Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Ask anyone who lives in Seattle. It has been 55˚F and overcast or raining there since September of 2009. Last summer, the summer of 2010, there was no hot weather, not even the usual week or two of it.  I left Seattle July 1st wearing a winter coat.
We arrived in New York City July 6th, and it has been hot every day since. I realized today that it’s so hot now that I don’t mind when two or three drips from a high, far-away AC unit drip on me. The garbage piles smelled so bad the other night we were forced to change the route of the late-night poop walk.  The late-night poop walk is the last dog walk before bedtime. Some nights one dog or the other will not poop, which is alarming to me, but for all my alarm we have yet to have any accidents inside. (Knock on wood.) Cherry has also had a couple of pee-strikes, where she refuses to pee for the whole walk, but so far this has been her own problem.  Neither dog objects to peeing or pooping on the pavement, peeing or pooping in the middle of the pavement, or peeing or pooping in a crowd of fast moving pedestrians.
I was worried that we do not understand dog pee and poop etiquette in New York City, so I tried to do some research about it.   Other than learning that it is illegal to leave dog poop on the sidewalk, which is obvious, I have not discovered much about what you should do when your dog decides that the best place to pee is on the potted plant in front of the spotless Japanese hotel on the corner, or the side of a building that houses a podiatrist’s office, or a small mountain of bagged garbage lying on the sidewalk. I am, of course, waiting for the famously pointed New York comment, delivered with a shout.  It has not come.
Sometimes when we head out for a walk, we don’t hear anyone speaking English.  It is crowded enough on the sidewalk in this neighborhood to have to weave in and out of human traffic.  Captain loves to steal a sniff or a taste of a passing hand, so when anyone makes eye-contact with him or reaches for him, he returns their admiration with a dab of his saliva.  If you are wondering if this really happens, I can tell you it happened three times when I walked him about an hour and a half ago.
Both dogs sit nicely and wait for crossing streets now, and I will not be surprised when they start doing it without being asked.  We have now been here one week.  In that time I have heard two different women walk past me and my dogs say loudly to their companions, “Oh! Ugh! I HATE dogs.”  Many, many more people stop to admire them, or ask if they’re Vizslas.  I somehow don’t mind the dog-haters letting me know they hate my dogs. I’ve usually got a fresh warm bag of shit in my hand.

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