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Friday, January 25, 2008

Our Four-Legged Friends

Don't Walk
Photo by myself at Broadway and Prince Street in Soho.

In this town, dogs are people, too.


Pets are children-substitutes in a city short on space. We dress them, pamper them, talk to them and give them people names.

Pets, dogs especially, since they're so visible, are status symbols. They're badges to the outside world on what you can afford - an apartment that can house more than one living thing, the occasional dog walker, stays at the kennel and the dreaded vet bill.

Usually the bigger the dog, the bigger the statement. The same goes for multiple little dogs. You may as well have dollar bill symbols at the end of the leash. At least, that how I see it.

My theory is that bigger dogs need less exercise than smaller dogs, because they're less excitable. So a guy walking down the street with two Great Danes may just live in a studio apartment rather than a three-bedroom. Don't be fooled!

A couple years ago, one of Mark's friends came to visit his ex-girlfriend with his Great Dane, George. Meanwhile, the ex-girlfriend owned a small, very sparsely furnished apartment and an immense Bouvier named Gracie.

We spent the night chatting over drinks, while George kept getting up to nudge Gracie to play. The small group of two-legged animals kept getting pushed around by the four-legged ones. It was beyond claustrophobic, it was downright silly.

After twenty minutes, we just had to leave.


Dina said...

I really like the immediacy of your blog, I feel like I live in NY too. Thank you. Terrifically composed photos too.

Kitty said...

Hi there Dina

Thanks for dropping by!
I'd check out your blog, too, if you have one, but your profile is set on private.

The lovely thing about NY is that anyone can find themselves living here. There are all types!

cheers, k

joderebe said...

Had to laugh. As an owner of a Chocolate Lab and a Poodle Terrier mix I can understand how dogs can take over. Probably the reason why I never invite anyone over :-)
~JD (The Uneasy Supplicant)

Reluctant Blogger said...

The woman in the photo looks like she is wearing her last dog!

I am not really a dog fan but it always makes me chuckle when people talk to their dogs and call themselves "mummy" or "daddy". I used to do it to my cat sometimes by accident and my children always used to make fun of me!

I love your photos too. I'm sure when I finally make it over to visit NY it will be like a "deja-vu" experience as I will have seen most of it before, via your blog.

Spandrel Studios said...

Kitty, your photo really is wonderful... I love all the coats!

The family that moved in across the street from us has a very tall, long-legged dog that seems to have the personality of a small, excitable one. It's like he's had too much coffee!

Kitty said...

JD, I love labs! Actually, I love all breeds. Labs have a special place in my heart, though. They are so easy going and trusty.

RB, you will have to visit soon before NY entirely becomes a shopping mall. Come in the warmer months, before there's nothing gritty left!

Thanks SS! I feel bad for hyperactive dogs. There should be the equivalent of catnip for them so they can chill.

penpusher said...

This is such a great shot! Now you have inspired me to do something similiar ;)

My friend keeps a St Bernard in her 2 bedroom apartment, the poor dog eventually went insane and started barking incessantly and attacking guests. I think he was put down eventually :(

Pet owners should really be more responsible.

Kitty said...

PP, I'll be looking out for your photo!
That's very sad about your friend's dog. These things don't have to happen.

There's a show out here called 'The Dog Whisperer'. Very inspiring. This guy rehabilitates dogs that have been abused, rescued, etc.
This is his website.

Kizz said...

It's not about the size of your apartment as much as it's about your proximity to the dog park and ability to make yourself part of that community. Most of the city dogs I know are miles better socialized and exercised than the ones with their own yards.

Kitty said...

True, Kizz, no reason for a dog to run around if it's alone in a yard.
If it has buddies to chase, then he'll exercise. Or she.

Ming the Merciless said...

Some raise animals; others wear them.

Kitty said...

lol, Ming, I love it! haha.