A few weeks ago my husband and I decided to do an overnight and leave our plush green backyard for the posh streets of Tribeca. As a Hoofer, I find it equally as important to create a "balance" between work and fun and that is what this trip was all about. I couldn't wait to take in the hustle and bustle of the city, view fashionable trends, sink my teeth into deliciously different cuisine, and of course people watch. What I didn't expect is that although this overnight getaway was meant for me to re-charge and escape my hoofin responsibilities, I couldn't help but hone in on every Woofer that crossed my path. Unfortunately, a city rat did too, but that's another blog!
A White Picket Fence
I think the biggest misconception is that in order for a Woofer to have ALL their needs met a fenced in yard is a must for them to run around. That's not necessarily true! Before I became a Hoofer, I just thought everyone took their Woofers on walks as that is what I thought Woofer ownership meant. I was amazed to find that in suburbia most of my clients have the fenced in yard and that's where their woofers activity is released not during hoofs. I guess you could say the equivalent in the city to this fenced in backyard is the concrete dog parks. Pictured above is a Woofer and her Hoofer taking in the frolic that is occurring before them. Not only was I impressed with the cleanliness of the park, but how regulated the interactions were between the Woofers. (they were all so socialized) Although I couldn't get a picture at the time, there was a French Bulldog attacking the spray of a hose used to clean the concrete by a public worker. It was the Bulldog against the spray....I am sure you can guess who won!
As a visitor to the Big Apple, the minute my foot landed off the ferry my senses went into overload. With my overnight bag dangling from my shoulder my main goal was to follow the verbal directions given by my husband towards his office building without appearing too much like a tourist. Not sure I accomplished that as I was overwhelmed by the noise, the pace of the people, and the large towering buildings. How does a Woofer handle this when their senses are far more advanced than mine?! I was amazed at how unaffected they were by it all. These Woofers seemed to walk amazingly on their leash with so many distractions passing them by such as people heading towards them, large dog packs trotting by, loud sounds of a taxi zooming near, and cyclists everywhere did not phase them. I am not sure my suburban friends could remain so calm as is evident by their behavior when a single squirrel passes by.
Can Pigeons and Woofers Co-exist?
By the looks of this photo above they certainly can. They make it a point to share the scraps found along the way. What was most heartwarming about my visit was seeing how these city dogs became such a part of the everyday routine of their Hoofers and how dog friendly Tribeca appeared to be. Hoofers would be immersed with their iphone screens, reading a book, or window shopping and their Woofers knew exactly what to do and where to go.
While eating a delicious dinner at Tiny's and the Bar Upstairs there was a young couple enjoying a night out as well with their Woofer whom they recently adopted. They brought all the amenities needed for this outing to be a success; a dog bed, a water bowl, and a filled kong. Most of the patrons at this restaurant had no idea that this puppy was even under their table. Of course I needed to interrupt their meal with praise and questions. It turns out that this Woofer was in-training as a service dog, but not the kind you and i would think of. It had something to do with rock climbing which was super interesting.
I guess I always will have Woofers on the mind, but this was definitely helpful seeing them in their natural habitat. I receive so many calls weekly of Woofers relocating from Hoboken, Jersey City or Manhattan seeking a dog walker. What i love most about these Woofers is that they will poop on concrete which makes for easy cleanup. They also bring a "street smarts" with them that our suburban woofers could learn from such as be ready for anything! So in closing, I wish all the City Woofers who transition to the suburbs all the best with their own dog park backyards, with having fun chasing the abundance of wildlife, and with the new sounds soon to be heard like the cicadas. However immersed they become, I am sure they will never forget their city roots! Although I did not partake in a dog park romp, you would have thought I did based on the nap I needed upon my return.
Written by: Karen Kane (the original Hoofer)