Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Doing Our "Home"work

As I mentioned in yesterday's entry, I have been quietly investigating apartments here in NYC. On Tuesdays, G doesn't go to daycare or have a walk during the workday (it's her day off!), so I took the opportunity to take her with me to visit a potential apartment after I got home.

The place we wanted to walk by is about 11 blocks north of my current apartment. I've actually never gone that far north of where I live and so I was feeling a bit unfamiliar with the neighborhood and what I would encounter. I have to say, in instances like this, I am so glad I have a larger dog that I can take with me at dusk. As a female, living (and usually walking) alone, it's a bit of insurance to have G with me.

So, anyways, we toodled up to apartment and, lo and behold, the neighborhood was fantastic! It was very vibrant, a lot of foot traffic and, being a stone's throw from Columbia University's front gate, there were a diverse assortment of folks all of over the place. I was so relieved!

We spoke a bit with the doorman of the building, who was very friendly, and on the return trip even received 3 compliments as to how beautiful G was within 2 blocks - wow, that's never happened! That being said, I'm feeling warm fuzzies about the potential of this apartment and hope all goes well when I actually get to look inside tomorrow evening (G won't join for that adventure). Fingers crossed and positive vibes welcome!

Phew - I'm tired now, too!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Owning and Renting with Pets

As I have been somewhat lazily looking at the possibility of owning (in conjunction with my mom) an apartment versus renting, I've been getting more and more familiar with the NYC real estate market.

Overall,I've been relatively pleased with the amount of pet friendly sales there are both on the UWS and elsewhere. However, there are numerous examples of "Sorry, Fido, no dogs," or "Pets approved on a case-by-case basis." To date, I've tended to skip these case-by-case ads as I don't want to fall in love with an apartment, only to be rejected by the size or breed of my dog.

That being said, I currently live in a rental building which is actually zoned to allow pets of all kinds, including dogs, cats, birds, pigs, etc. When my mom initially moved into the building, there was no pet policy whatsoever - they didn't even ask and if you showed up with 4 dogs, they didn't really care. Recently, as I've stumbled across listings for rentals in my building, I laugh because I've seen things like "Dogs under 40 lbs." or "No pets." I know for certain none of this is true (we have a Bernese Mountain Dog in the building) and is, in fact, the error of the broker listing the property.

These minor errors give me hope that, should I continue looking at apartments for sale, I should expand my search to include those properties deemed case-by-case. Who knows what lies beyond an innocent error in the apartment summary?!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fashionista: Tummy Warmer

With the fall in full swing, the days are getting crisper and cooler, and my short haired pup needs some light protection from the elements. It's not yet cold enough that she can don her full winter coat, so we typically put on her Tummy Warmer from Voyagers K9 Apparel. It's light and breathable, but the soft felt-like material keeps cozy and warm on those chilly fall days.

Here's G sniffing her way through Central Park this Saturday in her comfy, tan-colored Warmer. I specifically picked the light tan as it tends to match her ginger coloring nicely!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Snuggle Butt

A direct consequence of off-leashing or long morning walks for G (and me!) is that she comes back to the apartment thoroughly pooped! With the colder weather now upon on us, she loves to come home, drink some water and then promptly pass out on her couch wrapped in a blankie (or in the below case, my sweatshirt).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


One of the things I love about NYC is the off-leash policy in designated city parks. From dusk until 9am the following morning dogs are allowed to roam around off-leash 7 days a week.

As I've mentioned before, G and I used to do this almost every weekend when we lived in Midtown East because we were so close to Central Park (it's the reason she ended up in the book!). Alas, as we've moved several times since, I've let the off-leashing fall by the wayside a bit. Not only are we much farther from Central Park, G actually ends up sleeping in on the weekends with me and we usually don't really get up until a little after 9am anyway.

To be honest, the other reasons I haven't done as much off-leashing as of late? First, her recall to me is not always the best and I get nervous when she doesn't listen if I need her to come. Further, the last time we off-leashed in Central Park, she got into a tussle with another dog and I ended up getting a large gash on my hand when I tried to pull them apart. Instead of addressing the issue, I instead just stopped off-leashing.

Well, this weekend, we awoke bright and early around 6:30am and I thought, "What the heck, let's give it another go." As her training has been going very well lately, I decided that this was as good a time as any!

G and I made our way over to Riverside Park and G had a ball playing and sniffing in the trees. We practiced coming back to me on command and I made sure to give her lots of praise. She gently greeted other dogs and ran all over the place (including through some extra large mud puddles) and was overall really great!

