I once read an article entitled, “The Argument for the City Dog.” I cherished this article. As a city dweller, I relished the idea of spending an afternoon in the city with my dog…taking a nice stroll through streets you’ve never explored, laying out in the park and interacting with all of the dogs passing by. This was truly one of the most peaceful ways I could think of to spend a day.
Certainly there were downfalls to city dog life. The obvious one being RATS! Somehow my dog can always sniff out a rat before I can spot it. Luckily, I have learned his cues…freezing, then stalking, and then the pounce! The other major detractor to city living, is the inability to let your dog roam free. No acres of land to discover and wild animals to chase after.
Taking into account these two major factors, I still am in awe by the amazing life a dog can lead in the city. Every morning, I walk out my back door and head into Wrightwood Park. We are met by more than a dozen dogs all thrilled to be able to roughhouse with their cohorts. My city dog has his favorite friends and is always eager to meet the park newbies.
For the rest of the day, I am always able to incorporate my dog into my busy life. Whether it be running to Nordstrom (yes, dogs can go here!), get a bite to eat (my favorite outdoor spot is Tavish Bar where they have a designated “dog patio”) or going into the office. All of these spaces are dog friendly. In fact, corporate giants like Google and Amazon have all made their offices dog-friendly, making city working that much more appealing.
Sure, we don’t have fox milling about in our yard, but we do have the occasional coyote (thanks to the weirdest City of Chicago brainchild for rat elimination). We still have millions of scents for my city dog to uncover. He can sometimes sit at his favored “sniff spots” for ten minutes discovering new scents – all new and exciting to him…even if we just were there an hour ago!
And then there is the inevitable dog walk that you share with your city dog. Yes, yards are more common in the country, but I would take a good walk over a yard break any day. Walking with your dog is the single best place you can bond. Somedays I raise my chin and let the sun hit my face for an extended period of time. I am prompted by a tug in the leash to look down at my buddy. All I can think of is how blessed I am. The city manages to stay quiet when you are focused on your walk. It’s only you and your beloved one, taking in the beauty around you.
So if you are finding yourself frustrated with city pangs such as crazy drivers, trash strewn on sidewalks and impatient city dwellers, I encourage you to grab the leash and step outside. Look around you and remember why you live in the city. And most important, why you got a dog.