In my younger years, when I knew all and everything, I thought having a dog in the city was cruel and unusual punishment for the poor canine. They should have a house, with a big yard, and lots and lots of other dogs in the neighborhood to play with. And it would be a bonus if the family had a couple of fun-loving kids to take the dog for walks to the park to play ball and wait for them after school. What a wonderful life it could and should be.
I got a little bit older and entered the world and ended up getting a little rescue dog, a runt pit bull puppy that I named LB June. I was terrified of dogs at this time, so people thought it was quite amusing that I took this little neglected KILLER of a breed home and raised her until her passing at 14. I also was living in a house that came equipped with a doggy door and a large back yard, and I owned a car, and had two children during her little life. Note I’ve become a pit bull advocate ever since. They are magnificent little dogs.
As time moved on I have to admit I still held some judgement on people that did own dogs in the city, for I had given the one dog I’ve had a great neighborhood life. So I never thought about getting a dog once I did move to a city.
Until Co-vid it. I was one of the ones who in the midst of “how can I maintain my sanity” in that lonesome time I dropped all of my judgments and got a Charley Waffle. A Charley Waffle that is one of the most energetic, intelligent and time consuming and demanding breeds, an Australian/Border Collie mix. Little feisty beast she is.
I’ll have to say that the first 2 years with her, and she’s only 2 and a few months now, was trying. Extremely. Sorry, Charley, but that is fact. Even though we had a lot more areas around the city where we were able to discover and explore without much adieu from others, such as empty college campuses and their football fields, to actual neighborhoods where people and cars were few and far between it was hard. It was fun, but I still thought it was a bit difficult to get her much needed 5 hour a day exercise that she seemed she needed to settle down a tad.
But now things are a bit on the upswing I’m realizing we have to now deal with real world issues, such as cars, people, other people and their dogs, and just general daily goings that happen in the city. Plus, I realized even louder than before, that I don’t have a car, or a yard, a doggy door, or even a 1 bedroom apartment, but a tiny, itsy bitsy studio smack dab downtown. And I am determined to make sure I will give her the same life if not better than the “perfect” one I had always imagined that a dog should have.
What is cool is that I have realized many people have dogs downtown, even larger than her, and living in the same kind of dwelling as we do. I’ve seen Great Danes, Dalmations, German Shepards, Newfoundlands and Dobermans along with the little pocket dogs, such as Yorkshires and Chihuahuas.
I have once again relied on the one book I picked up by the Monks of New Skete, “How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend.” I want to share some of the things I’ve learned and picked up regarding owning a dog in the city, and the fact that it seems like dogs can have just as much fun in the city as they do in a cute little neighborhood with a doggy door. It may even seem the urban city dogs may get pampered more so than the average run of the neighborhood.
But right now I’ve got to take her for her mid afternoon walk. I was trying to condense this in a sitting, but turns out I’ll have to stretch it out a bit. These are some things I want to address;
- Obstacles around the city sidewalks
- Dog Parks
- Must do’s
- City Etiquette
- EXERCISE (My biggest issue)
- Other misc things…..
But the main thing is that I’ve realized that it is ok to own a dog in the city, and I give much credit to people that do decide to bring a dog into the city home. It takes a lot of work and time, and a lot of sacrifice.
To be cont..