When we decided we wanted to spend four months in NYC, we also decided we wanted to bring our 75 lb Golden Retriever, Rufus, with us. Rufus is eight years old, and while we are comfortable leaving him with a caretaker for a few weeks while we travel internationally, we didn’t want to leave him for four months.
Rufus is used to doing his “business” on grass and taking long walks in a wooded area. We figured NYC would take some adjusting so, in preparation for the city,we began to take him for walks in urban areas, and since we would be living in an elevator building, he began to take rides in elevators. All this went well.
On arriving in NYC, he seemed a bit overwhelmed by all the smells: food, spills, dog business and other things. He seemed amazed that dogs do their business just about anywhere. Now he has learned to do that also. He was used to greeting almost everyone we met on our walks and took some adjusting to the fact that many people didn’t want to say “hi”.
His elevator experience was fine, but he hadn’t gone up more than three floors. Now we go up 28 floors with people getting off and on. Looking out the apartment window, he seemed initially uncertain about all the little people and little cars and trucks. I think he’s figured it out now.
He loves Central Park. We are near the northern end of the Park which has a nice woodsy area called, appropriately enough, the North Woods. There are streams and paths and lots of wildlife – just like home
The City can be dirty in the winter and it is easy for Rufus’s fur to pick up that dirt so lots of towels are in order. There is a lots of salt and sand on the sidewalks which can be tough on the feet so many of the dogs wear boots. Rufus was frequently stopping and holding up a paw for me to clear his pad of debris so I decided to try a set of boots for him. I got one on, he held his paw up, looked me in the eye as if I was nuts, and declined further boots.
We took him back to Connecticut this week for a brief visit and seemed seemed happy to be there. But on our return to NYC, he seemed just as happy to be here.
Overall the experience has been good. I just wish more New Yorkers would pick up after their dogs – not hard to do and there are disposal receptacles everywhere.
R. Kevin Price
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