My assumption has always been that dogs are dogs and they will do their business when they need to wherever we set them down! However, with Sydney, my chocolate lab mix, that is not the case. Last week, Sydney went with me for a 2-day visit to Brooklyn. It was her second visit to Brooklyn. On our first trip, we were there for 2 nights and stayed at Rachel and Dave’s apartment on Degraw Street. Mason, their dog, is a real urban pup and knows when she is taken out for a walk, it is for a purpose. Playing with other dogs, greeting neighbors, trying to eat discarded food on the curb all take second place to the primary purpose of the walk. Mason tried to model for Sydney and doesn’t really understand her reluctance. Sydney didn’t get it and liked the walks okay but wouldn’t do anything, even when I found a blade or two of grass around a street tree!! We walked and walked to no avail and I certainly had a new appreciation for how long dogs could go without going to the bathroom!
Last week when we went to Dave and Rachel’s new apartment in Park Slope, I had high hopes for Sydney because there are actually very small patches of dirt and grass. No luck. She is clearly a suburban dog and is spoiled by having had a yard of her own in Tallahassee and now has a fenced-in yard in Lords Valley. I determined that walking to Prospect Park would work but this is quite a long walk and isn’t one that I would take at night anyway. Somehow she managed and survived until we found grass at the park. Mason was very excited with all the walks to the park and had a wonderful time. I’m sure she was grateful for Sydney’s lack of urban savvy.
There are other factors that have to be considered as well. Trucks are very noisy and very close to the sidewalks when walking the dog. The falafel seller outside Barnes & Noble on 8th Avenue made a lot of noise and his friend who was selling strawberries (2 boxes for $5!) next to him was very loudly proclaiming that they were delicious, cheap, and from Florida! This was enough to start Sydney shaking. So many people, so much noise, so little grass! But, she was a trooper and kept getting excited when I picked up her leash to take her out. I really believe that each time we walked up 7th Street, she saw the car and was trying to tell me that she found our way out of the city. I was obviously too dense to catch on. When we got home to our quiet place in the woods, Sydney sniffed every inch of the yard and then ran up the stairs and literally danced around the living room. I guess you can’t take the country dog into the city!