The only minor issue we ran into was that I had called her to me after she got a bit of a ways away. In her excitement at being outdoors, she came running toward me and full throttle. Another dog who was running off-leash with its owner near by, suddenly sprinted toward her as if to chase (I'm thinking the other dog may have had a high prey drive and though G was chasing something) and came over barking. G was a bit confused and perceived the dog as a threat - she began barking and actually ran into the dog in her haste.

I remained calm and told her sternly to come to me and she immediately finished barking and trotted over. I was very proud her ability to listen, even in a tension-filled situation. I again praised her for listening and we headed home!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

The New York City Avon Breast Cancer Awareness walk was this weekend and ended up going right by our building. G and I decided to go out to show our support to the walkers (although full disclosure: I didn't quite realize what a dramatic fashion event this walk is! G was totally underdressed and didn't have a stitch of pink on her - I totally should have planned ahead!).

And I got this amazing blooper shot - can you believe the length of that tongue??!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fashionista: Autumn Collars

As I mentioned a few weeks back, I ordered G a super adorable, super fancy collar for fall. As we are working on our manners especially diligently this month, I figured a pretty new necklace was the perfect reward for both G and I.

Here's G modeling her new collar in the fading afternoon sunlight (earlier and earlier!). She must be really proud of it, because I heard an elderly lady comment to her friend as we passed, "Well, now, I have never seen a dog smile like that!"

Warm fuzzies!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A(nother) New Daycare (Part 3)

As I mentioned in the last post, these last weeks have been a bit nuts. Why, you may ask? Well, last Sunday I received a text message from G's daycare, saying "Hi! We decided to move from our 94th Street location yesterday. It was a last minute decision, but hope G can still come to our 60th Street facility." Last minute? I would say so - I had already laid out her jacket/leash for daycare the next day!

Per usual, I immediately went through a range of emotions - angry, sad and anxious. It seems over the past few months, affordable daycare options in the "upper" Upper West Side are dwindling fast!

To ease the tension last week, I scheduled additional walks with G's fabulous dog walker as I began my hunt for the third new daycare in 6 months. I've considered just sticking to walks, but G really looks forward to and exhausts herself at daycare so I consider the money very well spent.

After Googling like a crazy person, I found a day care one block south, on 93rd Street. It was definitely more expensive and much more formal than other daycares, but it had received many good reviews and had been operating successfully for many years.I called and, lo and behold, they offered a package that would allow G to attend twice a week for the same price as her old daycare! Not to mention, it was a much cleaner and more reputable location. I was thrilled!

G went in for her first day this past Saturday (a half day to test things out) and she was extremely well-behaved. She was even given a Nylabone and quietly chewed it in the corner after I left (well, after 10 minutes of where-the-heck-am-I? barking). She also attended daycare for the full-day and overnight on Sunday and things when swimmingly! She even came back smelling like a clean, yummy pup (something I've found is not always a given at boarding facilities).

So needless to say, G now has steady daycare again and all is right with the world (phew!). To be honest, one of the first questions I asked when I called the new place was if they had a 5 year business plan (I am over all these changes!). The owner said to me that they plan to stay on the UWS for as long as possible and are even looking to expand. Fingers crossed they stay in the same location!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Long Time No Blog!

Phew! It's been a busy past couple of weeks on my end and I apologize for the absence of posts!

Last weekend was a bit nuts after one of my cats, M, ended up (WARNING: put down your sandwiches) ruptured an anal sac on Saturday evening. I rushed him to the vet with what I can only describe as a gaping hole on right side of his backside. It was super gross - essentially it looked like you were seeing in to an open wound - to the point that even when his regular vet saw him on Tuesday (at which point, significant healing had already happened) she said "Whoa, that's a bad one!"

He's been on all sorts of meds and has been healing up nicely although these type of wounds are not stitched. They simply heal on their own and, to be honest, all he has left is a little scab where the burst happened. M was also a model patient as I ferried him back and forth to all sorts of appointments. He's super laid back, doesn't mind poking and prodding and is always up for a kittie treat.

I've restrained myself from posting pictures of the wound because it's still early, but all is well!

G is also doing very well and I will post later in the week about what's going on with her (lots), but for now, I'd like to call your attention to a great new blog I found over the weekend (thank you to my colleague for bringing this to my attention) called The Crooked Dog Blog. Gorgeous (LUCKY) pup, heartbreaking story and  a hopefully happy ending for this little guy. Please visit if you haven't already seen it!

Photo credit: The Crooked Dog Blog