe to keep her there? Where would she go?

The wolf-dog’s story ends with a regular Christmas miracle. A special shelter in New Jersey that cares for domestic-bred wolves took her in, and they say that “Lady” is making lots of new friends there! They also shared a video of Lady bonding with hew new companions, and it looks like she is very happy. Who knew wolves could be so affectionate? According to the shelter, Howling Woods Farm, today’s wolfdogs are not the direct offspring of wolves. They come from several generations of wolfdog breeding – so they are not “wild” at all. They are mutts just like me!

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!

Merry Christmas from Uptown Dog

Tomorrow’s Christmas Eve, and I just can’t wait for Santa to arrive! I wanted to share some Christmas cheer with all of you, so I made this video. I encourage you to sing along!

Wishing all of my readers a very happy howliday!

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