Uptown Dog

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

Archive for the tag “new york city”

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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Wordless Wednesday

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

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…

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!

Trees: The Canine’s Social Network

Earlier this week I alluded to the challenges of being a dog in New York City. One of those challenges involves a shortage of trees. In our neighborhood in D.C., trees were plentiful. They were something I took for granted. One of the hardest parts of my day was deciding which trees I wanted to sniff. There simply wasn’t enough time in the day to sniff them all!

Why do I love trees so much? We don’t just pee on trees for fun: it’s a way of communicating with other dogs in our neighborhood. Trees are kind of like Twitter feeds for dogs because we use them to leave short messages for each other. When we sniff a tree, we can glean little bits of information about the other dogs who have been there. Are they young or old? Are they male or female? Are they happy, or are they stressed? What did they think of last night’s X-Factor elimination? If I sniff a tree and find something interesting, I can’t walk away without adding my two cents. It’s an ongoing conversation.

Things are a little different in New York City. You can’t just walk out the door and have a smorgasbord of trees at your disposal. There are a few trees on our street – but they are guarded with little fortresses! If I want to get up close and personal with a tree, I have to walk 8 blocks to the park. Now instead of checking my favorite trees for messages, I’m forced to look everywhere, and it’s hard to get a clear picture of what my neighbor dogs are doing. It is very chaotic!

In case you aren’t familiar with tree fortresses, I snapped a few pictures of them on our last walk. Some of them are quite fascinating, while others are just offensive, but no matter what I find myself wondering….who wasted money on this?

When I encountered this tree, I considered jumping the fence and prancing in the lovely holiday greenery. But then I saw the sign. Life was so much easier when I couldn’t read! (Don’t tell anyone, but I may have given this fortress a spiteful spray before moving on.)

On the opposite side of the spectrum, this fortress is rough on the eyes and on the paws. What, were they afraid this tree would grow wings and fly away? Why else would you put concrete blocks around it? No need for a sign to keep me out – I’m moving on to the next tree already.

I am equally excited and terrified by this final display. Look at the size of those pinecones! And the red twigs! They must be imported from someplace exotic. The ivy is also very enticing. You never know what’s hiding under there. Once I found a dead bird in some ivy, and Mom was so excited, she screamed!

I’m still trying to figure out why the tree fortresses are necessary. After encountering the rather rude sign on the first tree, I assumed they were designed to keep dogs out – but dogs pee on trees in lots of other cities, and their trees manage to survive. Plus, just FYI, those little fences are pretty easy for us to hop. Maybe they’re also supposed to protect trees from human foot traffic. The sidewalks do tend to get crowded here. Or perhaps you humans just don’t have enough things to decorate!

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